TV Guide Magazine The Beatles on TV

TV Guide Magazine tells you what’s worth watching. With its unparalleled access and authority, it's the only publication devoted exclusively to television. It includes celebrity interviews, in-depth previews, sneak peeks and authoritative reviews from critic Matt Roush.

United States
TV Guide Magazine, LLC
26 Issues

in this issue

2 min
editor’s letter

Would there even have been Beatlemania without The Ed Sullivan Show? The answer is yes. The Beatles were destined for immortality, and their Fab Four reputation preceded their spectacular debut on the American airwaves. But the power of TV in the mid-1960s, when we were still captive audiences, combined with the electrifying appeal of those young lads from Liverpool with their mop tops and infectious swagger, secured their place in music history. Who can forget the image of those screaming, crying teenyboppers pouring out all their loving and nearly drowning out the harmonies and beats of John and Paul and George and Ringo? And that was just their first act. The Beatles were the tip of the spear of the British Invasion, influential both then and now. I still remember when my older…

1 min


12 min
the happy return to get back

Ringo Starr has this dream. It is January 30, 1969, and he is behind the drum set that sits on a wooden platform atop London’s Apple Corps building. Ringo is keeping rhythm for what Rolling Stone magazine has called the greatest live event in rock music history: the Beatles’ rooftop concert, which is the finale to Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s 1970 music documentary Let It Be. The film chronicled the making of that eponymous album; it also offered such a dour look at the bickering bandmates that the group refused to authorize its wide release in the decades that followed. The rooftop concert—the first live performance by the band in over two years—famously ended abruptly but respectfully, with the police stopping the performance after complaints were lodged by neighbors and the bank next…

24 min
tops of the pops

1 Royal Variety Performance Prince of Wales Theatre, London, Nov. 4, 1963 BROADCAST IN THE U.K. ON ITV, NOV. 10, 1963 THE BIG PICTURE The Beatles enter the British mainstream by rocking—and not rattling—the royals. BEHIND THE SCENES By late 1963, Beatlemania had captivated the young British faithful thanks to a string of hits from the band’s debut album, Please Please Me. Their concerts were drowned out by screaming fans, but to the general public they were, potentially, still a fad four. A golden opportunity came when John, Paul, George and Ringo were invited to perform at the annual fundraiser for the Royal Variety Charity, a show always attended by members of the royal family and seen as the biggest night in British show business. Also on the slate that evening: Marlene Dietrich, Burt…

1 min

In early February 1964, America was still a land grieving. John F. Kennedy, the beloved president, had been shot in Dallas only months prior, and the nation needed a lift. Who could have predicted it might come from four young musicians from England? Yes, in retrospect, the excitement John, Paul, George and Ringo seemed to bring with them on that Pan Am Flight 101 from London now seems just and obvious. Not then; not to the Beatles. “There were millions of kids at the airport, which nobody had expected,” Paul said later, exaggerating the number but not the noise level. “It was so exciting,” Ringo remembered. “I felt as though there was a big octopus with tentacles that were grabbing the plane.” The embrace was historic, and most welcome. Said Paul, “We…

28 min
how the beatles conquered television

1962 Aug. 22—Live: Cavern Club It may have been the 126th lunchtime performance by the Beatles—and their 218th overall—at the famed venue, but it was the first one captured by TV crews. Four days after Ringo Starr officially joined the band, a Manchester–based TV crew for Granada Television filmed a few moments, intending them to be used on local program Know the North. The band played “Some Other Guy” and “Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!” in an exuberant, head-shaking style that would come to be their signature. Oct. 17—People and Places The Beatles made their television series debut with an appearance on this local Manchester program, singing “Some Other Guy” and their brand-new single, “Love Me Do.” They returned 12 days later and sang “Love Me Do” again. Fans already couldn’t get enough. Dec. 4—Tuesday Rendezvous Their first London…