In 1952, “The Game of Chess,” starring Vincent Price, was one of the episodes in the Lux Video Theatre (TV series from 1950 to 1959)
In 1953, an episode called “Cagliostro and the Chess Player,” starring Jack Palance, appeared on Suspense (TV series from 1949 to 1954).
In 1954, an episode called “The Chess Player” appeared on Topper. Topper is expecting a visit from his pen pal chess partner, whom he has never met. When he meets him for the first time, he is surprised that his correspondence chess opponent was a young boy genius. Topper was a TV series from 1953 to 1955, starring Leo G. Carroll.
In 1955, an episode called “The Chess Game” appeared on Kraft Theatre (TV series from 1947 to 1958).
In February 1956, GM Isaac Kashdan appeared on You Bet Your Life (TV series from 1950 to 1961) with Groucho Marx. Groucho kept calling him Mr. Ash Can. Kashdan's partner was the mother of Tony Curtis. They did not say the magic word and failed to answer all the questions.
In June 1956, Bobby Fischer first appeared on television. He was a guest on the Home Show with Arlene Francis on NBC. Home was on TV from 1954 to 1957.
In 1956, “The Chess Game,” with Ronald Reagan as the host, was one of the episodes on General Electric Theater (TV series from 1953 to 1962).
In 1957, an episode called “The Chess Player,” starring David Jansen, appeared on Richard Diamond, Private Detective (TV sereis from 1957 to 1960).
In May 1957, an episode called "A Man Greatly Beloved" appeared on Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV series from 1955 to 1962). There is a chess scene with a young girl playing chess, but with mistakes (illegal chess moves).
In December 1957, an episode called “Chess Game” appeared on The Danny Thomas Show (Make Room for Daddy). It was a TV series from 1953 to 1965.
In May 1958, Bobby Fischer appeared on Garry Moore’s I’ve Got a Secret (TV series from 1952 to 1967). He stumped the panel, which included Dick Clark. His secret was that he was the U.S. chess champion. For stumping the panel, he received two complimentary airline tickets to Europe.
In 1960, a TV series called Checkmate aired on CBS. It was cancelled after 70 episodes in 1962.
In 1961, an episode called “Ed Cries Wolf,” where Mr. Ed, the horse, plays Wilbur in a game of chess on Mr. Ed (TV series from 1958 to 1966).
In 1961, an episode called “Knight Errant,” starring Chuck Connors, appeared on The Rifleman (TV series from 1958 to 1963). Two of Lucas’ oldest friends ask him to observe a chess match to prevent any cheating.
On May 21, 1961, Lisa Lane, age 24, appeared on What's My Line? (season 12, episode 38), and stumped the panel as a professional chess player and the reigning U.S. women's chess champion during the first game. What's My Line? was a TV series from 1950 to 1967.
In 1962, an episode called “the Chess Game” appeared in The Untouchables (which happened to be Igor Ivanov’s favorite TV program he once told me). The TV series lasted from 1959 to 1963.
In 1964, an episode called “Chess Set” appeared on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. Ozzie (TV series from 1952 to 1966) discovers a neighborhood kid with a talent for chess is betting on his ability to win chess matches.
In 1964, an episode called “the Giuoco Piano Affair,” starring Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, and Leo G. Carroll, appeared on The Man from U.N.C.L.E (TV series from 1964 to 1968).
In 1965, an episode called “Island in the Sky appeared on Lost in Space (TV series from 1965 to 1968). Jonathan Harris (Dr. Zachary Smith) plays chess with the robot.
In February 1966, an episode called "Smart the Assassin" appeared on Get Smart (TV series from 1965 to 1970). Smart is hypnotized to kill the Chief during their nightly game of chess.
In 1966, an episode called “Works with Chess, Not with Life” appeared on Public Eye.
Star Trek (TV series from 1966 to 1969) ran from 1966 through 1969 with several episodes showing its version of 3D chess.
In the 1960s, George Koltanowsku did a TV series entitled Koltanowski on Chess for KQED on PBS. It was a half hour segment devoted to chess.
In 1967, an episode called “Arrival” featured live chess in a village on The Prisoner (TV seeis from 1967 to 1968), starring Patrick McGoohan.
In 1968, an episode called “Checkmate” (episode 9) appeared on The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan (Number 6). The Villagers are the chessmen and the players sit in elevated chairs calling out moves with megaphones.
In 1968, “A Game of Chess” was one of the episodes of Mission: Impossible (TV series from 1966 to 1973). Their target was an international chess grandmaster whom is also planning to steal gold seized by a Soviet bloc country.
In 1969, an episode called “The Great Chess Gambit,” starring Robert Wagner, appeared on It Takes a Thief (TV series from 1968 to 1970).
In October 1969, an episode called “Deadly Pawn” appeared on Land of the Giants (TV series from 1968 to 1970). The Earthlings are forced to compete in a life-and-death chess game with a Giant chess expert. The little people find themselves bound to the chess pieces.
In 1971, an episode called “The Chess Game” appeared on The Good Life (TV series from 1971 to 1972), starring Larry Hagman and Donna Mills.
In January 1972, Bobby Fischer appeared on The Dick Cavett Show (TV series from 1968 to 1972).
In February 1972, CBS’s 60 Minutes did a segment of Bobby Fischer.
In July-August 1972, most of the TV networks covered the Fischer-Spassky world championship match. WNET/PBS (Channel 13) covered the match, which became their most watched program, with millions of viewers. The PBS coverage, produced by Mike Chase, was the first-ever live, real-time American TV coverage of a chess championship match. The PBS coverage has hosted by Shelby Lyman and Edmar Mednis. Lyman was paid only $10 per diem to cover the match.
After Fischer returned to the United States, he appeared on a Bob Hope television comedy series (October 5, 1972, with Mark Spitz) and The Tonight Show (November 8, 1972) with Johnny Carson.
From 1972 to 1980, Florencio Campomanes of the Philippines, who would later become president of FIDE, produced the only daily chess television in the world. It appeared nationwide in the Philippines.
In November 1972, “A Game of Chess” was one of the episodes in The F.B.I (TV series from 1965 to 1974), starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
In January 1973, an episode called “The Chess Game” appeared on The Black Arrow (TV series fro 1972 to 1975) in the UK.
In January 1973, the Bobby Darin show debuted. He always had a chess set while on the air and sometimes explained tricky chess moves.
In March 1973, “The Most Dangerous Match” was one of the episodes on NBC’s Columbo (TV series from 1971 to 1978 on NBC), starring Peter Falk.
In 1973, Jerry Lewis played chess with Sonny Bono on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (TV series from 1971 to 1974).
In 1974, an episode called “Mike’s Friend” appeared on All in the Family (TV series from 1971 to 1979). Mike’s college friend comes by to play chess.
In the UK, chess appeared on TV from 1975, the time of the first Karpov-Korchnoi world championship match, until 1995, the time of the Kasparov-Anand match. After 1995, British television producers lost interest in chess. They did not even cover the 2000 Kasparov-Kramnik world championship match, held in London a few miles away from BBC headquarters.
The Master Game series ran on BBC2 from 1976 to 1982. It was presented by Jeremy James, Leonard Barden, and Bill Hartston. The programs were cheap to make and got excellent viewing figures. Many of the episodes can be found on YouTube. The 1983 series was never shown in England, but did appear on German TV.
In 1979, an episode called “The Snare” appeared on The Incredible Hulk (TV series from 1978 to 1982). Dr. David Banner (Bill Bixby) is invited by a millionaire to play a game of chess on his private island. The man turns out to be a hunter, and David is the prey.
In 1983, a TV series called Chessgame appeared in the UK. It was a drama series about the activities of British counter-intelligence agents. The show lasted 6 episodes.
In 1984, an episode called “The Best Chess Player in the World” appeared on Tales of the Unexpected (UK TV series from 1979 to 1988).
In 1984, an episode called "Puzzled Steele" appeared on Remington Steele (TV series from 1982 to 1987), starring Pierce Brosnan. A game of chess was played.
In 1984, the Cosby Show appeared with many chess references. Bill Cosby appeared on the cover of Chess Life with a chess set in the living room of the TV show. The board was set up wrong (white corner square on the left). It was a TV series from 1984 to 1992.
In 1986, a made-for-TV mini series called If Tomorrow Comes appeared. It was based on a crime fiction novel by sidney Sheldon. It had several chess references about grandmasters at an international tournament.
In January 1986, an episode called “Checkmate” appeared on Family Ties (TV series from 1982 to 1989). Alex is competing in a chess match with a Russian master.
In 1986, the Karpov-Kasparov world championship match was shown on 120 public TV stations, hosted by Shelby Lyman.
In 1986, an episode called “A Prisoner of Conscience” appeared on MacGyver (TV series from 1985 to 1992), where Marvin Kaplan plays a chess master.
In 1986, an episode called “Who Is Don Luis Higgens…?” appeared on Magnum, P.I. (TV series from 1980 to 1988) where a man claiming to be Higgins’ half brother shows up to play in a Hawaii chess tournament.
In 1986, an episode called "One Good Bid Deserves a Murder" appeared on Murder, She Wrote (TV series from 1984 to 1996), starring Angela Lansbury . The plot centers around a diary found in a secret compartment of a chess set.
In 1987, a TV drama called Mighty Pawns appeared on TV. Inner city kids were given new direction when they joined the school chess team.
In 1988, an episode called “Capture the Queen” appeared on 48 Hours.
In 1989, an episode called “Bland Chess” appeared on B.L. Stryker (TV series from 1989 to 1990), starring Burt Reynolds.
In 1989, a documentary appeared on TV called American Gambit, featuring Kasparov giving a simultaneous exhibition.
In 1990, an episode called “Indoor Fun with Sammy and Robby” appeared on Cheers (TV series from 1982 to 1993). They play a game of chess for a week’s salary.
In 1990, The Chess Show began appearing on public televison in Portland, Oregon. It wos on the air from 1990 to 1998.
In 1990, an episode called "Russian flu" appeared on Northern Exposure. A game of chess was being played and one of the specatators said it was more fun watching slush melt than watching chess.
In 1991, an episode on computer chess called “Chip vs. the Chessmaster” appeared on NOVA.
In 1991, an episode called “Check Your Mate” appeared on Saved by the Bell (TV series from 1989 to 1993), where Screech Powers (Dustin Diamond) plays in a chess championship.
In 1993, the BBC had 60 hours of chess on television during the Kasparov-Short world championship match in London.
In 1995, an episode called "Chess Moves" appeared on Central Park West (TV series from 1995 to 1996).
In 1996, an episode called “Chess Pains” appeared on Frasier (TV series from 1993 to 2004).
In 1996, a documentary called Chess Kids appeared on 125 PBS stations. It was about the World Youth Championship, held in Wisconsin in 1990.
In May 1998, an episode caled "The End" appeared on The X-files (TV series from 1993 to 2002). During a chess tournament, a young boy becomes the center of an investigation concerning aliens.
In 1998, an episode called "The Chess Game" appeared on Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction (TV series from 1997 to 2002).
In June 1999, the TV game show Jeopardy had an antire category devoted to chess called Chess Mania. In May 2000, Jeopardy had another category devoted to chess called Chess Nuts.
In 2003, an episode called "Chess Wars" appeared on The Bernie Mac Show (TV series from 2001 to 2006).
In 2004, an episode called "Chess Champ to Football Manager" appeared on the UK reality-TV show called Faking It (TV series from 2000 to 2006).
In January 2005, an episode called "Observer Effect" appeared on Star Trek: Enterprise (TV sereis from 2001 to 2005). The episode begins with a discussion of the triviality of ches while playing a game of blitz chess.
In 2005, an episode called "Gone" appeared on Law & Order (TV series from 2001 to 2011). Detective Goren finds himself matching wits with a paranoid chess master.
In 2005, Knights of the South Bronx appeared on the A&E channel. Richard Mason (Ted Danson of “Cheers”) teaches chess to a group of low income students who end up winning the national championship. Mason’s character is based on David MacEnulty, who did take his Bronx elementary school students to a national chess championship.
In April 2006, an episode called “The Mad Genius of Bobby Fischer” was shown on Anything to Win, a TV series documentary. It was narrated by Jeremy Schaap.
In 2007, an episode called "The Jerk" appeared on House. A chess player beats up another chess player.
In 2008, an episode called "Mr. Monk and the Genius" appeared on Monk (TV series from 2002 to 2009). Monk matches wits with a chess master who is suspected of murdering his wife.
In 2009, a musical episode called “Chess in Concert” appeared on Great Performances.
In 2010, an episode called "Checkmate" appeared on Smallville (TV series from 2001 to 2011).
In March, 2011, a TV series called Endgame appeared on Canadian drama television. The series follows former Russian world chess champion Arkady Balagan (Shawn Doyle), a genius who uses his analytical skills to solve crimes. It appeared on Showcase Televsion. In early June 2011, Showcase announced that it would not renew Endgame for a second season.
In 2011, a documentary film called Bobby Fischer Against the World was shown on TV in the UK on BBC and the United States on HBO.
On February 19, 2012, 60 Minutes on CBS presented “Mozart of Chess: Magnus Carlsen.” Bob Simon interviewed Magnus Carlsen at the Londen Chess Classic, held in December, 2011.
Chess has also been mentioned in other TV shows such as 24, Banacek, Cagney and Lacey, CSI, Doctor Who, Family Matters, Fantasy Island, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends, General Hospital, Happy Days, Grey's Anatomy, Hart to Hart, Longstreet, Have Gun: Will Travel, Lexx, Lost, Love Boat, Malcolm in the Middle, Matt Houston, McMillan and Wife, Miami Vice, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Perry Mason, Scarecrow & Mrs. King, Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, Spearfield's Daughter, Spin City, Stargate, The Avengers, The Big Bang Theory, The Edge of Night, The Muppet Show, The Simpsons, The West Wing, The Young and the Restless, Three's Company, Tucker's Witch, and Twin Peaks.
In Sweden, chess news is shown on TV called World Chess News, with subtitles in English.
For my list of chess movies, see http://www.geocities.com/siliconvalley/lab/7378/movies.htm