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TV Dinners are the communion served as part of the religious service that is prime time. The gravy is the blood, the Salisbury steak the flesh of Johnny Carson, hallowed be his name.


Since the creation of the TV it has served as the glowing light of benevolence in the living rooms of families everywhere. They gathered to bond over their favorite shows, and to unwind at the end of the day. TV Dinners were created to help ease this transition, making life easier on the busy housewife and food prompt and warm for the doting husband. American may have changed since then, but National TV Dinner Day celebrates the fact that these quick and easy cuisines are still around, and very much a part of our day to day lives.

History of National TV Dinner Day

In the 1950’s, Swanson produced the first successful frozen dinner, meant to be heated and consumed in a convection oven in just 25 minutes. The term ‘TV Dinner’ came about for a myriad of reasons, including that these dinners came in trays that both resembled the TV’s of the era, and that the boxes contained an image of a TV on the cover. Most compelling, perhaps, is the fact that these dinners would fit perfectly on a TV Tray, which tied in nicely with consuming these while enjoying one of America’s favorite past-times, watching TV.

While the original offering was a simple Thanksgiving dinner, the options have come a long way since then. Swanson started including desserts in a fourth section of the tray sometime in the 1960’s, and there was a positive explosion of options for dinner in the time since. Spaghetti, Mac n’ Cheese, Hamburgers, fried chicken, all of these and more are available to the busy and hungry consumer.

How to Celebrate National TV Dinner Day

National TV Dinner Day is best celebrated by giving yourself a break from slaving over a hot stove, and pick up your favorite selection of quick and easy meals! One of our personal favorites is the pepperoni pizza pack that’s available, but there’s also the cheeseburger TV dinner, and a myriad of others. This is a great chance to remember your favorite guilty pleasure, and feed your family a great meal that will let you get back to enjoying your favorite shows! If you grew up with TV Dinners, then it’s time for a little nostalgia, pop one in the oven and find an old black and white TV show on Netflix or Hulu!

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