A method and apparatus for superimposing printed characters of any such nature as may be transmitted upon a received television image, at the will of the viewer at the receiver. The character information is incrementally transmitted during the vertical blanking interval of the television scanning format. The receiver is especially constructed to have a dynamic shift register, also means to manually select one or none of plural character programs; such as news, stock market, or weather. The characters may be made to crawl horizontally to present an extended message, which crawl may be halted by the viewer. The mandatory display of emergency messages is possible by a control located at the transmitter.