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Mr. Television: Thursday, October 28, 2021

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Television and Radio
Rhoda (Valerie Harper) was late to her own wedding in a one-hour episode of “Rhoda” in 1974 when scatter-brained Phyllis (Cloris Leachman) forgot to pick her up on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” spin-off. Over 52 million had tuned in, more than half of the viewing population at the time…Two CBS sitcoms celebrated their 100th episodes: “The Andy Griffith Show” in 1963 and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in 1964…The original “Hawaii Five-O” on CBS hit the 200-episode mark in 1976…Action-adventure drama “The Fall Guy” premiered as a TV movie on ABC in 1981. Lee Majors starred as a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter. The series aired from 1981 to 1986…Showtime anthology series “Masters of Horror” launched in 2005. It ran for two seasons…Fantasy police procedural “Grimm” starring David Giuntoli debuted on NBC in 2011. It had originally been developed at CBS but its plans fell through due to the 2007-08 writers’ strike. Despite its unconventional premise of a cop who must fend off supernatural forces originating from the Grimm Fairy Tales and its normally scarcely-viewed Friday night slot, it became one of the surprise freshman successes of the 2011-12 season. The series, co-executive produced by former “Will & Grace” star Sean Hayes, ran for six seasons.

“How Green Was My Valley,” based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn, directed by John Ford and starring Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O’Hara premiered in New York in 1941. It won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director…“Donnie Darko,” starring Jake Gyllenhall was released in theaters in 2001…Animated “The Bee Movie” opened in theaters in 2007.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” in New York City in 1971.

The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Ernest Hemingway in 1954.

Rock superstar Elvis Presley publicly received his polio vaccination in 1956… Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered the withdrawal of Russia’s missiles from Cuba in 1962, thereby ending the Cuban Missile Crisis…The weather event of an extratropical low formed in the North Atlantic in 1991. The occurrence was the basis of the 2000 hit disaster motion picture “The Perfect Storm” starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg.

Several MLB teams won the World Series on this day: Oakland Athletics (1989), Atlanta Braves (1995), Boston Red Sox (2007, 2018), St. Louis Cardinals (2011), and, San Francisco Giants (2012).

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actress Joan Plowright is 92; actress Jane Alexander is 82; actor Dennis Franz (“NYPD Blue”) is 77; actress-singer Telma Hopkins (“Gimme a Break!”) is 73; Olympic decathlon champion Caitlyn Jenner is 72; “Young Sheldon” star Annie Potts is 69; songwriter-music producer John Charles Barrett aka Desmond Child is 68; Entrepreneur Bill Gates is 66; actress Daphne Zuniga (“Melrose Place”) is 59; “The Talk” co-host Sheryl Underwood is 58; actress Lauren Holly (“NCIS”) is also 58; actress Jami Gertz (“The Lost Boys”) is 56; “Conan” sidekick Andy Richter is 55; Oscar winner Julia Roberts is 54; actor Jeremy Davies (“Justified”) is 52; country singer Brad Paisley is 49; Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix (“The Joker”) is 47; actress Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones”) is 43; “American Idol” season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini is also 43; Actor Finn Wittrock (“Ratched”) is 37; R&B singer Frank Ocean is 34; actor Nolan Gould (“Modern Family”) is 23.

Did You Know?
Julie Kavner, of course, played Rhoda’s sister Brenda on the 1974-78 sitcom spin-off.  But in a season four episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary and Rhoda traveled to New York for the wedding of Rhoda’s little sister Debbie.  In another episode of “MTM,” a reference was made to Rhoda’s brother Arnold by Ida Morgenstern (Nancy Walker). Debbie and Arnold are two more entries in the “land of the TV lost,” joining Chuck Cunningham (“Happy Days”), Judy Winslow (“Family Matters”), Steven Floyd and Ruth Ann Torkelson (“The Torkelsons”/”Almost Home”), Brendan Lambert (“Step By Step”) and Samantha Malloy (“Life With Bonnie”), among others…The producers of “Rhoda” wanted to spin-off Rhoda and Brenda’s drunken doorman Carlton into his own animated show. A pilot called “Carlton, Your Doorman” was produced but not picked up. The show aired as a onetime special presentation and won an Emmy award in 1980 for Best Animated Program.