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Mr. Television: Tuesday, September 20, 2022

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Two long-running sitcoms premiered in 1984: “The Cosby Show” on NBC and “Who’s The Boss?” on ABC. Both aired for eight seasons…Also debuting: CBS comedy “You’ll Never Get Rich” in 1955 (which was eventually re-titled “The Phil Silvers Show”), ABC variety hour “The Captain and Tennille” in 1976, and NBC science fiction drama “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”…The phrase “jump the shark” originated in 1977 when “Fonzie” (Henry Winkler) responded to a challenge and jumps over a shark (wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket) in the conclusion of a three-part episode of ABC’s “Happy Days.” Although “jump the shark” is normally synonymous with the beginning of the end of any series, “Happy Days” actually survived for another six seasons…Two series starring Robert Urich launched on ABC: “Vegas” (as a weekly series) in 1978 and “Spenser: For Hire” in 1985. Both aired for three seasons…Other notable debuts: 1) “Lou Grant” on CBS in 1977, 2) ABC’s short-lived “Life With Lucy” in 1986, 3) “My Two Dads” on NBC in 1987, 4) “Step By Step” on ABC in 1991, 5) “Dave’s World” on CBS in 1993, 6) the TV version of “Clueless” on ABC in 1996, 7) “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” on NBC in 1999, 8) syndicated “Blind Date” in 1999, 9) “Firefly” on Fox in 2002, 10) “My Name Is Earl” on NBC in 2005, 11) “Jericho” on CBS in 2006, 12 and 13) sitcom “Mike & Molly” and the reboot of “Hawaii Five-0” — both on CBS in 2010, 14) “New Girl” on Fox in 2011, 15) and 16) dramas “Bull” on CBS and “This Is Us” on NBC — both in 2016…In 2001, Dr. Will Kirby was crowned the winner of the second season of CBS reality competition “Big Brother.” It was the first season of the show’s revamped game format to closer resemble “Survivor” but using the aspect of a weekly Head of Household. Kirby won by a jury vote of 5-2 over Nicole Schaffrich…In 2005, Maggie Ausburn defeated fellow “Nerd Herd” alliance member Ivette Corredero by a 4-3 jury vote to win the sixth season of CBS’ “Big Brother.” Third place finisher Janelle Pierzina would return three more times in the franchise, for seasons 7 (in 2006), 14 (in 2012) and 22 (in 2020).

Virtual band Archies’ single “Sugar Sugar” hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard in 1973.

At the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in 2015, several firsts occurred. They were 1) HBO’s “Veep” became the first cable series to win Outstanding Comedy Series; 2) Viola Davis became the first African-American to win in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category (for ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder“); 3) Jon Hamm earned his first Emmy award, winning for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (for his role as Don Draper on AMC’s “Mad Men“); 4) Amazon earned its first Emmys ever (thanks to “Transparent“), and 5) comedian Tracy Morgan made his first public appearance since his auto accident from sixteen months earlier, presenting for Outstanding Drama Series.

In a much-publicized “Battle of the Sexes“ tennis match, Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in 1973…American professional baseball player Cal Ripken, Jr. ended his streak of 2,632 consecutive games played in 1998.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actress Sophia Loren is 88; actor Tony Denison (“Major Crimes,” “The Closer”) is 73; actress Debbi Morgan (“Power”) is 71; actress Betsy Brantley (“Deep Impact”) is 67; actor Gary Cole (“Veep”) is 66; actress Kristen Johnston (“3rd Rock From the Sun”) is 55; singers Gunnar and Matthew Nelson of Nelson are also 55; actress Moon Bloodgood (“Falling Skies”) is 47; actor Jon Bernthal (“The Walking Dead,” “Daredevil”) is 46; actor Charlie Weber (“How To Get Away With Murder”) is 44; actress Crystle Stewart (“For Better or Worse”) is 43; actor Aldis Hodge (“Leverage”) is 36; season 11 “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips is 32.
Did You Know?
Actor George Kennedy, who served in the US army, was a technical advisor for “The Phil Silvers Show.” He was also given a bit part, the first acting role of his screen career…”Who’s The Boss?” debuted in the same season as “Three’s Company” spin-off “Three’s a Crowd, starring John Ritter. Both were on the fence and ABC decided to only keep one of the two on the air past the freshman season. Since “Who’s The Boss” was the fresher concept, it got the vote of confidence.