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This Day in History: Saturday, March 12, 2022

Que Sera, Sera: CBS sitcom “The Doris Day Show” concluded after five seasons in 1973…You bet your sweet bippy! Also ending in 1973 was “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” on NBC, which aired for six seasons. The fast-paced variety hour was the top-rated series in primetime from 1968 to 1970…Comic book character Wonder Woman made her TV debut in a made-for-TV film adaptation for the ABC network starring Cathy Lee Crosby in the title role on this date in 1974…Long-running “M*A*S*H” ended its seventh season on CBS in 1979 with talks of a post war reunion…FX drama “The Shield”, starring Michael Chiklis, opened its seven season run in 2002. It demonstrated the value of original scripted content on a cable network, and the newfound opportunity for actors in the caliber of Glenn Close and Forest Whitaker (who joined the series later in its run). “I go where the quality writing is,” Glenn Close told me years ago in an interview…George Clooney and Julianna Margulies reprised their roles as Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway on NBC’s “ER” in 2002, three episodes before the medical drama officially wrapped its 15-season run…HBO drama “Big Love,” starring Bill Paxton as a polygamist living in Utah with three wives (Jeanne TripplehornChloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin) began its five season run in 2006…Three short-lived sitcoms concluded: NBC’s “Kath & Kim” with Molly Shannon and Selma Blair in 2009; TBS’ “Men At Work” which starred James Lesure in 2014; Patricia Heaton’s medical comedy “Carol’s Second Act” on CBS in 2019…Three short-lived cable series debuted: dark comedy “The Riches” with Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver on FX in 2007; comedic debate program “Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil” on Comedy Central in 2008; sitcom “School of Rock” (based on the 2003 feature film) on Nickelodeon in 2016… the Bob Saget-hosted special “Videos After Dark“, an adult-oriented version of “America’s Funniest Home Videos“, aired on ABC in 2019. Original plans for making it a weekly series were stalled due to the special’s low ratings.

Movies and Theater:
Animated film “Ice Age” with the voice actors including Denis Leary, Ray Romano and John Leguizamo opened in theaters in 2002. It was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Film at the 75th Academy Awards, but lost to “Spirited Away”“The Hunger Games” directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Jennifer LawrenceJohn HutchersonLiam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonElizabeth BanksStanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland and Lenny Kravitz premiered in Los Angeles in 2012. It earned a worldwide total of $694.4 million, and had the largest worldwide opening weekend for a film not released during the summer or the holiday period (earning $211.8 million, which was just ahead of the previous record for “Alice in Wonderland”).

Never Gonna Give You Up” by British Singer Rick Astley began its 2-week reign atop the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1988…Swedish pop group Ace of Base scored their first No. 1 song on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1994 with “The Sign“. It spent six non-consecutive weeks atop the chart.

Coca-Cola was sold in bottles for the first time in a candy store in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1894…In 2019: Dozens were charged in the U.S. college admission scandal by US federal prosecutors, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.

A glass bottle called a Hutchinson used by Joseph A. Biedenharn to bottle Coca-Cola

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actress Barbara Feldon (“Get Smart”) is 89; Oscar-winning actress-singer Liza Minnelli is 76; politician Mitt Romney is 75; singer-songwriter James Taylor is 74; actor Jon Provost (TV: “Lassie”) is 72, actress Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”) is 66; singer Marlon Jackson of The Jackson Five is 65; actor Courtney B. Vance (“The People vs. O.J. Simpson”) is 62; actor Titus Welliver (“Bosch”) is 60; former New York Mets and New York Yankees great Darryl Strawberry is 60; actor Julia Campbell (“Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion”) is also 60; actor Jake Weber (TV’s “Medium,” film’s “Dawn of the Dead”) is 58; “Monday Night Football” play-by-play announcer Steve Levy is 57; actor Aaron Eckhart (“The Dark Knight”) is 4; Democratic Illinois senator Tammy Duckworth is 54; CNN journalist Jake Tapper is 53; actor Rhys Coiro (“Hostages,” “Entourage”) is 43; actor Samm Levine (“Freaks and Geeks”) is 40; actress Jaimie Alexander (“Blindspot”) is 38.

Did You Know?
Chuck Cunningham on “Happy Days” is the poster child for a TV show character disappearing without a word of mention. But Billy (Philip Brown) and Toby (Todd Starke) on “The Doris Day Show, Doris Martin’s two young sons, also went missing after three seasons of the five-season comedy. By the start of season four, Doris’ character was suddenly single.