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Today in History: Friday, August 4, 2023

© by Image courtesy of NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Attempting to capitalize on the popularity of “Dallas, NBC premiered the daytime drama “Texas” in 1980. The spinoff of another NBC daytime soap “Another World” lasted only two years…Michael Landon’s final series, “Highway to Heaven, concluded on NBC in 1989. It ran for five seasons…Crime drama “One West Waikiki” starring Cheryl Ladd as a forensic expert debuted on CBS in 1994. It aired six episodes on the broadcast network before it headed into syndication in the fall of 1995 where an additional 13 episodes had aired…Two syndicated late night talk shows debuted in 1997 in search of the audience missing Arsenio Hall: “The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show” and “Vibe,” which was based on the magazine of the same name. Both did not last one full season…Cooking program “America’s Test Kitchen” debuted on PBS in 2001. It was originally hosted by Christopher Kimball; Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster have both hosted the long-running show since 2017… reality competition “The Player” launched on UPN in 2004. The contestants were all men who competed using their “player skills” to seduce attractive women. The program, which lasted just a single 8-episode season, was initially hosted by an anonymous figure called “Ultimate Player” via phone, but by the end of the season, it was revealed to be “Boston” Rob Mariano from “Survivor”…”It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” debuted on FX in 2005. The wacky comedy about a group of friends who run a bar stars Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton (show’s co-developer), Kaitlin Olson and Olson’s real-life husband/show creator Rob McElhenney; Danny DeVito joined the show in season two. Historically, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is now the longest running live action comedy…In 2009, Paula Abdul tweeted that she stepped down as judge of Fox’s “American Idol” (then, TV’s No. 1 show) after eight seasons.

Sex, Lies and Videotape“, the provocative adult drama starring Andie MacDowell and James Spader opened in limited release in 1989. It was the directorial breakthrough film for Steven Soderbergh and it was the winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival… Academy Award-nominated family flick “Babe” was released in 1995.

Elvis Presley released single “Hound Dog” in 1956...John Lennon and Yoko Ono begin recording “Double Fantasy” in 1980…Prince’s “Purple Rain” album went #1 and stayed in the top spot for 24 weeks…“Dreamgirls” closed at the Imperial Theater New York City after 1522 performances in 1985…The soundtrack to the film “Dirty Dancing” was released in 1987. It feature the hits “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen, “She’s Like The Wind” by the film’s star Patrick Swayze and the Academy Award-winning Best Original Song of the Year, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes…Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart: “The Morning After” by Maureen McGovern in 1973; Mariah Carey‘s debut solo studio single “Vision of Love” in 1990; “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child in 2001.

Danielle Steele’s romance novel “Thurston House” was published in 1983.

In 1952, Pete Harman began selling Colonel Harland Sanders‘ chicken recipe at the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah… Howard Stern dropped out of New York gubernatorial race in 1994.
In 1984, American track & field star Carl Lewis won his first of four gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles…Multiple highlighted moments occurred in 1985: California Angels hitter Rod Carew earned the 3,000th hit of his Hall of Fame career; Chicago White Sox pitcher Tom Seaver earned his 300th career win by defeating the New York Yankees; and before that White Sox-Yankees game, the No. 10 was retired as a jersey number by the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY in 1985 to honor their legendary shortstop Phil Rizzuto. A longtime broadcaster for the Yankees with his famous comment of “Holy Cow!,” the team presented him with a cow at the ceremony. The cow, named Huckleberry, proceeded to step on Rizzuto’s foot, knocking him to the ground..Following a suspension from the league for substance abuse former Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry joined the New York Yankees and eventually helped the team win the 1996 World Series.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actress Tina Cole (“My Three Sons”) is 80; Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton is 68; actress Kym Karath (“The Sound of Music”) is 65; President Barack Obama is 62; “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” producer Michael Gelman and actress Lauren Tom (“Friends”) are also 62; legendary baseball pitcher Roger Clemens is 61; former “Hawaii Five-O” star Daniel Dae Kim is 55; male model Marcus Schenkenberg is also 55; American race car driving legend Jeff Gordon is 52; “Dancing With the Star’s” Kym Johnson is 47; NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is 45; Meghan Markle is 42; actress Abigail Spencer (“Timeless”) is also 42; actors Cole Sprouse and Dylan Sprouse (“Suite Life of Zack and Cody”) are both 31.

Did You Know?
Jonathan the Angel, played by Michael Landon on “Highway to Heaven, was a take-off of the same character portrayed in a guest appearance by Ernest Borgnine on “Little House on the Prairie.”