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Today in History: Friday, December 8, 2023

Lucy (Lucille Ball) tried to find a way to tell Ricky (Desi Arnaz) she was pregnant on “I Love Lucy” on CBS in 1952. The network would not allow the use of the word “pregnant,” so “expecting” was used instead…”The Carol Burnett Show” on CBS traveled to Sydney, Australia in 1973 for a special telecast with guests Tim Conway and Edward Villella…The Rankin/Bass animated special “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” starring the voices of Joel Grey and George Gobel as the narrators first aired on CBS in 1974…During the Patriots-Dolphins game on ABC’s “Monday Night Football” in 1980, announcer Howard Cosell interrupted the action with the statement: “An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City… shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival.“…CBS children’s series “Captain Kangaroo“, created by and starring Bob Keeshan, concluded its 29-year run of original episodes in 1984…The 100th episode of sitcom “Newhart, also on CBS, aired in 1986. “Newhart” concluded on May 21, 1990 with Suzanne Pleshette in the final scene as Bob’s wife Emily from his earlier 1972-78 CBS sitcom. It was all a dream!… medical comedy “Childrens Hospital” created by and starring Rob Corddry launched on Adult Swim in 2008. It ran for seven seasons…”Teen Mom” (currently known as “Teen Mom OG“), the spinoff of “16 & Pregnant”, debuted on MTV in 2009. Its ninth season concluded in November 2021…”The L Word: Generation Q“, the reboot of “The L Word” from 2004-09, debuted on Showtime in 2019. Original series’ stars Jennifer BealsKatherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey starred in the update.

“On the Town, the film adaptation of the Broadway musical, starring Gene KellyFrank Sinatra, Ann Miller and Vera-Ellen opened in theaters in 1949…Two notable films were released in 1976: drama “A Star Is Born” starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson; and, action-comedy “Silver Streak” starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor“The Deer Hunter, directed by Michael Cimino and starring Robert De NiroMeryl Streep and Christopher Walken, opened in Los Angeles in 1978. It won 5 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Walken for Best Supporting Actor…Sophie’s Choice,” based on William Styton’s 1979 novel of the same name, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, was released in 1982. Streep won her second of three Oscars to-date (and first for Best Actress)…Also in 1982 was the release of the detective comedy “48 Hrs.“, starring Nick Nolte and, scoring his first in a string of box office hits, then-“SNL” cast member Eddie Murphy…The dark comedy “The War of the Roses“, starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as well as the film’s director Danny DeVito, opened in 1989…Martial arts epic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” directed by Ang Lee and starring Michelle YeohChow Yun-fat and Zhang Ziyi, opened in the U.S. in 2000. It would later win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Despite no English being spoken in the film, it would be a blockbuster success in North America, grossing $213.5 million during its theatrical run.

With the song “All Through the Night” in 1984, Cyndi Lauper became the first female in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart to achieve four Top-5 hits from the same album. The previous hits from her debut album “She’s So Unusual” were “Girls Just Want to Have Fun“, “Time After Time” and “She Bop“…Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Babe” by Styx in 1979; “Out of Touch” by Daryl Hall and John Oates in 1984; “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” by Stevie B in 1990.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow wins the Heisman Trophy award — college football’s top individual prize for a player — in 2007.
Celebrity Birthdays:
Actor John Rubinstein (“Family”) is 77; actress Kim Basinger (“L.A. Confidential”) is 70; sportscaster Roy Firestone (“Up Close”) is also 70; actor Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”) is 60; “Desperate Housewives” star Teri Hatcher is 59; actor Matthew Laborteaux (“Little House on the Prairie”) is also 57; Hall of Fame pitcher Mike Mussina is 55; auto racer Kevin Harvick is 48; “Lost” star Dominic Monaghan is 47; auto racer Ryan Newman is 46; Programming Insider contributor Douglas Pucci is 45; “The Vampire Diaries” star Ian Somerhalder is also 45; singer Ingrid Michaelson is 44; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers is 42; rapper Nicki Minaj is 41; country singer Sam Hunt is 39; basketball player Dwight Howard is 38; actress AnnaSophia Robb (“The Carrie Diaries”) is 30.

Did You Know?
Lucille Ball’s onscreen pregnancy was not the first in television history. That distinction goes to sitcom, “Mary Kay and Johnny, which featured real-life married couple Mary Kay and Johnny Stearn. “Mary Kay and Johnny” aired from 1947 to 1950, beginning on the DuMont Network and concluding on NBC.