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Today in History: Friday, February 26, 2021

Television and Radio
Vera Miles was featured in classic “The Mirror Image” episode of “The Twilight Zone” in 1960…Five recent high school graduates living in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn were the focus of new CBS sitcom “Flatbush,” which debuted in 1979 and created a great deal of controversy. The ethnic stereotypes were considered offensive, and the then Brooklyn Borough president publicly demanded that it be canceled. “Flatbush” was gone after three telecasts…Elizabeth Taylor played herself in four CBS sitcoms — “The Nanny“, “Can’t Hurry Love“, “Murphy Brown” and “High Society” — in 1996… as counter-programming to the Grammy Awards on CBS…In 1997, all four ABC sitcoms — “Grace Under Fire“, “Coach“, “The Drew Carey Show” and “Ellen” (Ellen DeGeneres hosted the Grammys on CBS that evening as well) — crossed over with each other in the city of Las Vegas on ABC. The stunt was conceived by then-network president Jamie Tarses…Organized crime family drama “The Black Donnellys” starring Olivia Wilde and Kirk Acevedo debuted on NBC in 2007. Thirteen episodes were produced, but only six aired on the network. The remaining seven were relegated to NBC’s website… Twenty-something drama “quarterlife” debuted on NBC in 2008. The series, which was created by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (“My So-Called Life”, “thirtysomething”), only aired one episode on NBC and its remaining five episodes were burned off on Bravo two weeks later…Police drama “Golden Boy” starring Theo James as the youngest police commissioner in the history of New York City premiered on CBS in 2013. The series which also co-starred Chi McBride only lasted 13 episodes…Sexy singles-at-a-bar comedy “Mixology” premiered on ABC in 2014. Co-executive produced by Ira Ungerleider (“Friends”) and Ryan Seacrest, the series did not last past its initial 13-episode order…Also in 2014, “Survivor: Cagayan”, the 28th season of the long-running reality competition “Survivor”, premiered on CBS. It was the fourth and final season, to date, the series would be filmed in the Philippines. It was the season fans were introduced to the legendary Tony Vlachos and his “spy shack.” Also among the castaways were former Miami Marlins president David Samson, former NBA star Cliff RobinsonSarah Lacina“Tasha” FoxSpencer Bledsoe“Chaos” Kass McQuillen and Yung “Woo” Hwang…The complete first season of sitcom “Fuller House“, the sequel to the 1987-95 ABC sitcom “Full House“, was released on Netflix in 2016. The series, which starred Candace Cameron BureJodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber, lasted five seasons with 75 episodes… two series launched in 2018: NBC dramedy “Good Girls” starring Christina HendricksMae Whitman and Retta as three suburban moms who go “breaking bad” (three seasons produced thus far), and the short-lived sitcom “Living Biblically” starring Jay R. Ferguson and co-executive produced by Johnny Galecki (“The Big Bang Theory”).

“The Artist” was the winner of five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor (for Jean Dujardin) at the 84th Academy Awards in 2012. It was the first silent feature to win the top prize since the 1927 film “Wings”. Other winners included Meryl Streep (for “The Iron Lady”; her third career Oscar), Christopher Plummer (for “Beginners”), Octavia Spencer (for “The Help”), Woody Allen (Best Original Screenplay for “Midnight in Paris) and the team of Alexander PayneNat Faxon and Jim Rush (Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Descendants”)…Musical feature “La La Land” was initially announced as the winner of Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards in 2017. But a mistaken envelope given to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway led to the incorrect announcement, and was soon corrected that the actual Best Picture was the drama “Moonlight” — the first film with an all-black cast and first LGBT-themed film to receive that honor. Other winners that night included Casey Affleck (for “Manchester by the Sea”), Emma Stone (“La La Land”), Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) and Viola Davis (“Fences”). ESPN’s “O.J.: Made In America” won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album went No. 1 and stayed No. 1 for 37 straight weeks in 1983… at the 39th Grammy Awards from Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1997, “Change the World” by Eric Clapton and Babyface won Record of the Year and Song of the Year”. Celine Dion‘s “Falling Into You” won for Album of the Year. Leann Rimes won for Best New Artist. Toni Braxton also took home two Grammys: for Best Female Pop Vocal (for “Un-Break My Heart“) and Best Female R&B Vocal (for “You’re Makin’ Me High“).

At the 9th Daytona 500 in 1967: Mario Andretti won his first and only NASCAR Grand National event. Historically, this was the only time a driver born outside the United States has ever won the Great American Race.

Oprah Winfrey was found not guilty in beef defamation trial brought by Texas cattlemen in 1998.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Singer Michael Bolton is 68; actor Greg Germann (“Ally McBeal”) is 63; TV host Mark Dacascos (“Iron Chef America”) is 57; singer Erykah Badu is 50; former NFL running back Marshall Faulk is 48; film director James Wan (“Saw”) is 44; singer Corinne Bailey Rae is 42; fun. lead singer Nate Ruess is 39; tennis player Li Na is 39.

Did You Know?
Tony Randall is remembered, of course, for his Emmy-winning role as fussy Felix Unger on ABC 1970-75 sitcom “The Odd Couple. Earlier in his career, however, he rose to TV fame as history teacher Harvey Weskit on 1952-55 sitcom “Mister Peepers“…The opening narration by Rod Serling on on “The Mirror Image” episode from “The Twilight Zone” was as follows: Millicent Barnes, age twenty-five, young woman waiting for a bus on a rainy November night. Not a very imaginative type is Miss Barnes: not given to undue anxiety, or fears, or for that matter even the most temporal flights of fantasy. Like most young career women, she has a generic classification as a, quote, girl with a head on her shoulders, end of quote. All of which is mentioned now because, in just a moment, the head on Miss Barnes’ shoulders will be put to a test. Circumstances will assault her sense of reality and a chain of nightmares will put her sanity on a block. Millicent Barnes, who, in one minute, will wonder if she’s going mad.