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Today in History: Friday, January 8, 2021

Television and Radio
CBS western “Rawhide,” starring Clint Eastwood, opened its seven season run in 1959…Jacques Cousteau’s first undersea special aired on NBC in 1968…Fox sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle” launched in 2000. Linwood Boomer (Adam from “Little House on the Prairie”) was the creator…In 1989, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak began a 15-month stint as host of late night CBS talker “The Pat Sajak Show. It could not compete with “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” on NBC…Also in late night: CBS franchise “The Late, Late Show” debuted in 1995 with Tom Snyder as host. Snyder was replaced by Craig Kilborn in 1999, who remained through 2004. Following four months of guest hosts, Craig Ferguson took over in 2005 and was replaced by James Corden on March 23, 2015…NBC sitcom “3rd Rock From the Sun” began its six season run in 1996. A tie-in book, “3rd Rock from the Sun: The Official Report On Earth”, was released in 1997…ABC reality/competition “The Mole, hosted by Anderson Cooper, opened in 2001. By the fourth season it morphed into “The Celebrity Mole” with Ahmad Rashad taking over as host.

Music:
Elvis Presley singles “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog” went No. 1 on the Billboard Music charts and stayed No. 1 for a record 11 weeks in 1956…The Beatles’ single “We Can Work It Out” hit No. 1 in 1966.

Sports:
Then 21-year-old future Hall of Fame golfer Jack Nicklaus made his first professional appearance in the Los Angeles Open in 1962.
 
Celebrity Birthdays:
Jazz singer Shirley Bassey is 83. Elvis Presley was born on this day in 1935. He passed away in 1977.

Did You Know?
In 1961, Signet Books published a paperback original novel called “Rawhide” based upon the television show….Aaron Paul auditioned for the role of Francis on “Malcolm in the Middle” but lost to Christopher Masterson. He would later be cast in “Breaking Bad,” of course, which starred Bryan Cranston“3rd Rock From the Sun” co-stars Kristen Johnston and French Stewart have appeared together again on CBS sitcom “Mom.”