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Today in History: Friday, March 26, 2021

Television and Radio
Robert Young made his debut as Dr. Marcus Welby in the ABC pilot made-for television movie, “A Matter of Humanities” in 1969. “Marcus Welby, M.D.” debuted on Sept. 23, 1969 and ran for seven seasons…William Conrad was first seen as Detective Frank Cannon on CBS in 1971, also in a TV movie… CBS daytime serial “The Young and the Restless” launched in 1973…Also in 1973 was the debut of daytime game show “The $10,000 Pyramid” on CBS. The first two celebrity guests competing were Rob Reiner and June Lockhart (who turns 95 in June)…On the second season finale of CBS prime time soap “Knots Landing” in 1981, Sid Fairgate (Don Murray) drove off a cliff in his car. Murray desired to pursue a career in movies, leaving “Knots” after two seasons…“Capitol, another CBS daytime soap, was previewed in primetime in 1982. It debuted the following Monday in daytime and ran for five seasons…“Dynasty” spinoff “The Colbys” concluded its two season run in 1987… NBC time traveling drama “Quantum Leap, which emphasized the young adult demos and not the size of the audience watching (which was not all that impressive), began its five season run on NBC in 1989. Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell starred…Tom Snyder made his final appearance as host of CBS’ “Late Late Show” franchise in 1999. He hosted for four years. Next on the franchise was Craig Kilborn, followed by Craig Ferguson and, at present, James Corden… three Fox network series concluded their single-season runs: prison drama “Alcatraz” in 2012 starring Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia and Sam Neill; family sitcom “Outmatched” in 2020 starring Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson; L.A. sheriff drama “Deputy” in 2020 starring Stephen Dorff… the series finale of detective comedy “Psych” aired on USA Network in 2014. The series centered on a guy named Shawn Spencer (James Roday) who consults with the Santa Barbara Police Department using his fake psychic occupation as a cover for his extraordinary observation abilities. It also starred Dulé Hill, Maggie Lawson, Timothy Omundson and Corbin Bernsen. “Psych” was among the wave of successful one-hour detective comedies produced by USA Network in the 2000’s decade alongside “Monk“, “Burn Notice“, “In Plain Sight” and “White Collar“. Its original run was eight seasons and 120 episodes. Three movies have been made since including “Psych 2: Lassie Come Home” for Peacock on the streamer’s launch day of July 15, 2020… two short-lived series premiered: comedy “In The Motherhood” on ABC in 2009 starring Cheryl Hines, Megan Mullally and Jessica St. Clair; and, thriller “The Terror” on AMC in 2018… the four-episode Emmy-nominated mini-series “Unorthodox” about a Hasidic Jewish woman (Shira Haas) in Brooklyn who flees to Berlin from an arranged marriage was released on Netflix in 2020.

Elvis Costello released his first single, “Less Than Zero”, in 1977… Ariana Grande’s first single, “The Way”, was released in 2013.

The Los Angeles Lakers earned their 69th victory of the season in 1972, which was then the most regular-season wins in NBA history. That record was surpassed by the 72-win Chicago Bulls team in the spring of 1996.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actor Alan Arkin is 87; actor James Caan is 81;  singer Diana Ross is 77; Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler is 73; actor Ernest Thomas (“What’s Happening!”) is 72; actor/comedian Martin Short is 71; TV host Leeza Gibbons is 64; actress Jennifer Grey (“Dirty Dancing”) is 61; legendary NBA guard John Stockton is 59; actor Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) is 55; country singer Kenny Chesney is 53; actress Leslie Mann (“This Is 40”) is 49; actor T.R. Knight (“The Flight Attendant”) is 48; “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan is 41; actress Keira Knightley (“Bend It Like Beckham”) is 36; Super Bowl 50 champion Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller is 32.

Did You Know?
“Marcus Welby, M.D.” finished its second season, in 1970-71, as the top-rated show in all of primetime, with a 29.6 household rating. Next was NBC’s “The Flip Wilson Show” (27.9 rating), followed by “Here’s Lucy” (CBS: 26.1), “Ironside”(NBC: 25.7) and “Gunsmoke” (CBS: 25.5). Rounding off the top 10 that season was the ABC Movie of the Week (25.1), “Hawaii Five-O” (CBS: 25.0), “Medical Center” (CBS: 24.5), “Bonanza” (NBC: 23.9) and “The F.B.I.” (ABC: 23.0)…After prematurely exiting “Knots Landing”, Don Murray attempted a comeback in two short-lived series. The first was dramedy “A Brand New Life” with Barbara Eden from 1989-90. And next was family drama “Sons and Daughters” opposite Lucie Arnaz in 1991. The moral of the story: Don’t leave a hit series!