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Today in History: Friday, May 31, 2024

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The final episode of short-lived comedy/interview series “Tell It to Groucho” aired on CBS in 1962 with comedian Groucho Marx. It was the successor Groucho’s more successful “You Bet Your Life”…Classic NBC comedy “Seinfeld,” starring Jerry Seinfeld, debuted as a regularly scheduled series in 1990…NBC’s “Night Court” concluded its nine season run in 1992…Jim Carrey performed his rendition of the “Dreamgirls” tune “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” on the series finale of “The Larry Sanders Show” on HBO in 1998. The acclaimed satire of late-night talk shows that starred Garry Shandling (also its co-creator), Jeffrey Tambor and Rip Torn ran for 90 episodes across six seasons…”Survivor” debuted on CBS in 2000. In its premiere, from the island of Borneo, corporate trainer Richard Hatch was initially alienated by his fellow Tagi tribemates. But as the season unfolded, he eventually formed a solid 4-person alliance with fellow Tagi members Rudy Boesch, Sue Hawk and Kelly Wiglesworth. The four castaways all reached the end, with Hatch earning the title of Sole Survivor. While the debut (15.5 million) could not outdraw ABC’s competing “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” (16.8 million) in total viewers that night, the reality competition — hosted by Jeff Probst — easily led its hour in all key young adult demographics. Overall ratings for “Survivor” would then grow each and every subsequent week in the summer of 2000, culminating in the classic 51-million viewer finale that August. Production on upcoming “Survivor 44” will commence in June 2022…”The Hills“, the reality spin-off of “Laguna Beach“, debuted on MTV in 2006. The series that originally focused on Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag, Audrina Patridge and Whitney Port produced 102 episodes across six seasons of its original run. It was revived for two brief seasons on MTV in 2019 and 2021…In 2007 were the debuts of Mark Burnett‘s short-lived reality contest “Pirate Master” on CBS and the miniseries “The Starter Wife” starring Debra Messing on USA Network…The entire six-episode inaugural season of fantasy comedy “Good Omens” was released on Amazon Prime Video in 2019. The series follows a demon (David Tennant) and an angel (Michael Sheen) who both seek to prevent an armageddon. Amazon ordered a second season in June 2021.

The United States established the Copyright Law in 1970…Millvina Dean, the last known person to have survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, died in Southampton, England; she was nine weeks old at the time of the disaster…In 1977, the almost 800 miles long Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline was completed connecting oil fields in northern Alaska to the sea port of Valdez in the Gulf of Alaska in southern Alaska.

Ginger Spice / Geri Halliwell announced she was quitting the Spice Girls over differences between other members of the group in 1988.

Celebrity Birthdays
Oscar winner Clint Eastwood is 94; singer Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary is 86; actress Sharon Gless (“Cagney & Lacey”) is 81; football legend Joe Namath is also 81; actor Tom Berenger (“Platoon”) is 74; actor Gregory Harrison (“Trapper John, M.D.”) is also 74; actress Roma Maffia (“Nip/Tuck”) is 66; actor-comedian Chris Elliott (“Schitt’s Creek”) is 64; “Caroline in the City” star Lea Thompson is 63; singer Corey Hart is 62; rapper Darryl McDaniels aka DMC of Run-DMC is 60; actress Brooke Shields (“Suddenly Susan”) is 59; “The Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan is 57; actress Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) is 52; Colin Farrell (“Phone Booth”) is 48; Eric Christian Olsen (“NCIS: Los Angeles”) is also 48; former Fifth Harmony singer Normani is 28.

Did You Know?:
“Seinfeld” is only one of three series historically to rank first overall in all of primetime in its final season. The other two are “I Love Lucy” and “The Andy Griffith Show”. “The Big Bang Theory” would be the fourth series to accomplish this feat (in total viewers) as well, if excluding NFL football in prime time from 2018-19…In its peak (airing following “Cheers” on Thursday), “Night Court” finished 7th overall in all of primetime from 1986 to 1988.