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Today in History: Monday, February 5, 2024

“The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” debuted on CBS in 1967…“Turn-On, a half-hour sketch comedy on ABC patterned on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” was turned off in 1969 after just one episode. It was co-created by “Laugh-In” producer George SchlatterTim Conway was the guest host…In 1971, Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell stepped onto the surface of the moon in the first of two lunar excursions…”Barney Miller” spin-off sitcom “Fish” starring Abe Vigoda premiered on ABC in 1977. Fish retired from the police force and became a foster father. It ran for two seasons…Saturday morning series “The Dukes“, the Hanna-Barbera-produced animated off-shoot of “The Dukes of Hazzard“, debuted on CBS in 1983. It aired for only 20 episodes across nearly nine months… also in 1983, Leonard Nimoy reunited with his “Star Trek” co-star William Shatner on ABC police drama “T.J. Hooker“…In the first part of a “very special” two-part episode of NBC sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes”, a bicycle shop owner (Gordon Jump) attempts to molest Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Dudley (Shavar Ross)…Part one of a two-part episode arc of ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2006 focused on an emergency room patient with a piece of unexploded ammunition stuck in his chest after he had fired a homemade bazooka. Christina Ricci portrayed the paramedic who brought the trauma victim in to Seattle Grace Hospital. Kyle Chandler also guest starred as the bomb squad leader to help extract the explosive. The episode was entitled “It’s The End of the World” and originally aired following Super Bowl XL. It drew 37.8 million viewers — the most for a post-Super Bowl scripted drama telecast on record… “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg and “American Idol” season one fourth place singer Tamyra Gray took part in the New York Giants Super Bowl XLII championship celebration ceremony in 2008 at City Hall in New York City…The second season premiere of NBC singing competition “The Voice” aired following Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, posting 37.6 million viewers (third-most for a post-Super Bowl non-scripted telecast). The coaches then were Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and CeeLo Green…Fox attempted to continue the “24” franchise with the debut of “24: Legacy” following Super Bowl LI in 2017. It starred Corey Hawkins as the show’s new main protagonist, in lieu of Kiefer Sutherland‘s Jack Bauer character. At only 17.6 million viewers, it was the second-least-watched post-Super Bowl telecast on record. “24: Legacy” ran for 12 episodes throughout its lone season.

“Woman of the Year”, directed by George Stevens and starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy opened at Radio City in New York in 1942. This was the first of nine films the pair made together…Serial “Captain American” starring Dick Purcell opened in theaters in 1943. This was first appearance of a Marvel superhero outside of a comic book. This was the last live-action rendition of a Marvel character in any media until Spider-Man appeared in the “Spidey Super Stories” segment of the children’s TV series “The Electric Company” on PBS in 1974.

Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Torn Between Two Lovers” by Mary MacGregor in 1977; “Africa” by Toto in 1983… Three superstar acts headlined the Super Bowl halftime show in their respective years: The Rolling Stones in 2006, Madonna in 2012 and Lady Gaga in 2017.

The first “Don’t Walk” sign was installed in New York City in 1952. The installation of this sign was inspired by the growing number of deaths resulting from pedestrian accidents.

The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Mi. in 2006. It was the Steelers’ fifth Super Bowl title in the franchise’s history, while it was the Seahawks’ first-ever Super Bowl appearance. This game is most notable for several controversial calls by referees, all of them having disadvantaged Seattle…In a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots met again in Super Bowl XLIV in Indianapolis, Ind. in 2012. With less than four minutes remaining in the game and down 17-15 to the Patriots, Giants quarterback Eli Manning connected to wide receiver Mario Manningham at midfield on the left sideline for 38 yards to begin what would become the game-winning drive. The Giants beat the Patriots 21-17 for the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl title in its history and the only NFL team to win Super Bowle broadcast on four different network (CBS in 1987, ABC in 1991, Fox in 2008 and NBC in 2012)… The only Super Bowl in history to go into overtime occurred with Super Bowl LI from Houston, Tex. in 2017. The Atlanta Falcons were ahead 28-3 thru midway of the third quarter. Then, the New England Patriots scored 25 unanswered points to tie the game, including a touchdown plus 2-point conversion with about a minute remaining in regulation. For the overtime’s lone possession, quarterback Tom Brady drove the Patriots 75 yards for a touchdown to defeat the Dalcons 34-28.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actor David Selby (“Falcon Crest”) is 82; Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach is 81; actress Charlotte Rampling (“Georgy Girl”) is 78; actress Barbara Hershey (“Beaches”) is 75; actor Tom Wilkinson (“In the Bedroom”) is  75; actor-director Christopher Guest (“Best in Show”) is 75; actor-comedian/”SNL” alum Tim Meadows is 62; actress Jennifer Jason Leigh (“Fargo”) is 61; actress Laura Linney (“Ozark”) is 59; Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan is 59; “SNL” alum Chris Parnell is 56; Spin Doctors lead singer Chris Barron is 55; R&B singer Bobby Brown is 54; actor Michael Sheen (“Prodigal Son”) is 54; actor David Chisum (“One Life To Live”) is 53; country singer Sara Evans is 52; Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is 38; actor-singer Darren Criss (“Glee”) is 36; actor Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians”) is 36; Brazilian soccer star Neymar is 31.

Did You Know?
Due to its controversial references to youth culture and various issues, CBS abruptly canceled “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” on April 4, 1969. This cancellation led the brothers to file a breach of contract suit against the network, which was settled on April 6, 1973 when a federal court ruled in favor of the Smothers duo and ordered CBS to pay them $776,300. The brothers returned to television in a new version of the variety hour on ABC in July 1970 (which included three repeats of episodes from the original CBS series), but it only aired that summer. And the pair headlined a new show on NBC effective in January 1975, but it only lasted for five months…ABC had expressed interest in a third season of sitcom “Fish”, but Abe Vigoda was in the middle of a contract dispute which was not settled.