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Today in History: Monday, January 31, 2021

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“These Are My Children”, the first official daytime drama (aka soap opera) debuted on NBC in 1949. The show was broadcast live from WNBQ in Chicago, airing 15 minutes a day, five days a week, at 5 p.m. ET…Lucy (Charlene Tilton) visited her newly remarried parents (Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark) on recently launched “Dallas” spin-off “Knots Landing” on CBS in 1980…ABC sitcom “The Wonder Years” began its five-and-one-half season run on ABC in 1988. It won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in that first abbreviated season…NBC crime solver “Homicide: Life on the Street” debuted on NBC following “Super Bowl XXVII” in 1993…Animated Fox mainstay “Family Guy” launched on Fox in 1999. After being prematurely canceled, it was seen on Cartoon Network and developed a following. In May 2004, Fox ordered 35 new episodes of “Family Guy,” marking the first revival of a television show based on DVD sales. It is now in season 20.

“The Misfits”, starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, both in their final appearances, opened in theaters in 1961. For Gable, the film was posthumously released, while Monroe died in 1962.

Single “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison hit #1 on UK pop chart in 1971…Barry Manilow single “Mandy” went gold in 1975.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actress Minnie Driver (“Speechless”) is 52; actress Portia de Rossi is 49; “Scandal” star Kerry Washington is 45; former “SNL” cast member Bobby Moynihan is also 45; singer Justin Timberlake is 41.

Did You Know?
Richard Belzer, who played Detective John Munch as a regular on “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order: SVU, has guest-starred as that character in 7 other series: “Law & Order,” “The X-Files,” “The Beat,” “Arrested Development,” “Law & Order: Trial by Jury, “The Wire” and “30 Rock.