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Today in History: Saturday, March 2, 2024

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Television and Radio
Future “The Tonight Show” host Jay Leno made his first appearance on the NBC late night talker with Johnny Carson in 1977…Diane Ladd joined the cast of CBS sitcom “Alice” in 1980 as new waitress Isabelle (“Belle”) Dupree. Ladd had previously portrayed Flo in the 1974 film “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”. After one season, Ladd departed and was replaced by Celia Weston as Jolene Hunnicutt…Adventure series “High Performance” starring Rick EdwardsJack Scalia and Lisa Hartman debuted on ABC in 1983. The show was cancelled after four episodes which led Hartman to return to CBS serial drama “Knots Landing” as a new character named Cathy GearyJane Curtin and Susan Saint James become Lucy and Ethel from “I Love Lucy” and Mary and Rhoda from “The Mary Tyler Show” in Allie’s dreams in an episode of CBS sitcom “Kate & Allie” in 1987…Crime drama “Pacific Blue” debuted on USA in 1996. It aired for five seasons and was often referred as “Baywatch on bikes”… Four short-lived series launched in 2008: Fox comedy “Unhitched” by the Farrelly brothers and starring Craig Bierko and Rashida Jones; ABC reality series “Oprah’s Big Give” and “Here Come the Newlyweds“; and “That’s Amore!“, the MTV romance reality competition spin-off of “A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila”…Also in 2009, during the 13th season finale of “The Bachelor” on ABC, then-single father Jason Mesnick selected Melissa Rycroft as his mate. But in the “After the Final Rose” special following the finale, Mesnick dumped Rycroft for runner-up Molly Malaney. At 17.5 million viewers that night, it is the most-watched “After the Final Rose” special in the history of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” franchises…Family dramedy “Parenthood“, loosely based on the 1989 Ron Howard theatrical film of the same name, debuted on NBC in 2010. It starred Craig T. NelsonBonnie BedeliaPeter KrauseMonica Potter, and Dax ShepardMaura Tierney was originally part of the cast but due to breast cancer treatments at the time, she pulled out of the show and she was replaced by Lauren Graham. The series ran for six seasons…Medical drama “A Gifted Man” concluded its only season on CBS in 2012. Its star Patrick Wilson took to Twitter to state he learned of the cancellation via e-mail, sarcastically described CBS as “classy“, and about the filming of the series, “as good as it was (sometimes) it was not what I signed on for.“…Family comedy “The Real O’Neals” starring Martha Plimpton and Jay R. Ferguson debuted with its first two episodes on ABC in 2016. It lasted two seasons…The FX on Hulu hub, gathering almost all of FX’s library of series, debuted on the Hulu streaming service in 2020. Later that night on the FX cable network, it was the launch of family comedy “Breeders” starring Martin Freeman. Its second season is set to be released this spring.

The original “King Kong”, starring Fay Wray premiered at Radio City Music Hall and RKO Roxy in New York City in 1933…Looney Tunes character Porky Pig, created by Friz Freleng and Frank Tashlin, debuted in 1935 in the animated short “I Haven’t Got A Hat“. Beans the Cat, a minor Looney Tunes character, also made his first appearance in this cartoon…“The Sound of Music”, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, opened in theaters in 1965. It won five Oscars, include Best Picture and Best Director (Robert Wise)…In 1977, Bette Davis became the first woman to receive the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award…At the 86th Academy Awards in 2014, “12 Years A Slave” won three Oscars including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (to Lupita Nyong’o) and Best Adapted Screenplay (to John Ridley). The two main stars of “Dallas Buyers Club” — Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto — each won an Academy Award. The Best Actress winner was Cate Blanchett from “Blue Jasmine“. During the ceremony, host Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie with several celebrity attendees in the audience. The photo on Ellen’s Twitter account generated 3.05 million retweets, which held the record for being the most retweeted tweet until 2017.

Single “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” was released by Elvis Presley in 1956…Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” debuted on a Pepsi commercial in 1989…Miami began a Latin walk of fame, with the first star for Gloria Estefan in 1994.

In 1962, Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points and led his team to a 169-147 win over the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa. The feat remains as the all-time NBA record for most points in a single game. Chamberlain shot for 36-for-63 from the field and 28-for-32 from the free throw line.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actress Paula Prentiss (“He & She”) is 86; film director Adrian Lyne (“Fatal Attraction”) is 83; musician Emilio Estefan is 71; actress Kay Lenz (“Breezy”) is also 71; actress Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”) is 70; actor Mykelti Williamson (“Forrest Gump”) is 67; actress Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) is 66; actor Steven Weber (“Wings”) is 63; actress Stacy Edwards (“Chicago Hope”) is 59; actress Patsy Kensit (“Lethal Weapon 2”) is 56; activist Chaz Bono is 55; actress Andrea Bendewald (“Suddenly Susan”) is 54; American soccer player Landon Donovan is 42; actor Scott Michael Foster (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) is 41; actress Jessica Heap (“The Young and the Restless”) is also 41; reality personality Whitney Port (“The Hills”) is 39; actress Josh Bowman (“Revenge”) is 36; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is 34; actor Andrea Bowen (“Desperate Housewives”) is also 34; actress Jenna Boyd (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”) is 31.

Did You Know?
NBC’s “Parenthood” in 2010 was actually the second series based on the Ron Howard theatrical. The first was a half-hour sitcom in 1990 under that title starring Ed Begley, Jr., Jayne AtkinsonDavid ArquetteThora Birch and a young Leonardo DiCaprio (among others). It ran for just one season…In 2013, Jimmy Fallon was selected by NBC to succeed Jay Leno as host of “The Tonight Show. The final episode of “Late Night” under Fallon aired one night after Leno’s final episode of “The Tonight Show” on February 6, 2014. “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” premiered on Feb. 17, 2014.