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Today in History: Saturday, March 27, 2020

James Garner made his debut as Jim Rockford in “The Rockford Files” TV movie pilot in 1974. The detective drama aired on NBC from 1974 to 1980….ABC family drama “The MacKenzies of Paradise Cove” launched in 1979. It aired for six episodes…ABC miniseries “The Thorn Birds, with Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward, premiered in 1983 and became the second most-watched miniseries ever behind “Roots. It aired for four consecutive nights…The third season-finale of NBC’s “St. Elsewhere” in 1985 featured Doctors Westphal (Ed Flanders), Craig (William Daniels) and Auschlander (Norman Lloyd) having drinks at “Cheers” in this memorable crossover. Norman Lloyd, at present, is 106 years old…”The Price Is Right” on CBS celebrated a milestone in 1987 when the program became the longest running game show on daytime network television…NBC daytime drama “Generations, which was the first in the category to focus on an African-American family opened in 1989. It aired for two seasons…”Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC opened in 2005 and is now the longest running medical drama in TV history…Also debuting on ABC was sitcom “The George Lopez Show” in 2002, which ran through May 8, 2007. And also beginning in 2002: Fox sitcom “Greg the Bunny,” the tale an unemployed puppet whose human roommate (Seth Green) gets him a job interview with his father (Eugene Levy), a kids’ show producer. It also starred Sarah Silverman. Only 11 episodes aired on Fox, with the remaining two half-hour episodes on cable network IFC. An additional shorts of “Greg the Bunny” aired on IFC in 2005 and 2006. Eugene Levy, of course, found far greater success in sitcom “Schitt’s Creek.”

David Letterman’s critically panned hosting stint on “The Academy Awards” occurred in 1995. Remember this? Click here. The best picture that year was “Forrest Gump

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actor Michael York is 79; Director Quentin Tarantino is 57; Pauley Perrette (“NCIS”) is 52; Mariah Carey is also 52; “Lost” star Elizabeth Mitchell is 51; “The Rookie” star Nathan Fillion is also 50; pop singer Fergie is 46.

-Did You Know?:
“St. Elsewhere” featured an interesting crossover of its own with the arrival of Byron Stewart as former “The White Shadow” student Warren Coolidge as an orderly in 1984. The explanation was that Coolidge had to give up basketball because of injury and moved to Boston…Ten years after “St. Elsewhere” ended (in 1998), Alfre Woodard as Dr. Roxanne Turner showed up in an episode of NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street.