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Today in History: September 4, 2021

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“Gilligan’s Island” exited CBS on this day in 1967 after a three season (and 98 episode) run…Game shows “The New Price Is Right” hosted by Bob Barker“The Joker’s Wild” with Jack Barry, and “Gambit” with Wink Martindale joined the CBS daytime line-up in 1972…ABC comedy “That’s My Mama, starring Theresa Merritt and Clifton Davis, debuted in 1974. It aired for two seasons…Two short-lived comedies launched on NBC in 1975: “Fay, starring Lee Grant, and “The Montefuscos. Despite airing for only 10 episodes, Grant was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy. The winner that year was Valerie Harper for “Rhoda”…Medical drama “The Lazarus Syndrome, starring Louis Gossett, Jr., premiered as a TV movie in 1979. The subsequent series ran for 12 episodes…David Brinkley ended his 38-year career with NBC News in 1981…Children’s series “Eureka’s Castle” opened on Nickelodeon in 1989…In 1992, three broadcasters — CBS, NBC and PBS — banded together to present the documentary “Scared Silent: Exposing and Ending Child Abuse. Hosted by Oprah Winfrey, it opened with a disclaimer, warning of the graphic nature of the program…Two failed sitcoms debuted on Fox in 1994: “Wilds Oats,” starring Paul Rudd, Tim Conlon and Paula Marshall; and “Hardball, starring Bruce GreenwoodMike StarrJoe Rogan and Rose Marie...Also in 1994 was the start of NFL coverage on Fox…Syndicated action/adventure “Xena: Warrior Princess,” starring Lucy Lawless, opened in 1995. It ran for six seasons. A planned reboot never surfaced…Kelly Clarkson was crowned the winner of Fox’s “American Idol” in the first season finale in 2002.

The Beatles’ “Help!” single went #1 for 3 weeks in 1965…Also reaching #1: “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” from Paul and Linda McCartney in 1971; “You Should Be Dancing” from the Bee Gees in 1976; “Abracadabra” from the Steve Miller Band in 1982; and “Bailamos” from Enrique Iglesias in 1999.

The “Beetle Bailey” comic strip was first published in newspapers in 1950. Beetle was originally a college student at Rockview University. On March 13, 1951, during the strip’s first year, Beetle quit school and enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he has remained ever since….The Ford Motor Company began selling the Edsel in 1957. The car was so unpopular that it was taken off the market only two years.
Mark Spitz became the first athlete to win seven Gold Medals in a single Olympic Games in 1972…In 2000, Dennis Miller began his two season stint as commentator on ABC’s “Monday Night Football.”

Celebrity Birthdays
Actress Mitzi Gaynor is 90; veterinarian Dr. Jan Pol (“The Incredible Dr. Pol”) is 79; actress Jennifer Salt (“Soap”) is 77; legendary golfer Tom Watson is 72; actress Judith Ivey is 70; actor Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs (“Welcome Back Kotter”) is 68; actress Khandi Alexander (“CSI: Miami”) is 64; actor Damon Wayans (“In Living Color”) is 61; baseball Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza is 53; actress Ione Skye (“Say Anything”) is 51; singer Nona Gaye is 47; musician Mark Ronson (“Uptown Funk”) is 46; actor Wes Bentley (“American Beauty”) is 43; “The Neighborhood” star Max Greenfield is 41; Beyoncé is 40; comedienne Whitney Cummings is 39; “SNL”;s Kyle Mooney is 37; singer James Bay is 31.

Did You Know?
CBS had originally renewed “Gilligan’s Island” for a fourth season, but when the network reversed its decision on canceling western “Gunsmoke” the goofy sitcom was axed to make room. “Gunsmoke” at the time was 12 years old and ultimately ran for another eight seasons. “Gilligan’s Island,” meanwhile, returned for three television movies: “Rescue From Gilligan’s Island” in 1978, “The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island” in 1979, and “The Harlem Globetrotters on “Gilligan’s Island” in 1981. There was also two animated spin-off series: “The New Adventures of Gilligan” from 1974 to 1977 and “Gilligan’s Planet” from 1982 to 1983.