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Television and Radio:
While visiting Italy, Lucy (Lucille Ball) worked in a vineyard to “soak up a little color” for a role in a film called “Bitter Grapes” in this classic episode of “I Love Lucy” in 1956…In 1962, “the most trusted man in America,” Walter Cronkite, began anchoring the “CBS Evening News” (which was initially called “Walter Cronkite with the News”)…Barry Bostwick hosted the CBS newsmagazine for kids called “Razzmatazz,” which began in 1977. Brian Tochi took over as host in the following season. The show aired until 1982…NBC presented the first of four-part miniseries “Holocaust” in 1978 starring Meryl Streep, James Woods and Michael Moriarty. It won 8 Emmy Awards, including Best Limited Series and Best Lead Actor (Moriarty) and Actress (Streep) in a Limited Series…Capitalizing on the craze of the hit film “Flashdance,” the animated “Peanuts” special “It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown” premiered on CBS in 1984…Before she became a household name on the big screen, Sandra Bullock starred in the sitcom “Working Girl,” which premiered on NBC in 1990. The series, based on the 1988 film of the same name, produced 12 episodes, but only 8 aired…Also in 1990 on NBC, the legal drama “Shannon’s Deal” starring Jamey Sheridan officially began as a series. Only 16 episodes aired across two spring seasons…Tthe short-lived medical sitcom “Stat” debuted on ABC in 1991…The original “All That“, the kids sketch comedy show, debuted on Nickelodeon in 1994. The series began the careers of Kenan Thompson, Nick Cannon, Gabriel Iglesias, Jamie Lynn Spears, and Kel Mitchell. “All That” was revived in 2019…The U.S. version of the game show “The Weakest Link,” hosted by Anne Robinson, debuted on NBC in 2001… Bob Barker returned to visit “The Price Is Right” on CBS in 2009 to promote his memoir “Priceless Memories”…Four short-lived series launched: 1) CBS’ Dudley Moore sitcom “Dudley” in 1993; 2) ABC comedy-drama “What About Brian” in 2006; 3) Starz historical miniseries “The White Princess” in 2017; and 4) ABC farm comedy “Bless This Mess” in 2019…Real estate series “Flip or Flop” hosted by former married couple Christina Anstead and Tarek El Moussa debuted on HGTV in 2013. To date, it has ran for nine seasons and three spin-offs are currently airing on HGTV, based in Las Vegas, Chicago and Nashville…TV movie “Confirmation”, centered on the 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court justice hearings, premiered on HBO in 2016. It starred Kerry Washington as Anita Hill, a law professor and former employee of Thomas’ (Wendell Pierce) who alleged he had sexual harassed her…Six short-lived series concluded: 1) NBC science fiction adventure “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” in 1981; 2) ABC action drama “Blue Thunder” in 1984; 3) The WB sitcom “The Help” in 2004; 4) NBC drama “LAX” in 2005 starring Heather Locklear and Blair Underwood; 5) MTV sketch comedy “Human Giant” in 2008; 6) NBC family sitcom “Indebted” in 2020 starring Fran Drescher and Steven Weber…Ensemble action comedy-drama “Scorpion” concluded its four-season run in 2018. It starred Elyes Gabel, Katharine McPhee, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Robert Patrick. The series marked the start of CBS’ programming shift to two hour-long series on Monday nights, after a decades-long showcase of a two-hour sitcom block on the network…Music special “The Disney Family Singalong” premiered on ABC in 2020. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, some of the celebrities who performed their versions of classic songs from Disney films included Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Christina Aguilera, Donny Osmond, Michael Buble, Demi Lovato and the original cast of “High School Musical.“ The special was a boon in the ratings, drawing over ten million viewers on the night. Two additional Disney singalong specials aired later that year.
Short film “The Music Box”, starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, opened in theaters in 1932. It won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.
Kendrick Lamar was the first rapper and non classical or jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for music with his album “Damn” in 2018.
Bill Russell agreed to become the coach of the Boston Celtics in 1966. This made him the first African-American coach in the NBA. Russell was a player-coach for the final three seasons of his playing career, and led the Celtics to two more championships, his tenth and 11th rings…In 1980, Arthur Ashe officially retired from professional tennis. Aside from being a civil rights activist, throughout his career Ashe won the 1968 U.S. Open, the 1970 Australian Open, the 1975 Wimbledon title and was, at one point, the No. 1-ranked tennis player in the world…In 2009, sportscaster John Madden announced his retirement at the age of 73. The former Super Bowl champion head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Madden gained greater fame as color analyst of the NFL on CBS in the 1980’s. on Fox from 1994-2002 and on ABC’s “Monday Night Football” from 2002-05. His surname has graced the popular “Madden NFL” video game every year since 1988.
The jury reached a guilty verdict in federal case against police officers (two convicted, two acquitted) who beat Rodney King in 1993. The verdict, however, was not read until April 17th.
Singer Bobby Vinton is 87; NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 76; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is 71; Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett is 70; actress Ellen Barkin is 69; singer Jimmy Osmond is 60; comedian Martin Lawrence is 58; “Two and a Half Men” star Jon Cryer is also 58; actor Peter Billingsley (“A Christmas Story”) is 52; actor Lukas Haas (“Witness”) is 47; Broadway actress Kelli O’Hara is 47; “Stranger Things” star Sadie Sink is 21.
Did You Know?:
In a 1974 interview with Dick Cavett, Lucille Ball spoke of the infamous scene in “I Love Lucy” which she got in a fight in the grape vat, revealing that the fight was scripted but the other woman didn’t understand that it was supposed to be phony. The audience and crew were oblivious to what was really happening and the fight stretched on so long that it had to be severely edited in the final cut of the show…The original choice to play Melanie Griffith’s role of Tess McGill on the “Working Girl” sitcom was “The Facts of Life” star Nancy McKeon, who in 1994 auditioned to play Monica Gellar on “Friends.“