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Today in History: Sunday, January 28, 2024

Television and Radio
Elvis Presley made his first television appearance in 1956 on CBS musical/variety hour “Stage Show”…Detective drama “Barnaby Jones,” starring Buddy Ebsen, debuted on CBS in 1973. It aired for eight seasons…”Chico and the Man” star Freddie Prinze, 22, shot and mortally wounded himself in 1977.  He died the following day…In 1984, actor Ted McGinley joined the cast of ABC’s “The Love Boat” as the cruise ship’s photographer. Two seasons later the show was kaput…The U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after takeoff in 1986. All seven of its crew-members were killed. A reported 85 percent of Americans had heard the news within an hour of the accident…Two short-lived ABC series debuted: “Spenser: For Hire” spin-off “A Man Called Hawk” starring Avery Brooks in 1989, and Steven Bochco‘s animated “Capitol Critters” featuring the voices of Neil Patrick Harris, Bobcat Goldthwait and Patti Deutsch in 1992…Following Super Bowl XXIV, CBS debuted the action comedy “Grand Slam” in 1990. Despite the 30.8 million who tuned in to its launch, the series that starred John Schneider and Paul Rodriguez as bounty hunters in San Diego only had six episodes air of the eight produced…In 1991, Faith Daniels became the first journalist to host her own national daily talk show “A Closer Look”, which was part of NBC’s mid-day daytime schedule…A one-hour episode of NBC’s “Friends” aired following “Super Bowl XXX” in 1996. To-date, its audience of 52.9 million viewers is still the top mark for a post-Super Bowl telecast…The second most-watched post-Super Bowl airing occurred in 2001 with the season premiere of “Survivor: The Australian Outback” on CBS. A total of 45.4 million viewers had tuned in. By season’s end, the edition of the long-running reality competition averaged 29.8 million viewers and it ranked as the No. 1 show of the 2000-01 TV season, about one million more viewers than its direct Thursday time slot competition, NBC’s “Friends.”

The Rolling Stones released single “Let’s Spend the Night Together” in 1967…Charity single “We Are the World” was recorded by supergroup USA for Africa in 1985… “Creep” by TLC, the first single released from the girl group’s mega-hit album “CrazySexyCool“, hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1995.

The Dallas Cowboys achieved their third Super Bowl victory within a four-year span as they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX in 1996. Averaging 94 million viewers, it had been the most-watched U.S. telecast since 1983’s “M*A*S*H” series finale until 2008’s Super Bowl LII… other Super Bowl winners included the San Francisco 49ers in XXIV (55-10 over the Denver Broncos) in 1990, and the Baltimore Ravens in XXXV (34-7 over the New York Giants) in 2001.
Testing of the Rolls Royce began in 1937. The first model that appeared on the streets a few years after World War II ended was the Rolls Royce Silver Wraith.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Former New York Yankees announcer Bill White is 90; “M*A*S*H” star Alan Alda is 88; actress Susan Howard (“Dallas”) is 80; San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is 75; actress Barbi Benton (“Hee Haw”) is 74; director Frank Darabont (“The Shawshank Redemption”) is 65; singer Sarah McLachlan is 56; “CBS Sunday Morning” journalist/humorist Mo Rocca is 55; actress Kathryn Morris (“Cold Case”) is 55; rapper Rick Ross is 48; “Common Knowledge” host/’NSYNC singer Joey Fatone is 47; actress Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”) is 45; Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter is 44; actor Elijah Wood (“The Lord of the Rings” films) is 43; “Modern Family” co-star Ariel Winter is 26.

Did You Know?
After production of “Barnaby Jones” completed, producers were considering a TV-movie crossover between this show and Buddy Ebsen’s previous show, “The Beverly Hillbillies. The storyline would have opened with Jed Clampett (Ebsen) being kidnapped, and Barnaby Jones (also played by Ebsen) hired to locate him. That TV movie was never produced, but a similar storyline was created for the 1993 big screen version of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” with Ebsen returning in a cameo as Barnaby Jones, hired by Miss Hathaway to find the missing Granny.