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Today in History: Tuesday, June 4, 2024

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Variety hour “Cavalcade of Stars, initially hosted by Jack Carter, debuted on early network DuMont in 1949. After comedian Jerry Lester replaced Carter for four months, Jackie Gleason took over and introduced his “Honeymooners” sketch (with Art Carney as Ed Norton and Pert Kelton as the original Alice Kramden)…NBC comedy “The Mickey Rooney Show” (also known as “Hey, Mulligan”) ended after one year in 1955…Barbara Walters made her final appearance as a co-anchor on NBC’s “Today” show in 1976…Classic family drama “The Waltons” concluded its nine season run on CBS in 1981. The cast reunited for three made-for television movies on NBC over the next two years, with three additional movies on CBS in 1993, 1995 and 1997, respectively. The CW aired the second revival movie, “The Waltons’ Thanksgiving” with Richard Thomas as the narrator, last year…Also in 1981, band U2 made their U.S. television debut on NBC “Tomorrow Coast to Coast,” hosted by Tom Snyder“Solid Gold” spinoff “Solid Gold Hits,” hosted by “Eight is Enough’s” Grant Goodeve, debuted in 1984…Also in 1984 was the debut of CBS daytime game show “Body Language, hosted by Tom Kennedy. It lasted 18 months…In an interview on the “The Howard Stern Show” in 2015, Jason Alexander admitted that he, Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus were behind the idea to have George Costanza’s fiancée Susan (Heidi Swedberg) killed off because he felt the chemistry between the main cast and Swedberg did not work well on camera…In 2017, the short-lived newsmagazine “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” launched on NBC. Only eight editions aired. Kelly left NBC News in October 2018 after her morning hour was canceled…Also in 2017, the critically-lauded supernatural mystery thriller “The Leftovers”  concluded its run on HBO. It was co-created by Damon Lindelof (“Lost”) and starred Justin Theroux and Amy Brenneman. The series produced 28 episodes across three abbreviated seasons.

“Mrs. Miniver, directed by William Wyler and starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, was released in theaters in 1942. The film won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (Teresa Wright)...“The Nutty Professor,” starring Jerry Lewis, was released in 1963…“Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan” and “Poltergeist” from Steven Spielberg were released in 1982.

Johnny Cash album “At San Quentin” was released in 1969…Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” was released in 1984…Avril Lavigne’s debut album “Let Go” launched in 2002… in 2017, Ariana Grande headlined a benefit concert for the victims of her Manchester concert bombing.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Oscar nominee Bruce Dern (“Nebraska”) is 88; Singer and actress Michelle Phillips (“Knots Landing”) is 80; actor Parker Stevenson (“The Hardy Boys Mysteries”) is 72; R&B singer El DeBarge is 63; singer Idra Patrick “El” DeBarge is also 63; “Party of Five” star Scott Wolf is 56; ER’s Noah Wylie is 53; Oscar winner Angelina Jolie is 49.

Did You Know?
When “The Waltons” premiered on Sept. 14, 1972, it faced established “The Mod Squad” on ABC and “The Flip Wilson Show” on NBC. The common prediction was it would not make it past 13 episodes. By season end, “The Mod Squad” was canceled and the Flip Wilson variety hour lost considerable steam (and was ultimately axed the following season). By 1973-74, “The Waltons” finished the season ranked second overall in all of primetime (behind “All in the Family” on CBS).