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Today in History: Sunday, September 12, 2021

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Series launches: “Lassie” on CBS in 1954; NBC western “Bonanza” in 1959; sitcoms “Family Affair” on CBS and “The Monkees” on NBC in 1966; CBS’ animated “Josie & the Pussycats” on Saturday morning in 1970; “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” on CBS in 1972; ABC family drama “Life Goes On” in 1989; ABC’s “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” in 1993; and Fox’s “Party of Five” in 1994.  At 17 seasons on CBS (and three additional in first-run syndication from 1971-74), this first edition of “Lassie” had a particularly long run. “Bonanza” at 13 and one-half seasons, however, was not far behind.

The space shuttle Discovery took off on a mission to deploy an observatory that was to study the Earth’s ozone layer in 1991…Astronaut Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to fly in space, part of the STS-47 Spacelab J mission in 1992.

Celebrity Birthdays:
“Gotham” star Benjamin McKenzie is 43; Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson is 40.

Did You Know?:
“Bonanza” was the top-rated show in all of primetime from 1964 to 1967.  It finished nine of its 14 seasons ranked in the Top 5…An unhappy TV couple:In her autobiography, Patti LuPone mentioned that she and her TV hubby Bill Smitrovich disliked each other so much so that by the fourth season that they weren’t even speaking to each other off the set.