Posted in:

Today in History: Thursday, April 22, 2021

© by Photo courtesy of YouTube/Warner Bros

Television and Radio:
Barbara Walters was officially named the first woman to ever co-anchor NBC’s “The Today Show” in 1974…CBS sitcom “Maude, starring Bea Arthur, concluded its six season run in 1978. A seventh season was planned for Maude Findlay to move to Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in politics, but Arthur decided to call it quits…Also in 1978, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” featured the first appearance by The Blues Brothers (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) and comedian Steve Martin performed his famous King Tut routine…TV film “Pope John Paul II”, starring Albert Finney in title role, aired on CBS in 1984…”Hill Street Blues” spin-off “Beverly Hills Buntz, starring Dennis Franz, ended in 1988. It aired for only nine episodes…Robert Conrad starred alongside his real-life two sons, Christian Conrad and Shane Conrad, in the debut of short-lived CBS drama “Jesse Hawkes” in 1989. It was spun-off from “High Mountain Rangers, which also featured the trio and lasted for only one half-season…In 1991, Johnny Carson announced he would be retiring from NBC’s “The Tonight Show.” His final telecast was on May 22, 1992…“Dennis Miller Live”, the weekly late-night talk show hosted by the former SNL Weekend Update anchor premiered on HBO in 1994. It ran for eight years…“Made”, the self-improvement docuseries that chronicled teens and young adults’ pursuit of various occupations like actors, singers, dancers, etc., debuted on MTV in 2002. A total of 303 episode were produced over a 12-year period…On an episode of ABC daytime drama “All My Children” in 2003, Bianca Montgomery (Eden Riegel) kissed Lena Kundera (Olga Sosnovska), which was the first kiss between two women ever featured on American daytime television…TV political comedy “Veep” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus premiered on HBO in 2012. Throughout its seven-season run, the series was the Emmy winner of Outstanding Comedy Series for three consecutive years (2015-17); Louis-Dreyfus’ performance as Selina Meyer won her six consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards, and five consecutive Golden Globe nominations…Critically acclaimed drama “Rectify” premiered on SundanceTV in 2013. A total of 30 episodes across four condensed seasons had aired…MTV romantic comedy “Faking It” launched in 2014. It ran for three condensed seasons…“Live Rescue”, the docuseries spun off from “Live PD”, debuted on A&E in 2019. Camera crews follow some of the nation’s fire departments and rescue squads. Matt Iseman is the show’s current host…Several short-lived series concluded: 1) AMC 1930’s-era comedy-drama “The Lot” in 2001; 2) The WB sitcom “Like Family” in 2004; 3) CBS fantasy family drama “Joan of Arcadia” in 2005; and 4) Fox sitcom “The War At Home” in 2007.

Marvel film “Avengers: Endgame” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans premiered in Los Angeles in 2019.

Madonna scored her seventh No. 1 single in the U.S. with “Like a Prayer” in 1989, which spent three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The music video that accompanied the hit, which featured images of stigmata, burning crosses and the kissing of a black saint, was condemned by family and religious groups and had caused the Pepsi company to cancel their sponsorship deal with her (but she was allowed to keep the deal’s fee).

In 2010, two TV milestones in sports media. First, CBS and Turner Sports were granted joint rights to the annual NCAA Div I Basketball Tournament, which provided the ability for each game to be broadcast nationally in its entirety. Second was the first round of the NFL Draft being televised in prime time for the first time. It became an instant ratings hit, drawing 8.3 million viewers combined on ESPN and NFL Network.

In 2002, actor Robert Blake was charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife. He was later acquitted.
Celebrity Birthdays:
Actress Estelle Harris (mother of George Costanza on “Seinfeld”) is 93; three-time Oscar winner Jack Nicholson is 84; “Hairspray” director John Waters is 75; singer Peter Frampton is 71; comedian and actor Ryan Stiles (“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”) is 62; producer and entrepreneur Byron Allen is 60; actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“The Walking Dead”) is 55; former “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd is 54.

Did You Know?
Robert Blake, then billed by his birth name, Mickey Gubitosi, was featured as a child in the “Our Gang” series of theatrical shorts from 1939 to 1944. At that time, producer Hal Roach sold the series to MGM…“Beverly Hills Buntz” was considered a “designated hitter” on NBC, which was a show that will be broadcast monthly and then, ratings permitting, be ready to move into a weekly slot if required. The other designated hitter on the network that season was comedy “Mama’s Boy,” with Bruce Weitz (“Hill Street Blues”) and Nancy Walker (“Rhoda,” “McMillan and Wife”). Neither sitcom made it to a second season.