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Today in History: Thursday, August 17, 2023

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The first TV special of music duo The Captain & Tennille premiered on ABC in 1976. Their weekly variety series would begin one month later on the same network and it lasted for one season…Workplace comedy “FM” starring Robert Hays and Patricia Richardson premiered on NBC in 1989. It ran for five weeks that summer, then returned as a midseason replacement in March 1990 through to its series conclusion in June 1990…The pilot episode of the TV adaptation of “Steel Magnolias” aired on CBS in 1990. Its setting was one year after where the 1989 movie had left off. The proposed series starred Cindy WilliamsSally KirklandElaine Stritch and Polly Bergen…The first episode of “Behind the Music” on VH1 aired in 1997. Disgraced duo Milli Vanilli was the first subject.

Michael Crichton‘s “Westworld“, starring Yul Brenner, opened in 1973. It was adapted into an HBO series in 2016..Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” starring Graham Chapman and John Cleese was released in 1979…“The Exorcist 3” written and directed by William Peter Blatty opened in 1990.

Reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace in 1974; “Dilemma” by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland in 2002.

Philips produced the world’s first commercial compact disc in 1982…In 1998, President Bill Clinton admitted his inappropriate sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in a nationally-televised address.

The novel “Animal Farm” by George Orwell was first published in 1945.

Willis Mays hits the 660th (and final) home run of his Hall of Fame career in 1973.

Celebrity Birthdays
Two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro is 80; “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes is 74; book publisher Judith Regan is 70; The Go-Go’s lead singer Belinda Carlisle is 65; two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn is 63; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is 60; actor Donny Walhberg (“Blue Bloods”) is 54; American tennis player Jim Courier is 53; former New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada is 52; entertainment reporter Giuliana Rancic is 49.

Did You Know?
HBO’s “Westworld” is the second TV series to be adapted from the 1973 film. The title was “Beyond Westworld” and it briefly aired on CBS in March 1980. Only three of the five episodes produced were telecast.