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Today in History: Thursday, August 31, 2023

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CBS sitcom “Alice, based on the 1974 theatrical “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” opened in 1976. It ran for nine seasons…Michael Jackson’s “Bad” video premiered on CBS in 1987…Tito and Jermaine Jackson walked off the set of NBC’s “Today” show in 1993 when a crew arrived to interview the two about the troubles of their brother Michael with the Los Angeles Police Department…The final episode of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, hosted by Fred Rogers, aired on PBS in 2001. It debuted on Feb. 19, 1968…CGI-animated series “Father of the Pride” starring the voices of John GoodmanCheryl Hines and Carl Reiner debuted in prime time on NBC in 2004. It only aired for 13 episodes.

Comedy “Milk Money” starring Melanie Griffith and Ed Harris opened in 1994…Horror flick “Jeepers Creepers” premiered in 2001.
“Fly,” the 5th studio album by the Dixie Chicks was released in 1999. It won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album in 2000, and the Billboard Album of the Year… two other legendary albums were also released: “Bad” by Michael Jackson in 1987; “Music Box” by Mariah Carey in 1993.

Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car crash in a road tunnel in Paris in 1997.Sports:
The New York Yankees retired the jersey number 23 to honor infielder Don Mattingly in 1997.

Celebrity Birthdays
Singer Van Morrison is 78; violinist Itzhak Perlman is also 78; actor Richard Gere (“An Officer and a Gentleman”) is 74; former Los Angeles district attorney Marcia Clark is 70; “Australian Survivor” host Jonathan LaPaglia is 54; singer Debbie Gibson is 53; actor Zack Ward (“A Christmas Story”) is also 53; actor Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour”) is 52; actress Sara Ramirez (“Grey’s Anatomy”) is 48; legendary NFL wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is 40.

Did You Know?
Legend has it that Linda Lavin was jealous of Polly Holliday’s growing popularity as Florence (Flo) Jean Castleberry, so CBS appeased the “Alice” star by giving Holliday her own spin-off series, “Flo.” It lasted just over one season (from 1980-81). Holliday’s replacement on “Alice” was Diane Ladd as Belle, who played Flo in “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.  When Ladd exited “Alice” after one tumultuous season, Celia Weston joined the cast as Jolene at the end of season five and remained until the series-finale on March 19, 1985. Without Polly Holliday, “Alice” was just never as good. Note to Linda Lavin: Kiss my grits!