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Today in History: Thursday, February 1, 2024

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CBS sitcom “Private Secretary, starring Ann Sothern, launched in 1953. It ran through 1957 and initially alternated with the “The Jack Benny Show”…News-themed “You Are There” with Walter Cronkite premiered on CBS in 1953. It started as a radio program in 1947. This first TV telecast featured a re-enactment of the Hindenburg disaster…CBS daytime drama “The Secret Storm” opened in 1954 and stayed on the air for 20 years…Peter Jennings became the anchor of ABC’s Nightly News in 1965 at just 26 years of age…ABC miniseries “Rich Man, Poor Man”, based on the novel of the same name by Irwin Shaw and starring Peter StraussNick Nolte and Susan Blakely, opened in 1976. It spawned the sequel “Rich Man, Poor Man Book II, which aired weekly from September 1976 through March 1977…The beat did not go on: Sonny and Cher, now divorced, reunited for new variety hour “The Sonny & Cher Show” on CBS in 1976. But the magic was gone and the series was canceled in the summer of 1977…Sitcom “Makin’ It” starring David Naughton as an ice cream parlor worker by day and disco dancer by night debuted following an original episode of “Mork & Mindy” on ABC in 1979. The series was created by the “Happy Days” team of Mark RothmanLowell Ganz and Garry Marshall, and developed with a nod to the 1977 film classic “Saturday Night Fever.” By the time of its debut, however, the disco fad in the U.S. had waned. As a result, only nine episodes of “Makin’ It” would air across eight weeks. Its theme song with the same title, performed by Naughton, entered the Billboard Top 40 chart two months after the show’s cancellation and would later peak at No. 5 there…CBS daytime drama “Love of Life” ended its 29 year run in 1980…Talker ”Late Night with David Letterman” debuted on NBC in 1982.  It aired through June 25, 1993… in 2001, CBS first presented its bold attempt to challenge NBC’s then-two decade-old dominant “Must-See” Thursday night with the time slot premiere of “Survivor” (its second season, following its blockbuster summer debut season) kicking off the night, followed by then-freshman procedural “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” which had previously aired on Friday nights. Both “Survivor” and “CSI” remained Thursday night staples for the rest of the ’00s decade.…Boob-Gate: Janet Jackson exposed her right breast as a result of a wardrobe malfunction in a performance with Justin Timberlake during the “Super Bowl Half-Time Show” in 2004…Following Super Bowl XXXVIII, the eighth season premiere of “Survivor” (entitled “Survivor: All-Stars“) aired on CBS in 2004. It drew 33.5 million viewers. Among the returning castaways were former winners Richard HatchTina Wesson and Ethan Zohn, as well as other notables Rudy BoeschRupert BonehamJerri Manthey and Rob Cesternino. A romance between Australian Outback’s  Amber Brkich and Marquesas’ “Boston” Rob Mariano was borne from the season; their nuptials aired on CBS in May 2005…Political thriller “House of Cards”, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, was released on Netflix in 2013. In 2017, following sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey, he was removed from the show for the final season.

The Beatles’ first No. 1 hit, “I Want to Hold Your Hand, topped the Hot 100 in 1964 and stayed No. 1 for seven weeks before being replaced by “She Loves You”…Also reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells in 1969; “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me” by George Michael and Elton John in 1992; “Bump, Bump, Bump” by B2K and P. Diddy in 2003 …“Harvest,” the fourth studio album from Neil Young was released in 1972. It was the best selling album of the year… Katy Perry performed a medley of her biggest hits at halftime of Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. on NBC in 2015. Although her performance boasted guest artists Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott, the segment’s most viral moment came courtesy of Bryan Gaw aka “Left Shark” who was seen in a blue shark costume dancing out-of-step alongside the rest of Perry’s troupe. To-date, Perry is the all-time most-watched Super Bowl halftime show, drawing 120.7 million viewers.

Danielle Steel’s romance novel “Fine Things” was published in 1987.
Despite all-pro running back Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, the Seattle Seahawks instead opted for quarterback Russell Wilson to pass to wide receiver Ricardo Lockette in the end zone with 26 seconds remaining in the game. New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted that pass at the 1-yard line, and gave the Patriots a 28-24 victory in Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. At an average of 114.4 million viewers, the NBC-televised game is the most-watched telecast in U.S. TV history.

Director Roman Polanski skipped bail and fled to France after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1978…Patricia Hearst was released from prison for bank robbery in 1979…Jeff Gillooly in 1994 pleaded guilty for his part in attack on American Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Original “Saturday Night Live” cast member Garrett Morris is 87; TV personality Joy Philbin is 83, actress Sherilyn Fenn (“Twin Peaks”) is 59; comedian Pauly Shore is 56; actor Brian Krause (“Charmed”) is 55. Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”) is 53; rapper Big Boi of Outkast is 49; TV personality Lauren Conrad (“The Hills,” ″Laguna Beach”) is 38; actor-singer Heather Morris (“Glee”) is 36; singer Harry Styles (One Direction) is 30.

Did You Know?
In an early crossover appearance, Ann Sothern reprised her character of Susie MacNamara from “Private Secretary” for the premiere episode of “The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show” on CBS (later known as “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour”) on Nov. 6, 1957. In this installment, entitled “Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana,” the story of how Lucy first met Ricky is told…Unlike most other soap operas, “Love of Life” was originally not split up into segments dictated by commercial breaks. Because the show was owned by packaged-goods giant American Home Products and merely licensed to CBS, all commercials were for AH products, and occurred before or after the show.