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Today in History: Thursday, January 4, 2023

© by CBS/Photofest

Early daytime soap “The Brighter Day” opened its eight season run on CBS in 1954…“Blondie” starring Pamela Britton, the first of two sitcoms based on the comic book strip and the movie series, debuted on NBC in 1957. It ran for one season. CBS tried next in the fall of 1969, with Patricia Harty in the title role, but that too ran for just one season…A horse is a horse, of course, of course! Sitcom “Mister Ed” began in first-run syndication in 1961. One year later it moved to CBS where it remained until 1965…Variety program “The Hollywood Palace“, also known as “The Saturday Night Hollywood Palace“, debuted on ABC in 1964. Bing Crosby hosted the first episode. It ran for seven seasons (through February 1970)…Action police drama “B.A.D. Cats” premiered on ABC in 1980. It starred Asher BraunerVic Morrow, Jimmie Walker, and in one of her first major acting roles, Michelle Pfeiffer. If only aired for ten episodes…NBC sitcom “Night Court” began its nine season run on NBC in 1984. The current reboot with Melissa Rauch (“The Big Bang Theory”) as Abby Stone and John Larroquette revising his role as Dan Fielding is heading into season two on NBC…Two short-lived sitcoms debuted on CBS: corporate satire “Empire” starring Dennis Dugan in 1984, and the “Designing Women” spinoff “Women of the House” starring Delta Burke and Patricia Heaton in 1995…In a classic episode of NBC sitcom “Seinfeld” in 1996, written by Carol Leifer, Kramer (Michael Richards) gave a hansom cab ride to George’s future parents-in-law (Grace Zabriskie and Warren Frost) but Kramer’s prior feeding a can of “Beef-A-Reeno” to the horse led to unfortunate consequences…Dan Fogelman‘s comic fantasy musical “Galavant” starring Timothy Omundson debuted on ABC in 2015. It aired for 16 episodes across two abbreviated seasons…The American version of Israeli singing competition “The Four: Battle for Stardom” debuted on Fox in 2018. Hosted by Fergie, it featured Sean “Diddy” CombsDJ Khaled and Meghan Trainor as judges. It only ran for two brief cycles…In 2021, trivia game show “The Hustler” hosted by Craig Ferguson launched on ABC. Our contributor Douglas Pucci and Northwest Iowa Y100.1 FM personality Scott Nolte both selected it as the best show of the year on their “TV Tuesday” radio segment.

Billboard magazine publishes its 1st music Hit Parade in 1936…Elvis Presley recorded his first demo for Sun Records at a recording studio in Memphis, “It Wouldn’t Be The Same Without You” and “I’ll Never Stand In Your Way” in 1954.
Then President Richard Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents that had been subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate in 1974...Jesse “The Body” Ventura, a former professional wrestler, was sworn in as populist governor of Minnesota in 1999…Nancy Pelosi (D-California) became the first female speaker of the U.S. House of Representative in 2007…Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, officially opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2010.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actress Barbara Rush (“Peyton Place”) is 97; actress Dyan Cannon (“Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”) is 85; actress Ann Magnuson (“Anything But Love”) is 68; country singer Patty Loveless is 67; R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe is 64; actor Dave Foley (“NewsRadio”) is 61; actress Dot Jones (“Glee”) is 60; actress Julia Ormond (“Legends of the Fall”) is 59; country singer Deana Carter is 58; actor Jeremy Licht (“Valerie”) is 53; actress Jill Marie Jones (“Girlfriends”) is 49; actress D’Arcy Carden (“The Good Place”) is 44; “The Real” co-host Jeannie Mai is 44; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is 30.

Did You Know?
The first of 28 “Blondie” films was in 1938. The plot involved the Bumsteads’ fifth anniversary, Dagwood trying to get a raise, and Blondie trying to buy new furniture. Columbia Pictures Columbia used the series to showcase many of its contract players. Rita Hayworth was featured in “Blondie on a Budget”; Glenn Ford in “Blondie Plays Cupid” Larry Parks and Janet Blair in “Blondie Goes to College”, Shemp Howard (or The Three Stooges) in “Blondie Knows Best”, and Adele Jergens in “Blondie’s Anniversary.”