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Today in History: Thursday, March 7, 2024

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ABC western “The Rifleman” reached the 100-episode mark in 1961. It ended after five seasons on April 8, 1963…Two sitcoms, the original “The Odd Couple” on ABC in 1975 and “Diff’rent Strokes” on ABC in 1986, concluded their runs. In 1993, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall reunited for TV movie “The Odd Couple: Together Again”The Nashville Network (TNN) launched in 1983. The network was renamed The National Network (later The New TNN) in 2000, and ultimately morphed into Spike TV in August 2003…ABC premiered newsmagazine “Day One” in 1993. It aired through 1995 and was hosted by Forrest Sawyer and Diane Sawyer…Several other notable series debuted: ABC romantic sitcom “Anything But Love” starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis in 1989; short-lived Showtime comedy “Fat Actress” starring Kirstie Alley and NBC boxing reality competition “The Contender” both in 2005; CBS military drama “The Unit” in 2006…Charlie Sheen was fired from the CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” in 2011. It was at the end of the eighth season and the sitcom went on for another four seasons with Ashton Kutcher joining the cast.

American director Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director following her win for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010.

RCA released “Young Americans” in 1975, David Bowie’s 9th studio album, recorded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New York City; and featuring appearances by John Lennon on two tracks.

American boxer Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight to acquire the World Boxing Association (WBA) championship belt when he defeated James Smith in 12 rounds in 1987.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actor Daniel J. Travanti (“Hill Street Blues”) is 84; singer Peter Wolf of The J. Geils Band is 78; actor Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) is 68; actress Donna Murphy (“Mercy Street,” ″Murder One”) is 65; singer Taylor Dayne is 62; comedian Wanda Sykes is 60; actress Rachel Weisz is 53; actor Peter Sarsgaard (“Kinsey,” ″Garden State”) is 53; actor Jay Duplass (“The Mindy Project”) is 51; actress Jenna Fischer (“The Office”) is 50; actor Tobias Menzies (“Outlander,” ″Game of Thrones”) is 50; actor TJ Thyne (“Bones”) is 49; sctress Laura Prepon (“Orange Is the New Black,” “That ’70s Show”) is 454.

-Did You Know?:
In between the original “The Odd Couple” on ABC and the recent version on CBS there was “The New Odd Couple” on ABC in the 1982-83 season. It starred Ron Glass and Demond Wilson“Diff’rent Strokes,” which spin-off sitcoms “The Facts of Life” and “Hello Larry,” is remembered for airing on NBC. After NBC canceled it, ABC came to the rescue with one final season in 1985-86. Since Dixie Carter was confirmed to star in “Designing Women” on CBS, Mary Ann Mobley took over the role as Maggie McKinney Drummond.