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Today in History: Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Two long-running CBS series hit the 200-episode mark: “Perry Mason” in 1964 and “The Jeffersons” in 1983…The first pilot episode of detective series “Columbo” starring Peter Falk aired as a made-for-TV movie on NBC in 1968. …”Good Morning America” co-host David Hartman exited in 1987 after 11 years on the ABC morning franchise…On NBC’s “Friends” in 1997, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) ended her romantic relationship with Ross (David Schwimmer) after discovering he had slept with another woman while believing he and Rachel “were on a break”…Animated series “Robot Chicken“, co-created by and starring the voice of Seth Green, launched on Adult Swim in 2005…The final episode of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” aired on NBC in 2009, which led to Conan’s very temporary hosting chores on “The Tonight Show” (and Jay Leno’s ill-rated stint in primetime from September 14, 2009 to February 9, 2010).

Celebrity Birthdays
Hockey legend Phil Esposito is 82; actress Brenda Blethyn (“Pride and Prejudice”) is 78; actress Sandy Duncan (“The Hogan Family”) is 78; actor Peter Strauss is 77; actor Anthony Head (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) is 70; actor Joel Hodgson (“Mystery Science Theater 3000”) is 64; NBA legend Charles Barkley is 61; actor French Stewart (“3rd Rock from the Sun”) is 60; supermodel Cindy Crawford is 58; actor Andrew Shue (“Melrose Place”) is 57; actress Lili Taylor (“The Haunting”) is 57; Backstreet Boys singer Brian Littrell is 49; actor Jay Hernandez (“Magnum P.I.”) is 46; actress Lauren Ambrose (“Six Feet Under”) is 46; actress Chelsea Peretti (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) is 46; actor Michael Zegen (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) is 45; actress-singer Jessie Mueller is 41; New York Mets pitcher Justin Verlander is 41; former “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah is 39; actor Miles Teller (“Top Gun: Maverick”) is 37; singer Rihanna is 36; actor Jack Falahee (“How to Get Away with Murder”) is 35.

Did You Know? 
“Perry Mason, starring Raymond Burr, produced 271 episodes in total in its nine season (1957-66) run. A short-lived revival, “The New Perry Mason,” with Monte Markham, aired on CBS in the fall of 1973. Raymond Burr returned for 30 made-for television movies on NBC, airing from 1985 to 1995. After Burr’s death in 1993, four television films (1993–95) were produced under the umbrella title “A Perry Mason Mystery,” with Paul Sorvino starring in the first film and Hal Holbrook featured in the remaining three. Matthew Rhys inherited the role in the more recent version of “Perry Mason” on HBO.