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Today in History: Tuesday, February 27, 2024

© by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Desi Arnaz, Jr. guested starred on ABC’s “The Brady Bunch” in 1970…In 1979, NBC introduced Michael Nouri as Count Dracula in “The Curse of the Vampire” segment of serial “Cliffhangers”…On a classic episode of ABC’s “Three’s Company” in 1979, at a championship bake-off competition, Jack, Chrissy, Janet, the Ropers, Dean Travers of Jack’s cooking school and the main competition judge all get pied in the face during an impromptu pie fight.…A Pepsi commercial featuring the Jacksons premiered on MTV in 1984. During filming, Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire, leading to second-degree burns to his scalp…Jack Klugman returned to series television with the debut of NBC sitcom “You Again” in 1986. Klugman portrayed a divorced man whose 17-year-old son (John Stamos) comes to live with him after seven years of estrangement following the divorce. “You Again” ran for two half seasons. After its cancellation, Stamos was cast in the pilot for ABC’s “Full House…Trivia game show “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” debuted on Fox in 2007. It was co-created by Mark Burnett (inspired by a concept originated from “The Howard Stern Radio Show”) and hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. Airing out of then-ratings juggernaut “American Idol,”. “5th Grader” attracted a whopping 26.5 million viewers for its premiere, delivering Fox’s best series debut figures since “The George Carlin Show” from 1994. The game show ran for two years on Fox, an additional two years in syndication, and brief revivals on Fox in 2015 and on Nickelodeon (with host John Cena) in 2019.

Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder recorded the single “Ebony & Ivory” in 1988.

During a news broadcast in 1968, American journalist Walter Cronkite who was considered “the most trusted man in America,” broke from his usual objectivity to predict that the Vietnam War could end only in a protracted stalemate. His commentary was credited with changing the U.S. public’s opinion of the conflict.

American figure skater Debi Thomas became the first Black athlete to win a medal at the Winter Olympics in 1988. Thomas earned the Bronze medal in the ladies final; Katarina Witt from East Germany won the Gold, repeating as Olympic ladies figure skating champion. That night — the penultimate night of the 1988 Winter Olympics from Calgary (Alberta, Canada) — drew a 26.4 U.S. household rating and a 43 share for ABC. It was the week’s highest-rated telecast, even topping the runner-up entry, NBC’s “The Cosby Show” (24.8/37) from Feb. 25, 1988.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actress Joanne Woodward is 94; actress Debra Monk is 75; singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant, Lynryd Skynyrd) is 64; legendary Los Angeles Lakers forward James Worthy is 63; actor Adam Baldwin (TV’s “Chuck”) is 62; actor Grant Show (“Devious Maids,” ″Melrose Place”) is 62; actor Noah Emmerich (“The Americans”) is 59; actor Donal Logue (“Grounded for Life”) is 58; legendary thoroughbred jockey Kent Desormeaux is 54; singer Chilli of TLC is 53; former Kansas City Chiefs all-pro tight end Tony Gonzalez is 48; Chelsea Clinton is 44; singer Josh Groban is 43; actress Kate Mara (“American Horror Story”) is 41; reality show star Jenni “JWoww” Farley (“Jersey Shore”) is 38.

Did You Know?
The two other rotating segments of NBC’s short-lived “Cliffhangers” was “Stop Susan Williams,” with Susan Anton as a beautiful journalist investigating the murder of her brother, and stumbling on a vast international conspiracy; and “The Secret Empire, with Geoffrey Scott as a U.S. Marshal in the Old West who stumbles upon a futuristic underground city run by aliens.