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Today in History: Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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Classic miniseries “Roots” launched on ABC in 1977 and aired for eight consecutive evenings. It won nine Emmy Awards (with 36 nominations), with an estimated reach of between 130 and 140 million viewers…There were also seven notable series premieres on this day: ABC variety-driven “The King Family Show” in 1965 and “Donny & Marie” in 1976, ABC sitcom “Barney Miller” in 1975, NBC action drama “The A-Team” in 1983, syndicated animated series “ThunderCats” in 1985, UPN sitcom “Moesha” in 1996 and CBS procedural “Numb3rs” in 2005…Several short-lived series launched on this date as well: ABC variety shows “The Pearl Bailey Show” in 1971 and “The Brady Bunch Hour” in 1977, NBC sitcom “One of the Boys” (which starred Mickey Rooney, Dana Carvey and Nathan Lane) in 1982, NBC daytime game show “Hot Potato” hosted by Bill Cullen in 1984, and NBC sitcom “Sara” (which starred Geena Davis, Alfre Woodard, Bronson Pinchot and Bill Maher) in 1985.

“Black Cadillac”, the eleventh studio album by singer-songwriter Roseanne Cash, was released in 2006. The album was dedicated to the memory of her recently deceased parents and step-mother, and co-produced by her husband John Leventhal and Bill Bottrell…Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond retired from touring in 2018 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actress Chita Rivera is 91; actor-director Lou Antonio (“Cool Hand Luke”) is 90; MacGyver” star Richard Dean Anderson is 74; singer Anita Baker is 66; bassist Earl Falconer of UB40 is also 66; actress Gail O’Grady (“American Dreams,” ″NYPD Blue”) is 61; “Law & Order” star Mariska Hargitay is 60; “Saved by the Bell” and “Beverly Hills, 90210” actress Tiffani Thiessen is 50; CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell is also 50.

Did You Know?
Five other series debuted on ABC in midseason at the time of “Barney Miller” in 1975. They were short-lived sitcoms “Karen,” starring Karen Valentine, and “The Hot L Baltimore” from Norman Lear; and dramas “Baretta” with Robert Blake, failed “Caribe, and the original “S.W.A.T.” from Aaron Spelling…Shortly after “Barney Miller” concluded, Hal Linden was offered the role of Dr. Donald Westphal on NBC’s upcoming “St. Elsewhere, but he did not want to commit to another series that soon.