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Today in History: Tuesday, May 21, 2024

© by Photo courtesy of Alexander Shatov,

Animated special “Carlton Your Doorman, featuring the never before seen doorman on sitcom “Rhoda,” aired on CBS in 1980. It was also a pilot for a potential new series, but never moved forward…Dramedy “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, starring Blair Brown, opened in 1987. After two seasons on NBC, it moved to Lifetime for 13 additional 13-episode seasons…It was all a dream when Bob Newhart woke up next to his first TV wife, Suzanne Pleshette, in the 1990 series finale of CBS sitcom “Newhart, the comedian’s second long-running sitcom…Also concluding was NBC’s “Miami Vice” in 1989, the original” MacGyver” on ABC in 1992, and NBC sitcom “Wings” in 1997…Bette Midler was the final guest on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1992. One night later was Carson’s final appearance as host…Also in 1992 was the launch of MTV’s “The Real World”…In 1999, All My Children” star Susan Lucci finally won a Daytime Emmy after being nominated 19 times, the longest period of unsuccessful nominations in television history…Ruben Studdard was named the winner of season two of Fox’s “American Idol” over Clay Aiken in 2003. A total of 38 million viewers tuned in…Also on “American Idol, and in 2008, was David Cook winning the season (with 31.7 million viewers watching)…Syndicated daytime talker “The Jenny Jones Show” ended after 12 seasons in 2003…“Survivor: Cagayan — Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty”, the 28th edition of CBS reality competition “Survivor” and the first season we were introduced to New Jersey police officer Tony Vlachos, came to a conclusion in 2014. Vlachos, who’s best known for creating a makeshift “spy shack” areas to eavesdrop on other castaways, defeated Yung “Woo” Hwang by an 8-1 jury vote. Six years later, Vlachos would also win the 40th “Winners At War” season that earned him an additional $2 million, making him the largest non-“Jeopardy!” career winnings winner in U.S. TV game show history. Other notable “Cagayan” castaways included former Miami Marlins President David Samson, retired pro basketball player Cliff Robinson, Latasha “Tasha” Fox, Kassandra “Chaos Kass” McQuillen, Spencer Bledsoe, and “Game Changers” season 34 winner/”Winners At War” 4th place finisher Sarah Lacina. “Cagayan” was the fourth and final season “Survivor” had filmed in the Philippines…The all-time most-watched “American Idol” season finale occurred in 2003, when Ruben Studdard narrowly defeated Clay Aiken to be crowned season two champion. An average of 38.1 million had tuned in to Fox that evening. Other “Idol” winners announced included: David Cook in 2008, Caleb Johnson in 2013, and Maddie Poppe in 2018…Country singer and “American Idol” season five sixth-place finisher Kellie Pickler (with Derek Hough) and Olympic bronze medalist figure skater Adam Rippon (with Jenna Johnson) were crowned season 16 and 26 champions of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” in 2013 and 2018, respectively. Rippon became the first openly gay winner in the series’ history…Eight series of note concluded: 1) NBC police drama “Miami Vice” in 1989; 2) CBS sitcom “Newhart” in 1990; 3) the original “MacGyver” on ABC in 1992; 4) NBC sitcom “Wings” in 1997; 5) NBC police drama “Homicide: Life on the Street” and 6) Fox sci-fi “Millennium” — both in 1999; 7) the original run of The WB’s “Charmed” in 2006; and 8) CBS supernatural drama “Ghost Whisperer” in 2010…Several syndicated programs’ run came to an end: four in 2003: talk shows 1) “The Jenny Jones Show”, 2) “The Other Half” and 3) “The Caroline Rhea Show” as well as dating game show 4) “Change of Heart”; three in 2004: talk shows 4) “Ricki Lake” and 5) “The Wayne Brady Show” as well as dating competition 6) “The 5th Wheel”; three talk shows in 2014: 7) “The Trisha Goddard Show”, 8) rebooted “The Arsenio Hall Show”, and 9) “The Test”...Eight short-lived series concluded: 1) ABC police procedural “Strike Force” in 1982; 2) UPN reboots “Love Boat: The Next Wave” in 1999 and 3) “The Twilight Zone” in 2003; 4) NBC drama “Chase” and 5) Fox comedy “Running Wilde” — both in 2011; 6) NBC apocalyptic drama “Revolution” and 7) ABC comedy “Mixology” — both in 2014; and 8) Fox comedy “Making History” in 2017…Police drama “Sirens” concluded its two-season run in 1995. After one season on ABC, it moved into first-run syndication…Dramedy “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd”, starring Blair Brown, opened on this day in 1987. After two seasons on NBC, it moved to Lifetime for 3 additional seasons…“The Real World”, the groundbreaking docuseries about seven strangers picked to live together and have their lives taped, debuted on MTV in 1992. It was noted for putting important discussions in to the forefront, concerning topics of sex, prejudice, religion, abortion, illness, sexuality, AIDS, death, politics, and substance abuse. The inaugural season took place in New York City and its cast included Norman Korpi, Julie Gentry, Becky Blasband, Kevin Powell, Andre Comeau, Heather Gardner and Eric Nies — all of whom would reunite for the Paramount+ “Homecoming” season in March 2021. “The Real World” has produced 33 seasons, and spawned two successful reality competition spin-offs, both for MTV: “Road Rules” and “The Challenge”, the latter of which is entering its 37th season…TV movie “Above Suspicion” starring Christopher Reeve, Joe Mantegna and Kim Cattrall premiered on HBO in 1995. The crime thriller was co-written by “Shameless” star William H. Macy, and had featured Reeve as a paralyzed police officer who plots to murder his wife. Six days following the first airing of the movie, Reeve himself became a quadriplegic from a horse accident…Susan Lucci finally won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama from her iconic role of Erica Kane from “All My Children” in 1999. Lucci had not won previously in the 18 other prior years she had been nominated…Legendary news reporter Mike Wallace made his last appearance as a regular contributor on CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” in 2006, having spent 38 years on the program. He conducted two additional interviews for the show in the two years afterward before he fully retired…NBC debuted the charity event Red Nose Day in 2015, to help raise funds for children in poverty…The telefilm adaptation of the Broadway play “All The Way” starring Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon B. Johnson premiered on HBO in 2016…The third season of David Lynch’s offbeat “Twin Peaks” premiered on Showtime in 2017, 26 years following the conclusion of its two-season run on ABC. Kyle MacLachlan returned in his role as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Eighteen episodes were produced…CBS adventure comedy-drama “Blood & Treasure” starring Matt Barr and Sofia Pernas debuted in 2019. Although it had been renewed that summer, no word yet on when its second season will be produced…Fox dating competition “Labor of Love”, hosted by former “Sex and the City” star Kristin Davis, premiered its one and only season in 2020.

The first horror movie (“Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde”) premiered in Chicago in 1908…Movie openings: “Escape From the Planet of the Apes” in 1971; “The French Connection 2” in 1975; “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980; musical “Annie” in 1982;

“Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder and “Let’s Dance” from David Bowie led the Billboard Top 100 list in 1977 and 1983, respectively. 

Celebrity Birthdays
Singer Ron Isley of the Isley Brothers is 83; actress Carol Potter (“Beverly Hills, 90210”) is 76; singer Leo Sayer is also 76; former U.S. Senator Al Franken is 73; Mr. T is 72; actor Judge Reinhold is 65; actor-director Nick Cassavetes (“The Notebook”) is also 65; actress Lisa Edelstein (“House”) is 58; football player and “Celebrity Big Brother” houseguest Ricky Williams is 47; British Olympic diver Tom Daley is 30

-Did You Know?:
To protect the secret of the ending of “Newhart, a fake script was leaked where Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart) gets hit by a golf ball, he dies, goes to Heaven and meets God played by George Burns. The final scene was kept a secret from most of the cast and crew until moments before filming it. Only Newhart, director Dick Martin, the writers and producers knew.