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Today in History: Tuesday, May 25, 2021

© by Photo courtesy of MeTv

Classic fiasco “The Brady Bunch Hour”, featuring Geri Reischl as the infamous “Fake Jan”, aired its final episode on ABC in 1977. Nine episodes aired…Jay Leno officially became the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in 1992. He remained in the hosting chair for 21 years until Jimmy Fallon took over…Shannen Doherty made her final appearance as Brenda Walsh on Fox teen drama “Beverly Hills, 90210” in 1994 in the fourth season finale. Her character was offered the opportunity to study theater at the Royal Academy in London (and was not seen again until the reboot on The CW in 2008)…“Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction”, hosted by James Brolin, debuted on Fox in 1997. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” star Jonathan Frakes took over as host in season two. The series, which ran for four condensed seasons through 2002, was co-executive produced by Dick ClarkCarrie Underwood was crowned winner of the fourth season of Fox’s “American Idol” in 2005. Classic rock singer Bo Bice was runner-up. An average of 30 million viewers tuned in for the season finale. Underwood’s first single, “Inside Your Heaven”, debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart three weeks later…Former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger and professional dancer Derek Hough won the 10th edition of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” in 2010. American figure skater Evan Lysacek was runner-up. This was the first season that season-7 champion Brooke Burke was DWTS co-host with Tom Bergeron…At age 17, Scotty McCreery became the youngest male winner of “American Idol” in the competition’s 10th season in 2011. This was the first season that featured Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler on the judging panel, joining the lone remaining original judge Randy Jackson…Eleven series of note concluded: 1) NBC medical comedy-drama “St. Elsewhere” in 1988; 2) Nickelodeon/CTV kids sketch comedy “You Can’t Do That on Television” in 1990; 3 and 4) syndicated sitcoms “The Munsters Today” and “Out Of This World” — both in 1991; 5) Comedy “The Naked Truth” starring Téa Leoni and Holland Taylor in 1998 on NBC; 6) ABC sitcom “Home Improvement” in 1999 and 7) “Clueless” based on the movie of the same name on UPN in 1999; 8) syndicated game show “Street Smarts” in 2005; 9) syndicated talker “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2011; 10) Nickelodeon comedy “The Thundermans” in 2018; and 11) NBC late night show “Last Call with Carson Daly” in 2019. Oprah’s talk show ran for 25 years…Seven short-lived series concluded: 1) NBC family drama “Aaron’s Way” in 1988; 2) Fox college drama “Class of ’96” in 1993; 3) NBC sitcom “Jesse” in 2000; 4) UPN sitcom “Rock Me Baby” in 2004; 5) NBC medical drama “Heartbeat” in 2016; and 7) NBC comedy “Champions” in 2018….On syndicated game show “Jeopardy!” in 2005, the 15-week Ultimate Tournament of Champions concluded with Brad Rutter victorious, earning him the $2 million grand prize. Ken Jennings placed runner-up with $500,000, while Jerome Vered finished third and won $250,000…“The Normal Heart”, the telefilm about the early years of the HIV/AIDS crisis, premiered on HBO in 2014. It was directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Larry Kramer, based on his 1985 play of the same name. Among the stars in the cast were Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, and Julia Roberts…Music quiz show “Beat Shazam”, based on the Shazam music app, premiered on Fox in 2017. Jamie Foxx hosts; his daughter Corinne Foxx joined the show as his co-host beginning with season two. It opens season four on June 3, 2021…Two series on CBS concluded in 2019: Saturday morning educational series “The Inspectors” (after four seasons) and Canadian drama “Ransom” after three condensed seasons on CBS…Two historical limited series premiered in 2020: “Grant” on History and “Barkskins” on National Geographic Channel.

“Midnight Cowboy” starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight was released in 1969. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and remains the only X-rated film to be honored with a Best Picture Oscar…“Alien”, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto opened in 1979. The success of “Alien” spawned a media franchise of films, novels, comic books, video games and toys, among other items… “Return of the Jedi” (“Star Wars Part VI”), produced by George Lucas, was released in 1983. It was the third installment in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, the third film to be produced, and the sixth film in the “Skywalker” saga…“Wonder Woman”, directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine premiered in Los Angeles in 2017. It was the first superhero film directed by a woman.

The Isley Brothers released single “Twist & Shout” in 1962…Weird Al Yankovic recorded single “She Drives Like Crazy” in 1989.

Henry Ford announced he was ending production of the Model T Ford in 1927…In 2018, Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to New York police to face charges of rape, a criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct…The video of George Floyd’s arrest and murder while restrained in Minneapolis police custody shows he was pinned to the ground by police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, ignited widespread condemnation and nationwide protests in 2020. On April 21, Chauvin was found guilty on three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. His bail was immediately revoked and he was placed in custody.

Muhammad Ali KO’d Sonny Liston in 1965 at the Central Maine Civic Center to retain his WBC/WBA heavyweight boxing title….In 1994, Mark Messier delivered on his guarantee that the New York Rangers will defeat the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, scoring three goals in a 4-2 victory at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It forced a winner-take-all Game 7 of that classic series.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actress Ann Robinson (“War of the Worlds”) is 92; Sir Ian McKellen (“The Lord of the Rings”) is 82; country singer Jessi Colter is 78; actress-singer Leslie Uggams (“Roots”) is 78; director-Muppetter Frank Oz is 77; actress Karen Valentine (“Room 222”) is 74; actress Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and singer Klaus Meine of Scorpions are also 74; actress Patti D’Arbanville (“New York Undercover”) is 70; actress Connie Sellecca (“Hotel”) is 66; comedian and actor Mike Myers is 58; actor Joseph Reitman (“The Perfect Storm”) is 53; actress Anne Heche is 52; former child stars Sidney and Lindsay Greenbush (“Little House on the Prairie”) are 51; actor Jamie Kennedy (“Scream”) and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) are 51; former child star Justin Henry (“Kramer Vs. Kramer”) is 50; actress Erinn Hayes (“Kevin Can Wait”) is 45.

-Did You Know?:
Guest appearances by Florence Henderson, Maureen McCormick, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen on ABC variety hour “Donny and Marie” on Oct. 8, 1976 inspired the creation of “The Brady Bunch Hour.And it gave Geri Reischl as “Fake Jan” a career.