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Today in History: Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Television and Radio:
The first official demonstration of television was presented at the AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories auditorium in New York City in 1927. The live picture and voice of then secretary of commerce Herbert Hoover were transmitted over telephone lines from Washington, D.C…In 1984, the Ted Knight sitcom “Too Close for Comfort” was revived in first-run syndication after a three-season on ABC. One year later, the series was renamed “The Ted Knight Show” for its final season in 1985-86…Seven short-lived series launched: 1) comedy “Strangers with Candy” on Comedy Central in 1999 starring Amy Sedaris and Stephen Colbert; 2) sketch comedy “Human Giant” on MTV in 2007 starring Aziz Ansari and Paul Scheer; 3) sitcom “Your Family or Mine” on TBS in 2015 starring Richard Dreyfuss and Ed Begley Jr.; 4) family comedy-drama “Andi Mack” on Disney Channel; and 5-7) three unscripted programs in 2017 — Drew Barrymore-narrated “First Dates” on NBC, Eric Stonestreet-hosted“The Toy Box” on ABC and court show “You the Jury” on Fox… Six short-lived series concluded: 1) sitcom “Pauly” (aka “The Pauly Shore Show”) on Fox in 1997; 2) Mark Burnett-produced competition “My Dad Is Better than Your Dad” on NBC in 2008; 3) advertising firm comedy-drama “Trust Me” on TNT in 2009 starring Tom Cavanagh and Eric McCormack; 4) sitcom “Perfect Couples” on NBC in 2011 starring Olivia Munn; 5) the American version of supernatural comedy-drama “Being Human” on Syfy in 2014; 6) 70’s-set musical drama “The Get Down” on Netflix in 2017…The 1966 “Peanuts” special “Charlie Brown’s All Stars!” aired on ABC in 2009, marking its return to network Television after 17 years. It had previously aired on CBS. ABC televised the sports-themed animation special in conjunction with “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown”… Male escort docuseries “Gigolos” debuted on Showtime in 2011. The series was created by “21 Jump Street” and “Booker” actor Richard Grieco and ran for 54 episodes across six condensed seasons…CBS daytime game show “The Price Is Right” celebrated its 8,000th episode in 2014…HBO Now, the over-the-top stand-alone service for HBO programming, launched in 2015 to coincide with the fifth season premiere of “Game of Thrones. It transitioned in to WarnerMedia’s HBO Max service in December 2020…“American Idol” aired its final episode on the Fox network in 2016 after 15 seasons. Trent Harmon was announced as the 15th season’s winner. The judges for its final Fox season were Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. The singing competition would re-emerge on ABC two years later…The revival of “Trading Spaces”, the once-successful home makeover reality series of the 2000’s, premiered on TLC in 2018. Paige Davis returned as host alongside most of the original’s designers and carpenters including Ty Pennington and Frank Bielec…Animated satire “Tooning Out The News” created by Stephen Colbert debuted on CBS All Access (now known as Paramount+) in 2020.

“Midnight Cowboy” was named Best Picture at the 42nd Academy Awards in 1970. John Wayne (“True Grit”) and Maggie Smith (“The Prime of Miss Jane Brody”) were named Best Actor and Actress, respectively…Theatrical “The Bad News Bears,” which was spun-off into a short-lived TV series of the same name in 1979-80, opened in theaters in 1976. It starred Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal

In 1973, single “The Night the Lights When Out in Georgia,” sung by “The Carol Burnett Show’s” Vicki Lawrence, hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100… “Street Songs”, the fifth studio album by Rick James was released in 1981. It was named Billboard Album of the Year…The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez, Yes, Tupac Shakur, Journey, and Pearl Jam in 2017.

In 1969, UCLA center Lew Alcindor — later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — was the No. 1 overall selection by the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Draft. He spent six seasons in Milwaukee before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers where he played the next 14 seasons. Abdul Jabbar was a key member to six NBA championship teams throughout his Hall of Fame career…Also in 1969, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Bill Singer recorded Major League Baseball’s first-ever save, the metric to indicate the last pitcher of a game who officially concludes a close contest and provides the victory for his team; it gave birth to the term of “closer” for that relief pitcher role…College basketball analyst Billy Packer worked his final NCAA men’s basketball national championship game on television in 2008, as Kansas defeated Memphis 75-68 in overtime. The game was televised on CBS. Packer had announced at the event for 35 consecutive years. Clark Kellogg replaced Packer the following year… In 2012, the Univision Deportes Network commenced programming. The Spanish language sports network primarily features soccer from the Mexican Primera Division…James Brian Hellwig, more famously known as The Ultimate Warrior, appeared on USA Network’s “WWE Raw” in 2014. It was the first time he appeared on the Monday night wrestling series in 18 years. Hellwig had been inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame during the prior weekend. The Raw guest spot turned out to be his final public appearance as Hellwig died of a heart attack one day later. He was 54 years old…”Paterno“, the Barry Levinson-directed telefilm premiered on HBO in 2018. It starred Al Pacino as Joe Paterno, the once-legendary head coach of the Penn State football team who was forced out due to inaction with the handling of his assistant head coach, convicted child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Country singer Bobby Bare is 86; Singer Charlie Thomas of The Drifters is 84; Movie director Francis Ford Coppola (“The Godfather”) is 82; Actor Roberta Shore (“The Virginian”) is 78; Singer Patricia Bennett of The Chiffons is 74; Singer-guitarist John Oates of Hall and Oates is 73; Singer Janis Ian is 70; Actor Jackie Chan (“Rush Hour”) is 67; Actor Russell Crowe (“A Beautiful Mind”) is 57; Actor Bill Bellamy (“Last Comic Standing,” ″Fastlane”) is 56; Twin brothers and former NFL athletes/current sports analysts Ronde Barber and Tiki Barber are both 46; Actor Kevin Alejandro (“Lucifer,” ″Southland”) is 45; Actress Sian Clifford (“Fleabag”) is 39; Singer Tauren Wells is 35; Actor Ed Speleers (“Downton Abbey”) is 33.

Did You Know?
In between “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Too Close For Comfort,” Ted Knight headlined a self-titled sitcom in the spring of 1978. “The Ted Knight Show,” which was spun-off from “Busting Loose”, centered on an escort service in New York City. It aired for six episodes.