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Today in History: Wednesday, January 10, 2023

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Former First Lady Betty Ford appeared as herself on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in 1976…Mob drama “The Sopranos”, which was the first regularly scheduled series on cable to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, debuted in 1999. It ran for six seasons (in an eight year span), producing 86 episodes in total…Also premiering was “Masterpiece Theatre” on PBS in 1971…Detective drama “The Rockford Files,” starring James Garner, ended its six-season run on NBC in 1980… Jim Henson‘s “Fraggle Rock” debuted in the U.S. on HBO in 1983. The children’s musical fantasy comedy series was a joint international production, involving companies from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. It ran for five seasons…Clara Peller was first seen by TV viewers in the “Where’s the Beef?” commercial campaign for Wendy’s in 1984. For more, click here…Animated “Batman Beyond” launched on Kids’ WB in 1999. It ran for three seasons. Will Friedle (“Boy Meets World”) was the voice of Terry McGinnis/Batman…Two series debuted on Fox in 2001: family sitcom “Grounded for Life” and relationship reality series “Temptation Island“. “Grounded for Life”, which starred Megyn Price and Donal Logue, ran for five seasons; its latter three on The WB. The inaugural cycle of “Temptation Island” delivered solid ratings but its subsequent two cycles did not. In 2019, USA Network revived it and brought back its original host Mark. L. Walberg. Its most recent season — its sixth — aired in the spring of 2021…On NBC’s “Friends” in 2002, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) gave a “Ms. Pac-Man” arcade machine as a wedding gift to Monica and Chandler (Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry) — a video game all three of them were obsessed in playing…Five short-lived series launched: 1) ABC’s “He’s the Mayor” in 1986; 2) NBC’s “Mister Sterling” in 2003; 3) NBC’s “1600 Penn” in 2013; 4) Fox’s “Enlisted” in 2014; and 5) CBS’s “Fam” in 2019.

In 1935, Amelia Earhart, one of the world’s most celebrated aviators, made the first successful solo flight from Hawaii to California, a distance longer than that from the United States to Europe.

The “Mickey Mouse” & “Silly Symphony” comics syndicated strip debuted in 1932. The strip featured adaptations of Walt Disney’s popular short film series, “Silly Symphony”, which released 75 cartoons from 1929 to 1939, as well as other cartoons and animated films. The comic strip outlived its parent series by six years, ending on October 7, 1945.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Singer Ronnie Hawkins is 89; actor William Sanderson (“Deadwood”, “Newhart”) is 80; rock singer Rod Stewart is 79; Steely Dan singer-keyboardist Donald Fagen is 76; boxer George Foreman is 75; rock singer Pat Benatar is 71; singer Shawn Colvin is 68; actor Evan Handler (“And Just Like That”) is 63; Crash Test Dummies singer Brad Roberts is 60; Shinedown singer Brent Smith is 46; Kris Kross rapper Chris Smith is 45.

Did You Know?
Lorraine Bracco was originally asked to play the role of Carmela on “The Sopranos,” but she felt that the part was too similar to her character in 1990 theatrical “Goodfellas. As a result, she decided the role of Dr. Melfi would be more challenging.