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Today in History: Wednesday, March 13, 2024

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Stanley and Helen Roper (Norman Fell and Audra Lindley) moved from an apartment building to a townhouse in the premiere of the “Three’s Company” spin-off “The Ropers” on ABC in 1979. It delivered the second-highest rated series debut (in households) in TV history, with a 36.0 U.S. household rating and 55 share (behind the 36.3/52 for “Mayberry R.F.D.” on CBS from Sep. 23, 1968). “Three’s Company,” which provided a lead-in to “The Ropers” debut, posted the hit sitcom’s highest-rated episode of its entire run with a 38.5/58. “The Ropers” became a Top-10 hit for the 1978-79 season, but its move to Saturday nights for 1979-80 dropped the show to near the bottom of the rankings, leading to its cancellation in 1980.

ABC crime drama “T.J. Hooker”, starring William Shatner, debuted in 1982. It aired for four seasons on ABC and moved to CBS for one final season in late night in 1984-85. Adrian Zmed, James Darren and Heather Locklear co-starred.

MTV premiered “Top 20 Video Countdown” in 1984…Also in 1984, CBS premiered the highly-rated TV movie “Second Sight: A Love Story” starring “Bewitched” star Elizabeth Montgomery as a blind woman who regains her sight and falls in love. It delivered a 20.5 household rating that evening…Legendary film stars Katharine Hepburn and Anthony Quinn headlined the romantic TV movie “This Can’t Be Love,” which premiered on CBS in 1994. It also starred Jason Bateman and Jami Gertz…“Beverly Hills, 90210” star Tori Spelling scored another hit 90’s TV movie starring in the thriller “Awake to Danger” which premiered on NBC in 1995. It also featured “Family Ties” star Michael Gross…Fox launched “Kelsey Grammer Presents The Sketch Show” in 2005. It ran for just seven episodes…Reality/competition “Fashion Star, hosted by Elle Macpherson, debuted on NBC in 2012. Jessica SimpsonNicole Richie and John Varvatos participated as mentors and judges for the contestants…CBS sitcom “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, began its five season run on CBS in 2006.

Movies and Theater
“The Searchers,”  directed by John Ford, and starring John Wayne and Natalie Wood, opened in theaters in 1956.  It was named the greatest American western by the American Film Institute in 2008, and it placed 12th on the same organization’s 2007 list of the 100 greatest American movies of all time.

Bernard Slade’s stage comedy “Same Time, Next Year”, starring Ellen Burstyn and Charles Grodin, opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City. It later moved to the Ambassador Theatre, and ran for a total of 1,453 performances

Celebrity Birthdays:
Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is 85; singer Candi Staton is 84; actor William H Macy (“Fargo” film, “Shameless”) is 74; comedian Robin Duke is 70; actress Dana Delaney (“China Beach”) is 68; bassist Adam Clayton of U2 is 64; actress Annabeth Gish (“Mystic Pizza”, “The X-Files”) is 53; actress Tracy Wells (“Mr. Belvedere”) is 53; rapper Lonnie Lynn aka Common is 52; singer Glenn Lewis is 49; musicians Natalie and Nicole Albino of Nina Sky are 40; actor Noel Fisher (“Shameless”) 40; actor Emile Hirsch (“Into the Wild”) is 39.

Did You Know?
After Julia Louis-Dreyfus won the Emmy in 2006 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for CBS’ “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” the so-called “Seinfeld” curse no longer existed. Louis-Dreyfus has since won six additional Emmys in the category for HBO’s “Veep.