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Today in History: Wednesday, March 20, 2024

CBS daytime soap opera “Capitol,” which debuted on March 29, 1982, concluded in 1987…Seven sitcoms premiered: “13 Queens Blvd, starring Eileen Brennan and Jerry Van Dyke, on ABC in 1979; “All is Forgiven” on NBC in 1982 (from James Burrows, Glen Charles and Les Charles — the creators of “Cheers”), “Shaping Up,” starring Leslie Nielsen and Jennifer Tilly, on ABC in 1984 (from “Taxi” writers Sam Simon and Ken Estin) and “The Charmings” on ABC in 1987.

Also premiering: “Titus” on Fox in 2000; “Party Down” on Starz in 2009 starring Adam Scott, Ken Marino, and Jane Lynch; and “Crowded” on NBC in 2016 starring Patrick Warburton and Carrie Preston…Game show “Split Second” debuted on ABC in daytime in 1972. Its initial three-year run was hosted by Tom Kennedy. It returned for a brief five-month revival in syndication within the 1986-87 season with host Monty Hall (one of the show’s original co-creators). The current version, hosted by John Michael Higgins, has been on Game Show Network since April 2023.

ABC aired sketch comedy special “Bizarre!” In 1979, hosted by “Family Feud’s” Richard Dawson. The network passed on “Bizarre!” as a series, but the production moved up north to Canada, found a new host (John Byner) and had a six-season run on Canada’s CTV. Showtime aired it in the United States…In part one of the two-part season one finale of CBS’ “Knots Landing” in 1980, Gary (Ted Shackelford) went on an alcoholic rampage to the dismay of his wife Val (Joan Van Ark)…Two made-for television movies competed against each other in 1988: comedy “Hot Paint” with Gregory Harrison and John Larroquette on CBS; and a revival of “Inherit the Wind” on NBC with Jason Robards and Kirk DouglasJanice Pennington was awarded $1.3 million in 1992 for injuries she sustained after an accident on game show “The Price is Right” on June 8, 1988…The award-winning TV movie “Barbarians at the Gate” premiered on HBO in 1993. Based on the bestselling book by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar about the bidding war for the RJR Nabisco company, it starred James Garner (in his Golden Globe-winning role as then-Nabisco CEO F. Ross Johnson) and Jonathan Pryce.

Barbarians at the Gate | Ben Oliver

Easter musical “The Passion” aired live on Fox in 2016. Hosted and narrated by Tyler Perry, it starred Trisha Yearwood, Seal, Chris Daughtry, and Yolanda Adams…Two notable streaming dramas launched: “Bloodline” starring Kyle Chandler on Netflix in 2015, and “The Act” starring Patricia Arquette and Joey King on Hulu in 2019…Right at the start of the pandemic came the bizarre “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” on Netflix in 2020. As one of the most popular streaming titles of all-time, the seven-episode documentary chronicled eccentric roadside zoo proprietor Joe Exotic and his bitter feud with big cat sanctuary owner Carole Baskin.

”My Breakfast with Blassie, a film featuring “Taxi” star Andy Kaufman and professional wrestler and manager Fred Blassie, opened in 1983…Two modern film classics opened in theaters: “Basic Instinct,” starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone in 1992, and “Wild Things,” starring Neve Campbell (“Party of Five”), Denise RichardsMatt DillonKevin Bacon and Bill Murray in 1998.


Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1982…Madonna’s “Vogue” was released as a single in 1990. “Vogue” would later reach No. 1 in over 30 countries including the U.S.

News coverage flooded the airwaves in 1976 when Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed robbery…Erik and Lyle Menendez were found guilty of killing their parents in 1996.

Celebrity Birthdays
Hal Linden (“Barney Miller”) is 93; hockey legend Bobby Orr is 78; director Spike Lee is 67; Oscar winner Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) is 66; model Kathy Ireland is 61; Liza Snyder (“Yes, Dear”) is 56; Michael Rapaport (“Boston Public”) is 54; Cedric Yarborough (“Speechless”, “Carol’s Second Act”) is 51; Mikey Day (“Saturday Night Live”) is 44; Ruby Rose (“Batwoman”) is 48.

Did You Know?:
An accomplished pianist, Holly Hunter performed all the music for her Oscar-winning role in “The Piano” in 1993.