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Today in History – Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Television and Radio
The first “People’s Choice Awards” was telecast in 1975. The winner’s included John Wayne and Barbra Streisand for motion pictures, and Alan Alda, Mary Tyler Moore and Telly Savalas for television…“Moonlighting” with Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis debuted on ABC in 1985. A combination of comedy, drama, mystery and romance, it is the R word in this descriptor that actually helped put ABC’s “Moonlighting” out of commission. We all remember what happened after Cybill Shepherd as Madeline (“Maddie”) Hayes and Bruce Willis as David Addison, who worked together at Maddie’s Blue Moon Detective Agency, took their relationship one step further. And, yes, we all know those two did not exactly like each other in real lifeABC’s reality showcase “That’s Incredible!, hosted by John Davidson, Fran Tarkenton and Cathy Lee Crosby, debuted in 1980. The series, no doubt, was a result of NBC’s “Real People”…”Matlock“, starring Andy Griffith, premiered as a TV movie on NBC in 1986…Short-lived CBS adventure series “Spies,” starring George Hamilton, premiered in 1987… MTV’s animated “Daria” and Fox’s short-lived sitcom “Pauly,” starring Pauly Shore, both debuted in 1997… Ryan Murphy‘s plastic surgery drama “Nip/Tuck” concluded its run on FX in 2010. The series that starred Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh ran for 100 episodes across seven seasons…Latin talent competition “Q’Viva! The Chosen” debuted on Fox in 2012. The show, produced by Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, only lasted six episodes; its final two episodes relegated to Fox Saturday late nights…The first two episodes of miniseries “The Bible” premiered on History in 2013. It was produced by Roma Downey (“Touched By An Angel”) and Mark Burnett. It was the first scripted project for Burnett, most famously known for helming reality franchises “Survivor” and “The Voice”. The entire 5-night, 10-episode run of “The Bible” was a cable ratings blockbuster, averaging 11.4 million viewers. Its follow-up feature film “Son of God” was released in theaters in the spring of 2014, and a limited series sequel “A.D.: The Bible Continues” aired on NBC in the spring of 2015…Drama “Red Widow” starring Radha Mitchell and Goran Visnjic debuted on ABC in 2013. It only aired for eight episodes…Also in 2013, the critically-acclaimed dramedy “Enlightened” starring Laura Dern (in her Golden Globe-winning lead role) concluded its two-season series run on HBO. The show was created by “School of Rock” screenwriter Mike White who gained fame for himself on reality TV from competing on two seasons of “The Amazing Race” and placing runner-up on “Survivor: David vs. Goliath”…Two long-running reality cable series launched in 2014: competition “Beat Bobby Flay” on Food Network and docuseries “Southern Charm” on Bravo…Also in 2014, detective drama “Those Who Kill” starring Chloe Sevigny began on A&E. The series ran for just ten episodes; its latter eight relegated to the lesser-distributed Lifetime Movie Network…Thriller “The Family” starring Joan Allen, Alison Pill, Zach Gifford and Andrew McCarthy debuted on ABC in 2016. Twelve episodes were produced…Part one of the two-part “Leaving Neverland” premiered on HBO in 2019. The documentary centered on two men who alleged they were sexually abused by Michael Jackson when they were children. Following the program’s conclusion the next evening, Oprah Winfrey hosted an interview special with the documentary’s subjects. Months later, “Leaving Neverland” won the Primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special.

“Alice in Wonderland”, inspired by Lewis Carroll, directed by Tim Burton and starring Jonny Depp and Mia Wasikowska was released in 2010.

“Master of Puppets”, the third studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, was released in 1986…Duffy released her debut album “Rockferry” in 2008. It won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album…

In 1991: Rodney King was pulled over by California Highway Patrol officers for speeding on a Los Angeles freeway. King, who later admitted he tried to elude authorities because he had been drinking and was on probation for a robbery conviction, pulled off the freeway and eventually stopped his car in front of a San Fernando Valley apartment building. At that point, Los Angeles police officers took charge of the traffic stop. George Holliday, who lived in the apartment building and was awakened by the noise, came out to videotape the scene, filming four white officers beating and kicking the black motorist dozens of times, including after he was on the ground. After Holliday turned over the video to a local TV station, it quickly spread and created an international outrage…On Super Tuesday in 2020, Joe Biden produced primary election wins in several states including Texas, North Carolina and Virginia, as they served as key turning points to what would become his successful campaign for the presidency.

Celebrity Birthdays:
“Modern Family” star Julie Bowen is 51; actress Jessica Biel is 39.

Did You Know?
At the time, “Moonlighting” was the most expensive TV series on the air, at an average cost of $1.6 million per episode. Part of that high cost was the 12 to 14 days it took to shoot each episode (as opposed to the usual one week) due to the extensive dialogue (two or more characters often talked at length simultaneously) and constant shooting delays. But ABC owned the series, which meant it could recoup some of the high cost.