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Today in TV History: Monday, January 18, 2021

Television and Radio
Notable series premieres: “The Six Million Dollar Man” on ABC in 1974; “The Jeffersons” on CBS in 1975; both “Roots: The Next Generation” and “Delta House” on ABC in 1979; “The Redd Foxx Show” on ABC in 1986; the Dick Clark-hosted game show “Scattegories” on NBC daytime in 1993…John Cleese’s final episode on “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” aired on BBC TV in 1973…On an episode of ABC sitcom “Happy Days” in 1977, Fonzie (Henry Winkler) enters his shy visiting cousin Angie (Charles Galioto) into the “Magilla’s Book of Records” publicity event at Al’s Drive-In for the purposes of uncovering Angie’s self-confidence. The stunt Angie performed was balancing a record amount of quarters on the back of his arm and then catching them all in his hand upon dropping his arm. About a decade later, Galioto was a mathematics teacher at Bronx’s Lehman High School — one of his students from 1992-94 was our very own contributor, Douglas Pucci…CBS sitcom “Good “Times” hit the 100 episode mark in 1978. It concluded on Jan. 30, 1980 after 133 episodes…On an episode of NBC sitcom “Cheers” in 1990, Cliff (John Ratzenberger) is a contestant on the game show “Jeopardy!” as it visited the city of Boston; Cliff does exceptionally well until the “Final Jeopardy” round. Host Alex Trebek guest starred…Also in 1990, the sitcom “Grand” premiered on NBC. The series about three socially different families residing within the same household starred Pamela Reed, Bonnie Hunt and Sara Rue. It ran for two condensed seasons within one calendar year…Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson replaced Lisa McRee and Kevin Newman as lead anchors of ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 1999. The move established the morning news show as a solid runner-up to NBC’s “Today”. Gibson remained with “GMA” thru 2006; Sawyer thru 2009

The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City hosts a jazz concert for the first time in 1944. The performers were Louis Armstrong, Benny GoodwinLionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack TeagardenPink Floyd‘s album “The Wall” hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1980… Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Mandy” by Barry Manilow in 1975; “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and Elton John in 1986.

The Baseball Hall of Fame added Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez in 2017.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Oscar winner Kevin Costner is 66; actor Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) is 61; New York Rangers hockey legend Mark Messier is 60; actress Alison Arngrim (“Little House on the Prairie”) is 59; comedian Dave Attell (“Insomniac”) is 56; Jesse L. Martin (“Law & Order”) is 52; former professional wrestler Dave Bautista is 52; “How I Met Your Mother” star Jason Segel is 41.

Did You Know?
When “The Jeffersons” began, Isabel Sanford (Louise; aka “Weezie”) was 57 years old. Sherman Hemsley, her TV hubby George, was 36. Do the math, and that means George was about 14 years old when son Lionel (Mike Evans) was born. No wonder why Mother Jefferson (Zara Cully) had a problem with “Weezie”!