Today in History: Thursday, April 29, 2021

In 1954, Ernest Borgnine made his network television debut on dramatic anthology “Ford Theatre”…“The Wide World of Sports” debuted on ABC in 1961…Syndicated daytime talker “Donahue,” hosted by Phil Donahue, relocated to Chicago in 1974…The Vietnam War came to an official end in 1975…The final episode of the original “Battlestar Galactica” aired on ABC in 1979 after one season. When the fans protested, it was revived as “Galactica 1980” with 10 new episodes in 1980. Next was the revival of “Battlestar: Galactica” as a two-night miniseries on Syfy in 2003, which morphed into a regularly scheduled series from 2005 to 2010…CBS military drama “JAG,” which spun-off “NCIS,” concluded its 10 season run in 2005. After original home NBC opted against a second season, it moved to CBS for another nine seasons…Donovan Patton became the new host of Nickelodeon’s “Blues Clues” in 2002, replacing Steve Burns…NBC sitcom “Empty Nest” concluded it’s eight season run in 1995. Contrary to common belief, this was not a spin-off from “The Golden Girls.” Prior to “Empty Nest,” there was a pilot produced called “Empty Nests,” starring Rita Moreno and Paul Dooley, that would have been a spin-off but did not move forward. Rita Moreno refers to this as the “worst acting job she ever had”…Cable network TV Land was launched in 1996. Owned by MTV Networks, the original emphasis was on classic television shows from the Paramount library.
Theater:
The Broadway musical “My Fair Lady” opened for its first night in London, with Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins, and Julie Andrews playing Eliza Doolittle…Controversial Broadway musical “Hair” opened at the Biltmore Theater in Broadway in 1968.
Celebrity Birthdays:Country singer Willie Nelson is 88; “Three’s Company” star Richard Kline is 77; “SNL’s” Nora Dunn is 69; Jerry Seinfeld is 67; “Will & Grace’s” Leslie Jordan is 66; “Star Trek: Voyager” star Kate Mulgrew is also 66; Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis is 64; actress Michelle Pfeiffer is 63; “The Brady Bunch” star Eve Plumb is also 63; Singer and daytime talk show host Carnie Wilson is 53; actress Uma Thurman (“Pulp Fiction”) is 51; tennis player Andre Agassi is also 51.
-Did You Know?:
Following the conclusion of “Golden Place” (which was the one season continuation of “The Golden Girls” without Bea Arthur on CBS), Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo showed up with no logical explanation on “Empty Nest” for ongoing appearances…Eve Plumb, of course, is remembered as middle daughter Jan Brady on “The Brady Bunch” (and the countless spin-offs). But one season prior to “The Brady Bunch,” in 1968, she guest-starred on an episode of “Family Affair” as a young girl named Eve Bowers with a terminal illness. For a look, click here.
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