Today in History: Friday, April 30, 2021

Television and Radio:“Arthur Godfrey Time” began a 27 year run on CBS radio in 1945…Mr. Potato Head became the first toy to be advertised on network television in 1952…The pilot episode of Aaron Spelling crime solver “Starsky and Hutch,” starring Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul, aired in 1975. It officially debuted on Sept. 10, 1975 and ran for four seasons…The series finale of “That’s Incredible!,“ hosted by John Davidson, Cathy Lee Crosby and Fran Tarkenton, aired in 1984. For more on “That’s Incredible!,” click here…The long-lost pilot episode of “I Love Lucy” aired on CBS in 1990. The roles of Fred and Ethel Mertz, who were yet to be introduced, were not cast yet. In the pilot, Larry Lopez (Desi Arnaz) tries to keep his wife Lucy (Lucille Ball) away from auditioning for a TV show, but when a clown becomes unavailable, Lucy takes his place…Family sitcom “My Two Dads”, starring Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan, ended its run in 1990. It ran on NBC for three seasons…NBC’s “The Cosby Show” ended its eight season run in 1992…Also in 1992, Grant Show guested-starred as Jake Hansen on Fox’s “Beverly Hills, 90210,“ which was the precursor to spin-off “Melrose Place”…In 1997, Ellen (Ellen DeGeneres) came out to her therapist (guest star Oprah Winfrey) in this groundbreaking 1997 episode of the ABC sitcom “Ellen”(titled “The Puppy Episode”). Uncredited cameos included Melissa Etheridge, Jorja Fox, Gina Gershon, k.d. lang, Demi Moore, Billy Bob Thornton and Dwight Yoakam…Two once-successful ABC sitcoms concluded their series runs in 2002: “Dharma & Greg” after five seasons, and “Spin City” after six seasons…TV movie “Warm Springs” starring Kenneth Branagh as FDR premiered in 2005. It also starred Cynthia Nixon, Kathy Bates and Jane Alexander. Later that year, the film took home five Primetime Emmys including Outstanding Made for Television Movie and to Alexander for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie…PBS newsmagazine “Now” which focused primarily on social and political issues concluded in 2010 after an eight-year run…Reality competition “The Pitch” debuted on AMC in 2012. Despite being Critics Choice award-nominated, it ran for only 16 episodes across two condensed seasons…Sketch comedy series “Inside Amy Schumer” debuted on Comedy Central in 2013. It ran for four condensed seasons thru 2016. ViacomCBS announced in February 2021 that it will be revived as five specials for Paramount+…Detective comedy-drama “Backstrom” starring Rainn Wilson ended its brief 13-episode run on Fox in 2015…Syndicated game show “Monopoly Millionaires’ Club” hosted by Billy Gardell concluded its short run in 2016. Only 25 episodes across two condensed seasons were produced…Also in 2017: ABC anthology drama “American Crime” from John Ridley (“12 Years A Slave”) ended its three condensed season run. It starred Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton and Regina King. King became a two-time Emmy winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie during her stint on the show…“American Gods”, the fantasy drama starring Ricky Whittle and Ian McShane, premiered on Starz in 2017. In March 2021, its cancellation was announced after three condensed seasons and 26 episodes…NBC aired “A Parks and Recreation Special” in 2020 to help benefit the charity Feeding America during the COVID-19 pandemic. The entire cast of “Parks and Recreation” (including Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott and Rob Lowe returned for this episode, five years following the finale of its original series run. The special drew a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 — NBC’s best for a Thursday comedy during the 2019-20 season. It reportedly raised $2.8 million in charitable funds.
Movies:Bugs Bunny made his debuted in the animated theatrical short “Porky’s Hare Hunt” in 1938. Mel Blanc provided his voice…“Mean Girls”, from “SNL’s” Lorne Michael and starring Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey, opened in theaters in 2004…Superhero film “Avengers: Infinity War” set a new record for an opening weekend in 2018, earning $250 million in the US, $630 million worldwide
Songs:Paul McCartney released single “Red Rose Speedway” in 1973…”Beat It,” by Michael Jackson, hit the #1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1983.
News:George Washington was inaugurated as the first U.S. President in 1789.
Sports:
New York Yankees slugger Lou Gehrig played in his 2,130th consecutive game in 1939. He went hitless against the Washington Senators. Gehrig’s streak that spanned 14 years concluded two days later.
Celebrity Birthdays:
“Rocky” star Burt Young is 81; actor Perry King (“Riptide”) is 73; singer Merrill Osmond is 68; director Jane Campion (“The Piano”) is 67; two stars of “The Big Bang Theory” share birthdays: Johnny Galecki is 46 and Kumal Nayyar is 40; actress Kirsten Dunst (“Spiderman”) is 39. And, on a personal note, a very Happy 19th Birthday to my beautiful daughter Morgan Berman!
-Did You Know?:
Four years after concluding, the series briefly resurfaced on ABC in October 1988 as “Incredible Sunday,” this time with John Davidson and new co-host Christina Ferrare. The first featured story in the revival focused on a South African woman who became the surrogate mother of her own daughter. I planted with her daughter’s fertilized eggs, she gave birth to her own grandchildren. Now, that’s incredible!…On April 14, two weeks before “The Puppy Episode” aired on “Ellen,“ Ellen DeGeneres responded to questions about her own sexuality by appearing on the cover of Time magazine with the banner headline, ‘Yep, I’m Gay.” On the day “The Puppy Episode” aired, DeGeneres and then-girlfriend Anne Heche appeared on daytime talker “Oprah.”
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