Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This week in Television History:June 09 PART II

Forgive me Trekkers I did not include June 3, 1969 when the final episode of Star Trek aired
Turnabout Intruder is a third season, as well as the final first-run episode of
Star Trek: The Original Series. It is episode #79, production #79, written by Arthur H. Singer, based on a story by Gene Roddenberry, and directed by Herb Wallerstein. This was the last original episode of Star Trek to air on NBC.
Originally scheduled to air at 10pm on Friday,
March 28, 1969, the network pre-empted it at the last minute with a special report on former president Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had died earlier that day. On June 3, 1969, after an absence of 2 months, Star Trek was brought back on a new night and time: Tuesdays at 7:30pm EDT. "Turnabout Intruder" was the first episode to be shown in this new time slot.
Kirk becomes trapped in the body of a woman bent on killing him and taking over his command under his guise.

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

June 20, 1948
Toast of the Town premiered. Ed Sullivan's long-running variety show premieres. Although later known simply as The Ed Sullivan Show, the series debuts as Toast of the Town.

Among the many performers who made their TV debuts on the show were Bob Hope, Lena Horne, the Beatles, and Walt Disney. Elvis Presley also made several high-profile performances on the show, in 1956 and 1957. The show ran until 1971.

June 24, 1987
Jackie Gleason died. Raised by a single mother who worked at a subway token booth in New York, Gleason dropped out of high school and began performing on the vaudeville circuit in his teens. Signed to a movie contract by the time he was 24 years old, Gleason played character roles in a handful of movies in 1941 and 1942, but found much more success in television. He became one of TV's most popular stars in a number of shows, including The Jackie Gleason Show, which ran throughout most of the 1950s and '60s.

On the show, he created the character of Ralph Kramden, a bus driver who became the beloved star of the spin-off television show The Honeymooners.

June 25, 1993
Late Night with David Letterman airs its last episode. Offbeat comic Letterman, passed over by NBC for the host seat on The Tonight Show after Johnny Carson's retirement, left the network to launch a rival show on CBS.
David Letterman was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1947. From an early age, he aspired to host his own talk show. He became a stand-up comic and a wacky weatherman on a local TV station. After years on the stand-up comedy circuit, he made his first appearance on The Tonight Show in 1978 and served as the program's guest host 50 times. In 1980, Letterman had a short-lived morning variety show, The David Letterman Show, which won two Emmys.

He launched his popular late-night TV show in 1982. His offbeat humor and goofy stunts spoofed traditional talk shows. Antics like wearing a Velcro suit and throwing himself at a wall or tossing eggs into a giant electric fan, Letterman gained a large following, especially among college students. Regular features included his "Top Ten List," "Stupid Pet Tricks," and tours of the neighborhood. He also frequently wandered with his camera into other NBC shows in progress. Over more than 11 years, the show won five Emmys and 35 nominations.
When Carson announced his retirement in 1992, Letterman and rival comic Jay Leno engaged in a heated battle for the coveted host slot. When Letterman was passed over, he left NBC for CBS, where his new program, Late Show, outperformed Leno's show almost every week in its first year. However, Leno pulled ahead the following year and maintained a strong lead.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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