Monday, August 03, 2009

This week in Television History: August 2009 Part I

Listen to me Next Week on TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte Broadcast LIVE every other Monday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio. The program will then be repeated Tuesday through Sunday at the same time (10pm ET, 7pm PT) on Shokus Radio for the next two weeks, and then will be posted on line at our archives page at
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.

August 1, 1971
The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour
debuts. The popular variety show, featuring music, comedy routines and sarcastic banter between vertically challenged Sonny and his statuesque wife, Cher.
Sonny and Cher had been singing and performing comedy in nightclubs for more than a decade. They released several hit records in the 1960s, most notably "I Got You, Babe," before launching their show. The series rated well and showcased future comedy stars, including Teri Garr and Steve Martin.
Despite the show's popularity, the couple suffered marital problems and announced in the spring of 1974 that they were divorcing and would cancel the show. After divorcing in 1975, both Sonny and Cher tried and failed to launch solo comedy-variety shows. They revived their show together briefly in 1976 and 1977. Cher went on to a successful film career, winning the Best Actress Oscar for Moonstruck (1987). Bono later became a politician, serving as mayor of Palm Springs and a U.S. congressman.

August 2, 1924
John Carroll O'Connor was born. Actor, producer, and director whose television career spanned four decades. Known at first for playing the role of Major General Colt in the 1970 cult movie, Kelly's Heroes, he later found fame as the bigoted workingman Archie Bunker, the main character in the 1970s CBS television sitcoms All in the Family (1971 to 1979) and Archie Bunker's Place (1979 to 1983).

O'Connor later starred in the 1980s NBC television crime drama In the Heat of the Night, where he played the role of Sheriff William (Bill) Gillespie. At the end of his career in the late 1990s, he played the father of Jamie Stemple Buchman (Helen Hunt) on Mad About You.

August 3, 1940
Actor Martin Sheen is born Ramon Estevez in Dayton, Ohio. The son of a Spanish immigrant, Sheen was the seventh of 10 children. He moved to New York after high school and began pursuing an acting career while working as a janitor, car washer, and messenger. After several successful Broadway roles, he appeared in his first film, The Incident, in 1967. His film and TV career has included numerous political roles, most recently as fictional U.S. president Josiah Bartlett on the popular TV show The West Wing. Previously, he played Robert Kennedy in the TV movie The Missiles of October (1974), John F. Kennedy in the miniseries Kennedy (1983), and the White House chief of staff in The American President (1995). Sheen is the father of film stars Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen.

August 3, 1941
Martha Helen Stewart
(née Kostyra) was born. Business magnate, television host, author and magazine publisher. As founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she has gained success through a variety of business ventures, encompassing publishing, broadcasting, and merchandising.

Stewart's syndicated talk show, Martha, is broadcast throughout the world, she has written numerous bestselling books, and she is the publisher of Martha Stewart Living magazine.

In 2001, Stewart was named the third most powerful woman in America by Ladies Home Journal. In 2004, she was convicted of lying to investigators about a stock sale and served five months in prison. Stewart began a strong comeback campaign in 2005, with her company returning to profitability in 2006.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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