Monday, October 12, 2009

This week in Television History: October PART II

Listen to me 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 thru 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.

October 7, 1949
Anthology series Ford Theatre debuts. The program featured a different one-hour dramatic play each week in its early seasons, later shortened to a half-hour. Plays ranged from comedy to serious drama and featured many stars of the era, including Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy Davis. The show ran until 1957.

October 8, 1943
Cornelius Crane (Chevy) Chase is born in New York City. Chase began writing material for comedians in Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

After meeting Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels while standing in line for a movie, Chase landed a job writing and acting for the program. After a year, he left the show to launch a movie career. His films include Caddyshack (1980), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), and Fletch (1985).

October 9, 1953
Anthony Marcus "Tony" Shalhoub was born. The actor of Lebanese origin is best known for his role as manic-obsessive sleuth Adrian Monk on the TV series Monk.

By 1991, one of his first television roles was as the Italian cabdriver Antonio Scarpacci in the sitcom Wings. Shalhoub was pleasantly surprised to land the role after having a recurring role in the second season. Shalhoub affected an Italian accent for the role. In the same time period, Shalhoub played physicist Dr. Chester Ray Banton in the X-Files second-season episode "Soft Light." He later returned to series television in 1999, this time in a lead role on Stark Raving Mad opposite Neil Patrick Harris. The show did not attract much of an audience, and NBC cancelled the series in July 2000.
After a two-year absence from the small screen, Shalhoub starred in another TV series, Monk, in which he plays a San Francisco detective diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, for USA Network. Michael Richards had been offered the role when the show was being considered for broadcast on ABC, a network which would later rerun the first season in 2003, but he eventually turned it down. Shalhoub was nominated for Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series seven times consecutively, from 2003-2009, and won in 2003, 2005, and 2006.

October 9, 1954
Scott Stewart Bakula is born.

His most prominent roles have been as Sam Beckett in the science fiction television series Quantum Leap, and as Captain Jonathan Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise. He also co-starred with Maria Bello in the short-lived CBS television series Mr. & Mrs. Smith and had a recurring role in the sitcom Murphy Brown.

October 11, 1950
The Federal Communications Commission issues the first license to broadcast color television, to CBS. However, RCA charged that CBS's color technology was inadequate and contested the license, which was to go into effect November 3. RCA's challenge worked: A restraining order was issued on November 15. Despite this setback, CBS did broadcast the first commercial color TV program in June 1951. Color TV technology continued to evolve during the 1950s. In 1956, a Chicago TV station became the first to broadcast entirely in color. Color television sets, however, remained less popular than black and white sets until the late 1960s. In 1968, color televisions outsold black and white televisions for the first time.

October 12, 1970
Kirk Thomas Cameron is born. Best-known for his role as Mike Seaver on the television situation comedy Growing Pains, as well as several other television and film appearances as a child actor. Recently, he portrayed the lead roles in the Left Behind film series and in the 2008 drama film, Fireproof.

Cameron is also an active Christian evangelist, currently partnering with Ray Comfort in the evangelical ministry The Way of the Master, and has co-founded The Firefly Foundation with his wife, actress Chelsea Noble. He stated that his main priorities in life are: "God, family, career — in that order," and he says that this decision has had negative consequences on his career.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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