Monday, April 09, 2012

This Week in Television History: April 2012 PART II

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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.

April 10, 1972

After a 20-year exile in Europe, Charlie Chaplin returned to Hollywood to receive an honorary Oscar.

Charlie Chaplin Oscar d'Honneur 1972 by BryanAiki

Chaplin, then 82, received probably the longest standing ovation in the history of the Oscar telecast as he walked slowly to the podium to pick up his Academy Award for his "incalculable effect in making motion pictures the art form of the century." Chaplin was quite literally speechless as he looked at the throng of stars whose cheers kept getting louder. He finally uttered "thank you so much," referring to the audience as "sweet people." And there wasn't a dry eye in the house when Jack Lemmon gave him his famous Little Tramp hat and cane.

April 12, 1987

21 Jump Street first airs on the Fox Network. The series focused on a squad of youthful-looking undercover police officers investigating crimes in high schools, colleges, and other teenage venues.

Created by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell, the series was produced by Stephen J. Cannell Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The show was an early hit for the fledgling Fox Network, and was created to attract a younger audience. The final season aired in first-run syndication mainly on local Fox affiliates. It was later rerun on the FX cable network from 1996 to 1998.

The series provided a spark to Johnny Depp's nascent acting career, garnering him national recognition as a teen idol. Depp found this status irritating, but he continued on the series under his contract and was paid $45,000 per episode. Eventually he was released from his contract after the fourth season. A spin-off series, Booker, was produced for the character of Dennis Booker (Richard Grieco); it ran one season, from September 1989 to June 1990.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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