Monday, April 24, 2017

This Week in Television History: April 2017 PART IV

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 24, 1962
First coast-to-coast satellite telecast. The first coast-to-coast telecast by satellite takes place on this day in 1962. Signals from California were bounced off the first experimental communications satellite, Echo I, and received in Massachusetts.

April 24, 1982

Jane Fonda’s first Workout video released. 

Hollywood royalty, fashion model, Oscar-winning actress, controversial anti-war activist. Jane Fonda fit all of these descriptions by the late 1970s and 1980s, when she emerged in her latest incarnation--exercise guru. On April 24, 1982, Fonda extended her reach into the home-video market with the release of Workout, the first of her many bestselling aerobics tapes.

April 25, 1992
The final episode of "Growing Pains" aired on ABC. 

April 25, 1992
The final episode of "Who's the Boss?" aired on ABC. 

April 25, 1997
The "Dukes Of Hazzard" television movie entitled "The Reunion" aired. 

April 28, 1957

Mike Wallace was seen on TV for the first time. He was the host of Mike Wallace Interviews

April 29, 1992
The Los Angeles Riots were sparked on when a jury acquitted four Los Angeles Police Department officers accused in the videotaped beating of African-American motorist Rodney King following a high-speed pursuit. 

Thousands of people in the Los Angeles area rioted over the six days following the verdict. First day (Wednesday, April 29) The acquittals of the four accused Los Angeles Police Department officers came at 3:15 p.m. local time. By 3:45, a crowd of more than 300 people had appeared at the Los Angeles County Courthouse, most protesting the verdicts passed down a half an hour earlier and many miles away. Between 5 and 6 p.m., a group of two dozen officers, commanded by LAPD Lt. Michael Moulin, confronted a growing African-American crowd at the intersection of Florence and Normandie in South Central Los Angeles. Outnumbered, these officers retreated. A new group of protesters appeared at Parker Center, the LAPD's headquarters, by about 6:30 p.m., and 15 minutes later, the crowd at Florence and Normandie had started looting, attacking vehicles and people, mainly whites.

April 30, 1992
The final episode of the The Cosby Show aired. 

The sitcom debuted in 1984 at a time when the sitcom was declared to be dead. Comedian Bill Cosby starred in the nation's top-rated program for four of its eight years and always ranked in the top 20 shows.

April 30th 1992
The second day of the Los Angeles Riots, KNBC (NBC's Los Angeles affiliate) was covering the historic event nonstop. 

But that evening the station decided to suspend it’s around the clock riot coverage to air the series finale of The Cosby Show giving viewers a brief Mental Sorbet. Following the broadcast Bill Cosby went on the air and asked Angelinos to pray for peace.

April 30, 1997
In The Puppy Episode of the ABC sitcom Ellen, the character of Ellen Morgan (played by Ellen DeGeneres) announces that she is gay. 

The widely publicized episode featured cameos by Oprah Winfrey, k.d. lang, Demi Moore, Billy Bob Thornton, and Dwight Yoakam. An estimated 42 million viewers watched the special hour-long program. Ellen DeGeneres herself had come out earlier that year on The Oprah Winfrey Show and in TIME. Ellen is often credited to be the first primetime sitcom to feature a gay leading character but there was a sitcom titled Love, Sidney (1981 until 1983) staring the late Tony Randall. The first openly gay regular character on a sitcom was Soap's (1977) Jodie Dallas, played by Billy Crystal. 

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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