Monday, January 15, 2018

This Week in Television History: January 2017 PART III

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.

January 15, 1993
Last episode of soap opera Santa Barbara airs.
“The worst program on television--maybe ever…” one reviewer dubbed NBC’s daytime soap opera Santa Barbara upon its debut in July 1984. Critics soon changed their tune about the show, however, and it would run for more than eight years, garnering numerous Daytime Emmy Awards, including the statuette for Best Drama Series in 1988, 1989 and 1990. The show’s ratings never reached the level of its critical buzz, however, and NBC finally pulled the plug, airing its final episode on January 15, 1993. 

January 16, 1973
Long-running western series Bonanza is cancelled after 14 seasons. 

The episode The Hunter was written and directed by Michael Landon.
The show, which debuted in 1959, was the first western to be televised in color. Throughout the 1960s, the show, which featured the adventures of the Cartwright family on their ranch, the Ponderosa, was one of the most highly rated programs on television. Its trademark theme song rose to No. 19 on Billboard's Top Singles chart in 1961.

January 18, 1948
Original Amateur Hour debuts
One of TV's first talent shows was a spin-off of a popular radio show, Major Bowes' Amateur Hour, the program where Frank Sinatra was discovered in 1937. The show, which aired for 12 years, was one of the few programs to be aired by all four early TV networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and the ill-fated DuMont network) at different times. Seven-year-old Gladys Knight and 18-year-old Pat Boone were both grand prize winners on the show.

January 19, 1953
Lucy gives birth to Little Ricky. Episode #56, “Lucy Goes to the Hospital,” of hit 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy airs for the first time. 

The episode, in which Lucy Ricardo, played by Lucille Ball, gives birth to a son, was one of the most popular in television history. The ground-breaking episode was one of the first American television programs to deal with the issue of pregnancy, a taboo subject in conservative 1950s America, when even married couples were not shown on television sharing the same bed. Forty-four million viewers, a full 72 percent of all U.S. homes with a television, tuned in; only 29 million viewers had watched President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s televised inauguration the previous night.
January 19, 1993
Fleetwood Mac reunite to play "Don't Stop" at Bill Clinton's first Inaugural gala.

Fleetwood Mac had faced much intra-band squabbling since their 1970s heyday, why they released one of the biggest albums of all time—Rumours—and a string of decade-defining hits like "Landslide," "Rhiannon," "Say You Love Me" and "Go Your Own Way." And then, of course, there was "Don't Stop" (as in "thinking about tomorrow"), which was candidate Bill Clinton's unofficial theme song during the 1992 presidential campaign.

January 20, 1998
The first episode of Dawson's Creek aired on the WB network. 

The teen drama television series about the fictional lives of a close-knit group of friends beginning in high school and continuing in college that ran from 1998 to 2003. The series stars James Van Der Beek as Dawson LeeryKatie Holmes as his best friend and love interest Joey PotterJoshua Jackson as their fellow best friend Pacey Witter, and Michelle Williams as Jen Lindley, a New York City transplant to the fictional town of Capeside, Massachusetts, where the series was set. The show was created by Kevin Williamson and debuted on The WB on January 20, 1998. It was produced by Columbia TriStar Television (renamed Sony Pictures Television before the sixth and final season) and was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Part of a new craze for teen-themed movies and television shows in America in the late 1990s, it catapulted its leads to stardom and became a defining show for The WB. The show placed at No. 90 on Entertainment Weekly's "New TV Classics" list in 2007. The series ended on May 14, 2003. During the course of the series, 128 episodes of Dawson's Creek aired over six seasons.

January 20, 2008
The pilot episode of Breaking Bad aired.
The neo-western crime drama television series was created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008 to September 29, 2013. It tells the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Together with his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), White turns to a life of crime by producing and selling crystallized methamphetamine to secure his family's financial future before he dies, while navigating the dangers of the criminal world. The title comes from the Southern colloquialism "breaking bad", meaning to "raise hell" or turn toward crime.[5] Breaking Bad is set and was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Walter's family consists of his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) and children, Walter, Jr. (RJ Mitte) and Holly (Elanor Anne Wenrich). The show also features Skyler's sister Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt), and her husband Hank (Dean Norris), a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent. Walter hires lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), who connects him with private investigator and fixer Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) and in turn Mike's employer, drug kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). The final season introduces the characters Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons) and Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (Laura Fraser).
Breaking Bad is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time. By the time the series finale aired, it was among the most-watched cable shows on American television. The show received numerous awards, including 16 Primetime Emmy Awards, eight Satellite Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Peabody Awards, two Critics' Choice Awards and four Television Critics Association Awards. For his leading performance, Cranston won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series four times, while Aaron Paul won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series three times; Anna Gunn won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series twice. In 2013, Breaking Bad entered the Guinness World Records as the most critically acclaimed show of all time.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

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