SecondSpin.com
 
2012
Apr
30
 
 
"Until we say hello on our next show, it's time to say goodbye again," Betty White sang at the close of her short-lived ABC variety show, The Betty White Show, which was last televised today in 1958. The show - which you can see here - ran in the spot formerly held by her canceled sitcom, Date with the Angels, and consisted of Betty and her co-stars performing a variety of skits.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
29
 
 
Long before the name was borrowed for the Walt Disney Wold Resort's massive sports complex, Wide World of Sports was an ABC anthology series showcasing sporting events ranging from drag racing and bowling to rodeo and track and field. The program, which debuted today in 1961 (and ran in various forms until 1998), was hosted by sportscaster Jim McKay, who gave voice to the indelible opening sequence containing the phrase "the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat." Additional hosts inclu
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
28
 
 
Today in 1957, Mike Wallace's late-night New York interview show went national on ABC. Viewers of The Mike Wallace Interview got an early glimpse of the agressive interview style that would become the late newsman's hallmark. His first guest? Hollywood legend Gloria Swanson.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
27
 
 
Today in 1998, prolific writer/producer David E. Kelley orchestrated a crossover event between his two shows, the Fox comedy Ally McBeal, and the ABC drama The Practice. The shows went on to win 1998 Emmy awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Drama Series, respectively, making Ally McBeal and The Practice the only top TV shows to stage such an event. Incidentally, Kelley also scooped up 1998 Emmy statuettes for Outstanding Writing for both shows.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
26
 
 
In 1988, ABC debuted China Beach, a Vietnam-era medical drama set on a U.S. base in the South China Sea. The show didn't shy away from the realities of war, yet managed to fit in a fair share of romance and '60s rock music. Headlined by current Body of Proof star Dana Delany, China Beach also starred CSI's Marg Helgenberger, Robert Picardo, Michael Boatman and Concetta Tomei.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
25
 
 
Today in 2000 marked the last broadcast of UPN's police drama, The Beat. Produced by Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson - the team behind the critically-acclaimed Homicide: Life on the Street - the short-lived series followed the lives of two NYPD cops played by Mark Ruffalo and Derek Cecil. Heather Burns and Poppy Montgomery (of Without a Trace and Unforgettable) co-starred as their respective love interests. The show employed hand-held cameras and quirky angles for a more unconventional look.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
24
 
 
The Farrelly brothers aren’t the only Hollywood superstars to shine a spotlight on the Three Stooges. Today in 2000, ABC debuted its own Stooges film, executive produced by Mel Gibson. The Three Stooges offered  a dramatized look at the famed comedy group’s ups and downs, told through the eyes of Moe..(and here's a special link...)
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
23
 
 
This day in 1986 marked the last broadcast of CBS' Fast Times, a short-lived sitcom inspired by the 1982 coming-of-age film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Ray Walston and Vincent Schiavelli reprised their film roles, but the film's other memorable characters were portrayed by new young actors...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
22
 
 
On April 22, 1976, news anchor Harry Reasoner announced that Barbara Walters would become his ABC Nightly News co-anchor that October. The move made Walters - a morning news anchor with NBC's Today - the first woman to anchor an evening news program. Her million-dollar salary ($500,000 to anchor the news and $500,000 to produce and appear in other ABC programs) also made her TV's highest-paid journalist. (Photo from Audition: A Memoir)
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for under $20.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

This Day in TV History