2012
May
4
 
 
Chicago Hope presented its final episode on this day in CBS. The series starred Mandy Patinkin and Adam Arkin as doctors and best friends operating at a Chicago hospital. Additional stars included  E.G. Marshall, Hector Elizondo and Roxanne Hart. For its entire run, the critically-acclaimed medical drama aired in the shadow of NBC's more popular ER...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
May
3
 
 
Today in 1991, a broken and suicidal J.R. Ewing raised a pistol and - off camera - fired a single shot. The ambiguous ending marked the end of CBS' Dallas, one of the most popular prime-time dramas of all time. For 13 seasons...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
May
2
 
 
The nation's first public television station, WGBH in Boston, began its broadcasting history today in 1955 with Come and See, a children's program hosted by by Mary Lou Adams and folk singer Tony Saletan. WGBH is considered by some to be PBS' flagship station...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
May
1
 
 
After being cancelled by the Fox network in 2003, the Seth Macfarlane animated series Family Guy returns from the dead - after notching impressive DVD sales - and returns with new episodes, beginning May 1, 2005. First episode of its second, still-current run: "North by North Quahog," in which Peter and Lois attempt a second honeymoon in the hotel room of Mel Gibson.
 
 
 
  
 
 
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.
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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 $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