1966: ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ Premieres
The comedy show hit, The Dick Van Dyke Show, premiered on this day in 1966 and starred Van Dyke, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam and Mary Tyler Moore. However, the show’s original pilot had a completely different cast – including the show’s namesake. The “other” show’s pilot was created in 1960 and was to be called Head of the Family and would have starred Carl Reiner. The storyline was basically the same as the finished product, but fortunately, the latter won out. The Dick Van Dyke Show aired on CBS for five seasons. During that time, the show won 15 Emmy Awards. (Image: Wikimedia)
1952: Miss Brooks Begins Teaching on TV
Beginning as a CBS radio sitcom in 1948, Our Miss Brooks could be found simultaneously on TV beginning in 1952. Interesting, the radio show outlasted the TV series by one year. Arden played Madison High School teacher Connie Brooks who later taught at an upscale private school in 1955. Instead of just focusing on the classroom, the series followed Brooks’ interacting with other teachers and life out of school as well.
The Emmy Award-winning series ran for 130 episodes and Arden received an honorary membership of the National Education Association and received an award from the Teachers College of Connecticut’s Alumni Association in 1952 “for humanizing the American teacher”. The show was even adapted for the big screen in 1956.
According to Wikipedia, Our Miss Brooks “was considered groundbreaking for showing a woman who was neither a scatterbrained klutz nor a homebody, but rather a working woman who transcended the actual or assumed limits to women’s working lives of the time.”
2006: High School Football is Big on NBC
Friday Night Lights was an American sports drama television series developed by Peter Berg, that was inspired by the 1990 nonfiction book by H. G. Bissinger, which was adapted as the 2004 film of the same name. Set in the town of Dillion, Texas where high school football is a big deal, Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) served as the team’s coach while his wife Tami (Connie Britton) served on the school’s faculty. When not playing football, the show’s themes consisted of topics like family values, school funding, racism, drugs, abortion, etc. While praised by critics and fans alike, Friday Night Lights just couldn’t drum up good ratings. It ran for two year on NBC before the network cancelled it. However, due to passionate fans, NBC was able to strike a deal with DirecTV to co-produce the show for three more seasons and allowing the service to air the shows months before they would be shown on NBC.
- 1941: Chubby Checker (singer)
- 1964: Clive Owen (actor)
- 1969: Gwen Stefani (singer)
- 1973: Neve Campbell (actress)
- 1984: Ashlee Simpson (singer)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.