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    Today Show

    Today Show

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    NBC
    On January 14 1952, The Today Show, a long running morning news program on NBC, went on the air. It aired at 7:00 A.M. (Eastern Time) as a 2-hour news and information show. For many years it was a 2-hour program from 7:00 to 9:00 ET, until NBC expanded it to 3 hours (7-10 A.M. Eastern Time) on October 2, 2000. On September 10, 2007 a fourth hour was added to the show. Today was the first of its genre when it first signed on with host Dave Garroway. The show successfully blends national news headlines, in-depth interviews with newsmakers, lifestyle features, other light news and gimmicks (including the presence of the chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs as the show's mascot during the early years), and local news updates. It has spawned several other shows of a similar type, including ABC's Good Morning America, CBS's The Early Show, and the Canadian series, Canada AM. The show is filmed and produced at studio 1A in Rockefeller Center, New York, just across the street from NBC headquarters at the GE Building. The studio is located right next to the street and many times the hosts do the weather or other events from outside. Today was the brainchild of Pat Weaver, who was then vice-president of NBC. Later, he became president of the company from 1953 to 1955, and then served as chairman of the board for another year. The show is currently hosted by Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer. Al Roker does weather updates and Ann Curry reads news headlines. Gene Shalit is the entertainment critic. Previous hosts have included Bryant Gumbel, Jane Pauley, Deborah Norville, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters, Hugh Downs, and Flyod Kalber. Popular former weathercaster Willard Scott still appears on the show daily doing the 100th birthday announcements he first became famous for in the 1980s.moreless
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    CBS Evening News

    CBS Evening News

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    CBS
    The CBS Evening News is a TV institution, having some of the most well-known journalists in the world anchor it through its many decades on the air. The show was at it's peak when it was hosted by the iconic Walter Cronkite from 1962 to 1981. Dan Rather took over and was the anchor until 2006.

    The show is currently anchored by Katie Couric, who takes over from Bob Schieffer. The half hour show covers both international and domestic news.moreless
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    Good Morning America

    Good Morning America

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    ABC
    Welcome to the Good Morning America program. For ABC, this was a much more successful morning news series than A.M. America, which had lasted the first ten months of 1975. ABC looked at one of its affiliates, WEWS in Cleveland, and admired the station's very successful news/talk series called The Morning Exchange (1972-1999). Network programming president Fred Silverman oversaw ABC's using The Morning Exchange as a model for their new program. Today the show is anchored by Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. Ginger Zee gives weather reports throughout the morning, Amy Robach does the news, and Lara Spencer does the lifestyle reports. The show is usally in a battle for #1 with rival morning news show "Today" START YOUR DAY GOOD TO GO!moreless
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    60 Minutes

    60 Minutes

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    CBS
    60 Minutes has been on the air since 1968, beginning on a Tuesday, but spending most of its time on Sundays, where it remains today. This popular news magazine provides both hard hitting investigations, interviews and features, along with people in the news and current events.

    60 Minutes has set unprecedented records in the Nielsen's ratings with a number 1 rating, five times, making it among the most successful t.v. programs in all of television history. This series has won more Emmy awards than any other news program and in 2003, Don Hewitt, the creator (back in 1968), was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Emmy, along with the 60 Minute correspondents. For the 2009 season, correspondents include Steve Kroft, Lesley Stahl, Bob Simon, Scott Pelley, Morley Safer, Katie Couric, Byron Pitts, Lara Logan, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper, and Andy Rooney. Added to the 11 Peabody awards, this phenomenally long-lived series has collected 78 awards up to the 2005 season and remains among the viewers top choice for news magazine features.moreless
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    Live! with Kelly and Michael

    Live! with Kelly and Michael

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    ABC
    Live! with Kelly & Michael, known formerly as "Live! with Kelly" and "Live with Regis and Kelly" has been entertaining people every morning since 2001. Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan who takes over co-hosting duties as Regis' successor has charm, energy and charisma to boot and is a great match for Kelly. Once known as Daytime's Dynamic Duo, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, with their spontaneous and enthusiastic daily chat sessions - and their ability to playfully needle one another - the pair brought life to any and every topic as they share their morning coffee with viewers. Although it wasn't always Regis and Kelly. At first it was Regis and Kathie Lee. In late July 2000 Kathie Lee Gifford left the show, from that point till Febuary 2001 the show was known as "Live with Regis". Regis had a different co-host each day until they found the perfect co-host, Kelly Ripa. The show airs every morning from the WABC studios in New York City. Regis Philbin, who has become a cultural icon in television broadcasting, was honored with a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host in May 2001 for "Live With Regis and Kelly". Joining the show on February 12, 2001, Kelly Ripa's endearing personality quickly won the hearts of Americans from coast to coast when she joined the show in February 2001. Her quick wit and broad smile proves the perfect complement to Regis' quirky style of entertainment.moreless
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    The Oprah Winfrey Show

    The Oprah Winfrey Show

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    (ended 2011)
    The Oprah Winfrey Show has featured many celebrities over the years, but that´s only one side of it. There´s also Oprah´s eternal quest to better herself, and to make the viewers change themselves. Oprah has started several organizations: Oprah´s angel network, Oprah´s book club, and O Magazine. For a couple of years now, the show frequently ends with a "Remember your spirit" segment. The show is produced by Oprah´s own company, Harpo (which spells Oprah backwards). The Oprah Winfrey show ended after its 25th year of production.moreless
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    Frontline

    Frontline

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    PBS
    Since it began in 1983, ‘Frontline' has been airing public-affairs documentaries that explore a wide scope of the complex human experience. Frontline's goal is to extend the impact of the documentary beyond its initial broadcast by serving as a catalyst for change.moreless
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    Face the Nation

    Face the Nation

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    CBS
    Face The Nation is a news interview program which airs every Sunday morning, live from the CBS studio in Washington D.C. It is dedicated to interviewing newsmakers on the latest issues. Guests include government leaders, politicians, and international figures in the news. CBS News correspondents engage the guests in a lively roundtable discussion focusing on current topics. The show started on November 7th, 1954, and was originally broadcast on both CBS Television and Radio Networks. After close to two decades, the program was taken off CBS radio.moreless
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    Entertainment Tonight

    Entertainment Tonight

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    Welcome to the Entertainment Tonight guide at tv.com. ET is a daily, half-hour, nationally syndicated entertainment newsmagazine, reporting on breaking news events, exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes first looks, and Hollywood's hottest stories from the worlds of film, television, fashion, literature and interactive media.moreless
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    The People's Court

    The People's Court

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    The People's Court - a throwback to 1950s syndicated courtroom fare such as Traffic Court and The Stand Accused - was set in a small-claims court. The litigants had both agreed to bring their grievances to a California small-claims court, where retired Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Wapner heard the cases. The plaintiffs could file a claim for up to $1,500, while the defendants sometimes filed a countersuit if they felt they were due compensation. While most cases were run-of-the-mill complaints over poor service, broken contracts, ownership rights and malfunctioning merchandise, others had odd twists. For instance: * The overweight stripper who was not paid because the bachelor party-goers thought she was unattractive. During the arguments, she reveals she had gone at the request of her friend, the bride-to-be who found out about the party. * The mother who refused to pay a clown after he came to a birthday party dressed as a towering purple monster (he was supposed to play a Smurf); the clown ended up terrifying the party-goers. * The woman who requested a male friend make good on a verbal contract to pay half of the cost of her daughter's abortion, when she thought he was the father. He had backed out when he was sterile. * A woman who sued the owner of a pitbull after he jumped on the hood of his car. The pitbull's owner claimed she struck the dog and requested payment for the dog's injuries; and even suspected the resulting damage to the car was from a prior accident. And the list of odd cases went on. Each litigant (who, as the announcer reminded viewers each day, were not actors) stated his case before Joseph A. Wapner . After he was through asking questions, he retreated to his chambers before rendering his decision. More than once, he refused to support either side. Each litigant was then interviewed by the courtroom reporter (originally Doug Llewelyn from 1981-1993); sometimes, he gave the results of how courtroom spectators would have decided the case. Usually two cases were heard per show, though some longer cases took up the entire 30 minutes. If time permitted, Wapner fielded questions from the gallery; or legal expert Harvey Levin gave advice on handling that episode's legal scenario (i.e., confronting a car dealer about a car suspected to be a lemon). Each episode ended with Llewelyn admonishing viewers with some variation of the age old advice: "When you get mad, don't take the law into your own hands ... take 'em to court!" The original version of The People's Court ran for 12 years. When The People's Court returned to syndicated TV in 1997, the show expanded to 60 minutes, with Judge Ed Koch (the former New York City mayor) now presiding. Koch lasted until 1999, when Judge Jerry Scheindlin took over in 1999. Judge Marilyn Milian has presided since 2001. The format of the revised The People's Court was essentially similar, except the small claim's court limit was upped to $5,000. Sometimes, the interviewers also asked spectators on-camera their thoughts of a case before the judge's verdict was announced. Related Shows The People's Court UK Carol Smillie is set to present a new UK version of the People's Court for ITV1's new daytime line-up titled itv DAY.moreless
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    The Mike Douglas Show

    The Mike Douglas Show

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    (ended 1981)
    The Mike Douglas Show was first broadcast live in 1961 from the studios of KYW-TV (owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting Company) in Cleveland, Ohio as a local program (Mike Douglas's salary was $400 per week). The show offered a wide variety of guests, ranging from Richard Nixon to the Rolling Stones. Most of the guests, though, were entertainers (singers and/or musicians) along with a fair share of comics. The show is probably MOST noted for its exposure and introduction of (now) famous musical acts and singers, including Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin. Regretfully, Westinghouse taped over the Streisand shows to produce editorials. (These yet-to-be-famous performers were given a package deal that, after appearing on the show, would perform at a now-defunct night club in suburban Lakewood called The Chateau.) The show also showcased all of the latest rock groups of the 1960s. These groups ranged from "The Box-Tops" (1968), "Herman's Hermits" (1965 and 1967), the "Strawberry Alarm Clock" (1967), "The Turtles" (1968 and 1969) to John Lennon and "The Plastic Ono Band" (1972). A true example of the amazing cross section of guests who appeared on any particular show was when "The Turtles" appeared on the same show with comedic actor Ted Knight, and author, Truman Capote. In the words of Howard Kaylan (of the Turtles), "Not too shabby." In August, 1963, The Mike Douglas Show went into national syndication with a total of 5 local markets (Westinghouse owned local TV stations in Baltimore, San Francisco, Boston and Pittsburgh) airing the program. Following Westinghouse's victory in a lawsuit against NBC in June of 1965, The Mike Douglas Show moved to a basement studio (142 seats) at 1619 Walnut St. in Philadelphia. (This was the new home of KYW, owned and operated by Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, Group W Productions). The show discontinued live broadcasts in early 1965 following some "off-color" language verbalized by guest Zsa Zsa Gabor. At this time the show's popularity grew extensively and by 1967 the show reached 171 markets, had over 6,000,000 daily viewers (mostly housewives), and was bringing in over $10.5 million annually in sponsors' fees. At this time Mike Douglas's salary was over $500,000 annually. Also in 1967, the program received an Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Daytime Television, the first such award ever given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The show remained at the Walnut St. location until July 31, 1972, when the move was made to a newly constructed studio at 5th and Market Sts. in Philadelphia, where KYW remains today. This was the first time a studio was constructed especially for the show. The last PHILADELPHIA broadcast was in July, 1978, when the show moved to LOS ANGELES, California. The last airing was November, 1981. Note: Mike Douglas started another syndicated program, "The Mike Douglas Entertainment Hour," which ceased production in 1982.moreless
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    The Merv Griffin Show

    The Merv Griffin Show

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    (ended 1986)
    The Merv Griffin Show first aired on NBC (1962-1963, then again 1965-1968), CBS (1969-1972) and in syndication afterwards. Merv Griffin became a television host after filling in for Jack Parr on the Tonight Show in 1962 which impressed NBC enough to develop The Merv Griffin Show. Originally airing in black and white the first color telecast on The Merv Griffin Show was on August 24, 1967. Merv interviewed celebrities, politicians and some very interesting people over the years. A charming, eloquent host Merv had this wonderful interest in people which usually displayed itself in his signature expression of OOOOO and rapt attention to his guests.moreless
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    Monday Night Football

    Monday Night Football

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    ESPN
    "Monday Night Football really got on the air because of Pete Rozelle," recalls former producer Don Ohlmeyer. Indeed, it was Rozelle's reputation for public relations and marketing that created a prime-time venue for the National Football League. The prototypes for Monday Night Football were those annual Monday night games staged from 1966 to 1969 inclusive on CBS. St. Louis hosted three of them, and it seemed natural for the NFL to make Monday night their regular turf. The only trouble was, Rozelle couldn't get a network to agree. CBS did not want to lose Gunsmoke. NBC had Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, TV's highest-rated show the past two years. Even ABC, floundering in third place in the ratings, was unsure. Rozelle then threatened to put the Monday night package in syndication via the Hughes Television Service. So ABC bought in. NFL owners themselves weren't keen on Monday Night Football. Some thought the gates would be dormant. But then-Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell, who knew a thing or two about marketing himself, agreed to host the first MNF game. He asked that the Browns face the Jets to maximize ABC's first-night audience. The result was a smashing success. For 36 years, Monday Night Football would air on ABC at Mondays at 9pm ET/6pm PT ever since (except for when it aired at 8pm ET). Though two teams would always meet on the field, viewers often got their fill from watching the original ABC broadcasters. Don Meredith and Howard Cosell were, along with Keith Jackson, part of the original team that started in 1970. After Jackson returned full-time to ABC's college football broadcasts, the network hired Frank Gifford away from CBS. From there, Monday Night Football began its most memorable years. It got ratings thanks to the wide appeal that Cosell, Meredith, and Gifford collectively garnered. Except for a shift in the mid-70s that sent Meredith briefly to another network, ABC played a strong football card for twelve years. The separate departures of Meredith and Cosell left the Monday Night Football booth in a shaky transition period during the mid-80s. Though they sometimes got it right on the field, with the high-water mark being Miami's romping of the eventual Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears in 1985, it was plain that the booth could not work with three ex-players (what Howard Cosell had labeled "jockocracy"). The likes of Fred Williamson, O.J. Simpson, and Joe Namath were quickly disposed. The second-most-stable team was assembled in 1986, when veteran ABC sportscaster Al Michaels joined Gifford. Rounding out the booth was future Hall of Fame offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf. They would share more than a decade of prime time football coverage, including three Super Bowls. For all its considerable charm and novelty, one thing Monday Night Football did not achieve was a proper farewell to Frank Gifford. After the 1997 season, the booth welcomed the recently-retired Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason. Gifford was cramped in a studio to introduce pregame and halftime stories for the 1998 season. Neither change worked, as Gifford was out of ABC after one year and Boomer Esiason agreed to a contract settlement in 2000. The next two years were the least successful. Joining Al Michaels was ABC college football analyst Dan Fouts and, of all people, Dennis Miller. Even though their first season had an abundance of nail-biters (witness the Jets' Midnight Miracle over the Dolphins), the new recruits were unable to get in focus. Miller in particular was over-rehearsed in the hours leading up to a broadcast. Both he and Fouts were out of the booth after January 7, 2002. ABC needed a lift for the show, and thought they had it when John Madden (who had recanted on his offer to join ABC in 1994) came over from another network. Monday Night Football went from planes to buses for the next four years. Again, though, the players were meant to be bigger stars than Madden or Michaels. Sometimes it showed, such as the Colts' stunning comeback over the defending World Champion Buccaneers in 2003. But in all honesty, the hundred forces that had emerged after 1970 to compete with Monday Night Football, were collectively getting the better of ABC. Thus, on April 18, 2005, a new eight-year contract sent Monday Night Football to ABC's adopted sister network, ESPN.moreless
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    NBC Nightly News

    NBC Nightly News

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    NBC
    Currently anchored by Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News is NBC's evening news program, watched by millions of Americans every night. NBC Nightly News originated from the Huntley-Brinkley Report, but when David Huntley retired, they changed the name and format. You can catch the show every evening at 6:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM CT.moreless
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    20/20

    20/20

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    ABC
    Among the most recognized and revered television newsmagazines, 20/20 was ABC's answer to CBS's 60 Minutes. Though some stories were humorous, light-hearted and sometimes frivolous features, the meat of "20/20's" programming was investigative reporting many times exposing corporate, medical, educational and governmental wrongdoing, incompetence and criminal negligence and reports on news events of the week from (often) different angles than was seen on the nightly news. Though most of the reports proved to be factual, some were heralded as sensationalist; others led to allegations of libel while at least one story later proved to be an embarrassing hoax. The show's current co-anchors are John Stossel and Elizabeth Vargas.moreless
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    Meet the Press

    Meet the Press

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    NBC
    Meet the Press debuted on November 6, 1947, and has become the longest-running television show in the history of broadcasting. Watch as the current moderator interviews some of the most influential people in Washington.moreless
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    The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

    The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

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    NBC (ended 1992)
    Six months after Jack Paar made a stormy departure from "The Tonight Show" (over jokes about Communism, among other issues) and viewers enduring a succession of "substitute" hosts (and an ill-fated attempt at a magazine-type show), NBC (and middle America) finally got the comedian they were waiting for. Johnny Carson – who had honed his craft on radio and daytime television, and to that point was best known as host of Who Do You Trust – made his debut as host of "The Tonight Show" on October 1, 1962. Thus began a love affair with America that lasted 30 years, not only making Carson wealthy and powerful, but earning him the title, "King of Late Night." It started out shaky. NBC built Carson a cheap set on the sixth floor of 30 Rockefeller Center, not thinking the show would last. Ed McMahon was less confident; he still lived in Philadelphia and commuted for the next three years. In 1962, "Tonight" began at 11:15 pm ET and lasted 105 minutes. By then, most NBC affiliates had inflated their late-evening newscasts to half an hour. It meant that, unless viewers tuned in on the NBC owned-and-operated stations in New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, Philadelphia, or Los Angeles, chances are they missed Carson's monologue. NBC quickly moved the start time of Johnny's show to 11:30 pm ET to ensure everyone could see the best part of his domain. In 1972, the show moved from New York to NBC's West Coast headquarters, thus setting up countless gags about "beautiful downtown Burbank." For a number of years, NBC reran "Tonight" on weekends at 11:30 pm ET. These reruns, of course, didn't score nearly the ratings as the originals maintained. By the end of 1974, Carson told NBC to turn their late weekends to another program. NBC hired a young Canadian performer and writer named Lorne Michaels to develop (what would quickly become) the "Tonight" antithesis -- Saturday Night Live. Carson became the man with whom millions of Americans ended their day with a relatively simple formula: an opening monologue of topical (sometimes corny) humor. Johnny's stock in trade became his down-home, glib sense of humor and his natural wit. He possessed the knack of being equal parts L.A. hip and Midwest backward. However, he never mocked people or resorted to mean-spirited or cheap, off-color jokes; instead, he often poked fun at human nature and events of the day in such a way that made America know it was OK to laugh at themselves. The Carson Monologue became "must see TV," and to miss a night was leave one's self less than "in the know" at the water cooler the following day. On one occasion, a Carson joke about toilet paper shortage actually led to hoarding of the product by thousands of consumers. Following the monologue, viewers saw either a "desk bit" between Carson and McMahon, or a more elaborate, produced skit. Then, interviews and performances by a wide range of celebrities followed (some reports have Johnny's guest list at more than 20,000). Carson was often at his best while interviewing the "everyday" person, especially young children. Some of the notable skits and features: • Carnac the Magnificent – Debuting in 1964, Carson (wearing a jeweled and feathered turban) would "divine" answers to questions from "hermetically sealed" envelopes, a standard gag from Vaudeville. Example: "The answer is...Chicken teriyaki! The question..."What is the name of the last surviving Japanese kamikaze pilot?" • The Mighty Carson Art Players – Starting in 1967, this catch-all title featured parodies of movies, TV shows and commercials. Classic skits included a tongue-twisting take-off on Dragnet (1968, with Jack Webb); commercial parodies of E.F. Hutton (with a deceased Carson rising from a casket to "my broker is E.F. Hutton..."), American Express (with Carson as Karl Malden), Energizer Batteries (Carson as Robert Conrad), and various diarrhea commercial take-offs. Also under the "Mighty Carson" umbrella was the Tea Time Movie sketch, with Carson playing Art Fern, an oily afternoon movie host and commercial huckster. These sketches were full of double entendre humor, first featuring busty Carol Wayne as the straight foil, "the Matinee Lady." Following Wayne's drowning death in 1985, Teresa Ganzel was added. Other classic moments included Carson as President Reagan (and actor Fred Holliday) in a hilarious "Who's On First?"-style routine, and a duet with Julio Iglesias ("To All The Girls I've Loved Before"), with Carson giving a convincing Willie Nelson impersonation. • Floyd R. Turbo – The super-patriot who gave over-the-top editorials. Other memorable moments: • Falsetto-singer and ukulele player Tiny Tim on-air marriage to Miss Vicki (Vicki Budinger) on December 17, 1969. • Ed Ames infamous tomahawk throw demo, striking the outlined target squarely in the crotch. • The marmoset who relieved itself while poking around at Carson's head; plus other animals (brought on by frequent guests Joan Embery and Jim Fowler) who refused to behave or were just being themselves. • Potato chip collector Myrtle Young, who momentarily thinks Johnny has eaten one of her prized chips. Among the performers who owe (at least part) of the beginning of their careers to Carson: Joan Rivers, Roseanne Barr, Drew Carey, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld and Garry Shandling, plus many others. Ironically, Letterman (a frequent "Tonight" guest host in the late 1970's) was Carson's first choice as his successor. Leno, however, had already been given the seat as "permanent guest host," following Carson's professional breakup with Joan Rivers (who had joined the up and coming FOX Network to do her own late night show in 1986.) Leno, though seen by some at NBC as "too ethnic looking," had the favor of NBC's West Coast executives, and was chosen over Letterman, whom NBC West saw as "too cranky and edgy" to replace the mild-mannered Carson. This was perceived as a final snub to Carson, and prompted Letterman to defect to CBS, and compete head to head against the show he'd always wanted to host. The entire "Tonight" endgame saga would be the subject of Bill Carter's book The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno & the Network Battle for the Night (later turned into an HBO film, with Rich Little as Johnny). Carson's 30-year ride was hardly without its more tenuous moments, thanks to several contract disputes and his well-publicized failed marriages (he was thrice divorced during his run on the show). Carson's "alimony payment" jokes would become a staple of the show. Following much protracted negotiation (including talk of his leaving "Tonight"), Carson signed a new contract with NBC in 1980. Three stipulations in the deal: 1) "Tonight" was reduced from 90 minutes to 60; 2) Carson would dictate what kind of show NBC could run at 12:30 am ET. This meant replacing Tom Snyder's Tomorrow show with from Carson's stable. 3) Carson Productions was formed. Among its most heralded works was the show that followed "Tonight" -- Late Night with David Letterman. Carson Productions' other gift to NBC was a series of specials called Television's Greatest Commercials, hosted by Ed McMahon. McMahon was also a victim of a one-shot deal called Johnny Carson's Greatest Practical Jokes, in which Johnny had loaded the trunk of Ed's car with office equipment and taped Ed failing to get past NBC Security (and a guard named Carson). Both of these specials would merge with Dick Clark's running TV Censored Bloopers in January 1984, becoming TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes. In 1983, Carson Productions produced and distributed "Carson's Comedy Classics," a somewhat low-budget, 30 minute repackaging of "Tonight" clips, culled mainly from the years 1972-1982. Carson's lock on late night came into question in the late 1980's, likely precipitated by two events: the debut of The Arsenio Hall Show in 1989, and Dana Carvey doing a less-than-loving portrayal (with Phil Hartman as a one-note Ed McMahon) of Carson on Saturday Night Live. Carvey's "Johnny" was basically a dinosaur -- a relic clueless of pop culture and mired in "unhipness." In one of the more scathing takes, Carvey presented Carson as "Carsenio," giving his Johnny a wedge cut and Arsenio-styled suit. These less-than-flattening portrayals of Carson on SNL were seen by some as NBC giving tacit approval to the move to push Johnny out. Carson, during his last show, in thanking Doc and the band, would lament TV's loss of the "last big swing band," saying, "To say that this band is not 'hip' is to not know the meaning of the word." In 1991, as Carson was starting his 29th year, the "King of Late Night" announced in his usual no-big-deal style that he was retiring, expressing a desire to leave the show while still in his prime. His second-to-last show on May 21, 1992 featured just two guests: Robin Williams and Bette Midler, with Midler serenading Carson with "One for My Baby," a teary-eyed Carson taking in the moment. The final show on May 22, 1992 was a quiet and contemplative retrospective, featuring "a day in the life" on the Tonight Show set, and a tribute to his late son, Rick (who was killed in a car crash the previous June). Alone on a stool, in front of the familiar curtain, a tearful Carson bade his audience "a heartfelt good night," thus ending not only a show, but an era of television. With very few exceptions, Carson's "Tonight" departure was the last most people saw of their beloved late-night TV comic. Most notably: a voice appearance as himself on The Simpsons episode, 'Krusty Gets Kancelled,' and a pair of appearances on Late Show with David Letterman. Just prior to Carson's death, it was revealed that Johnny would occasionally give Dave an idea or two for his monologue, thus cementing the notion that Carson saw Letterman as his true late night heir. When Johnny Carson died on January 23, 2005, America mourned the passing of a late-night legend. Jay Leno devoted his January 24, 2005 show to his predecessor (though it should be noted, Leno read a prepared "tribute" from cue cards). On the show were Ed McMahon, Drew Carey and Carson's close friends Bob Newhart and Don Rickles, all providing their remembrances. Letterman's first new show following Carson's death featured longtime "Tonight" executive producer Peter Lassally and a performance of "Here's That Rainy Day" -- one of Johnny's favorites -- by bandleader Doc Severinsen, with NBC Orchestra mates Tommy Newsom and Ed Shaughnessy. Thanks to TV Tome contributors Brian Rathjen & doppelgänger.moreless
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    The Sports Reporters

    The Sports Reporters

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    ESPN
    The Sports Reporters features host John Saunders and three panelists from the print media who discuss current events in sports. This show, which is run weekly on ESPN, was originally hosted by Dick Schaap. It is on Sunday mornings at 10:00am on ESPN and repeated Sunday afternoon at 12:30pm on ESPN2.moreless
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    Late Night With David Letterman

    Late Night With David Letterman

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    NBC (ended 1993)
    David Letterman made his name as a TV legend with this influential comedy/talk show series. Dave was a departure from the usual happy, pleasant host; he was sarcastic, moody, grumpy--and on a bad night, he could be all three and almost unwatchable. Generally, though, he treated guests with a refreshing irrereverence. The comedy segments often cast a jaded eye at the cliches of life and especially show business--a wink to the audience that we were all in on whatever scam was being perpetrated on us. Along that line, bandleader Paul Shaffer would banter with Dave in a faux-Rat Pack/swinger style, an exaggeration of how the typical 'hip' talk show musician acted. Recurring bits over the years included: the nighty 'Top Ten' list, often based on a topic in the news; 'Stupid Pet Tricks', when real people and their pets demonstrated, well, exactly what the title says; 'Peggy, the foul-mouthed chambermaid', who would come out and curse at Letterman (most of her dialog was bleeped); Chris Elliot as the creepy guy under the stairs; and TV cameras attached to anything that moved, most unforgettably to a chimp. Borrowing an idea from Steve Allen, Dave ocassionally performed ridiculous stunts. Among them, he had himself dunked into a giant bowl of milk; wore a suit of suet; almost passed out from fumes when, covered with Alka-Seltzer tablets, was dunked in a tank of water; and, wearing a velcro suit, jumped on a trampoline and stuck to a wall. "Late Night with David Letterman" was highly praised, winning five Emmy Awards, and a prestigious Peabody for taking, as the award said, "one of TV's most conventional and least-inventive forms, the talk show, and infusing it with freshness and imagination." NOTE: Thanks to noted Letterman expert Don "Donz5" Giller for his help in correcting and contributing to this episode guide.moreless
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    Dean Martin Celebrity Roast

    Dean Martin Celebrity Roast

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    NBC (ended 1984)
    In 1973, The Dean Martin Show was declining in popularity. So for the 1973 - 1974 season, a new feature called a "roast" was added to try to pick up the ratings. The roasts seemed to be pretty popular among television audiences. So after the show was cancelled in 1974, NBC drew up a contract with Dean to do several specials and do more roast specials. Enter The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast. Starting with Bob Hope in 1974, the roast was taped in California and turned out to be a hit, leading to many other roasts to follow. In the fall of 1974, the roasts moved permanently to the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. From 1974 until early 1979, in the hotel's Ziegfeld Room, stars like Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Stewart, Joan Collins, and many others were roasted.moreless
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