1979 in American television

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This is a list of American television-related events of 1979.


Date Event
January 3 The USA Network was founded
January 10 The Music for UNICEF Concert is televised from New York City on NBC
February 11 In the U.S., 43 million viewers watch Elvis, an ABC movie starring Kurt Russell as Elvis Presley
March 6 Another World becomes the only soap opera to air regularly scheduled 90-minute telecasts (it would go back to 60-minute episodes in 1980)
March 19 C-SPAN, an American television channel focusing on government and public affairs, is launched
April 1 Nickelodeon, an American cable channel focusing on children's programming, is launched
April 8 The final episode of All in the Family is seen by 40.2 American viewers (it would later become Archie Bunker's Place)
April 22 Friendly Fire, an ABC movie starring Carol Burnett as a mother who wants to know how her son died in Vietnam, airs
April 23 The Price Is Right, on CBS, moves to 11:00 A.M. EST and remains in that slot
September 7 ESPN begins broadcasting sports 24/7 and was the first cable TV channel to be launched as a 24-hour channel
September 19 On the two-hour Eight Is Enough season premiere, both David and Susan Bradford married their respective loves in a double ceremony
November 4 Jaws was broadcast on television for the first time on ABC
December 1 The Movie Channel, an American premium cable channel, begins broadcasting movies 24/7



Date Show Network
January 8 All Star Secrets NBC
Password Plus
January 18 CBS News Sunday Morning CBS
Delta House ABC
January 20 Salvage 1
January 21 Brothers and Sisters NBC
January 22 Nightly Business Report PBS
January 26 The Dukes of Hazzard CBS
Hello, Larry NBC
February 1 Makin' It ABC
February 3 The New Fred and Barney Show NBC
February 7 Supertrain
February 8 Angie ABC
February 20 This Old House PBS
February 26 Billy CBS
February 27 Cliffhangers NBC
March 4 Stockard Channing in Just Friends CBS
March 13 The Ropers ABC
March 15 Harris and Company NBC
March 24 The Bad News Bears CBS
March 28 Dear Detective ABC
April 6 The Mackenzies of Paradise Cove
April 12 Highridge Manor NBC
April 18 Real People
April 23 Whew! CBS
May 10 Hizzonner NBC
July 31 Detective School ABC
August 24 The Facts of Life NBC
August 25 Hart to Hart ABC
August 28 240-Robert
September 1 Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel PBS
The Woodwright's Shop
September 7 SportsCenter ESPN
September 8 Fred and Barney Meet The Thing NBC
September 9 Jason of Star Command CBS
Out of the Blue ABC
September 13 Benson
September 15 Working Stiffs CBS
September 16 A New Kind of Family ABC
September 17 Three's a Crowd Syndication
September 18 The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo NBC
September 19 The Last Resort CBS
Struck by Lightning
September 20 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century NBC
September 21 Eischied
September 22 Casper and the Angels
A Man Called Sloane
The New Adventures of Flash Gordon
The New Shmoo
The Super Globetrotters
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo ABC
September 23 The Associates
Archie Bunker's Place CBS
September 25 California Fever
Trapper John, M.D.
September 29 Big Shamus, Little Shamus
October 26 Shirley NBC
October 29 Freedom Road
November 8 Nightline ABC
November 28 Young Maverick CBS
December 17 House Calls
December 27 Knots Landing

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
March 2 The All-New Jeopardy 1978
March 16 Makin' It 1979
April 8 All in the Family 1971
April 20 Match Game 1973
April 28 What's Happening!! 1976
April 29 Battlestar Galactica 1978
May 15 Starsky and Hutch 1975
June 8 Welcome Back, Kotter
June 23 Stockard Channing in Just Friends 1979
July 6 The Amazing Spider-Man 1977
August 1 Good Times 1974
September 11 Wonder Woman 1976
November 24 Detective School 1979

Made-for-TV movies and miniseries[edit]

Backstairs at the White House
Roots: The Next Generations
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July


Date Name Notability
January 2 Morena Baccarin Actress (Homeland)
January 24 Tatyana Ali Actress (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
January 26 Sara Rue Actress (Less than Perfect)
February 11 Brandy Norwood Singer/actress (Moesha)
February 21 Jennifer Love Hewitt Actress (Ghost Whisperer)
March 12 John-Paul Lavoisier Actor (One Life to Live)
March 25 Lee Pace Actor (Pushing Daisies)
April 4 Heath Ledger Actor (Sweat) (d. 2008)
April 9 Keshia Knight Pulliam Actress (The Cosby Show)
April 12 Claire Danes Actress (Homeland)
May 5 Vincent Kartheiser Actor (Mad Men)
May 9 Rosario Dawson Actor (Gemini Division)
August 22 Jennifer Finnigan Actress (The Bold and the Beautiful)
September 9 Nikki DeLoach Actress (Awkward)
September 24 Justin Bruening Actor (All My Children)
October 8 Kristanna Loken Actress and model (Painkiller Jane)
November 13 Ron Artest NBA player
November 23 Kelly Brook Model, actress (Smallville)
December 2 Melissa Archer Actress (One Life to Live)
December 11 Rider Strong Actor (Boy Meets World)
December 15 Adam Brody Actor (The O.C.)
December 26 Chris Daughtry Singer (American Idol)


Date Name Age Notability
January 11 Jack Soo 62 Actor (Nick Yemana on Barney Miller)
January 16 Ted Cassidy 47 Actor (Lurch on The Addams Family)
January 27 Dick Wesson 59 Actor, announcer (The Wonderful World of Disney)
July 29 Bill Todman 63 Game show producer (Match Game, What's My Line?)
August 17 Vivian Vance 70 Actress (Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy)