1977 in American television

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This is a list of American television-related events in 1977.

Events[edit]

Date Event
January 3 Holly Hallstrom becomes the third model on the CBS game show The Price is Right along with Janice Pennington and Dian Parkinson. This lineup would remain unchanged for the next thirteen years until Kathleen Bradley joined in 1990.
January 15 Bill Murray joins the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live, replacing Chevy Chase who left the previous year.
January 31 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries premieres on ABC, featuring teen detectives Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. The series alternates between The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew each week, with Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy Drew and Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy as Frank and Joe Hardy. Co-starring includes Ed Gilbert as Fenton Hardy, Edith Atwater as Aunt Gertrude Hardy, and Lisa Eilbacher as Callie Shaw in the Hardy Boys part, with William Schallert as Carson Drew, Jean Rasey as George Fayne, and George O'Hanlon, Jr. as Ned Nickerson in the Nancy Drew part.
February 4 American Bandstand celebrates its 25th anniversary on television with a special hosted by Dick Clark and telecast by ABC. An "all-star band" made up of Chuck Berry, Seals & Crofts, Gregg Allman, Junior Walker, Johnny Rivers, the Pointer Sisters, Charlie Daniels, Doc Severinsen, Les McCann, Donald Byrd, Chuck Mangione and three members of Booker T and the MGs perform "Roll Over Beethoven."
February 27 Fed up with excessive violence and distorted images of sex on TV, the Reverend Donald Wildmon declares "Turn the Television Off Week." Few do.
March 1 The CBS game show Match Game is named the #1 rated game show on television for the fifth year in a row.
March 7 Second Chance, the forerunner to Press Your Luck, premieres on ABC.
March 15 Renata Scotto and Luciano Pavarotti are seen in "La bohème" on PBS and heard in stereo on local (mostly NPR) stations in the first live "simulcast" from the Met.
March 27 In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ABC affiliate WITI and CBS affiliate WISN-TV swap affiliations, reversing a swap that took place in 1961.[1][2]
June 6 Lisa Peluso makes her first appearance on the CBS soap opera Search for Tomorrow.
June 27 In San Diego, California, ABC, angered over the forced loss of their affiliation from XETV in nearby Tijuana, Mexico in 1973, moves from the station which forced the change, KCST-TV, to NBC affiliate KGTV. KCST-TV assumes KGTV's former NBC affiliation and is now KNSD, a NBC O&O.
August 16 Television stations nationwide interrupt regular programming following news of the death of Elvis Presley.
September 5 In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ABC affiliate WRBT (now WVLA-TV) and NBC affiliate WBRZ-TV swap affiliations. WBRZ-TV makes its move in search for stronger programming (ABC is, at the time, the nation's #1 rated television network, while NBC is in last place). The move is a precursor to similar events that will take place in the course of the next few years.
September 14 A tube top-clad woman named Yolanda Bowsley is called into Contestant's Row on The Price is Right, and while running down her breasts pop out of her shirt. The incident was censored with a large blue bar but it is still remembered today.
October 23 CBS affiliates WTEN in Albany, New York and WCDC in Adams, Massachusetts swap affiliations with ABC affiliate WAST after WTEN/WCDC's incoming owners Knight-Ridder sign an affiliation deal for the station with ABC.
October 24 A new Peanuts special, It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, airs on CBS. It shows and names "Heather", the Little Red-Haired Girl, thereupon ending the 'mystery'.
November 6 KTVZ in Bend, Oregon signs-on as a NBC affiliate. Bend is technically still part of the Portland DMA at the time, but in 1981, it becomes its own television market.
November 30 CBS commentator Eric Sevareid bade farewell in his final two-minute segment on The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, after 48 years at CBS News.
December 2 Billy Crystal sets a winner's circle record by getting the contestant to the top of the pyramid in 26 seconds on ABC's The $20,000 Pyramid. The record still stands today.
December 11 In Huntsville, Alabama, NBC affiliate WAAY-TV swaps affiliations with ABC affiliate WYUR in search for stronger programming (at the time, NBC is in last place among the three major networks, and ABC is in first place).

Programs[edit]

Series on air in 1977[edit]

ABC[edit]

CBS[edit]

NBC[edit]

PBS[edit]

In syndication[edit]

Debuts[edit]

Date Show Network
January 3 Lovers and Friends NBC
Shoot for the Stars
January 10 Circus of the Stars CBS
January 17 Busting Loose
January 30 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries ABC
January 31 The Andros Targets CBS
February 2 Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected NBC
February 18 Hunter CBS
March 7 Second Chance ABC
March 15 Eight Is Enough
Three's Company
March 20 Loves Me, Loves Me Not CBS
March 23 How Do You Like Your Eggs? QUBE
April 1 This Week in Baseball Syndication
April 19 The Amazing Spider-Man CBS
May 7 Quark NBC
June 13 It's Anybody's Guess
July 18 The Better Sex ABC
August 3 The Kallikaks NBC
September 5 The Fitzpatricks CBS
September 10 Baggy Pants and the Nitwits NBC
CB Bears
I Am the Greatest: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali
The New Archie and Sabrina Hour
The Red Hand Gang
Search and Rescue
Space Sentinels
Thunder
Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics ABC
The Skatebirds CBS
Space Academy
September 12 The Betty White Show
Young Dan'l Boone
Lucan ABC
September 13 Soap
Mulligan's Stew NBC
The Richard Pryor Show
September 14 Inside the NFL HBO
September 15 Carter Country ABC
CHiPs NBC
September 16 Sanford Arms
Logan's Run CBS
September 17 Operation Petticoat ABC
September 19 The San Pedro Beach Bums
September 20 Lou Grant CBS
September 21 The Oregon Trail NBC
September 22 Man from Atlantis
September 24 The Love Boat ABC
October 1 We've Got Each Other CBS
October 3 Knockout NBC
To Say the Least
October 9 On Our Own CBS
October 27 James at 15 NBC
December 1 Pinwheel Nickelodeon

Returning this year[edit]

Title Last aired Previous network New title New network Date of return
The Mickey Mouse Club 1959 ABC The New Mickey Mouse Club Syndication January 17

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
January 7 New Howdy Doody Show 1976
January 26 The Practice
March 3 The McLean Stevenson Show
March 18 Sanford and Son 1972
March 19 The Mary Tyler Moore Show 1970
March 30 The Streets of San Francisco 1972
April 13 Sirota's Court 1976
April 15 The Electric Company 1971
April 17 McCloud 1970
April 24 McMillan & Wife 1971
April 27 Loves Me, Loves Me Not 1977
May 16 The Andros Targets
May 27 Hunter
July 30 The Feather and Father Gang 1976
August 24 Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected 1977
August 31 The Kallikaks
September 2 Let's Make a Deal 1971
October 4 The Richard Pryor Show 1977
October 14 Sanford Arms
November 16 Busting Loose
November 30 The Oregon Trail
December 3 Emergency! 1972
December 13 Mulligan's Stew 1977
December 19 The San Pedro Beach Bums

Changes of network affiliation[edit]

Show Moved from Moved to
The Bionic Woman ABC NBC
Wonder Woman CBS
The Mickey Mouse Club ABC Syndication
Tattletales CBS Syndication
The Tony Randall Show ABC CBS

Made-for-TV movies[edit]

Debut Name Network
May 13 The San Pedro Bums ABC
November 10 The Incredible Hulk CBS
November 26 The Hobbit NBC
December 11 It Happened One Christmas CBS

Miniseries[edit]

Debut Name Network
January 23 Roots ABC
April 3 Jesus of Nazareth NBC

Births[edit]

Date Name Notability
January 7 Dustin Diamond Actor (Saved by the Bell)
January 8 Amber Benson Actress (Buffy, the Vampire Slayer) and singer
January 21 Jerry Trainor Actor (Drake & Josh, iCarly, Wendell & Vinnie, voice of Dudley Puppy on T.U.F.F. Puppy)
February 3 Maitland Ward Actress (The Bold and the Beautiful, Boy Meets World)
March 8 Alison Becker Actress (Mayne Street, Dating Rules from My Future Self, Parks and Recreation)
James Van Der Beek Actor (Dawson's Creek)
March 10 Bree Turner Actress (Undressed, Grimm)
March 15 Brian Tee Actor (Chicago Med)
March 24 Jessica Chastain American actress
March 26 Bianca Kajlich Actress (Rules of Engagement, Undateable)
March 28 Annie Wersching Actress (General Hospital, 24, Bosch, The Vampire Diaries)
April 12 Jordana Spiro Actress (The Huntress, My Boys, The Mob Doctor)
Sarah Jane Morris Actress (Brothers & Sisters)
April 14 Sarah Michelle Gellar Actress (Swans Crossing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ringer, The Crazy Ones)
April 24 Rebecca Mader Actress (Justice, Lost, Once Upon a Time)
April 26 Jason Earles Actor (Hannah Montana, Kickin' It)
McKenzie Westmore Actress (Passions, All My Children)
Tom Welling Actor (Smallville)
April 30 Alexandra Holden Actress
May 3 Jeffrey Garcia Voice actor (voice of Sheen on Jimmy Neutron)
May 12 Rebecca Herbst Actress (Days of Our Lives, General Hospital)
May 23 Heather Wahlquist Actress
June 1 Sarah Wayne Callies Actress (Prison Break, The Walking Dead)
Andrea Bogart Actress (General Hospital)
June 2 Zachary Quinto Actor (American Horror Story)
June 5 Liza Weil Actress (Gilmore Girls, How to Get Away with Murder)
July 1 Liv Tyler Actress (The Leftovers)
July 13 Ashley Scott Actress (Dark Angel, Birds of Prey, Jericho)
Kari Wahlgren Voice actress (Naruto, Henry Hugglemonster, Phineas and Ferb, Fish Hooks, Gravity Falls)
July 18 Kelly Reilly British actress (Black Box)
July 26 Tony Sampson Voice actor (Eddy on Ed, Edd n Eddy)
July 27 Jason Zimbler Actor (Clarissa Explains It All)
July 30 Jaime Pressly Actress (My Name Is Earl)
August 2 Edward Furlong Actor (CSI: NY)
August 27 Janet McLachlan Actress
September 1 Adrienne Wilkinson Actress (Venice: The Series, Suspense)
September 24 Elizabeth Bogush Actress (Titans, The Mountain)
September 27 Mike Maronna Actor (The Adventures of Pete & Pete)
October 11 Matt Bomer Actor (Guiding Light, Tru Calling, Chuck, White Collar)
October 13 Kiele Sanchez Actress (Married to the Kellys, Related, The Glades, Kingdom)
October 20 Jennifer Hall Actress (Up All Night)
October 27 Mat Lucas Voice actor (Star Wars: Clone Wars)
November 10 Brittany Murphy Actress (King of the Hill) (d. 2009)
November 16 Gigi Edgley Australian actress (Farscape, The Secret Life of Us, Rescue Special Ops)
Maggie Gyllenhaal Actress, singer and sister of Jake Gyllenhaal
November 18 Miranda Raison British actress (MI-5, Spotless)
November 25 Jill Flint Actress (Royal Pains, The Night Shift)
November 29 Beatrice Rosen Actress (Cuts, Backstrom)
December 6 Lindsey Alley Actress (The Mickey Mouse Club, On the Patio)
December 17 Katheryn Winnick Canadian actress (Vikings)
December 29 Katherine Moennig Actress (The L Word, Three Rivers, Ray Donovan)
December 30 Lucy Punch Actress (The Class, Ben and Kate)

Deaths[edit]

Date Name Age Notability
January 28 Burt Mustin 92 Actor (Leave It to Beaver)
January 29 Freddie Prinze 22 Actor and comedian (Chico and the Man)
February 28 Eddie "Rochester" Anderson 71 Comedian (The Jack Benny Program)
March 27 Diana Hyland 41 Actress (The Fugitive)
April 21 Gummo Marx 84 Actor
June 14 Alan Reed 69 Actor (original voice of Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones)
August 16 Elvis Presley 42 Singer and actor (The Ed Sullivan Show)
August 19 Groucho Marx 86 Comedian, television host (You Bet Your Life)
August 22 Sebastian Cabot 59 Actor (Family Affair)
August 29 Jean Hagen 54 Actress (Make Room for Daddy)
October 14 Bing Crosby 74 Singer-songwriter and actor


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "In Brief." Broadcasting, September 27, 1976, pg. 28. [1] (the text incorrectly states that WISN-TV had been a CBS affiliate since 1954, omitting the 1961 affiliation switch.)
  2. ^ "Milwaukee connection." Broadcasting, October 18, 1976, pg. 36