1978 in American television

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This is a list of American television-related events in 1978.


Date Event
January 15 Super Bowl XII airs on CBS, the first time the NFL's championship event is played and telecast at night.
January 23 Roots One Year Later, a special examining the impact and influence of the miniseries, airs on ABC.
January 28 The Doobie Brothers made a guest appearance on ABC's What's Happening!!
February 5 ABC celebrates its silver anniversary with a retrospective special.
March 22 The Beatles spoof The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash airs on NBC.
March 26–April 1 CBS commemorated its golden anniversary in radio and TV broadcasting with CBS: On the Air, a 9½-hour retrospective special airing over 7 nights.
April 16–19 Holocaust, starring James Woods and Meryl Streep first aired on NBC.
April 22 The Blues Brothers make their first appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live; the duo of Jake & Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) are introduced in a skit by Paul Shaffer (as Don Kirshner) and performs "Hey Bartender".
April 26 Ringo Starr's, Ringo, a musical version of The Prince and the Pauper, airs on NBC, with Starr's fellow former Beatle, George Harrison, providing the narration.
July 1 In Charlotte, North Carolina, NBC affiliate WSOC-TV leaves the network and joins ABC, citing a stronger affiliation (at the time, NBC is in last place among the three major networks, while ABC is in first place). NBC eventually aligns with Ted Turner-owned independent station WRET-TV (now WCNC-TV), tempted by promises Turner made to NBC to make $2.5 million worth of upgrades, including a stronger transmitter and the launch of a news department; former ABC affiliate WCCB becomes an independent station, and eventually a charter affiliate of Fox in 1986.[1]
July 10 On ABC, the ABC Evening News get a revamp and become ABC World News Tonight, employing a unique three-anchor setup (Frank Reynolds serving as lead anchor from Washington, Max Robinson presenting national news from Chicago, and Peter Jennings with international news from London).
August 1 Taking advantage of an oral escape-clause in his contract with ABC, Harry Reasoner returns to CBS, eventually rejoining 60 Minutes, the program he anchored with Mike Wallace from its 1968 premiere until he joined ABC News in 1970.
September 17 The ceremony formalizing the success of the peace talks between Israel's Menachem Begin and Egypt's Anwar Sadat—the Camp David accords—is televised live from the White House East Room.
September 19 The chairs on which Archie and Edith Bunker sat through 8 seasons of the CBS comedy All in the Family are presented to the Smithsonian Institution.
September 25 WNNE-TV in Hartford, Vermont signs-on the air as a NBC affiliate (it is now a full satellite of WPTZ, the network's affiliate in nearby Plattsburgh, New York).
September 27 Replacing Zara Cully and Damon Evans, Jay Hammer joins the cast of the CBS comedy The Jeffersons, for a short period of time.
November 12 In Fort Smith, Arkansas, KLMN-TV (now KFTA-TV) signs-on the air as a CBS affiliate, taking that affiliation from KFPW-TV/KTVP (now KHBS/KHOG), who becomes a full-time ABC affiliate.
November 17 The Star Wars Holiday Special airs on CBS. The special gives fans their first glimpse of Boba Fett, a character from the upcoming Star Wars sequel.


Series on air in 1978[edit]





In syndication[edit]



Shows that take place in 1978[edit]


Date Show Network
January 14 Fantasy Island ABC
February 12 How the West Was Won CBS
February 19 The Incredible Hulk
March 10 Project U.F.O.
April 2 Dallas
April 3 Pass the Buck NBC
Ever Increasing Faith Syndication
April 8 The Ted Knight Show CBS
Another Day
April 24 Card Sharks NBC
April 25 Vega$ ABC
June 6 20/20
July 3 Tic Tac Dough CBS
July 10 World News Tonight ABC
September 1 Battle of the Planets Syndication
September 7 Grandpa Goes to Washington NBC
September 8 The Eddie Capra Mysteries
September 9 Fabulous Funnies
Fantastic Four
Yogi's Space Race
Fangface ABC
The Paper Chase CBS
Tarzan and the Super 7
September 10 Kaz
Sword of Justice NBC
September 12 Taxi ABC
September 13 W.E.B. NBC
September 14 Mork & Mindy ABC
September 17 Battlestar Galactica
Lifeline NBC
September 18 WKRP in Cincinnati CBS
September 22 The Waverly Wonders NBC
Who's Watching the Kids
September 23 Apple Pie ABC
The American Girls CBS
September 24 Mary
October 1 Centennial NBC
October 30 A.M. Weather PBS
November 2 David Cassidy: Man Under Cover NBC
November 3 Diff'rent Strokes
November 27 The White Shadow CBS

Shows returning[edit]

Show Last aired Previous network Retitled as/Same Returning
High Rollers 1976 NBC Same April 24
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! 1970 CBS September 9
Jeopardy! 1975 NBC The All-New Jeopardy! October 2

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
March 6 The Six Million Dollar Man 1973
March 29 The Carol Burnett Show 1967
March 30 Police Woman 1974
March 31 Tattletales
April 1 The Bob Newhart Show 1972
April 7 Quark 1977
April 29 Maude 1972
Another Day 1978
May 13 The Ted Knight Show
The Bionic Woman 1976
Columbo 1971
May 18 Baretta 1975
July 21 Chico and the Man 1974
November 4 Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! 1969
November 10 The American Girls 1978
December 2 Yogi's Space Race
December 4 Lucan 1977
December 9 Rhoda 1974
December 16 The New Fantastic Four 1978
December 23 The Scooby-Doo Show 1976

Made-for-TV movies and miniseries[edit]

Title Network Date of airing
King NBC February 12–14
Holocaust April 16–19
Centennial October 1–February 4
Someone's Watching Me! November 29


Date Name Notability
January 5 January Jones Actress (Mad Men, The Last Man on Earth)
January 9 A. J. McLean Actor and singer (Backstreet Boys)
January 15 Jamie Clayton Actress (Sense8)
Eddie Cahill Actor (CSI: NY)
January 24 Kristen Schaal Actress (Bob's Burgers, The Last Man on Earth, Gravity Falls)
January 26 Kelly Stables Actress (W.I.T.C.H., Two and a Half Men, The Exes)
February 3 Kelly Sullivan Actress (Henry Danger)
February 7 Ashton Kutcher Actor (That '70s Show)
February 14 Joanna Canton Actress
Danai Gurira Actor (The Walking Dead)
February 20 Lauren Ambrose Actress (Six Feet Under)
March 1 Donovan Patton Actor (Blue's Clues)
Jensen Ackles Actor (Supernatural)
March 5 Kimberly McCullough Actress (Once and Again, General Hospital)
March 17 Patrick Seitz Actor
March 19 Virginia Williams Actress (One Life to Live, Monarch Cove, Fairly Legal)
March 23 Joanna Page Welsh actress (Gavin & Stacey, Poppy Cat, Q Pootle 5)
Anastasia Griffith Actress (Damages, Trauma, Copper)
Nicholle Tom Actress (The Nanny)
March 25 Maribeth Monroe Actress and comedian (Workaholics, The Brink)
April 2 Jaime Ray Newman Actress (General Hospital, Eastwick)
April 13 Kyle Howard Actor (My Boys)
April 22 Manu Intiraymi Actor (Star Trek: Voyager)
April 26 Stana Katic Actress (Castle)
May 10 Corri English Actress
Kenan Thompson Actor (All That, Kenan & Kel, Saturday Night Live)
May 12 Jason Biggs Actor (Orange Is the New Black)
Malin Akerman Actress (Childrens Hospital, Trophy Wife)
May 17 Kat Foster Actress ('Til Death)
May 22 Ginnifer Goodwin Actress (Ed, Big Love, Once Upon a Time)
May 26 Benji Gregory Actor (ALF)
June 2 Justin Long Actor (Ed)
Nikki Cox Actress (Las Vegas)
June 6 Judith Barsi Actress (d. 1988)
June 7 Bill Hader Actor (Saturday Night Live)
June 10 Shane West Actor (Once and Again, ER, Nikita)
June 11 Joshua Jackson Canadian actor (Dawson's Creek)
June 13 Ethan Embry Actor (Brotherhood)
June 19 Zoe Saldana Actress and singer
June 21 Erica Durance Actress (Smallville, Saving Hope)
July 1 Hillary Tuck Actress (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show)
July 4 Becki Newton Actress (Ugly Betty, The Goodwin Games)
July 6 Tamera Mowry Actresses (Sister, Sister, Tia & Tamera)
Tia Mowry Actresses (Sister, Sister, Tia & Tamera, Instant Mom)
July 9 Linda Park Actress (Star Trek: Enterprise)
July 12 Michelle Rodriguez Actress (Lost)
Topher Grace Actor (That '70s Show)
July 18 Eddie Matos Actor (Port Charles)
July 22 A.J. Cook Actress (Higher Ground, Criminal Minds)
August 2 Natashia Williams Actress (Romeo!)
August 20 Noah Bean Actor (Nikita)
August 24 Beth Riesgraf Actress (Leverage, Caper)
August 25 Kel Mitchell Actor (All That, Kenan & Kel, Game Shakers)
August 26 Amanda Schull Actress (Pretty Little Liars, Suits, 12 Monkeys)
August 28 Kelly Overton Actress (All My Children, True Blood, Legends)
September 4 Wes Bentley Actor (American Horror Story)
September 12 Benjamin McKenzie Actor (The O.C.)
September 13 Megan Henning Actress (7th Heaven)
September 23 Keri Lynn Pratt Actress (Jack & Bobby)
October 16 Kala Savage Actress
October 17 Erin Karpluk Canadian actress (Being Erica)
October 20 Dionne Quan Voice actress (Trixie Tang on The Fairly OddParents)
October 28 Gwendoline Christie English actress (Wizards vs. Aliens, Game of Thrones) and singer
October 31 Brian Hallisay Actor (Privileged, The Client List, Revenge)
November 12 Ashley Williams Actress (As the World Turns, Good Morning, Miami, The Jim Gaffigan Show)
November 15 Samantha Shelton Actress (Monarch Cove)
November 17 Zoë Bell New Zealand actress
Rachel McAdams Actress (True Detective)
November 24 Katherine Heigl Actress (Roswell, Grey's Anatomy, State of Affairs)
November 29 Lauren German Actress (Chicago Fire)
December 7 Shiri Appleby Actress (Roswell, Life UneXpected, UnREAL)
December 8 Ian Somerhalder Actor (The Vampire Diaries)
December 18 Katie Holmes Actress (Dawson's Creek)
December 20 Amanda Swisten Actress
December 23 Estella Warren Canadian actress


Date Name Age Notability
February 28 Zara Cully 86 Actress (Mother Olivia Jefferson on The Jeffersons)
March 18 Peggy Wood 86 Actress (One Life to Live)
April 22 Will Geer 76 Actor (Grandpa Walton on The Waltons)
May 21 Bruce Geller 47 Screenwriter, producer (Mannix)
June 29 Bob Crane 49 Actor (Col. Hogan on Hogan's Heroes)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Charlotte Observer, Apr. 25 and 29, 1978.