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 is 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 5 KSTP-TV in Saint Paul, Minnesota ends its 31-year relationship as the Twin Cities' NBC affiliate and joins ABC in what is called the network's biggest coup yet. NBC, meanwhile, aligns with Metromedia-owned independent station WTCN-TV, while former ABC affiliate KMSP-TV, having failed to procure a NBC affiliation, becomes independent itself.[1][2]
March 6 On NBC, Another World becomes the only soap opera to air regularly scheduled 90-minute telecasts (it would go back to 60-minute episodes in 1980). Meanwhile, on ABC, Family Feud increases its goal to 300 points.
March 19 C-SPAN, an American television channel focusing on government and public affairs, is launched.
April 1 QUBE's child-oriented C-3 channel, originally named "Pinwheel" after its flagship program, is rebranded as Nickelodeon.
April 8 On CBS, the final episode of All in the Family is seen by 40.2 million American viewers (it will relaunch the following season as Archie Bunker's Place).
April 20 The 1,439th and final CBS episode of Match Game 79 airs – however, the show didn't air on April 5, causing the Friday episode from that week to air on April 9. The last 9 aired episodes were culled together from 3 separate taping sessions, leaving 6 unaired until Game Show Network aired them for the first time.
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, the time slot that it holds to this day.
August 1 In Indianapolis, Indiana, NBC affiliate WRTV swaps affiliations with ABC affiliate WTHR, citing a stronger affiliation (at the time, NBC is in last place among the three major networks).[3]
September 7 ESPN, an all-sports channel, launches and becomes the first cable TV channel to be launched as a 24-hour channel.
September 12 On the two-hour season four premiere of Charlie's Angels on ABC, Shelley Hack is introduced as new angel Tiffany Welles, replacing Sabrina Duncan played by Kate Jackson.
September 19 On the two-hour Eight Is Enough season premiere on ABC, both David and Susan Bradford married their respective loves in a double ceremony.
October 6 KTAB-TV in Abilene, Texas begins broadcasting as a CBS affiliate, taking that affiliation from KTXS-TV. KTXS-TV then elevates its secondary ABC affiliation to full-time status, making Abilene one of the last markets in the country to receive full service from the three major networks.
November 4 Jaws is 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 Delta House ABC
January 20 Salvage 1
January 21 Brothers and Sisters NBC
January 22 Nightly Business Report PBS
January 26 Hello, Larry NBC
The Dukes of Hazzard CBS
January 28 CBS News Sunday Morning
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 (debuting as The Iran Crisis–America Held Hostage) ABC
November 28 Young Maverick CBS
December 17 House Calls
December 27 Knots Landing

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
January 12 The Eddie Capra Mysteries 1978
January 16 Grandpa Goes to Washington
March 2 The All-New Jeopardy
March 16 Makin' It 1979
April 8 All in the Family 1971
April 20 Match Game 1973
April 24 The Paper Chase (returned in 1983) 1978
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
July 11 Sword of Justice 1978
July 12 David Cassidy: Man Undercover
August 1 Good Times 1974
September 8 Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics 1977
September 11 Wonder Woman 1976
November 24 Detective School 1979
December 8 Godzilla 1978

Made-for-TV movies and miniseries[edit]

Title Network Premiere date
All Quiet on the Western Front CBS November 14
Backstairs at the White House NBC January 29
Roots: The Next Generations ABC February 18 (7 episodes)
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July ABC November 25
The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree NBC December 3
The Miracle Worker NBC October 14


Date Name Notability
January 8 Sarah Polley Actress (Ramona, Road to Avonlea)
January 9 Joshua Harto Actor (That's So Raven)
January 14 James Scott British actor (All My Children, Days of Our Lives)
January 16 Aaliyah Singer (d. 2001)
January 24 Ricardo Medina Jr. Actor (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Tatyana Ali Actress (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
January 25 Christine Lakin Actress (Step by Step)
January 26 Sara Rue Actress (Less than Perfect)
January 30 Michelle Langstone New Zealand actress (Power Rangers S.P.D.)
February 7 Cerina Vincent Actress (Stuck in the Middle)
February 11 Brandy Norwood Singer and actress (Moesha)
February 18 Tyrone D. Burton Actor (The Parent 'Hood)
February 20 Bianca Lawson Actress (Pretty Little Liars)
February 21 Jennifer Love Hewitt Actress (Party of Five, Ghost Whisperer)
Jordan Peele Actor and comedian (Mad TV, Key & Peele)
March 17 Stephen Kramer Glickman Canadian actor (Big Time Rush)
March 24 Lake Bell Actress (How to Make it in America, Boston Legal)
March 25 Lee Pace Actor (Pushing Daisies)
March 26 Heidi Zeigler Actress (Rags to Riches, Just the Ten of Us)
April 4 Heath Ledger Australian actor (Sweat) (d. 2008)
April 9 Keshia Knight Pulliam Actress (The Cosby Show)
April 12 Claire Danes Actress (Homeland)
Jennifer Morrison Actress (House, Once Upon a Time)
April 18 Kourtney Kardashian Actress (Keeping Up with the Kardashians)
April 23 Jaime King Actress (Hart of Dixie)
May 5 Vincent Kartheiser Actor (Mad Men)
May 9 Rosario Dawson Actor (Gemini Division)
May 16 Jessica Morris Actress (One Life to Live)
May 19 Kyle Carrozza Voice actor (Mighty Magiswords)
May 22 Maggie Q Actress (Nikita, Stalker)
May 26 Elisabeth Harnois Actress (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation)
May 30 Jenny Mollen Actress
May 31 Rhoda Montemayor Actress (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
June 2 Morena Baccarin Actress (Homeland)
June 5 Pete Wentz American musician (Fall Out Boy)
June 7 Anna Torv Actress (Fringe)
June 21 Chris Pratt Actor (Everwood, Parks and Recreation)
June 25 Busy Philipps Actress (Dawson's Creek, Freaks and Geeks, Cougar Town)
June 26 Julia Benson Canadian actress (Stargate Universe)
June 28 Felicia Day Actress (The Guild)
July 3 Elizabeth Hendrickson Actress (All My Children)
July 16 Jayma Mays Actress (Glee)
July 18 Jason Weaver Actor (Smart Guy) and singer
August 1 Jason Momoa Actor (Stargate Atlantis, Game of Thrones)
August 3 Danso Gordon Canadian actor (In a Heartbeat, South of Nowhere)
Evangeline Lilly Canadian actress (Lost)
August 10 JoAnna Garcia Actress (Reba, Privileged, Better with You, The Astronaut Wives Club)
August 12 Peter Browngardt Voice actor (Uncle Grandpa)
August 22 Jennifer Finnigan Actress (The Bold and the Beautiful, Close to Home, Better with You, Tyrant)
August 23 Clare Grant Actress
September 9 Nikki DeLoach Actress (Awkward)
September 15 Dave Annable Actor (Brothers & Sisters, 666 Park Avenue)
Amy Davidson Actress (8 Simple Rules)
September 18 Alison Lohman Actress (Pasadena)
September 24 Erin Chambers Actress (General Hospital)
Justin Bruening Actor (All My Children)
September 28 Anndi McAfee Actress (Phoebe Heyerdahl on Hey Arnold!)
October 2 Brianna Brown Actress (General Hospital, Devious Maids)
October 4 Rachael Leigh Cook Actress (Perception)
October 7 Shawn Ashmore Canadian actor (In a Heartbeat, The Following)
October 8 Kristanna Loken Actress and model (Painkiller Jane)
October 25 Sarah Thompson Actress (Angel, 7th Heaven)
November 2 Erika Flores Actress (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman)
November 13 Henry Wolfe Gummer Actor and singer and son of Don Gummer
Metta World Peace NBA player
November 23 Jonathan Sadowski Actor ($h*! My Dad Says, Young & Hungry)
Kelly Brook Model and actress (Smallville)
December 2 Melissa Archer Actress (One Life to Live)
December 7 Eric Bauza Canadian voice actor (El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, Uncle Grandpa)
December 11 Rider Strong Actor (Boy Meets World)
December 15 Adam Brody Actor (The O.C.)
December 17 Jaimee Foxworth Actress (Family Matters)
December 21 Rutina Wesley Actress (True Blood)
December 26 Chris Daughtry Singer (American Idol)
December 28 Bree Williamson Actress (One Life to Live)


Date Name Age Notability
January 11 Jack Soo 61 Actor (Nick Yemana on Barney Miller)
January 16 Ted Cassidy 46 Actor (Lurch on The Addams Family)
January 27 Dick Wesson 59 Actor, announcer (The Wonderful World of Disney)
June 22 Hope Summers 83 Actress (Clara Edwards on The Andy Griffith Show)
July 29 Bill Todman 62 Game show producer (Match Game, What's My Line?)
August 17 Vivian Vance 70 Actress (Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy)
November 30 Zeppo Marx 78 Actor and comedian

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ABC-TV bags largest game yet in affiliation hunt: KSTP-TV." Broadcasting, September 4, 1978, pp. 19–20. [1][permanent dead link] [2][permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "In Brief." Broadcasting, October 2, 1978, pg. 30[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Television Schedule". Marion Chronicle-Tribune. Marion, IN. 1979-05-30.