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 Nickelodeon, an American cable channel focusing on children's programming, is launched.
April 8 On CBS, the final episode of All in the Family is seen by 40.2 American viewers (it will relaunch the following season as 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, 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 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 The Dukes of Hazzard CBS
Hello, Larry NBC
January 28 CBS News Sunday Morning CBS
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 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 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 16 Aaliyah American singer (d. 2001)
January 24 Ricardo Medina Jr. Actor (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Tatyana Ali Actress (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
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)
March 17 Stephen Kramer Glickman Canadian actor (Big Time Rush)
March 24 Lake Bell Actress (How to Make it in America)
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)
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 22 Maggie Q Actress (Nikita, Stalker)
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, Cougar Town)
June 28 Felicia Day Actress (The Guild)
July 16 Jayma Mays Actress (Glee)
August 3 Danso Gordon Canadian actor (In a Heartbeat, South of Nowhere)
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 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)
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)
October 31 Mat Lucas Voice actor (Star Wars: Clone Wars)
November 13 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 11 Rider Strong Actor (Boy Meets World)
December 15 Adam Brody Actor (The O.C.)
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)
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)


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