Events in Film & Television in 1978

Television Debut

Jan 8 TV series "All Creatures Great and Small" debuts on BBC TV, based on the books by James Herriot, starring Robert hardy and Christopher Timothy

  • Jan 20 Columbia Pictures pays $9.5 million for movie rights to "Annie"

Radio Premiere

Jan 30 Mutual Broadcasting Network begins airing the late-night "Larry King Show" on radio, from Miami, Florida

Film & TV History

Feb 1 Director Roman Polanski skips bail & fled to France after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl

  • Feb 10 U.S. premiere of "Blue Collar", Paul Schrader's first film direction

Music Premiere

Feb 19 Cy Coleman, Betty Comden & Adolph Green's musical "On The Twentieth Century", starring John Cullum and Madeline Kahn, and Kevin Kline, and directed by Hal Prince, opens at the St. James Theatre, NYC; runs for 449 performances, wins 5 Tony and 4 Drama Desk Awards

Film and TV Awards

Feb 20 4th People's Choice Awards: John Wayne and Barbra Streisand (Motion Picture), and James Garner and Mary Tyler Moore (TV) win

  • Feb 20 Bob Backland beats "Superstar" Billy Graham in NYC, to become WWF wrestling champion
  • Feb 22 28th Berlin International Film Festival: "Las truchas" and "What Max Said" win the Golden Bear (tie)

Film & TV History

Mar 1 Charlie Chaplin's coffin and remains are stolen from a Swiss cemetery in an extortion plot

Television Premiere

Mar 10 "The Incredible Hulk", starring Bill Bixby as David Banner, premieres on CBS

  • Mar 22 The Rutles mockumentary "All You Need is Cash" debuts on NBC television
  • Mar 27 Bob Fosse's "Dancin'" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 1,774 performances

Television Finale

Mar 29 Variety TV show "The Carol Burnett Show" last airs on CBS in the US, having won 25 Emmy Awards

Television Finale

Apr 1 "The Bob Newhart Show" last airs on NBC-TV

Television Premiere

Apr 2 TV show "Dallas" starring Larry Hagman and Barbara Bel Geddes premieres on CBS as a 5 week mini-series; ratings success leads to a 13 year run

  • Apr 3 Larry King moves his radio show from Miami, Florida to Washington, D.C.
  • Apr 16 NBC's premiere of miniseries "Holocaust"
  • Apr 25 ABC premiere of crime drama "Vega$"
  • Apr 30 British film "The Stud" starring Joan Collins, based on the book by her sister Jackie Collins premieres in UK

Film Release

May 1 Jackie Chan's breakthrough film "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow" directed by Yuen Woo-ping, is released in Hong Kong

  • May 8 ABC TV airs "Stars Salute Israel at 30"
  • May 30 31st Cannes Film Festival: "The Tree of Wooden Clogs" directed by Ermanno Olmi wins the Palme d'Or

Television Premiere

Jun 6 US TV news program "20/20", created by Roone Arledge premieres on ABC

  • Jun 7 Emmy 5th Daytime Award presentation

Film Release

Jun 16 Film "Grease" opens, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, based on the 1971 musical

Film & TV History

Jul 10 World News Tonight premieres on ABC with Max Robinson the first black anchor on a network newscast in the US

Film Premiere

Jul 21 "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" film starring The Bee Gees, based on the Beatles' album of the same name, premieres in NYC

  • Jul 24 Margaret Gardiner, of South Africa, crowned 27th Miss Universe
  • Jul 26 11th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at El Cortez Hotel
  • Aug 19 422 die in an arson fire at a movie theater in Iran

Film Premiere

Sep 1 Horror film "Dawn of the Dead" written and directed by George A. Romero, starring David Emge, Ken Foree and Scott H. Reiniger premieres in Torino

  • Sep 1 Last broadcast of "Columbo" starring Peter Falk on NBC
  • Sep 3 Bernard Slade's stage comedy "Same Time, Next Year", closes at the Ambassador Theatre, NYC,, after 1,453 performances and a Tony Award

Telethon

Sep 4 Jerry Lewis' 13th Muscular Dystrophy telethon raises $29,074,405

  • Sep 9 Kylene Barker (Virginia), crowned 51st Miss America 1979

Television Premiere

Sep 12 Situation comedy "Taxi" premieres on ABC television starring Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito, Tony Danza, Marilu Henner, and Andy Kaufman

Film & TV History

Sep 16 Filming begins for "Monty Python's Life of Brian", on location in Monastir, Tunisia

  • Sep 17 30th Emmy Awards: "All in the Family"; Ed Asner & Sada Thompson win
  • Sep 21 3rd Toronto International Film Festival: "Girlfriends" directed by Claudia Weill wins the People's Choice Award
  • Sep 29 "Flying High," debuts on CBS
  • Sep 29 "For Richer, For Poorer," TV Daytime Soap; last airs on NBC-TV

Film Premiere

Oct 4 Film adaptation of Ira Levin's novel "The Boys from Brazil", starring Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier premieres

  • Oct 6 "Midnight Express" film premieres directed by Alan Parker starring Brad Davis, Randy Quaid and John Hurt

Film Premiere

Oct 6 Terrence Malick's "Days of Heaven" film premieres starring Richard Gere

Film & TV History

Oct 14 1st TV movie from a TV series-"Rescue from Gilligan's Island"

  • Oct 23 CBS raises LP prices to $8.98

Film Release

Oct 25 "Halloween", directed by John Carpenter, starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut, is released

  • Oct 28 NBC's premiere of Kiss' acting debut, "Kiss Meets The Phantom of the Park" TV film
  • Nov 2 Arnold Shapiro's TV documentary "Scared Straight", narrated by Peter Falk as a controversial and questionable deterrent to juvenile delinquency, debuts on Los Angeles' KTLA-TV
  • Nov 3 First broadcast of "Different Strokes" on NBC TV

Theater Premiere

Nov 8 Tom Stoppard's play "Night & Day" premieres in London

Album Release

Nov 28 Atlantic Records releases "Briefcase Full of Blues", the debut album by The Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi); album tops the chart and becomes best-selling blues record of all-time

Film Premiere

Dec 8 "The Deer Hunter", directed by Michael Cimino and starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep, premieres in Los Angeles (Academy Awards Best Picture 1979)

Film Premiere

Dec 10 Superman: The Movie, directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman and Margot Kidder premieres at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C.

  • Dec 11 NBC premiere of "A Woman Called Moses"
  • Dec 13 CBS' premiere of "Lovey: A Circle of Children Part II", sequel to "A Circle of Children", which is also based on Mary Mac Cracken

Television Premiere

Dec 27 CBS Television's premiere of its version of "Les Miserables", starring Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins