Events in Film & Television in 1979

Film & TV History

Jan 9 K-Mart pulls Steve Martin's "Let's Get Small" for being in "bad taste"

Film & TV History

Jan 16 BBC landmark nature series "Life on Earth" presented by David Attenborough first shown on BBC One

  • Jan 26 "The Dukes of Hazzard" premieres on US TV network CBS
  • Feb 4 "Co-Ed Fever," TV Comedy, debut & cancelled that outing on CBS
  • Feb 5 Sears Radio Theater premieres on CBS
  • Feb 7 "Supertrain", TV Anthology, Superbomb of 1979, debuts on NBC
  • Feb 9 ABC airs "Heroes of Rock N Roll" special, featuring archival performances of 62 artists
  • Feb 9 New York City premiere of Paul Schrader's allegedly fact based film "Hardcore"
  • Feb 9 Walter Hill's drama film "The Warriors" is released in the United States, sparking gang violence at many theaters and a halt to the film's marketing campaign
  • Feb 11 43 million watch "Elvis!" on ABC

Theater Premiere

Feb 11 Marvin Hamlisch, Carole Bayer Sager, and Neil Simon's musical "They're Playing Our Song", starring Robert Klein and Lucie Arnaz opens at Imperial Theatre, NYC; runs for 1082 performances

  • Feb 16 Los Angeles premiere of Paul Schrader's allegedly fact based film "Hardcore"
  • Feb 18 Mini-series "Roots: Next Generations" premieres on ABC TV
  • Feb 20 29th Berlin International Film Festival: "David" wins the Golden Bear
  • Feb 26 CBS' premiere of NYC sitcom "Flatbush", which received many derision phone calls about it from Brooklynites to CBS
  • Mar 1 ESPN and NCAA come to an agreement giving the network worldwide multi-media rights to NCAA championships for various sports

Television Premiere

Mar 4 "The Ordeal of Patty Hearst", television movie directed by Paul Wendkos, premieres on CBS

  • Mar 4 200th episode of "All in the Family"
  • Mar 9 "The Passage", directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Anthony Quinn, is released in the United States

Music History

Mar 16 CBS-TV airs "Wings Over the World" with Paul McCartney

  • Mar 19 US House of Representatives begins live TV broadcasts via C-SPAN

Sports History

Mar 26 41st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Michigan State beats Indiana State, 75-64; marks start of rivalry between future Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Larry Bird; highest-rated game in history of televised college basketball

  • Mar 28 Frank Lazarus & Dick Vosburgh's stage musical comedy "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in Ukraine" premieres at the Mayfair Theatre, London, England
  • Apr 8 205th & final episode of "All in the Family"; followed by "Archie Bunker's Place" for 4 seasons
  • Apr 9 51st Academy Awards: "The Deer Hunter", Jon Voight & Jane Fonda win
  • Apr 18 "Real People" premieres on NBC TV
  • Apr 30 Mary Therese Friel, (New York), crowned 28th Miss USA
  • May 14 "Kids Are All Right" rockumentary film featuring The Who premieres at the Cannes Film Festival

Film Release

May 14 "Stalker", Russian film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, starring Alexander Kaidanovsky and Anatoli Solonitsyn, is released

  • May 17 Emmy 6th Daytime Award presentation, "Ryan's Hope" wins Outstanding Daytime Drama Series

Film & TV History

May 22 1st ACE Cable Awards: "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" by Jim Henson and HBO

Cannes Film Festival

May 24 32nd Cannes Film Festival: "Apocalypse Now" directed by Francis Ford Coppola and "Die Biechtrommel" directed by Volker Schlondorff jointly awarded the Palme d'Or

Film Release

May 25 Horror film "Alien", directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver is released

Television Premiere

May 28 ABC premiere of TV's "The House on Garibaldi Street", based on the 1960 capture of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina

  • May 29 CBS premiere of Melissa Anderson's modern "Survival of Dana", her first "bad girl" role, in which Anderson's title character leaves her North Dakota town for Los Angeles after her parents' divorce

Film Premiere

Jun 26 "Moonraker", 11th James Bond film starring Roger Moore, premieres in London

TV Show Appearance

Jun 30 British punk rocker johnny rotten and British actress Joan Collins appear together on BBC TV's "Juke Box Jury"

  • Jul 19 Maritza Sayalero, 18, of Venezuela, crowned 28th Miss Universe
  • Aug 1 12th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at U.S. Grant Hotel

Film Release

Aug 15 "Apocalypse Now", directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Martin Sheen, is released (Palme d'Or 1979)

Film Premiere

Aug 17 "Monty Python's Life of Brian" directed by Terry Jones, starring Graham Chapman, Mickael Palin, & John Cleese, premieres in US theaters

  • Aug 21 Russian Bolshoi Ballet dancer Alexander Godunov defects in NYC; joins the American Ballet Theatre, and works as a film actor
  • Aug 24 36th Venice Film Festival opens

Television Premiere

Aug 25 TV series "Hart to Hart" starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers premieres in the US on ABC

Telethon

Sep 3 Jerry Lewis' 14th Muscular Dystrophy telethon raises $30,000,000

  • Sep 7 The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) makes its debut.
  • Sep 8 Cheryl Prewitt (Miss), 22, crowned 52nd Miss America 1980
  • Sep 9 31st Emmy Awards: "Taxi"; "Lou Grant"; Ron Leibman & Ruth Gordon win
  • Sep 9 British film "The Bitch" starring Joan Collins, a sequel to "The Stud", both based on novels by her sister Jackie Collins, premieres in UK
  • Sep 14 The film "Quadrophenia", loosely based on The Who's 1973 rock opera of the same name, is released.
  • Sep 15 4th Toronto International Film Festival: "Best Boy" directed by Ira Wohl wins the People's Choice Award
  • Sep 23 Jane Fonda & 200,000 attend anti-nuke rally in Battery Park, NYC
  • Sep 26 1984 summer LA Olympic coverage sold to ABC for $225 million

Music History

Sep 27 Elton John, sick with flu, collapses in the Hollywood Universal Amphitheater

  • Sep 29 John Huston's "Wine Blood" premieres at NY Film Festival
  • Oct 10 Rock band Fleetwood Mac gets a star in Hollywood

Television Premiere

Oct 14 NBC premiere of U.S. TV adaptation of Helen Keller's life story "The Miracle Worker"

Film & TV History

Oct 16 Comedy sketch show "Not the Nine O'Clock News" debuts starring Rowan Atkinson, Chris Langham, Pamela Stephenson and Mel Smith on BBC 2

Music History

Oct 20 Bob Dylan make his only appearance on "Saturday Night Live" performing three songs from his album Slow Train Coming: ‘When You Gonna Wake Up’, ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’ and ‘I Believe in You’'

  • Oct 22 Walt Disney World's 100-millionth guest

Film Release

Oct 30 Tamla/Motown releases Stevie Wonder's documentary film soundtrack "Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants"

  • Nov 8 ABC broadcasts "Iran Crisis: American Held Hostage" with Frank Reynolds (forerunner to "Nightline")

Film & TV History

Nov 8 Bernard Slade's stage comedy "Romantic Comedy", starring Mia Farrow and Anthony Perkins, opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, NYC; runs for 396 performances

  • Nov 15 ABC-TV announces it would broadcast nightly specials on Iran hostage

Television Premiere

Nov 17 "Salem's Lot", American two-part miniseries based on the horror novel of the same name by Stephen King, premieres in the United States

  • Nov 24 "Salem's Lot", American two-part miniseries based on the horror novel of the same name by Stephen King, concludes in the United States
  • Nov 30 Ted Koppel becomes anchor of late nightly news on Iran "America Held Hostage" (ABC)

Film Premiere

Dec 7 "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" first movie of the series premieres directed by Robert Wise, starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy

  • Dec 16 "An American Christmas Carol" directed by Eric Till starring Henry Winkler premieres in the US

Film Release

Dec 19 "Kramer vs Kramer" directed by Robert Benton and starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep is released (Best Picture 1980)

  • Dec 27 Soap Opera "Knots Landing" premieres on CBS-TV