Events in Film & Television in 1996

Television Debut

Jan 9 1st episode of TV sitcom "3rd Rock from the Sun" by Bonnie and Terry Turner and starring John Lithgow and Kristen Johnston screens on NBC

Golden Globes

Jan 21 53rd Golden Globes: "Sense and Sensibility", Nicolas Cage, & Sharon Stone win

  • Jan 28 12th Sundance Film Festival: "Welcome to the Dollhouse" wins Grand Jury Prize Dramatic

Film & TV History

Feb 2 Ali Landry, 22, (Louisiana), crowned 45th Miss USA

  • Feb 15 46th Berlin International Film Festival: "Sense and Sensibility" wins the Golden Bear

Film Release

Feb 15 Tamil romantic comedy film "Poove Unakkaga" released directed by Vikraman, starring Sangita and Vijay in his breakthrough role

Film Release

Feb 23 "Trainspotting" directed by Danny Boyle based on the book by Irvine Welsh, starring Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle and Jonny Lee Miller opens in cinemas in the UK and Ireland

Film & TV History

Feb 27 American film production company "Happy Madison Productions" is founded by Adam Sandler

  • Feb 27 First ever appearance of Pokémon in role-playing video game "Pocket Monsters Red and Green" for Game Boy in Japan
  • Mar 6 10th American Comedy Award: James Burrows

Film Release

Mar 8 "Fargo" directed and written by Joel and Ethan Coen, starring Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi released in the US

People's Choice Awards

Mar 10 22nd People's Choice Awards: Tom Hanks & Demi Moore win (Dramatic Motion Picture) and Tim Allen & Candice Bergen win (TV)

  • Mar 24 16th Golden Raspberry Awards: "Showgirls" wins

WrestleMania

Mar 31 WrestleMania XII, Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, CA - Shawn Michaels beats Bret Hart for WWF Heavyweight title

Music History

Apr 4 Revival of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's stage drama "Inherit the Wind", starring George C. Scott and Charles Durning, opens at Royale Theater, NYC; runs for 45 performances

Film & TV History

Apr 6 American actor Marlon Brando makes anti-Semitic remarks about Hollywood on "Larry King Live", stating that the 'Jews control Hollywood'

Music Concert

Apr 12 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Don Henley, Diana Ross, Robin Williams, Branford Marsalis, and Kenny Kirkland

Theatrical Finale

Apr 14 Trish Vradenburg's play "Apple Doesn't Fall.." directed by Leonard Nimoy opens and closes at Lyceum Theater NYC after 1 performance

Music Premiere

Apr 18 Second successful revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical comedy "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum", starring Nathan Lane, opens at St James Theater NYC for 715 performances

  • Apr 23 42nd British Academy Television Awards: "Father Ted" Best Comedy, "Cracker" Best Drama
  • Apr 23 49th British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs): "Sense and Sensibility" Best Film, Michael Radford Best Director

Film Release

Apr 29 "Rent", starring Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs, opens at Nederlander Theater NYC

  • May 5 Renette Cruz, Vancouver, wins Miss Canadian Universe

Film & TV History

May 7 Comedian Martin Lawrence suffers a nervous breakdown

Film & TV History

May 10 "Twister" disaster film written by Michael Crichton starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton premieres

  • May 17 Venezuelan Alicia Machado, aged 18, crowned 45th Miss Universe
  • May 20 49th Cannes Film Festival: "Secrets & Lies" directed by Mike Leigh wins the Palme d'Or

Daytime Emmy Awards

May 22 Emmy 23rd Daytime Award presentation - Susan Lucci loses for 16th time

  • May 24 "Spy Hard" starring Leslie Nielsen is released
  • May 30 John Tesh's final day as host of "Entertainment Tonight"

Film & TV History

Jun 1 Woody Harrelson is arrested in Lee County, Kentucky, after he symbolically planted four hemp seeds to challenge the state law which did not distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana

Film & TV History

Jun 10 Variety talk show "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" hosted by Rosie O'Donnell premieres

Film Release

Jun 14 "Cable Guy" starring Jim Carrey is released

  • Jun 23 Nintendo 64 goes on sale in Japan

Film Premiere

Jun 25 "Independence Day", directed by Roland Emmerich, and starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum premieres in Westwood, California

Film Release

Jun 28 "Nutty Professor" starring Eddie Murphy opens in theaters in the USA

  • Jul 4 29th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at San Diego Convention Center
  • Jul 15 MSNBC begins Microsoft internet-NBC TV
  • Jul 21 "The Daily Show", late-night talk and satirical news program hosted by Craig Kilborn premieres on Comedy Central in the US

Historic Publication

Aug 1 George R.R. Martin publishes the epic fantasy novel "A Game of Thrones", the first in his series "A Song of Ice and Fire"

  • Aug 1 M2, MTV's second TV channel is launched
  • Aug 21 Christie Lee Woods, 18, of Texas, crowned 14th Miss Teen USA

Music History

Aug 21 Revival of Eugene O'Neill's' drama "Hughie", directed by Al Pacino, and starring Pacino and Paul Benedict, opens at Circle in the Square Theater, NYC; runs for 56 performances

Television Debut

Aug 26 "7th Heaven", starring Jessica Biel, debuts on The WB

Venice Film Festival

Aug 28 53rd Venice Film Festival: "Michael Collins" directed by Neil Jordan wins Golden Lion

Telethon

Sep 2 Jerry Lewis' 31st Muscular Dystrophy telethon raises $49,200,000

  • Sep 8 48th Emmy Awards: ER, Dennis Franz & Kathy Baker win

Theatrical Finale

Sep 8 August Wilson's drama "Seven Guitars" closes at Walter Kerr Theater, NYC, after 188 performances

  • Sep 14 21st Toronto International Film Festival: "Shine" directed by Scott Hicks wins the People's Choice Award
  • Sep 14 Tara Dawn Holland (Kansas), 23, crowned 70th Miss America 1997

Film & TV History

Sep 16 Courtroom reality show "Judge Judy" with Judge Judith Sheindlin premieres in the US

Film Release

Sep 20 Paramount Pictures releases cult revenge comedy "The First Wives Club" starring Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton, and directed by Hugh Wilson

  • Sep 29 Nintendo 64 video game system debuts in USA (3 months after Japan)
  • Oct 9 Howard Stern's book "Miss America" released in paperback
  • Nov 1 Shaquille O'Neil makes his Hollywood debut as Los Angeles Lakers beat Phoenix Suns, 96-82 at the Forum, Inglewood; O'Neil scores 23 points and pulls down 14 rebounds in 35 minutes
  • Nov 2 Revival of Eugene O'Neill's' drama "Hughie", directed by Al Pacino, and starring Pacino and Paul Benedict, closes at Circle in the Square Theater, NYC, after 56 performances

Film Premiere

Nov 6 "The English Patient" based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje, directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche and Kristen Scott Thomas premieres in Los Angeles (Best Picture 1997)

Film Premiere

Nov 18 "Star Trek: First Contact" film directed by Jonathan Frakes and starring Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes premieres

  • Nov 23 Irene Skliva, 18, of Greece, crowned 46th Miss World
  • Nov 25 After 24 years, Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade, ends
  • Dec 14 12th Soap Opera Digest Awards - Days of Our Lives wins

Music Premiere

Dec 19 Revival of Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer's musical comedy "Once Upon a Mattress", starring Sarah Jessica Parker, opens at Broadhurst Theatre, NYC; runs for 188 performances

Film Release

Dec 20 Horror film classic "Scream", starring Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox, is released

  • Dec 26 Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey is found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colorado