Events in Film & Television in 1997

  • Jan 3 Bryant Gumbel co-hosted his final "Today" show on NBC-TV

Music History

Jan 9 Heart attacks sends singer Frank Sinatra back to hospital

  • Jan 10 4,000th episode of "Entertainment Tonight"

Golden Globes

Jan 19 54th Golden Globes: The English Patient, Geoffrey Rush, & Brenda Blethyn win

  • Jan 20 2nd Critics' Choice Movie Awards: Fargo wins Best Film
  • Jan 26 13th Sundance Film Festival: "Sunday" wins Grand Jury Prize Dramatic
  • Jan 31 "Final Fantasy VII" is released by Square and Sony Computer Entertainment to PlayStation
  • Feb 5 Brook Lee from Hawaii, crowned 46th Miss USA (en route to Miss Universe)
  • Feb 8 28th NAACP Image Awards: "A Time to Kill" wins Outstanding Motion Picture
  • Feb 9 11th American Comedy Award: Debbie Reynolds wins

Film & TV History

Feb 9 Fox cartoon series "The Simpsons" airs 167th episode; longest-running animated series in cartoon history

  • Feb 10 13th Soap Opera Digest Awards - General Hospital wins

Berlin Film Festival

Feb 13 47th Berlin International Film Festival: "The People vs. Larry Flynt" wins the Golden Bear

Film & TV History

Feb 23 NBC TV shows "Schindler's List" completely uncensored, 65M watch

  • Feb 28 The North Hollywood shootout takes place.
  • Mar 1 "Mandy Patinkin in Concert" opens at Lyceum Theater, NYC; runs for 16 performances

Television Premiere

Mar 10 "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" created by Joss Whedon and starring Sarah Michelle Geller premieres on WB Television Network

  • Mar 13 Phoenix lights seen at night over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people, and by millions on television. Now a hotly debated controversy.
  • Mar 17 CNN begin Spanish broadcasts

Film Release

Mar 21 Film "Selena" is released based on the life of singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, starring Jennifer Lopez in her breakthrough role, directed by Gregory Nava

Musical Finale

Mar 22 Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black and Christopher Hampton's musical "Sunset Boulevard", based on the film, and starring Glenn Close closes at Minskoff, NYC, after 977 performances and 7 Tony Awards

  • Mar 23 "Mandy Patinkin in Concert" closes at Lyceum Theater NYC
  • Mar 23 17th Golden Raspberry Awards: "Striptease" wins
  • Mar 23 WrestleMania XIII, Rosemont Horizon, IL: Undertaker beats Sycho Sid for WWF Heavyweight title
  • Mar 28 "City" soap opera's final episode on ABC-TV
  • Mar 31 "Daytime to Remember" a series showing old soaps premieres on ABC-TV

Film & TV History

Apr 5 Steve Irwin's "The Crocodile Hunter" debuts

Film Premiere

Apr 15 Disaster film "Volcano" directed by Mick Jackson, and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche premieres in South Korea

  • Apr 21 Ashes of Timothy Leary & "Star trek" creator Gene Roddenberry launched into space orbit

Music Concert

Apr 28 Ringo Starr's fourth All-Starr Band debuts in concert; members include: Peter Frampton, Jack Bruce, Gary Brooker, Simon Kirke, and Mark Rivera

  • Apr 29 43rd British Academy Television Awards: "Only Fools and Horses" Best Comedy, "EastEnders" Best Drama
  • Apr 29 50th British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs): "The English Patient" Best Film, Joel & Ethan Coen Best Director

Film & TV History

Apr 30 42 million watch Ellen DeGeneres publicly declare she is gay

Music Concert

Apr 30 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Lyle Lovett, Bobby McFerrin, Bonnie Raitt, Shawn Colvin and Zucchero

Film Release

May 2 "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery", starring Mike Myers and Elizabeth Hurley, is released

Film & TV History

May 2 Police arrest transsexual prostitute Atisone Seiuli with Eddie Murphy

  • May 5 "Married With Children" final episode on Fox TV

Film Release

May 7 Science fiction film "The Fifth Element" written and directed by Luc Besson, starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich is released. Then the most expensive European film ever made.

  • May 15 ABC News & Starwave Corp launch ABCNEWS.com
  • May 16 Brandi Sherwood (Miss Idaho) replaces Brook Lee as Miss USA when Brook is crowned Miss Universe
  • May 16 Brook Mehealani Lee, 26, of USA crowned 46th Miss Universe
  • May 18 50th Cannes Film Festival: "Taste of Cherry" directed by Abbas Kiarostami and "Unagi" directed by Shohei Imamura jointly awarded the Palme d'Or

Film Premiere

May 19 "The Lost World: Jurassic Park", directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Moore, premieres in the US

Daytime Emmy Awards

May 21 Emmy 24th Daytime Award presentation - Susan Lucci loses for 17th time

  • May 23 Mel Karmazin replaces Peter Lund as CEO of CBS TV

Film & TV History

May 24 Actor Tim Allen arrested for drunk driving in Michigan

  • Jun 1 1st NY Women Film Festival opens

Musical Finale

Jun 1 Revival of Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer's musical comedy "Once Upon a Mattress", starring Sarah Jessica Parker, closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 188 performances

Film & TV History

Jun 15 British model Naomi Campbell hospitalized due to drug overdose

Glastonbury Festival

Jun 27 Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England opens: The Prodigy, and Radiohead headline; other performers include Smashing Pumpkins, Ray Davies, Van Morrison, Sting, Beck, Phish, and Nanci Griffith

  • Jul 15 Jerold Mackenzie awarded $26.6M (later reduced to $625,000) for being fired from Miller Brewing for sexual harassment for relaying a Seinfeld episode to a co worker
  • Jul 17 30th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at San Diego Convention Center

Film & TV History

Jul 25 Autumn Jackson, found guilty of trying to extort $40M from Bill Cosby

  • Aug 4 "The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show" premieres on Fox TV

Film & TV History

Aug 4 William Ryan Holt and Michael Mischler are arrested for breaking into Elle MacPherson’s Los Angeles home

Music Concert

Aug 7 Garth Brooks performs a free concert in NYC's Central Park for HBO, later releasing it as Garth: Live from Central Park

Music Single

Aug 9 "Just to See You Smile" single released by Tim McGraw (Billboard Song of the Year 1998)

Television Debut

Aug 13 Animated TV sitcom "South Park" debuts on Comedy Central

  • Aug 20 Shelly Moore, 18, of Tenn, crowned 15th Miss Teen USA
  • Aug 27 54th Venice Film Festival: "Hana-bi" directed by Takeshi Kitano wins Golden Lion
  • Aug 29 Netflix is founded by Marc Randolph and Reed Hasting in Scotts Valley, California as an online DVD rental business
  • Sep 1 Cartoon Channel premieres in Japan

Telethon

Sep 1 Jerry Lewis' 32nd Muscular Dystrophy telethon raises $50,500,000

Television Premiere

Sep 8 TV series "Ally McBeal" starring Calista Flockhart, created by David E. Kelley premieres on Fox in the US

  • Sep 13 22nd Toronto International Film Festival: "The Hanging Garden" directed by Thom Fitzgerald wins the People's Choice Award
  • Sep 13 Katherine Shindle (Ill), 24, crowned 71st Miss America 1998
  • Sep 14 49th Emmy Awards: Law & Order, Frasier, Dennis Franz & Gillian Anderson win
  • Sep 15 Oprah Winfrey announces she will continue her show through 2000
  • Sep 25 Medical drama "ER" is performed live on TV

Film & TV History

Sep 28 Newscaster David Brinkley, 74, retires after 54 years in broadcasting

Film Premiere

Nov 1 "Titanic" directed by James Cameron, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet premieres at the Tokyo International Film Festival (Academy Awards Best Picture 1998)

Television Premiere

Nov 2 Rodgers & Hammerstein's television musical "Cinderella", starring Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, and Bernadette Peters premieres on ABC-TV

  • Nov 3 British TV comedy "I'm Alan Partridge" starring Steve Coogan premieres on BBC Two

Film & TV History

Nov 5 French court orders producer Jacques Charrier, ex-husband of Brigitte Bardot, to pay the former screen star $8,300 in damages

Film Release

Nov 7 "Bean" film directed by Mel Smith and starring Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean opens in the US

Contract of Interest

Nov 11 CBS News anchor Dan Rather renews his contract to 2002

  • Nov 12 Dick Vitale signs with ESPN through year 2004
  • Nov 14 Disney's "Lion King" sets Broadway record of $2,700,000 daily sale
  • Nov 18 "Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture" album is released by Sony Music Soundtrax

Music History

Nov 20 Revival of Anton Chekov's stage drama "Ivanov", starring Kevin Kline, opens at Vivian Beaumont Theater, NYC; runs for 51 performances

  • Nov 28 Final episode of "Beavis & Butt-head" on MTV
  • Dec 1 Westinghouse formally changes its name to CBS

Music History

Dec 8 Revival of Neil Simon's comedy "The Sunshine Boys", starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randell, opens at Lyceum Theater, NYC; runs for 230 performance

Film Premiere

Dec 9 "Tomorrow Never Dies", 18th James Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh, premieres in London

  • Dec 12 Fed judge sentences Autumn Jackson, who claims to be Bill Cosby's daughter, to 26 months for trying to extort $40 million from him

Theater Premiere

Dec 14 Revival of Arthur Miller's dramatic play "A View From the Bridge", starring Anthony LaPaglia, Allison Janney, and Brittany Murphy. opens at the Criterion Theater, NYC; runs for 239 performance, wins 2 Tony and 4 Drama Desk Awards

Film Premiere

Dec 15 "Spice World" movie directed by Bob Spiers and starring girl pop group the Spice Girls premieres in the UK

  • Dec 22 Hunter Tylo awarded $4 million in Melrose Place breach of contract
  • Dec 22 MTV removes music video for Prodigy's song "Smack My Bitch Up" from broadcast rotation

Film Release

Dec 23 "As Good as It Gets" film released written and directed by James L. Brooks, starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt

  • Dec 25 For 1st time US movie box office receipts pass $6 billion

Television Finale

Dec 25 Jerry Seinfeld announces the final season of his TV show "Seinfeld" will air the following year