Events in Film & TV on December 17

Theater Premiere

1902 Frank Wedekind's play "Der Erdgeist" premieres in Berlin

  • 1936 Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen & dummy Charlie McCarthy, appear on TV
  • 1947 WEWS TV channel 5 in Cleveland, Ohio (ABC) begins broadcasting

Theatrical Finale

1949 Tennessee Williams' stage drama "A Streetcar Named Desire", starring Jessica Tandy, Marlon Brando, and Kim Hunter, and directed by Elia Kazan closes at Ethel Barrymore Theatre, NYC, after 855 performances, winning a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize

  • 1953 US Federal Communications Commission approves RCA's black & white-compatible color TV specifications
  • 1954 WEAU TV channel 13 in Eau Claire, WI (NBC) begins broadcasting

Music History

1957 Last episode of "The Nat King Cole Show" airs on NBC, cancelled due to lack of national sponsorship

Film Premiere

1964 "Goldfinger", 3rd James Bond film, starring Sean Connery and Honor Blackman premieres in London

Music Concert

1965 1st concert event at Houston Astrodome: Judy Garland headlines, with The Supremes as opening act

  • 1967 WEDW TV channel 49 in Bridgeport, Connecticut (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1971 "Diamonds are Forever", 7th James Bond film, last starring Sean Conner, also starring Jill St. John is 1st released in West Germany
  • 1972 WGVC (now WUCX) TV channel 35 in Grand Rapids, MI (PBS) 1st broadcast

TV Show Appearance

1977 Elvis Costello & The Attractions 1st US TV appearance on "Saturday Night Live"

Theatrical Finale

1983 Peggy Lee's one-woman show "Peg" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater, NYC after 5 performances

Television Premiere

1989 "The Simpsons" created by Matt Groening, premieres on Fox TV as a full animated series with the episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

  • 1991 Soap opera "One Life To Live" airs its 6,000th episode
  • 2003 "The Return of the King" 3rd Lord of the Ring films is released. Makes US$72 million opening weekend, 2nd film to gross over 1 billion worldwide.

Film Release

2014 Sony Pictures cancels the release of "The Interview", starring Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, and James Franco, after a cyber attack on the studio

Music History

2017 "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" takes more than $450m worldwide in its opening weekend, 2nd largest opening in North America ($220m)

  • 2018 Catriona Gray of the Philippines crowned 67th Miss Universe
  • 2018 CBS announces former Chief Executive Les Moonves will not receive his $120 million exit payout
  • 2018 US poacher sentenced to watch the film "Bambi" repeatedly during year in prison, for killing hundreds of deer in Missouri