On this night 40 years ago, at 10:00 NBC went up against the blockbuster Dallas on CBS and the second hour of a rebroadcast of 1979's Birth of the Beatles on ABC. It went the "original special" route with Run, America. Since it's difficult to find info about this, let me share the description from Ultimate 70s:
With Ben Vereen, Susan Anton, David Letterman, Bill Rodgers, Jimmie Walker, Foster Brooks, Rodney Dangerfield.
Bruce Jenner and his guests take a fun-filled look at America's fascination with running, including the mental and medical as well as physical aspects of the sport.
This is one of those specials that sounds like it might be an interesting time capsule or it might be a snoozer, but that cast makes it a must-see! Unfortunately, I can't locate any footage of this on the Internet, so we will just have to imagine that David Letterman and Foster Brooks tore the roof off the dump together.
Birth of the Beatles had a theatrical release everywhere but in the USA, where it aired on ABC November 23, 1979. ABC reran it here in January as the world still reeled from the murder of John Lennon less than a month earlier.