Friday, March 5, 2021

This Day in TV History: The 7th Annual People's Choice Awards in 1981

40 years ago tonight*, CBS broadcast the People's Choice Awards, which is at LEAST the seventh- or eighth-most prestigious yearly set of honors in the television industry. The awards represent the 1980 calendar year, and Empire Strikes Back was the big movie winner.  Kenny Rogers and Pat Benatar took home musician honors, and Carol Burnett and Alan Alda were "Best All-Around Entertainers."

Let's take a look at the TV awards.  Alda and Burnett also got the top TV individual awards, and Gary Coleman was "Best Young TV Performer" (we're getting near Batty territory here). Shogun was best mini-series--no surprise there--and the best comedy and drama honors went to MASH and Dallas respectively.

The PCA gave awards to the Best New Drama Series (Magnum P.I.) and Best New Comedy Series (Too Close for Comfort). Best performers in those new series were Tom Selleck and Diana Canova (I'm a Big Girl Now, which was gone after its first season).

Unfortunately I can't find footage of the TV award winners on YT, so here is Brooke Shields winning an award. At least the presenter is Erik Estrada.  And is that Beverly Sassoon with him?

IMDB and Wikipedia list the event as March 8, 1981; some sources indicate March 9, 1981; but the TV listings databases I consult have the event as March 5, 1981, and press material I saw indicate a 3/5/81 broadcast on CBS,

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