Friday, October 29, 2021

This Day in TV History: NBC and Disney

NBC stands out to me in the programming lineups from 40 and 50 years ago tonight. In 1971, NBC celebrated the launch of Walt Disney World in Florida with a primetime special called--straightforward enough--Grand Opening of Walt Disney World. An alternate title is Disney World--A Gala Opening.

The official park opening festivities took place October 23-25, with footage shot then for this variety special starring Julie Andrews, Glen Campbell, Jonathan Winters, and Buddy Hackett. Bob Hope makes an appearance because of course he does. It's easy to find online, so we went ahead and embedded a video here, but, boy, would it be great to see a version of this on Disney Plus.

40 years ago, it was Season Premiere Night on NBC, with all of these shows beginning their new seasons:

Harper Valley PTA kicked off its second season with BOTNS fave Mills Watson in "Make Room for Uncle Buster." 

At 8:30 NBC debuted new sitcom Lewis and Clark, a Gabe Kaplan vehicle that tanked.

9:00 saw the fourth-season premiere of Diff'rent Strokes, in which Willis decides it's time for he and his girlfriend (Janet Jackson) to take the next step.

9:30 is the series premiere of Gimme a Break!

Finally, Hills Street Blues returns for a second season at 10:00 with "Hearts and Minds" with Danny Glover in the guest cast!

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