1978 in American television

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of American television-related events in 1978.


Date Event
January 15 Super Bowl XII airs on CBS, the first time the NFL's championship event is played and telecast at night. The Dallas Cowboys defeat the Denver Broncos 27-10.
January 23 Roots One Year Later, a special examining the impact and influence of the miniseries, airs on ABC.
January 28 The Doobie Brothers make a guest appearance on ABC's What's Happening!!
February 5 ABC celebrates its silver anniversary with a retrospective special.
February 28 Robin Williams makes his first appearance as Mork from Ork on an episode of Happy Days on ABC. The episode proved to be such a success, that it would soon give way to a spin-off starring Williams entitled Mork & Mindy.
March 7 Showtime goes nationwide on the air.
March 22 The Beatles spoof The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash airs on NBC.
March 26 – April 1 CBS commemorates its golden anniversary in radio and TV broadcasting with CBS: On the Air, a 9½-hour retrospective special airing over 7 nights.
April 16–19 Holocaust, starring James Woods and Meryl Streep first airs on NBC.
April 22 The Blues Brothers make their first appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live; the duo of Jake & Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) are introduced in a skit by Paul Shaffer (as Don Kirshner) and performs "Hey Bartender".
April 26 Ringo Starr's, Ringo, a musical version of The Prince and the Pauper, airs on NBC, with Starr's fellow former Beatle, George Harrison, providing the narration.
May 1 KDOG-TV, Houston's independent station, changes its call sign to KRIV-TV following its purchase by Metromedia.
June 12 WHNB-TV, NBC affiliate in New Britain/Hartford/New Haven, Connecticut, changes its name to its current WVIT-TV, shortly after Viacom purchased the station.
June 26 WTOP-TV changes its call sign to WDVM-TV. In return the NBC affiliate, WWJ-TV changes its call sign to WDIV-TV.
July 1 In Charlotte, North Carolina, NBC affiliate WSOC-TV leaves the network and joins ABC, citing a stronger affiliation (at the time, NBC is in last place among the three major networks, while ABC is in first place). NBC eventually aligns with Ted Turner-owned independent station WRET-TV (now WCNC-TV), tempted by promises Turner made to NBC to make $2.5 million worth of upgrades, including a stronger transmitter and the launch of a news department; former ABC affiliate WCCB becomes an independent station, and eventually a charter affiliate of Fox in 1986.[1]
July 10 On ABC, the ABC Evening News get a revamp and become ABC World News Tonight, employing a unique three-anchor setup (Frank Reynolds serving as lead anchor from Washington, Max Robinson presenting national news from Chicago, and Peter Jennings with international news from London).
August 1 Taking advantage of an oral escape-clause in his contract with ABC, Harry Reasoner returns to CBS, eventually rejoining 60 Minutes, the program he anchored with Mike Wallace from its 1968 premiere until he joined ABC News in 1970.
September 17 The ceremony formalizing the success of the peace talks between Israel's Menachem Begin and Egypt's Anwar Sadat—the Camp David accords—is televised live from the White House East Room.
September 19 The chairs on which Archie and Edith Bunker sat through 8 seasons of the CBS comedy All in the Family are presented to the Smithsonian Institution.
September 27 Replacing Zara Cully and Damon Evans, Jay Hammer joins the cast of the CBS comedy The Jeffersons, for a short period of time.
October 31 On NBC, Norma Brown wins $28,800 playing the Money Cards on Card Sharks, the first and only time a contestant has won the maximum amount.
November 12 In Fort Smith, Arkansas, KLMN-TV (now Fox affiliate KFTA-TV) signs-on the air and takes CBS programming from KFPW-TV/KTVP. Both KFPW-TV and KTVP subsequently become full-time ABC affiliates, giving Fort Smith in-market affiliates of all three major networks.
November 17 The Star Wars Holiday Special airs on CBS. The special gives fans their first glimpse of Boba Fett, a character from the upcoming Star Wars sequel.


Series on air[edit]





In syndication[edit]



Shows that took place[edit]

Debuting this year[edit]

Date Show Network
January 28 Fantasy Island ABC
February 12 How the West Was Won CBS
February 19 Project U.F.O. NBC
March 10 The Incredible Hulk CBS
April 2 Dallas
April 3 Pass the Buck NBC
Ever Increasing Faith Syndication
April 5 The Amazing Spider-Man CBS
April 8 The Ted Knight Show CBS
Another Day
April 24 Card Sharks NBC
April 25 Vega$ ABC
June 6 20/20
July 3 Tic Tac Dough CBS
July 10 World News Tonight ABC
September 7 Grandpa Goes to Washington NBC
September 8 The Eddie Capra Mysteries
September 9 Fabulous Funnies
Fantastic Four
Yogi's Space Race
Fangface ABC
The All New Popeye Hour CBS
The Paper Chase
Tarzan and the Super 7
September 10 Kaz
Sword of Justice NBC
September 12 Taxi ABC
Battle of the Planets Syndication
September 13 W.E.B. NBC
September 14 Mork & Mindy ABC
September 17 Battlestar Galactica
Lifeline NBC
September 18 WKRP in Cincinnati CBS
September 22 The Waverly Wonders NBC
Who's Watching the Kids
September 23 Apple Pie ABC
The American Girls CBS
September 24 Mary
October 1 Centennial NBC
October 30 A.M. Weather PBS
November 2 David Cassidy: Man Undercover NBC
November 3 Diff'rent Strokes
November 27 The White Shadow CBS

Resuming this year[edit]

Show Last aired Previous network Retitled as/Same Returning
High Rollers 1976 NBC Same April 24
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! 1970 CBS September 9
Jeopardy! 1975 NBC The All-New Jeopardy! October 2

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
March 6 The Six Million Dollar Man 1973
March 29 The Carol Burnett Show 1967
March 30 Police Woman 1974
March 31 Tattletales
April 1 The Bob Newhart Show 1972
April 7 Quark 1977
April 28 C.P.O. Sharkey 1976
April 29 Maude 1972
Another Day 1978
May 13 The Ted Knight Show
The Bionic Woman 1976
Columbo 1971
May 18 Baretta 1975
July 21 Chico and the Man 1974
September 1 Fred Flintstone and Friends 1977
October 28 Laff-A-Lympics
Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics
November 10 The American Girls 1978
December 2 Yogi's Space Race
December 4 Lucan 1977
December 9 Rhoda 1974
December 16 The New Fantastic Four 1978
December 23 The Scooby-Doo Show 1976
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! 1969

Made-for-TV movies and miniseries[edit]

Title Network Date of airing
King NBC February 12–14
Holocaust April 16–19
Zuma Beach September 27
Centennial October 1 – February 4
Someone's Watching Me! November 29

Television stations[edit]

Station launches[edit]

Date City of License/Market Station Channel Affiliation Notes/Ref.
January 3 Rock Hill, South Carolina
(Charlotte, North Carolina)
WNSC-TV 30 PBS Part of South Carolina ETV
February 9 Martin, South Dakota KZSD-TV 8 Part of South Dakota Public Broadcasting
March 23 Washington, D.C. WPXW-TV 66 Religious independent
March 26 Manassas, Virginia/Washington, D.C. WTKK 66
May 1 Mason City, Iowa KYIN 24 PBS Part of Iowa Public Television
August 6 Cheyenne, Oklahoma KWET 12 Part of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority
August 9 Shreveport, Louisiana KLTS-TV 24 Part of Louisiana Public Broadcasting
August 18 El Paso, Texas KCOS 13
August 21 Cookeville, Tennessee WCTE 22
September 2 Phoenix, Arizona KTVW 23 Spanish International Network Now a Univision affiliate
September 9 KNXV-TV 15 Independent
September 26 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania WPTT-TV 22
September 27 Montpelier, Vermont WNNE 31 NBC Signed on as a satellite of WPTZ-TV/Plattsburgh, New York
October 1 Juneau, Alaska KTOO-TV 3 PBS Satellite of KAKM/Anchorage
October 24 Salt Lake City, Utah KSTU 20 (now 13) Independent
November 12 Fort Smith, Arkansas KLMN-TV 24 CBS
November 27 Rockford, Illinois WQRF-TV 39 Independent
December 17 Kansas City, Missouri KYFC 50 Was previously on air as KCIT-TV from 1969 to 1971.

Network affiliation changes[edit]

Date City of license/Market Station Channel Old affiliation New affiliation Notes/Ref.
July 1 Charlotte, North Carolina WCCB 18 ABC Independent
WRET-TV 36 Independent NBC

Station closures[edit]

Date City of license/Market Station Channel Affiliation Sign-on date Notes/Ref.
April 9 Greenfield, Massachusetts WRLP 32 NBC June 29, 1957
August 15 Warrensburg/Sedalia, Missouri
(Columbia/Jefferson City)
KMOS-TV 6 CBS July 8, 1954
(as an independent station)
Returned to the air December 22, 1979 as a PBS member station


Date Name Notability
January 2 Patricia de Leon Actress
January 5 January Jones Actress (Mad Men, The Last Man on Earth)
January 7 Ryan Star Singer
January 8 Ron Pederson Canadian actor (Mad TV)
January 9 AJ McLean Actor and singer (Backstreet Boys)
January 10 Jill Nicolini Actress
January 14 Sage Brocklebank Actor
January 15 Jamie Clayton Actress (Sense8)
Eddie Cahill Actor (CSI: NY)
January 24 Kristen Schaal Actress (Bob's Burgers, The Last Man on Earth, Gravity Falls)
January 26 Kelly Stables Actress (W.I.T.C.H., Two and a Half Men, The Exes)
February 2 Rich Sommer Actor (Mad Men)
February 3 Kelly Sullivan Actress (Henry Danger, The Adventures of Kid Danger)
Eliza Schneider Actress (Beakman's World, South Park, Squirrel Boy)
February 6 Har Mar Superstar Actor
February 7 Ashton Kutcher Actor (That '70s Show, Two and a Half Men)
February 14 Joanna Canton Actress
Danai Gurira Actor (The Walking Dead)
February 16 John Tartaglia Actor
February 20 Lauren Ambrose Actress (Six Feet Under)
Chelsea Peretti Actress (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Jay Hernandez Actor
February 21 Nicole Parker Comedian, actress and singer (Mad TV)
February 24 Nicole Lyn Actress
February 28 Geoffrey Arend Actor
March 1 Donovan Patton Actor (Blue's Clues, Team Umizoomi, Clarence)
Jensen Ackles Actor (Days of Our Lives, Dark Angel, Smallville, Supernatural)
March 5 Kimberly McCullough Actress (Once and Again, General Hospital)
March 8 Nick Zano Actor (What I Like About You)
March 11 Rob Simonsen Composer
March 14 Chris McCaleb Director
March 16 Matthew Montgomery Actor
Brooke Burns Actress
March 17 Patrick Seitz Actor
March 19 Virginia Williams Actress (One Life to Live, Monarch Cove, Fairly Legal)
March 23 Anastasia Griffith Actress (Damages, Trauma, Copper)
David Tom Actor
Nicholle Tom Actress (The Nanny)
Perez Hilton Blogger
March 24 Amanda Brugel Actress
March 25 Maribeth Monroe Actress and comedian (Workaholics, The Brink)
April 1 Jason Bell American former professional football player
April 2 Jaime Ray Newman Actress (General Hospital, Eastwick)
Deon Richmond Actor (The Cosby Show, Sister, Sister)
April 3 Matthew Goode Actor
April 6 Lauren Ridloff Actress
Tim Hasselbeck American sports journalist
April 7 Nelson Cragg Director
Jimmy Akingbola Actor
April 12 Riley Smith Actor
April 13 Kyle Howard Actor (My Boys)
April 15 Chris Stapleton Singer
April 17 Lindsay Hartley Actress and singer (Days of Our Lives, All My Children, Passions)
Adam Jamal Craig Actor (NCIS: Los Angeles)
April 19 James Franco Actor (Freaks and Geeks)
Sheinelle Jones American journalist and news anchor
April 20 Clayne Crawford Actor (Lethal Weapon)
Matt Austin Actor (Power Rangers S.P.D.)
Matthew Wilkas Actor
April 22 Manu Intiraymi Actor (Star Trek: Voyager)
April 23 Ian Brennan Actor and writer
April 26 Stana Katic Actress (Castle)
Pablo Schreiber Canadian-American actor (The Wire, Orange Is the New Black)
Stephen Williams Jamaican-Canadian director
April 28 Nate Richert Actor (Sabrina the Teenage Witch)
Robert Oliveri Former actor
April 29 Tyler Labine Actor (New Amsterdam)
May 1 James Badge Dale Actor (24, The Pacific, Rubicon)
May 2 Kumail Nanjiani American-Pakistani actor (Silicon Valley, Franklin & Bash, Adventure Time)
May 4 Erin Andrews Actress
May 5 Santiago Cabrera Venezuelean-born Chilean-British actor (Heroes)
May 8 Matthew Davis Actor (The Vampire Diaries)
May 9 Daniel Franzese Actor
May 10 Corri English Actress
Kenan Thompson Actor (All That, Kenan & Kel, Saturday Night Live)
May 12 Jason Biggs Actor (Orange Is the New Black, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Malin Akerman Actress (Childrens Hospital, Trophy Wife, Billions)
May 13 Brooke Anderson Former co-host of The Insider
May 15 David Krumholtz Actor (Numb3rs)
Caroline Dhavernas Actress (Off the Map, Hannibal, Mary Kills People)
May 16 Jim Sturgess Actor
May 17 Kat Foster Actress ('Til Death)
Carlos Peña Broadcaster
May 22 Ginnifer Goodwin Actress (Ed, Big Love, Once Upon a Time)
May 24 Bryan Greenberg Actor (October Road), (How to Make It in America)
May 26 Benji Gregory Actor (ALF)
Adam Robitel Director, producer, screenwriter, and actor
May 27 Cindy Sampson Canadian actress (Supernatural)
May 28 Jake Johnson Actor (New Girl)
June 1 Link Neal TV host
June 2 Justin Long Actor (Ed)
Nikki Cox Actress (Unhappily Ever After, Las Vegas)
June 4 Robin Taylor Actor (Gotham)
June 5 Nick Kroll Actor, comedian and writer (The League, Kroll Show)
Rob Nelson Afternoon anchor for Newsy, Scripps Television's all news channel
June 6 Judith Barsi Actress (d. 1988)
June 7 Bill Hader Actor and comedian (Saturday Night Live, South Park, Documentary Now!)
June 8 Maria Menounos Actress
June 9 Michaela Conlin Actress (Bones)
Brian Patrick Wade Actor
June 10 Shane West Actor (Once and Again, ER, Nikita)
DJ Qualls Actor (Legit)
June 11 Joshua Jackson Canadian actor (Dawson's Creek, Fringe)
June 12 Shiloh Strong Actor
Timothy Simons Actor (Veep)
Jeremy Rowley Actor
June 13 Bianna Golodryga Moldovan-born American journalist
June 15 Ethan Embry Actor (Brotherhood)
June 18 Tara Platt Voice actress (Naruto, Bleach, Ben 10: Omniverse)
June 19 Dirk Nowitzki NBA basketball player
Zoe Saldana Actress
Mía Maestro Actress and singer
June 20 Mike Birbiglia Actor
Quinton Jackson Actor
June 21 Erica Durance Canadian actress (Smallville, Saving Hope)
June 24 Geoff Keighley Canadian gaming TV presenter (GT.TV, G4tv.com, Spike Video Game Awards)
June 26 Tory Mussett Actress
June 27 Courtney Ford Actress
June 29 Lenard McKelvey Media Personality (Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne, Hell of A Week)
Luke Kirby Actor
Nicole Scherzinger Singer
July 1 Hillary Tuck Actress (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show)
July 2 Owain Yeoman Actor
July 4 Becki Newton Actress (Ugly Betty, The Goodwin Games)
Andrea Gabriel Actress (Lost)
July 6 Adam Busch Actor (The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Men at Work)
Tamera Mowry Actress (Sister, Sister, Strong Medicine, Tia & Tamera)
Tia Mowry Actress (Sister, Sister, Bratz, The Game, Tia & Tamera, Instant Mom)
July 8 Rachael Lillis Actress
July 9 Linda Park South Korean actress (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Sundance Head Singer (American Idol, The Voice)
Kyle Davis Actor
July 11 Jeremy Rowley Actor (iCarly, Bunsen Is a Beast)
July 12 Michelle Rodriguez Actress (Lost)
Topher Grace Actor (That '70s Show)
July 13 Jessica Barth Actress
July 15 Greg Sestero Actor
July 18 Eddie Matos Actor (Port Charles)
July 19 Ginifer King Actress (The Haunted Hathaways)
Mark Proksch Actor
Marcela Valladolid American chef
July 21 Josh Hartnett Actor
Justin Bartha Actor
July 22 A. J. Cook Actress (Higher Ground, Criminal Minds)
July 24 Jeff Mauro Co-host of the Food Network series The Kitchen
August 2 Natashia Williams Actress (Romeo!)
August 3 Shanelle Workman Actress
August 6 Marisa Miller Actress
August 8 Countess Vaughn Actress and singer (Moesha, The Parkers)
August 15 Jennie Eisenhower Actress
August 18 Andy Samberg Actor and comedian (Saturday Night Live, Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
August 20 Noah Bean Actor (Damages, Nikita)
August 22 James Corden English comedian and host (The Late Late Show)
August 23 Kobe Bryant NBA basketball player (died 2020)
August 24 Beth Riesgraf Actress (Leverage, Caper)
August 25 Kel Mitchell Actor (All That, Kenan & Kel, Clifford the Big Red Dog, One on One, Pink Panther and Pals, Wild Grinders, Game Shakers)
August 26 Amanda Schull Actress (Pretty Little Liars, Suits, 12 Monkeys)
August 28 Kelly Overton Actress (All My Children, True Blood, Legends)
Rachel Kimsey Actress (The Young and the Restless, Justice League Action)
August 29 Danielle Hampton Actress
September 4 Wes Bentley Actor (American Horror Story)
September 6 Mathew Horne Actor
September 7 Devon Sawa Actor
September 12 Ben McKenzie Actor (The O.C., Southland, Gotham)
Ruben Studdard Singer and actor
September 13 Megan Henning Actress (7th Heaven)
September 16 Michael Mosley Actor (Scrubs, Pan Am, Sirens)
Matthew Rogers American television host
September 17 Nick Cordero Actor (died 2020)
September 18 Billy Eichner Actor
September 20 Charlie Weber Actor (How to Get Away with Murder)
September 22 Daniella Alonso Actress (Revolution, The Night Shift)
September 23 Keri Lynn Pratt Actress (Jack & Bobby)
Josh Miller Filmmaker
Anthony Mackie Actor
September 25 Rossif Sutherland Actor
September 28 Peter Cambor Actor (NCIS: Los Angeles)
Nikki McKibbin Singer (Popstars, American Idol) (died 2020)
October 1 Katie Aselton Actress
Nicole Atkins Singer-songwriter
October 3 Shannyn Sossamon Actress
Jake Shears Singer
Christian Coulson Actor
October 4 Dana Davis Actress (Heroes, 10 Things I Hate About You, Franklin & Bash)
Phillip Glasser Actor
Mark Day Actor
October 5 James Valentine American musician
Morgan Webb TV host
Jesse Palmer TV host
October 7 Omar Benson Miller Actor (CSI: Miami, Ballers, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
October 10 Jodi Lyn O'Keefe Actress (Nash Bridges, Prison Break)
October 14 Usher Singer and Actor
October 15 Devon Gummersall Actor (My So-Called Life)
October 16 Kala Savage Actress
Novie Edwards Actress and singer (Cyberchase, Total Drama Island)
October 17 Erin Karpluk Canadian actress (Being Erica)
October 18 Wesley Jonathan Actor (City Guys, What I Like About You, The Soul Man)
Jake Farrow American television writer and actor
October 20 Dionne Quan Voice actress (Rugrats, The Fairly OddParents, All Grown Up!, Bratz)
David Caspe American film and television writer
October 21 Will Estes Actor (American Dreams, Blue Bloods)
Michael McMillian Actor (What I Like About You, True Blood, Hot in Cleveland)
October 22 Zuzanna Szadkowski Polish-American actress (Gossip Girl)
October 25 Zachary Knighton Actor
October 26 CM Punk Actor
October 27 David Walton Actor (New Girl, About a Boy)
October 28 Gwendoline Christie English actress (Wizards vs Aliens, Game of Thrones) and singer
Justin Guarini Singer
October 30 Matthew Morrison Actor (Glee)
October 31 Brian Hallisay Actor (Privileged, The Client List, Revenge)
November 1 Mary Kate Schellhardt Actress
November 2 Erika Flores Actress (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman)
November 6 Nicole Dubuc Actress (Major Dad, Young Justice)
Taryn Manning Actress
Erik Cole Former professional ice hockey left winger
November 9 Sisqó Actor
November 10 Eve Rapper and actress (Eve)
Diplo DJ
David Paetkau Canadian actor (Flashpoint)
November 12 Ashley Williams Actress (As the World Turns, Good Morning, Miami, The Jim Gaffigan Show)
November 15 Samantha Shelton Actress (Monarch Cove)
November 17 Zoë Bell New Zealand actress
Tom Ellis Actor
Rachel McAdams Actress (True Detective)
November 18 Daniel Chong Animator
November 19 Eric Nenninger Actor (Malcolm in the Middle)
Chad Doreck Voice actor (Brad Carbunkle on My Life as a Teenage Robot)
November 20 Nadine Velazquez Actress (My Name is Earl, The League, Major Crimes) and model
November 24 Katherine Heigl Actress (Roswell, Grey's Anatomy, State of Affairs)
November 28 Aimee Garcia Actress (Greetings from Tucson, All About the Andersons, George Lopez, Dexter)
November 29 Lauren German Actress (Chicago Fire)
November 30 Clay Aiken Singer (American Idol, Celebrity Apprentice)
December 1 Jen Psaki MSNBC political analyst and former press secretary
December 2 Nelly Furtado Singer
December 7 Shiri Appleby Actress (Roswell, Life UneXpected, UnREAL)
December 8 Ian Somerhalder Actor (Smallville, Lost, The Vampire Diaries)
December 9 Jesse Metcalfe Actor (Passions, Desperate Housewives)
December 10 Summer Phoenix Actress
December 11 Minty Lewis Voice actress (Eileen on Regular Show)
December 12 Gbenga Akinnagbe Actor (The Wire)
December 18 Josh Dallas Actor (Once Upon a Time)
Ravi Patel Actor
Katie Holmes Actress (Dawson's Creek, The Kennedys)
December 19 Patrick Casey Actor
December 20 Amanda Swisten Actress
December 22 Joanne Kelly Actress
Anthony Jeselnik Comedian
December 23 Estella Warren Canadian actress
December 28 John Legend Actor
December 30 Michael Grimm Singer
Tyrese Gibson Singer


Date Name Age Notability
February 28 Zara Cully 86 Actress (Mother Olivia Jefferson on The Jeffersons)
March 18 Peggy Wood 86 Actress (One Life to Live)
April 22 Will Geer 76 Actor (Grandpa Walton on The Waltons)
May 21 Bruce Geller 47 Screenwriter, producer (Mannix)
June 29 Bob Crane 49 Actor (Col. Hogan on Hogan's Heroes)
July 3 James Daly 59 Actor (Dr. Paul Lochner on Medical Center)
September 7 Keith Moon 32 English drummer (The Who)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Charlotte Observer, Apr. 25 and 29, 1978.

External links[edit]