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October 6

October 6, 1968 – The Disney Anthology Episode “Pacifically Peeking” Premieres on Television

“You know, a book be like a ship: it can take ye to places you’ve never seen before.”

On October 6, 1968, the episode of the Disney Anthology, entitled “Pacifically Peeking,” premiered on NBC. It was directed by Ward Kimball and Hamilton Luske, with story by Bill Berg, narration by Mel Leven, and featured Paul Frees as the voice of Moby Duck, the author of the titular book. Moby Duck takes viewers on a cruise of the Pacific Ocean, with the episode bringing together animation and education.

September 21

September 21, 1986 – The Golden Girls Wins Three Emmy Awards

“I am the lucky one who gets to come up and pick up this golden girl, but Estelle, and Rue, and Bea, and I all thank you. We’re a matched set; you can’t split us up.”

On September 21, 1986, the 38th Primetime Emmy Awards were held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. There, out of nine nominations (many for the same category), the NBC comedy series The Golden Girls walked away with 3 Primetime Emmys, including Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (for the episode “A Little Romance”), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for actress Betty White (who appeared in the series as Rose Nylund), and Outstanding Comedy Series. The series won the final award against such series as Cheers, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Kate & Allie.

December 30

December 30, 1990 – The Final Episode of Hull High Premieres on NBC

“The school that’s never bored of education!”

On December 30, 1990, the final episode of the short-lived musical drama series Hull High premiered on NBC. Created by Gil Grant, the series centered around a group of students and teachers at a Southern California high school that featured musical numbers and a Greek chorus element. The musical numbers were choreographed by Peggy Holmes and Kenny Ortega; the latter is well-known for his work on the popular High School Musical series. The series starred Will Lyman as John Deerborn, Nancy Valen as Donna Breedlove, George Martin as Mr. Dobosh, Harold Pruett as Cody Rome, Mark Ballou as Mark, Marty Belafsky as Louis Plumb, Marshall Bell as Jim Fancher, Kristin Dattilo as DJ, and Cheryl Pollack as Camilla. The series only aired eight episodes, as it proved to be uninteresting to viewers.

December 11

December 11, 1966 – The Walt Disney Anthology Episode “Joker, the Amiable Ocelot Premieres

“For the kitten, though, this tangle of trouble was just the beginning. He was on his own now, heading for big adventure, and he hadn’t even left the den yet.”

On December 11, 1966, the episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, entitled “Joker, the Amiable Ocelot,” premiered on NBC. It stars Winston Hibler as the narrator, and featured Robert Becker as Jim Benton, a tow truck driver who finds an ocelot in the back of a car left abandoned in the desert. Jim is a loner and a drifter who never learned how to handle the limp with which he was born. A whole family of ocelots was in the car, but evacuated when Jim found the car, save for one kitten who got stuck. Jim took the abandoned car to his remote shop, and the ocelot kitten hops out of the car and starts looking for his mother. He manages to find Jim’s cat Duchess and takes to her quickly. Jim has several unusual pets, and is kind and caring to all of them, nursing several of them back to health. When Jim realized that one of Duchess’ kittens was not like the others, he nicknamed the ocelot Joker and took care of it. Joker gets the attention of a nurse named Nancy Conroy that stopped by for gasoline (played by Jan McNabb), and she starts a conversation with Jim, trying to be friendly. Jim bonds with Joker, and the two become best friends, but after a while, he realizes that Joker needs to return to the wild. While they have a sad parting, a happy ending is found for both, as Joker finds a mate, and Jim gets close to Nancy.

September 20

September 20, 1986 – The Television Special Disney’s Captain EO Grand Opening Premieres on NBC

“Now, join a galaxy of stars and celebrities as they gather in Disneyland for Disney’s Captain EO Grand Opening!”

On September 20, 1986, the television special Disney’s Captain EO Grand Opening premiered on NBC. It celebrated the new 3D musical attraction featuring Michael Jackson (which opened September 12, 1986), and featured Patrick Duffy and Justine Bateman as hosts. The special also featured performances by Belinda Carlisle, the Moody Blues, Robert Palmer, and Starship.

The special opens with a parade down Main Street before switching to the commentary by Bateman and Duffy, introducing many celebrities that were in attendance for the world premiere of Captain EO, including producer of the film George Lucas. The show then switches to a behind-the-scenes look of the film, along with an introduction of the characters in the film, including the villain played by Academy Award winning actress Anjelica Huston. The show also shows the complex choreography needed for the film, as it was a musical adventure experience.

May 6

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May 6, 1990 – The Muppets at Walt Disney World Premieres on ABC

On May 6, 1990, the television special The Muppets at Walt Disney World premiered on NBC under the “Magical World of Disney” programming banner. The special featured the classic Jim Henson-created characters exploring the Florida theme park, and was the last Muppet feature that Henson would work on before his untimely passing. It was created to help highlight the merger between The Walt Disney Company and the Jim Henson Company, a merger that wouldn’t fully take place until 2004. The episode also starred Charles Grodin, Raven-Symoné, and Michael Eisner.

October 9

October 9, 1988 – The Magical World of Disney Premieres on NBC

mwod

“Welcome to the Magical World of Disney.”

On October 9, 1988, the newest iteration of the Disney anthology series, The Magical World of Disney, premiered on NBC. This was the third title of the second era of the series, and ninth overall. NBC had dropped the anthology in 1981, but had renewed interest in the broadcast in 1988 after significant changes within the Disney Company; CEO Michael Eisner continued to present the broadcast after starting hosting duties in 1986 with The Disney Sunday Movie. Unfortunately, the series ran into ratings problems during its run, and ended its run on September 9, 1990. The program block was moved back to the Disney Channel on September 23, 1990.