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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of March 15, 1983 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts




In The News

OPEC says it will cut price of oil to $29 a barrel. 

Soviet economic squeeze - President Reagan orders his administration to attempt to influence internal policies of the Soviet Union through trade and other economic pressures as a means of forcing shifts in Moscow’s foreign strategy. 

President Reagan marks St. Patrick’s Day with fellow politicians of Irish ancestry, blending conviviality with a strong condemnation of violence in Northern Ireland by the Irish Republican Army.

Catherine Evelyn Smith surrenders to Canadian authorities after being indicted in Los Angeles in the drug-injection death of comedian John Belushi in a Hollywood hotel bungalow last year.

Off limits - White House spokesman Larry Speakes tells TV reporters and cameramen in the Rose Garden that they must stop “snooping in on the Oval Office” with zoom lenses. Speakes complained that network crews outside the White House were taking pictures through windows of the presidential office. Most of his complaint was against ABC-TV and Sam Donaldson, whom he accused of having prodded his cameramen to zoom in on Reagan in the Oval Office.

Atlantic City - Michael Spinks gets the light-heavyweight championship in a fight with Dwight Braxton.


Sports news – March 15, 1983

ABC-TV Sports says it had better-than-expected ratings on its first USFL telecast March 6. They guaranteed sponsors a 5.3 ratings and came up with a 14.2 national rating. Will the ratings continue? (answer – no). 


Television news – March 15, 1983

CBS says it will replace “Face the Nation” after 29 years with a new Sunday morning news show anchored by Lesley Stahl, who had been the network’s White House correspondent.

Herve Villechaize who portrays “Tattoo” on Fantasy Island, says life as a star is always peachy. “People are always patting me on the head and girls are always asking me to sit on their knee.”

Barbara Bel Geddes (60), the matriarch of TV’s “Dallas” undergoes a live-saving open-heart surgery after a massive heart attack.

Former NBC and ABC programmer Fred Silverman has a new syndicated show up his sleeve. He’ll be producing something called “Thicke of the Night” starring Canadian talkshow host Alan Thicke. It’ll compete with Johnny Carson on weekday nights.

Passing – Arthur Godfrey (79) – once the biggest name in radio and television.


Top TV shows/Nielsen ratings – March 15, 1983

Dallas – 27.7

60 Minutes – 27.1

Dynasty – 25.2

Falcon Crest – 23.7

Magnum, PI – 23.6

Jeffersons – 22.7

Newhart – 22.6

Fall Guy – 22.2

Simon & Simon – 21.5

Archie Bunker’s Place – 21.3

Knots Landing – 20.6

Love Boat – 20.3

Hart to Hart – 20.2

That’s Incredible – 19.9

Dukes of Hazzard – 19.7

Gloria – 19.6

Three’s Company – 19.5

Trapper John, M.D. – 19.3


Tuesday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – March 15, 1983

CBS – Ace Crawford Private Eye (debut), Gun Shy (debut), Movie, Quincy (reruns), McMillan and Wife (reruns), Nightwatch

NBC – The A Team, Bare Essence, St. Elsewhere, Tonight Show, Latenight w/David Letterman, News Overnight

ABC – Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Three’s Company, 9 to 5, Hart to Hart, Nightline, Last Word

PBS – Nova, History of the S.S., Night Bombers


On Ace Crawford – Stars Tim Conway as a bumbling private detective.

On Gun Shy – Stars Barry Van Dyke, Geoffrey Lewis and Tim Thomerson.

On St. Elsewhere – Despite a brother’s request, Dr. Westphal will not let his morals allow a cancer patient to die.

On the Tonight Show – Jim Stafford joins Johnny Carson. 

On David Letterman – Former baseball umpire Ron Luciano.


Entertainment news – March 15, 1983

Longtime gossip columnist Earl Wilson, says he’ll hang his pen up after 48 years. His last one will be published this week – 11,424, reports the New York Post.

Mickey Dolenz, beloved Monkee, can be found in England these days. He’s been there for five years and has directed some 60 British TV programs, many of which, he also created and produced.


 Radio news – March 15, 1983


Passing - B. Mitchel Reed, legendary top-40, then album rock personality. He was 56. BMR began his career as a jazz DJ, then tried his hand as one of the original KFWB (Hollywood) color-radio DJ’s. WMCA (New York) came calling, and put Reed up as their star teen DJ 7p-11p, beginning the station’s successful “Goodguy” top-40 run in New York. Reed beat the likes of Murray the K at WINS/Cousin Bruce and Scott Muni at WABC. He left WMCA to rejoin KFWB in 1965. He joined progressive KPPC in 1968 and later moving to KMET-FM and KLOS. He launched the syndicated “Rockline” in 1981.  

Another Mike Joseph “Hot Hits” top-40 FM station – as KITS (105.3) San Francisco now plays the hits. It debuts this week.

Strapped National Public Radio orders a $2.7 million cut for fiscal 1983, and will most likely release 10% of its staff.    

Sandy Beach is back at WKBW as the Program Director. Beach was once part of the station as a DJ.

ABC radio syndicates “Ringo’s Yellow Submarine” with host Ringo Starr.


Music news – March 8, 1983

Cable WTBS is adding a “middle-of-the-road” video show on weekend overnights. The show is yet to be named. It will be different than MTV and USA Cable’s “Nightflight.” Look for it beginning June 4.

TREND – More (national) video TV shows are announced… All these will use record company supplied video clips as part of their mix…

“We’re Dancin” – syndicated half-hour show

 “Radio 1990” – Five half-hour shows on the USA Network from the folks who bring us “Night Flight.” Lisa Robinson will host.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Tonight” – Follows “Saturday Night Live” in four major markets where NBC owns its stations. 90 minutes in length.

“Breakout” – Based on the British rock scene. 60 Minutes

“The Rock “n” Roll Show” – 60 minute video show produced by Somach/Nelson Productions. Hosted by MTV’s Mark Goodman.  

“Black Music Today” – 30 minutes.

“FM-TV” – 2-hour specials

Houghton-Worth Show – Music Magazine. 30 minute show with clearance on some 60 stations (so far).

Look for the trend to continue regionally and locally with shows such as “MV3,” and “Rock ON-TV” in Los Angeles and “Hot Rocks,” Dance Videotheque” in New York. No doubt, local TV stations will cut deals with local radio DJ’s/stations to produce video shows. LOOK OUT!    

 MTV is airing “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. It’s a big breakthrough some say, because MTV doesn’t usually play videos by black artists. MTV says the song is cutting edge and right for its audience. 

Debuts this week -  “The MTV Basement Tapes” – a 30-minute show featuring video clips from local talent from the country. The monthly program uses an 800 phone number through which the audience can vote for its favorite group. On the debut show – Toby Redd of Detroit; Brosofske, Chicago; Young Invaders, Cincinnati; What Is This, Los Angeles; the Slickee Boys, Ocean City MD; and Stephanie Fuller & Pillow, Los Angeles. 

Sony and EMI are backing a promotional push for Duran Duran’s video 45 “Hungary Like the Wolf”/ “Girls On Film” Look for 30-second commercials on MTV.

Playing CD’s – New York’s WNCN-FM ( a classical station), says it’s starting to play CD’s. So far, they have only 15 in their library, and most of those came from Japan.

More CD news – Sony says it has supplied Compact Disc Players to 28 album rock FM stations in key markets to promote the technology. They’ll also get a year’s supply of CD’s from Columbia. The CD players are valued at $1000. Stations agreed to give Sony credit whenever they play a Compact Disc on the air.  


Top black music singles – March 15, 1983

Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

Atomic Dog – George Clinton

You Are – Lionel Richie

Fall In Love With Me – Earth, Wind & Fire

Outstanding – Gap Band

I Like It – DeBarge

Too Tough – Angela Bofill


Top Country Hit Music Singles – March 15, 1983

I Wouldn’t Change You If I Could – Ricky Skaggs

Shine On (Shine All Your Sweet Love On Me) – George Jones

Swingin’ – John Anderson

We’ve Got Tonight – Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton

I Have Love You Girl (But Not Like This Before) – Earl Thomas Conley

The Rose – Conway Twitty

When I’m Away From You – Bellamy Brothers

Reasons To Quit – Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson

Dixieland Delight – Alabama

Hangin’ Around – The Whites


Top pop hit music singles – March 15, 1983

Shame On The Moon – Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band

Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

We’ve Got Tonight – Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton

Back On The Chain Gang – Pretenders

You Are – Lionel Ritchie

One on One – Hall and Oates

Separate Ways – Journey

Mr. Roboto – Styx

I Know There’s Something Gong On – Frida

Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners

Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats

Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson

All Right – Christopher Cross

Twilight Zone – Golden Earring

Jeopardy – Greg Kihn Band

I’ve Got A Rock ‘N Roll Heart – Eric Clapton


Top videocassette movie rentals – March 15, 1983

Blade Runner

An Officer and a Gentleman


The Boat (Das Boot)

Rocky III

The World According To Garp

Night Shift


Top movies – March 15, 1983




Joy Sticks

48 Hours

10 to Midnight


Year of Living Dangerously


Sophie’s Choice

The Lords of Discipline

Table for Five

The Verdict


Without A Trace

My Tutor

Spring Fever

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