Dateline: Events/Week of December 15, 1996 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News
A freighter, after losing power, crashes into the famed Riverwalk in New Orleans, injuring as many as 140 as panicked holiday shoppers tried to flee.
The Boeing Co announces that it will acquire rival McDonnell Douglas in a $13.3 merger. Look for a lot of layoffs to be sure.
In Lima - Guerrillas holding as many as 90 hostages in the Japanese ambassador’s residence, threaten to kill their captives, unless Peru releases hundreds of their imprisoned comrades. The hostages include Peruvian Cabinet ministers and diplomats.
O.J. Simpson is awarded full custody of his two children from his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson.
Crude oil prices soar past $26 a barrel, to their highest level since the Gulf War. Refinery problems, Europe stockpiling and a harsh Midwest winter are being blamed.
Two large chunks of the space shuttle Challenger’s left wing wash ashore, onto Cocoa Beach. NASA officials say they are surprised at the size and the good condition of the pieces. Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff on January 28, 1986 killing schoolteacher Sharon Christa McAuliff and six crewmates.
Advertising/Business news – December 15, 1996
Hottest toy this Christmas season – “Tickle Me Elmo” doll.
Going after “Mountain Dew” – Coke says it is introducing “Surg” – a green, high-in-calories, loaded-with-caffeine drink. Says a spokesman for Pepsi – “Mountain Dew has had a lot of people trying to compete with it. The wide array of wannabes have all failed to put a dent in Dew.”
Auto news – GM says it’s dropping the Geo name to attract import buyers. Metros, Prizms and Trackers will become Chevys next fall.
Some bestselling books – December 15, 1996
Airframe – Michael Crichton
The Fallen Men – Tony Hillerman
Tailor of Panama – John le Carre
M is for Malice – Sue Grafton
Everyone is Entitled To My Opinion – David Brinkley
Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
My Life As Pornographer – Larry Flynt
My Dark Places – Jamie Ellroy
Technology news – December 15, 1996
Apple announces it will re-hire Steve Jobs, its co-founder who was abruptly ousted from the company 11 years ago. Apple will also pay $400 million to acquire Next Inc., the company Jobs founded after he left Apple.
Entertainment news – December 15, 1996
Passing – Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni, best known for the movie “La Dolce Vita.” He was 72.
Television news – December 15, 1996
The television industry unveils an historic TV ratings system. For the first time, parents will be provided label designations before the show, so they can decide if it’s good for the kids. Ratings include Y, Y7, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14 and lastly, TV-M for adult audiences only.
MTV sensation/ex Playboy centerfold Jenny McCarthy signs a deal with NBC for a new half-hour comedy series. She just left MTV’s “Singled Out” to pursue this opportunity.
Oprah has her second highest ratings (so far) after doing a show with Madonna.
After five years, Pamela Lee Anderson who portrays C.J. Parker is leaving “Baywatch’ to pursue other projects. She says that after the birth of her son last June, she wants to do other things.
It’s confirmed – Elmo will not be on “Live Regis and Kathy Lee” because of an earlier remark made by Regis, who said the message of Christmas was “being perverted by this Tickle Me Elmo mania.”
UPN launches its website with a live chat with Moesha. Go to www.upn.com
“The Simpsons” will get a new record album “Songs in the Key of Springfield” original songs from the cartoon series. Set to be released in March, some of the selections are: “Bagged Me A Homer” & the “Itchy and Scratchy Theme.”
Michael Jackson will perform a new song written for Elizabeth Taylor. Catch it on an ABC-TV special featuring Ms. Taylor and her 65th birthday in February.
Rosie O’Donnell is on “Saturday Night Live” this week.
Courtney Thorne-Smith will make her debut on “Spin City” January 14th. She plays someone who’s dating Michael J. Fox’s character.
Top TV Shows/Ratings – December 15, 1996
ER – 22.6
Seinfeld – 18/7
Friends – 16.1
Single Guy – 14.9
Monday Night Football – 13.8
NYPD Blue – 130.0
20/20 – 12.6
Home Improvement – 12.6
Movie-Lying Eyes – 11.9
Frasier – 11.8
Touched by an Angel – 11.8
3rd Rock From The Sun- 11.7
60 Minutes – 11.6
Movie-Christmas In My Hometown – 11.3
Spin City – 10.9
Thursday night television listings/TV guide – week of December 15, 1996
CBS – A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Garfield Christmas Special, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, 48 Hours, Late Show
NBC – Friends, NewsRadio, Seinfeld, Suddenly Susan, ER, Tonight Show
ABC – High Incident, High Incident, Peter Jennings Reporting, Nightline
PBS – Great Railway Centers, Mystery! Mystery!
WB – Movie
Fox – Martin, Living Single, New York Undercover
On Seinfeld – Jerry Learns Newman is hiding mail.
Peter Jennings Special – The history and people of Jerusalem.
On David Letterman – Neve Campbell, Dave Matthews Band
On the Tonight Show – George Clooney, Melissa Etheridge
Music news – December 15, 1996
Whitney Houston suffers her second miscarriage in 2 ½ years. Baby was due in July. Ms. Houston and hubby Bobby Brown have one daughter, born in 1993.
Courtney Love now an actress – Look for her in “The People Vs. Larry Flynt” later this month. She portrays stripper-turned junkie Althea Flynt, opposite Woody Harrelson.
Chicago talker Mancow Miller has a new album – “Fat Boy Pizza Breasts.” He’s heard over WRCX.
Top music albums – December 15, 1996
Razorblade Suitcase – Bush
Tragic Kingdom – No Doubt
Tha Doggfather – Snoop Doggy Dogg
Falling Into you – Celine Dion
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory – Makaveli
Dr. Dre Presents… The Aftermath – Various Artists
Space Jam – Soundtrack
The Moment – Kenny G
Romeo & Juliet – Soundtrack
Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette
Secrets – Toni Braxton
The Preacher’s Wife – Soundtrack
Ill No Na – Foxy Brown
Blue – Leann Rimes
Set It Off – Soundtrack
Did I Shave My Legs for This? – Deana Carter
Keith Seat – Keith Seat
Best of Volume 1 – Van Halen
If We Fall In Love Tonight – Rod Stewart
Family Scriptures – Mo Thugs Family
Anthology 3 – The Beatles
Top Pop Hit Singles(top-40) – December 15, 1996
Un Break My Heart – Toni Braxton
No Diggity – Blackstreet/Dr. Dre
Don’t Let Go (Love) – En Vogue
Nobody – Keith Sweat/Athena Cage
Pony – Ginuwine
It’s All Coming Back to Me now – Celine Dion
Mouth Merril Banbridge
Where Do You Go – No Mercy
I’m Still In Love With You – New Edition
When You Love A Woman – Journey
If It Makes You Happy – Sheryl Crow
I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis
Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)- Los Del Rio
Falling – Montell Jordan
Last Night – AZ Yet
This Is For The Lover In You – Babyface/LL Cool J, H. Hewitt, J. Watley & J. Daniels
Top Country Music Pop Hits – December 15, 1996
Little Bitty – Alan Jackson
Every Light In The House – Trace Adkins
The Fear of Being Alone – Reba Mcentire
That Ol’ Wind – Garth Brooks
Goodnight Sweetheart – David Kersh
Strawberry Wine – Deana Carter
Big Love – Tracy Byrd
Live Is Stronger Than Pride – Ricochet
Nobody Knows – Kevin Sharp
Friends – John Michael Montgomery
Top Modern Rock Music Tracks – December 15, 1996
Don’t Speak – No Doubt
Swallowed – Bush
What I Got – Sublime
The Distance – Cake
#1 Crush – Garbage
Lady Picture Show – Stone Temple Pilots
Bound For The Floor – Local H
All Mixed Up – 311
Tattva – Kula Shaker
Bittersweet Me – R.E.M.
Mach 5 – Presidents of the United States of America
Blow Up The Outside World - Soundgarden
Top Popular Hits In Britain – December 15, 1996
Cosmic Girl – Jamiroquai
Breathe – Prodigy
Un-Break My Heart – Toni Braxton
One and One – Robert Miles/Maria Nayler
No Woman No Cry – Fugees
I Feel You – Peter Andre
What’s Love Got To Do With It – Warren G
Widen Open Space – Mansun
Mama Said – Metallica
Hillbilly Rock, Hillbilly Roll - Woolpackers
Top Movie Video Rentals – December 15, 1996
Top movies – December 15, 1996
The Preacher’s Wife
Jingle All The Way
Star Trek: First Contact
The Mirror Has Two Faces
Romeo & Juliet
Set It Off
That Thing You Do!
Secrets & Lies