This Was Television On November 8

1972: HBO premieres

Home Box Office, one of the earliest cable channels in the United States and one of the first to gain ubiquity, took to a network of microwave towers to begin broadcasting on this date. The current home of first-run movies, sportscasts, and some of the most decorated original programs of the 2000s and 2010s, HBO began humbly by airing a match between the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Joe Flynn, naval captain (d. 1974); Mary Hart, ET emcee (62); Gretchen Mol, loving mother (40); Parker Posey, Eagletonian (44); Gordon Ramsey, peevish chef (46); Esther Rolle, Evans matriarch (d. 1998); Morley Safer, journalist (81); Courtney Thorne-Smith, Melrose Placer (45); Alfre Woodard, St. Eligius doc (60).

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