This Was Television On November 17

1968 & 1978: Bywords for TV ignominy enter the lexicon

In 1968, the Oakland Raiders beat the visiting New York Jets 43-32 in a national telecast after scoring two touchdowns within the final minute. The NFL contest was nationally televised, but most of the nation missed the Raiders’ remarkable comeback. With the Jets leading 32-29 late in the fourth quarter and the game running long, NBC cut away to its scheduled airing of the family film Heidi. The “Heidi Game,” as it came to be known, remains one of the most infamous incidents in sports broadcasting.

In 1978, it was the intersection of TV and movies which led to an even more notorious evening of programming: The Star Wars Holiday Special. Perhaps unfortunately for everyone involved, CBS did not at any point preempt that telecast. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Leslie Bibb, popular girl (38); Danny DeVito, cab dispatcher (68); Daisy Fuentes, VJ (46); Rachel McAdams, Shakespearean actress (34); Lorne Michaels, producer (68); Diane Neal, A.D.A. (36); Stephen Root, eccentric billionaire (61); RuPaul, drag queen (52).

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