This was Television on February 23

1997: NBC airs Schindler’s List uncut

In an exceedingly rare move, NBC broadcast Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning 1993 film about the Holocaust without any alteration for content or commercial interruption. The R-rated drama, starring Liam Neeson as the titular German industrialist who helped arrange the escape of Polish Jews from Nazi concentration camps, includes violence, nudity, and profanity which would normally be forbidden on network television—especially during the primetime “family hour” when NBC scheduled the three-and-a-half-hour film. Despite criticism from some conservative pundits, both the network and then-FCC Chairman Reed Hunt stood by the decision, stressing the importance of presenting the movie’s harsh message candidly. The broadcast garnered an estimated 65 million viewers. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Aziz Ansari, civil servant (30);  Majel Barrett, Trekker (d. 2008); Daymond John, shark (44); Kelly Macdonald, mob wife (37); Neal McDonough, DA (47); Patricia Richardson, Mrs. Tool Man (62).

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