Based on a radio quiz show that began life as Take it or Leave It and then became The $64 Question, the CBS game show began a three-year run. One of the most popular programs of the 1950s game show era, The $64,000 Question in 1955-56 became the only show to displace I Love Lucy as TV’s top-rated. It inspired a spin-off, The $64,000 Challenge, as well as a syndicated revival, The $128,000 Question, in 1976, and it influenced many of the contemporary game shows that followed in its wake. But its star had already dimmed by the time the quiz show scandals of 1958 brought an ignominious end to the dominance of that genre. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Michael Cera, Bluth kin (25); William Forsythe, character actor (58); Gary Graham, cop (63); Bill Hader, SNLer (35); Dean Martin, roaster (d. 1995); Larisa Oleynik, superpowered teen (32); Ken Osmond, troublemaker (70).