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Television Trivia

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As reported by one source, ingenue actress Sarah Michelle Gellar was paid $75,000 per episode for her work as the title character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer during the 1999-2000 season.

Before becoming a household name as the young star of the hit film The Karate Kid (1984) and its sequels in 1986 and 1989, Ralph Macchio appeared in TV commercials and series episodes. His first TV role of any note was troubled nephew Jeremy Andretti on the family drama Eight Is Enough during its last season (1980-1981).

Before becoming a household name on Roseanne in 1988, Laurie Metcalf had been a regular on Saturday Night Live in its 1981 season.

Before becoming an ingenue celebrity as the star of television's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar had appeared as a teenage Jacqueline Bouvier in the 1991 miniseries A Woman Named Jackie, and was a regular on the soap opera All My Children as the daughter of Erica Kane.

Before he became a home-repair guru on U.S. television, Bob Vila was a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama.

Before landing a small recurring TV role on CBS's Murphy Brown and then a regular supporting role as British physical therapist Daphne Moon on NBC's Frasier, Jane Leeves held jobs as a camp counselor and a fingernail-accessory package stuffer.

Before she became the "queen of cuisine" and the darling of TV's PBS, Julia Child worked as an advertising copywriter for a furniture store.

Before she landed the role that replaced the departing Farrah Fawcett (then Fawcett-Majors) on TV's hit Charlie's Angels in 1977, Cheryl Ladd provided the voice of one of the Pussycats on the Saturday morning cartoon TV series about an all-female pop music group, Josie and the Pussycats.

Before she met Popeye, Olive Oyl went out with Ham Gravy.

Before she was cast as the sultry Uhura on the 1960's Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols performed as a singer with Duke Ellington.

Bill Cosby became the first black leading actor in a TV drama series when he starred opposite Robert Culp on I Spy. He won three Best Actor in a Drama Series Emmys for his role as Alexander "Scotty" Scott.

Bob Denver wasn't the first choice, nor even in the running, for the lead part of TV's Gilligan's Island. Jerry Van Dyke was the original choice, but he turned it down. The William Morris Agency then recommended Denver for the part, but Gilligan's Island creator Sherwood Schwartz couldn't imagine him in the role because Denver had been so convincing as the bearded, not-too-bright beatnik Maynard G. Krebs in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Schwartz and Denver finally had a meeting, and Schwartz was surprised that Denver was actually a well-read, quiet professional. Before his success in Dobie Gillis, Denver had been a school teacher. Denver became Gilligan, and the show ran for three seasons. Even 25 years after its last episode was filmed, it is still one of the most-widely syndicated TV shows in television history.

Captain Kirk's Enterprise crew numbered 430. His successor, Captain Picard, had 1,012 under his command.

In March 1996, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell cancelled their $5.4-million sponsorship of ABC's new The Dana Carvey Show after some of Carvey's humor "went too far." One sketch that offended the sponsors featured a dancing taco that kept telling Carvey that he was a "whore" for pushing the sale of Pepsi products.

In most of the television milk commercials, a mixture of white paint with a little thinner is used instead of milk.

In October 1993, the deliberately tasteless Beavis and Butt-head, MTV's animated top-rated series, was attacked for allegedly inspiring a 5-year-old child to start a fatal fire. In response, MTV agreed to run the controversial show in a later time spot and the writers agreed not to use references to fires in the future.

In October, 1994, Amtrak railways cancelled $2 million in advertising with The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to retaliate against the frequent jokes Leno told on the show about the railway. Amtrak had complained several times, demanding that the wisecracks be stopped. Leno continued to take potshots, prompting Amtrak's cancellation.

In Spain, the TV drama Beverly Hills, 90210 has a more romantic title: it is called Sensation of Living.

In the Mork and Mindy series, the capital city of Mork's home planet, Ork, was Kork.

In the 1950s, TV and film star collie Lassie's salary was $5,000 per week.

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