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The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

This Day in Pop Culture for April 17

Apollo 13 arrived back to earth on April 17, 1970.

The Apollo 13 Spacecraft Returns to Earth

The Apollo 13 mission was the seven in the American Apollo Space program and the third with an intention of landing on the Moon. James Lovell, John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise launched into space from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 11, 1970. Two days later, an oxygen tank exploded which caused limited power, heat and potable water. Swigert calmly reported, “Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here.” Much damage was made to the Service Module which meant that a safe lunar landing was impossible and so the mission was aborted, however, there was still the matter of getting back home. No words can effectively explain the stress the astronauts and ground crew faced while thinking on the fly a makeshift repair to the carbon dioxide removal system, but the Ron Howard 1995 film, Apollo 13, does a good job of making you feel as if you were there. The crew “splashdowned” safely on this day in 1970.


"General Hospital" aired its 10,000th episode on April 17, 2002.

'General Hospital's 10,000 Episode

On this day in 2002, ABC aired the 10,000th episode of the soap opera, General Hospital, the longest-running program ever produced in Hollywood. The show included a storyline where Nurse Audrey received a medal commemorating her 10,000 day on the job. The show was created by Frank and Doris Hursley and premiered on April 1, 1963. At the time, it was set in the fictional town of Port Charles in New York and focused on the lives of those working at the “general hospital.” Ironically, on this same day, NBC launched the soap opera, The Doctors. The ratings for the show dropped significantly during the 1970’s but regained status as the #1 daytime drama in 1978. The most-watched event in soap opera history occurred in 1981 at the wedding of Luke and Laura. The show celebrated its 50th year on April 1, 2013 and is still churning out new episodes daily.


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