... I have absolutely no idea who did it.
This time we've got something of truly universal significance. Yes,
it's still from This
Day in History, but it's a different sort of historical significance.
On the other hand, it's an event that perhaps says something of importance
about mass communication technologies and how they affect our lives. Whatever,
November 21, 1980 went down in history because:
The largest TV audience ever - an estimated 82 million
people - watched as Sue Ellen's sister, Kristin Shepard shot J.R. Ewing
on "Dallas" this night. The jilted mistress was seen holding the smoking
gun after a summer of viewers asking that haunting question, "Who Shot
J.R.?" Eighty percent of all viewers watched the show.
This Day in History's copy writers should have been a bit more careful.
"The largest TV audience ever" should have been "until then", since it's
a record that seems to get broken with a certain predictable frequency.
Thus it appears that larger audiences have since watched numerous events:
the Atlanta Olympics, the World Cup, Diana's funeral (which apparently
presently holds the record). Still, there's something fascinating in learning
that so many people, all over the world, sat down in front of their television
sets and, instead of zapping with the remote,
watched one program.
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