Forty years ago, the nation was enthralled by two summertime TV cliffhangers: Can "Luke and Laura Outrun the Mob?" on General Hospital and "Who Shot J.R.?" on Dallas. ABC's General Hospital was tops in daytime and would grow into a historic phenomenon the following year when Luke and Laura got married. Dallas, on CBS, was the No. 1 primetime program on television by a wide margin. In hindsight, these two pop-culture milestones from 1980 remind me of the outsize power that broadcast television once held. They also have me thinking about the unprecedented challenges television faces today as the coronavirus crisis continues.
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