1966: 'Dark Shadows' Premieres on ABC
This day in 1966 marked the debut of the gothic daytime soap opera Dark Shadows on ABC. The campy sci-fi/fantasy series featured witches and warlocks, werewolves and zombies and parallel universes, but by far one of the show's most popular characters was Jonathan Frid's Barnabas Collins, a 200-year-old vampire in search of his lost love.
The show was well-known for its twisting plotlines and melodramatic acting, as well as on-camera gaffes — such as visible microphones — that led some viewers to believe the show was broadcast live. (It wasn't.)
Dark Shadows ran for just five years, but remains one of television's most popular cult shows. Incidentally, the 131-disc, 1,225-episode DVD set Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series is being released July 10, and available for pre-order.