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Cheery Thought?

"60 Minutes" producer Don Hewitt was painfully aware of the importance of television ratings.

"One day in 1990, when we were in a nip and tuck battle with 'Cheers' for number one [in the ratings]," he recalled, "Mike Wallace and I were on a plane from Los Angeles.

"The plane was ready to take off when Mike got up to get something over the compartment over his seat -- and collapsed. He went down like a tree in a forest and lay there in the aisle of the plane, motionless."

Hewitt's first thought? "Oh s---, he's dead! Now we're never going to catch 'Cheers'!"

[Wallace had in fact suffered a heart attack.]

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