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Pioneers of Television

Variety (#103)

A look at the stars and shows that established the format, including Ed Sullivan and Carol Burnett. [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: The four-part series examines the people who left their imprint on sitcoms, late-night, variety and game shows in the early days of the medium. The program features interviews with legendary stars, including Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Art Linkletter, Andy Griffith, Betty White, Phyllis Diller, Jim Nabors, Marlo Thomas, Jonathan Winters, Ed McMahon and Merv Griffin. Using never-before-seen images and showcasing timeless clips, the documentary examines the entertainers that provided the classic scenes that still amuse us today.

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  • Sitcoms (#101)

    Rediscover television comedy classics, as this episode focuses on five key sitcome: "I Love Lucy," "The Honeymooners," "Make Room for Daddy," "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show." [56 minutes]

  • Late Night (#102)

    Profiles the talent and shows that pioneered the late night format. [53 minutes]

  • Game Shows (#104)

    Entertaining profiles of the legends and shows that pioneered the game show format. [56 minutes]

  • Science Fiction (#201)

    Focuses on "Star Trek" "Lost in Space" "The Twilight Zone" and the creators and stars of the shows. [56 minutes]

  • Westerns (#202)

    An entertaining look at successful TV westerns including "Bonanza," "Gunsmoke" and "Maverick." [56 minutes]

  • Crime Dramas (#203)

    A look at "The Rockford Files," "Dragnet," "Columbo," "Mission: Impossible "and other crime shows. [56 minutes]

  • Local Kids' TV (#204)

    A look at "Romper Room" and more local programs that shaped the childhoods of American children. [56 minutes]

  • Funny Ladies (#301)

    Comediennes Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, Phyllis Diller and more are highlighted. [56 minutes]

  • Primetime Soaps (#302)

    Larry Hagman, Linda Evans, Joan Collins and more stars discuss soaps such as "Dallas" and "Dynasty." [56 minutes]

  • Superheroes (#303)

    Adam West, Lynda Carter, Lou Ferrigno and others discuss "Superman," "Batman" and more great shows. [56 minutes]

  • Miniseries (#304)

    LeVar Burton, Ed Asner, Richard Chamberlain and others discuss "Roots," "The Thorn Birds" and more. [56 minutes]

  • Carol Burnett & The Funny Ladies (#305)

    Carol Burnett's television comedy career and the funny ladies of TV who joined her are highlighted. [26 minutes]

  • Standup to Sitcom (#401)

    Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr and Ray Romano discuss how standup comics transitioned to sitcoms. [56 minutes]

  • Doctors and Nurses (#402)

    Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, Ed Begley Jr. and others discuss "ER," "St. Elsewhere" and more. [56 minutes]

  • Breaking Barriers (#403)

    The story of people of color on American television is traced, including Bill Cosby and Desi Arnaz. [56 minutes]

  • Acting Funny (#404)

    The backstage techniques of Robin Williams, Tina Fey and more great comedic actors are revealed. [56 minutes]

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