Pioneers of Television
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 series examines the entertainers that provided the classic scenes that still amuse us today.
Pioneers of Television Previous Broadcasts
Acting Funny (Episode #404)
KQED World: Sat, Sep 13, 2014 -- 6:00 AM
This episode peeks behind the curtain to reveal the backstage techniques of America's favorite comedic actors. The program features the manic improvisational style of Robin Williams, along with his comic predecessor Jonathan Winters. They're a fascinating contrast to Tina Fey, who explains her measured, highly prepared approach. The episode also highlights the all-time #1 Emmy winner for comedy acting: Cloris Leachman.
Standup to Sitcom (Episode #401)
KQED World: Sat, Sep 13, 2014 -- 5:00 AM
This star-packed episode features fresh interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen, Ray Romano and Bob Newhart. The program reveals how America's top standup comics made the transition to the sitcom format and includes dozens of clips from "Seinfeld," "Home Improvement," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Roseanne" and more.
Funny Ladies (Episode #301H)
KQED 9: Tue, Sep 9, 2014 -- 8:00 PM
This episode features the first standup comediennes to appear on television - legends such as Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers. It also looks at Lucille Ball's breakthrough on "I Love Lucy" and the sitcom stars who followed, including Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White and Marla Gibbs. The episode covers television's most enduring variety star, Carol Burnett, and features interviews with contemporary actresses including Tina Fey and Margaret Cho.
- KQED 9: Wed, Sep 10, 2014 -- 2:00 AM