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.
Superheroes (#303H) Duration: 56:16 STEREO TVPG
"Superheroes" crosses many eras: "Superman" in the 1950s, "Batman" in the '60s, "Wonder Woman" and "The Incredible Hulk" in the '70s and "The Greatest American Hero" in the '80s. The episode features in-depth interviews with Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Lynda Carter, Lou Ferrigno, William Katt and others. It also includes comments from Robert Culp, about his show "The Greatest American Hero, " recorded just days before he passed away.
Primetime Soaps (#302H) Duration: 56:16 STEREO TVPG
"Dallas" and "Dynasty" kicked off the nighttime soap frenzy in the late 1970s and spun off the long-lasting series "Knots Landing." Sometimes forgotten is the genre's antecedent: 1964's "Peyton Place," which starred Mia Farrow and Ryan O'Neal. Interviewees in this episode include Larry Hagman, Joan Collins, Linda Evans, Diahann Carroll, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Michele Lee, Joan Van Ark and Donna Mills.
Variety (#103) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG
This episode begins with Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town" and Milton Berle's "Texaco Star Theater" and progresses through "The Carol Burnett Show," "Smothers Brothers" and "Laugh-in," among others. Tim Conway and Jonathan Winters tell hilarious stories about their variety show years. Conversely, Pat Boone offers chilling insight into early TV's unspoken racism, and Tommy Smothers details the compelling behind-the-scenes story of his landmark show. Tony Orlando wraps up the era with especially insightful comments about the genre. Additionally, the episode includes fresh bites from earlier interviews with Milton Berle, Red Skelton and Sid Caesar.
Game Shows (#104) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG
This episode traces one of broadcasting's strongest genres from its beginnings in radio through its heyday in the late 60s. Bob Barker talks about his earliest work, and Merv Griffin details his creation of "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy." Monty Hall recounts his compelling rags-to-riches story and Betty White remembers her role as the first female emcee. Clips for this episode are wide-ranging and include Phyllis Diller's very first TV appearance - as a painfully shy contestant on Groucho Marx's "You Bet Your Life."