Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Pioneers Of Early TV






I don’t normally include current TV shows in this blog, but today I’m making an exception for a PBS series called The Pioneers of Television.


I’ve now seen both seasons of this series (8 1-hour episodes), and can heartily recommend it to anyone who loves classic TV.

My only complaint:  I wish each episode were two hours long, more narrowly focused, and included more archival footage.


The attempt to cover each genre (Variety, Sci-Fi, Crime Dramas, Childrens TV, etc) in just an hour whets the appetite, but leaves you wanting more.


While Season 2 has just finished, three episodes from season 1 are about to be reprised on PBS, and so if you haven’t caught them, or want to record them (they are `keepers’), you have a fresh opportunity.


This from the PBS Pioneers of Television website.

An encore presentation of three episodes from the first season of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION, which explore the early years of sitcoms, late night and variety shows, will air Tuesdays, February 15-March 1, 2011, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET on PBS.

Late Night

The late-night escapades of Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson enter primetime in this episode about the formative years of late-night television.
Airs: 2/15/2011


Rediscover television comedy classics, as this episode focuses on five key sitcoms: "I Love Lucy," "The Honeymooners," "Make Room for Daddy," "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
Airs: 2/22/2011


From Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town" and Milton Berle's "Texaco Star Theater" to "The Carol Burnett Show," "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" and "Laugh-in," among others, this episode celebrates the variety show.
Airs: 3/1/2011

As an added bonus, the PBS website also has more than 2 dozen video clips online, many of which are from the `cutting room floor’, and did not appear in the finished episodes.


Interviews with Betty White, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Doc Severinson, James Garner, Jonathon Winters, Rod Serling, and many more.


Just a few of nearly 30 video clips

You’ll also find 16 short biographies of Pioneering TV people, including Andy Griffith, Bill Cosby, Merv Griffin, and Betty White and 3 entertaining trivia quizzes to test your classic TV knowledge.

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