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Pioneers of Television 

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A four-part documentary series focusing on the legends that helped launched TV and left lasting impression on sitcoms, talk shows, variety shows and game shows in television's early years.
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4   3   2   1  
2014   2013   2011   2008  
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Dick Van Dyke ...  Himself / ... 5 episodes, 2008-2014
Phyllis Diller ...  Herself 5 episodes, 2008-2014
Florence Henderson ...  Herself 5 episodes, 2008-2014
Betty White ...  Herself 5 episodes, 2008-2014
Benjamin Bratt ...  Narrator 4 episodes, 2014
Robert Culp ...  Himself 4 episodes, 2011-2014
Martin Landau ...  Himself 4 episodes, 2011-2014
Kelsey Grammer ...  Narrator 4 episodes, 2011
Ryan Seacrest ...  Narrator 4 episodes, 2013
Bill Cosby ...  Himself / ... 4 episodes, 2011-2014
Adam West ...  Himself / ... 4 episodes, 2011-2013
Jimmie Walker ...  Himself 4 episodes, 2013-2014
Jonathan Winters ...  Himself / ... 4 episodes, 2008-2014
Tim Conway ...  Himself 4 episodes, 2008-2013
Harlan Saperstein Harlan Saperstein ...  Narrator 4 episodes, 2008
Stephen J. Cannell ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2011-2013
Veronica Cartwright ...  Herself / ... 3 episodes, 2011
John Amos ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2013-2014
Peter Graves ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2011
Robin Williams ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2014
Mike Connors ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2011-2014
Cloris Leachman ...  Herself 4 episodes, 2011-2014
Pat Crowley ...  Herself 3 episodes, 2011-2013
Carol Burnett ...  Herself 4 episodes, 2008-2014
Andy Williams ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2008-2014
Barbara Eden ...  Herself / ... 3 episodes, 2008-2013
Mary Tyler Moore ...  Herself / ... 3 episodes, 2008-2014
Penny Marshall ...  Herself 3 episodes, 2013-2014
Vicki Lawrence ...  Herself 3 episodes, 2008-2013
Pat Harrington Jr. ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2008
Richard Chamberlain ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2013-2014
Leonard Nimoy ...  Himself / ... 3 episodes, 2011-2014
James Garner ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2011
Diahann Carroll ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2013-2014
William Shatner ...  Himself / ... 3 episodes, 2011-2014
Joan Collins ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2013
Linda Evans ...  Herself / ... 2 episodes, 2011-2013
Tim Allen ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2014
Leslie Uggams ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2013-2014
Bob Newhart ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2014
Jerry Seinfeld ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2014
Joan Van Ark ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2013
Ed Begley Jr. ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2013-2014
Georg Stanford Brown ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2013-2014
Ed Ames ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2011-2014
Lynne Moody ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2013
Ben Vereen ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2013-2014
Robert Conrad ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2011
Henry Darrow ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2011-2014
Stefanie Powers ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2011
Nichelle Nichols ...  Herself / ... 2 episodes, 2011-2014
Angie Dickinson ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2011
Barbara Bain ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2011-2014
Margaret Cho ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2013-2014
Roseanne Barr ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2013-2014
Edward Asner ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2013-2014
Ernest Borgnine ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2011
Bill Mumy ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2011
Whoopi Goldberg ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2014
Stan Freberg ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2011
Pat Carroll ...  Herself 3 episodes, 2008-2014
Chuck McCann ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2011
Marla Gibbs ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2013-2014
George Schlatter ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2008-2014
Marlo Thomas ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2008-2013
Dick Cavett ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2008
Hugh Downs ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2008
Merv Griffin ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2008
Andy Griffith ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2008
Arsenio Hall ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2008
Art Linkletter ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2008
Peter Marshall ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2008
Jim Nabors ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2008
Jack Narz ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2008
Tony Orlando ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2008
Red Skelton ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 2008
Tom Smothers ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2008
Larry Hagman ...  Himself 1 episode, 2013
Peter Strauss ...  Himself 1 episode, 2013
Charlene Tilton ...  Herself 1 episode, 2013
Burt Ward ...  Himself 1 episode, 2013
Anthony Edwards ...  Himself 1 episode, 2014
Tina Fey ...  Herself 1 episode, 2014
Marta Kristen ...  Herself / ... 1 episode, 2011
LeVar Burton ...  Himself 1 episode, 2013
Michele Lee ...  Herself 1 episode, 2013
Julie Newmar ...  Herself 1 episode, 2013
Gloria Reuben ...  Herself 1 episode, 2014
Angela Cartwright ...  Herself / ... 2 episodes, 2008-2011
Patrick Duffy ...  Himself 1 episode, 2013
Eriq La Salle ...  Himself 1 episode, 2014
Roosevelt Grier ...  Gabe Cooper from Daniel Boone / ... 1 episode, 2011
Lynda Carter ...  Herself 1 episode, 2013
Edward James Olmos ...  Himself 1 episode, 2014
Christina Pickles ...  Herself 1 episode, 2014
Ray Romano ...  Himself 1 episode, 2014
Lou Ferrigno ...  Himself 1 episode, 2013
Rachel Ward ...  Herself 1 episode, 2013
Howie Mandel ...  Himself 1 episode, 2014
George Takei ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2011-2014
Noah Wyle ...  Himself 1 episode, 2014
Jack Larson ...  Himself 1 episode, 2013
Donna Mills ...  Herself 1 episode, 2013
Julia Duffy ...  Herself 1 episode, 2014
Norman Lloyd ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2014
Johnny Crawford ...  Himself / ... 1 episode, 2011
Linda Gray ...  Herself 1 episode, 2013
Chad Everett ...  Himself 1 episode, 2014
Darby Hinton ...  Himself / ... 1 episode, 2011
Lee Meriwether ...  Dr. Ann MacGregor in Time Tunnel / ... 2 episodes, 2011-2014
Louis Gossett Jr. ...  Himself 1 episode, 2013
Susan Blakely ...  Herself 1 episode, 2013
William Katt ...  Himself 1 episode, 2013
Elena Verdugo ...  Herself 1 episode, 2014
Gavin MacLeod ...  Himself 1 episode, 2011
Bryan Brown ...  Himself 1 episode, 2013
Bruce Bilson Bruce Bilson ...  Himself 1 episode, 2011
Mitch Vogel ...  Himself 1 episode, 2011
Rita Moreno ...  Herself 1 episode, 2011
James Arness ...  Himself / ... 1 episode, 2011
Fess Parker ...  Daniel Boone from Daniel Boone / ... 1 episode, 2011
Steve Allen ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2008
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Storyline

This four-part documentary looks at some of the programs and stars from the early days of U.S. television. The segment on late night focuses on the vaudevillian origins of the genre and the Tonight Show, with its three early stars: Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson. The episode on sitcoms focuses on the contribution of several classics from the 1950s and 60s including The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show and the Dick van Dyke Show. The segment on variety shows focuses first on the Ed Sullivan Show and the hosts ability to book acts that the audience wanted to see. Others include Milton Berle's show, Sis Caesar's Your Show of Shows, Red Skelton, Arthur Godfrey and many others. In the final episode, game shows are the focus. Early game shows had their origins in radio but hit a road block during the game show scandals where it was revealed that contestants were being given the answers to questions. The genre eventually re-established itself and made stars of many... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pioneros de la televisión See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Season 1 Episode 1 includes Andy Griffith's last-ever interview. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worth it for the clips. Otherwise a disappointment
11 January 2008 | by MixMavenSee all my reviews

This comment refers specifically to the "Late Night" segment of the mini-series.

The narration contains several glaring moments of very bad writing and is overly "Burnsian" in its slow, serious delivery. The omission of David Letterman among the interviewees leaves one wondering whether he refused or someone had an ax to grind. The parade of past guests as interviewees also suffers from missing figures, particularly those who were regulars on Carson's show.

The show also fails to give the viewer much insight into the off camera personalities of its subjects. We learn (?) that Carson was a shy, private person and that if you didn't hear from him you were doing a good job and that if you did hear from him it was likely to be unvarnished opinion. At this late date can we not get deeper?

Overall, a disappointment; it should have been better.


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