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PBS's "Pioneers of Television" returns 1/15

Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:34 am ... o-pbs.html

Friday, November 09, 2012

Pioneers of Television Returns to PBS on January 15, 2013; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 12, 2012)

PBS has announced that Pioneers of Television: will return for a third season starting January 15, 2013. PBS' Emmy-nominated series brings to life the stories of television's most beloved stars, telling backstage tales of America's favorite shows. Stars interviewed in the upcoming episodes include Carol Burnett, Lynda Carter, Joan Collins, Diahann Carroll, Richard Chamberlain, Patrick Duffy, Lou Ferrigno, Tina Fey, Louis Gossett Jr., Larry Hagman, Cloris Leachman, Joan Rivers, Leslie Uggams, Rachel Ward, Adam West and Betty White, among many others. Emmy Award-winning radio personality, television host and producer Ryan Seacrest will be narrating the new season's four episodes.

Season three premieres on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at 8pm ET. "Funny Ladies" offers surprising new insights about television's most-beloved variety star Carol Burnett. The episode also looks at the backstory behind Lucille Ball's breakthrough, I Love Lucy and the sitcom stars who followed, including Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White and Marla Gibbs. Featured television stand-ups include Joan Rivers and the late Phyllis Diller—whose final interview was for this episode. The episode also includes interviews with contemporary actresses Tina Fey and Margaret Cho.

The second episode, "Primetime Soaps," is scheduled to air on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, at 8pm ET. Dallas and Dynasty kicked off the nighttime soap frenzy in the late 1970s, a phenomenon that continued through the last season of Knots Landing in 1993. The episode offers surprising new details about the legendary Who Shot J.R. episode of Dallas, and reveals the backstage personalities that shaped Dynasty and Knots Landing. 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.

"Superheroes" will be the focus of the third episode of the season. It's set to air on Tuesday, January 29, 2013, at 8pm ET. "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.

Finally, "Miniseries" will be broadcast on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at 8pm ET. Miniseries still rank among the top-rated programs in television history. Roots was the biggest — interviewees about that groundbreaking series include stars LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr., Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, John Amos, Georg Stanford Brown and Ed Asner. This episode also considers the very first miniseries, Rich Man, Poor Man as stars Peter Strauss and Susan Blakely offer fresh insights. All of the key stars from the landmark miniseries The Thorn Birds (the most-watched romance) provide surprising commentary about the romance seen by more viewers than any other in TV history. These new interviews with Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown mark the 30th anniversary of one of television's biggest events.

Pioneers of Television premiered on PBS on January 2, 2008. A total of eight episodes were produced during the show's first two seasons. Each episode melds compelling new interviews with iconic clips and never-before-seen photos to offer an insider's look at television’s biggest celebrities. If you missed any of the episodes, both seasons are currently available on DVD. Pioneers of Television - Season 1 includes episodes on late night, sitcoms, game shows and variety. Season 2, which was narrated by Kelsey Grammer and aired in 2011, includes episodes on science fiction, westerns, crime dramas and local kids' tv. These are very entertaining and informative specials. They are well-produced and offer lots of interesting trivia. If you're a fan of television history or documentaries in general, they are a must see. Read our reviews of Season 1: ... ision.html and Season 2: ... ision.html for more details.