Pioneers of Television

Genre: Documentary
Premiere: 2008
Network: PBS
IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
Sessons: 3
Full Episodes: 13
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Pioneers of Television Series
Full Show Summary

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 of the emcees.
Pioneers of Television S03E05 Carol Burnett's TV comedy career is highlighted.
  • Episode Guide
  • Cast
Date Aired Pioneers of Television Episodes
Season 1
02 January 2008 Season 1, Episode 1: Sitcoms
09 January 2008 Season 1, Episode 2: Late Night
16 January 2008 Season 1, Episode 3: Variety
23 January 2008 Season 1, Episode 4: Game Shows
Season 2
18 January 2011 Season 2, Episode 1: Science Fiction
25 January 2011 Season 2, Episode 2: Westerns
01 February 2011 Season 2, Episode 3: Crime Dramas
08 February 2011 Season 2, Episode 4: Local Kids’ TV
Season 3
15 January 2013 Season 3, Episode 1: Funny Ladies
22 January 2013 Season 3, Episode 2: Primetime Soaps
29 January 2013 Season 3, Episode 3: Superheroes
05 February 2013 Season 3, Episode 4: Miniseries
09 April 2013 Season 3, Episode 5: Carol Burnett & the Funny Ladies