The life stories of various historical figures and celebrities are told.

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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 22 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »

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Behind the Music (1997–2014)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Musical artists, their careers, their highs, their lows and everything in between are profiled and interviewed.

Stars: Jim Forbes, David Wild, Rick Rubin
Pop Up Video (TV Series 1997)
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This series features old and new music videos, with a twist: As the video plays, "information bubbles" will "pop up" with facts about the production of the video, things contained in the ... See full summary »

Stars: Michael Penn
60 Minutes (TV Series 1979)
News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Australian version of the long-running news-magazine show.

Stars: Tara Brown, Liz Hayes, Peter Overton
Family Feud (1976–1985)
Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two families compete by trying to outguess the opponents about survey results.

Stars: Richard Dawson, Gene Wood, Johnny Gilbert
This Old House (TV Series 1979)
Documentary | Reality-TV
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The host guides various participants as they repair and renovate various houses.

Stars: Kevin O'Connor, Norm Abram, Richard Trethewey
Family Feud (1988–1995)
Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

"Family Feud" was one of the most popular game shows on TV, but after nine years with Richard Dawson as host, ratings were starting to slip. In 1986, producers decided that the "Family Feud... See full summary »

Stars: Ray Combs, Gene Wood, Jackie Stallone
Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Contestants, selected by calling a phone number, are chosen based on their ability to arrange 4 answers to a question in the correct order the fastest. They then have to answer 15 ... See full summary »

Stars: Regis Philbin, Rick Rosner, Danny Bonaduce
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A collection of Christopher Walken's greatest SNL skits and hosting jobs

Directors: Beth McCarthy-Miller, Dave Wilson
Stars: Christopher Walken, Rachel Dratch, Jimmy Fallon
Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

True crimes are dramatized in hopes that viewers can give information leading to the capture of the criminals.

Stars: John Walsh, Don LaFontaine, Jon Leiberman
Win Ben Stein's Money (1997–2002)
Comedy | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jeopardy-like game show featuring Ben Stein as both a host and a contestant. The second and third rounds of the game are played by Ben Stein himself as he tries to defend "his" money ... See full summary »

Stars: Ben Stein, Jimmy Kimmel, Nancy Pimental
Jeopardy! (TV Series 1984)
Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A returning champion and two challengers test their buzzer skills and their knowledge in a wide range of academic and popular categories.

Stars: Alex Trebek, Johnny Gilbert, Jimmy McGuire
Comedy | Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After several guest hosting appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Dave was given his own morning talk-show. This show included a full orchestra, news breaks, and a cast of ... See full summary »

Stars: David Letterman, Wil Shriner, Rich Hall
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Jack Perkins ...
 Himself - Host / ... 118 episodes, 1993-2005
...
 Himself - Host / ... 83 episodes, 1987-2002
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First hosted by veteran actor Peter Graves, and later by Jack Perkins, this popular Arts and Entertainment Network series profiled the lives of notable figures in the history of entertainment, sports, arts, science, politics and warfare. The show is notable for its in-depth research, which often provides viewers with little-known information about well-known people. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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6 April 1987 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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All-in-All Often Enjoyable, Entertaining and Informative
1 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

During the heyday of the "Biography" series, from its onset through about 2004, A&E would usually present five Prime Time episodes weekly, and often a sixth.

Afterward, a "Biography Network" was then formed, purporting to air the series 24 hours per day, but, alas, that network has not appeared in every region, such as here, for it's never been available for one and all to experience, but yet A&E then discontinued the series from its regular line-up except for showings at rather odd hours.

Primary Hosts, Jack Perkins and Peter Graves and, later, Harry Smith introduce episodes during these early decades, often narrating, as well.

During its first 12 or 15 years, Peter Graves specializes in his field of Entertainment, including subjects famous for film and television acting and directing, as well as music performing.

Jack Perkins, meanwhile, introduces subjects famous in fields of History and World Leadership, Arts and Literature, Science and Invention, Sports, Business and Industry, as well as Newsmakers of notoriety.

Harry Smith handles each category with equal aplomb amid his very busy schedule of hosting and narrating.

In addition to the three principle narrators, others famous as news reporters also handle those reigns, as Bob Brown, Hugh Downs, Bill Kurtis or Mike Wallace.

Often, famous celebrities in their own right narrate episodes, such as Shelley Fabares, Jodie Foster, Kevin Bacon, Eric Braeden, Jamie Foxx, Danny Glover, Edward Herrmann, Hal Linden, Richard Kiley, Monte Markham, Bill Mumy or Tom Selleck, usually to spotlight other entertainers.

Russell Buchanan specializes in narrating episodes featuring Country music stars, while others who often narrate include Zach Fine, Dave Hoffman, Thomas Miller, Don Morrow and Larry Robinson.

Famous Guest Hosts also occasionally appear to introduce episodes during a theme week, such as Jerry Orbach or Kevin Bacon.

At its very best, the series is thoroughly researched and well-produced, labeling captions for archive film clips and performers, and adding interesting trivia regarding the lives and careers of its subjects.

But then a large production staff displays a great deal of inconsistency, often from one episode to the next, as one star may have his or her film and television clips well-documented, and the next may be deprived this privilege for some strange reason.

Well, I suppose that studios may hold a portion of the responsibility for not issuing adequate film clips or television or song clips to the "Biography" production staff, but the graphics also vary from one episode to the next, as well as the ending credits if you could manage to catch a glimpse of those as they roll by on those split-screen credits with promotional gimmicks overtaking the balance of the screen.

And, of course, fans often know a great deal more about the lives and careers of their stars than any given episode may present for want of time and research.

But, all-in-all, the series does offer a great number of episodes from various categories which you may wish to see and to revisit, so this is a good idea for a series, and often enjoyable, entertaining and informative to study although some subjects from its "Newsworthy" category may not qualify as deserving in everyone's better judgment.


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