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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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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Harlan Saperstein ...
 Narrator (4 episodes, 2008)
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 Himself (3 episodes, 2011-2013)
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 Himself (3 episodes, 2013-2014)
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 Herself (3 episodes, 2011-2013)
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Jack Paar ...
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 Himself (2 episodes, 2013-2014)
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 Himself (2 episodes, 2011)
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 Herself (2 episodes, 2013-2014)
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 Herself (2 episodes, 2013)
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 Herself / ... (2 episodes, 2011-2013)
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 Himself (2 episodes, 2014)
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 Herself (2 episodes, 2013)
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 Himself (2 episodes, 2013-2014)
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 Himself (2 episodes, 2011-2014)
Lynne Moody ...
 Herself (2 episodes, 2013)
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 Buddy Sorrell / ... (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2008-2014)
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 Ed Norton / ... (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2008-2014)
Rusty Hamer ...
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Amanda Randolph ...
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 Danny Williams / ... (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2008-2014)
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Dennis James ...
 Himself (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2008)
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Jack Narz ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2008)
Louis Nye ...
 Himself (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2008)
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Leo Carrillo ...
 Pancho - the Cisco Kid / ... (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2011-2014)
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 Barney Collier - Mission: Impossible / ... (2 episodes, 2011-2014)
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 Cisco Kid - the Cisco Kid / ... (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2011-2014)
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 D.J. Conner - Roseanne / ... (2 episodes, 2013-2014)
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 Rudy Huxtable (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2014)
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 Clair Huxtable - Cosby Show (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2014)
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 Kramer - Seinfeld (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2014)
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 Florida Evans - Good Times (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2014)
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 Theo Huxtable - Cosby Show (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2014)
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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

Genres:

Documentary

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Release Date:

2 January 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pioneros de la televisión  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Trivia

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

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User Reviews

 
Local Children's Television
21 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I watched this show with great interest... having grown up in Philadelphia where we enjoyed local shows on three network affiliates and three independent UHF stations (plus PBS affiliates in Philly and South Jersey). Imagine my surprise to find Philadelphia completely ignored in this episode of the miniseries.

From New York to Los Angeles... Miami to Chicago to Green Bay... even Phoenix Arizona. But why oh why did they completely skip the home of such local television programs such as:

Gene London, Sally Starr, Lorenzo the Clown, Pixanne, Sergeant Sacto, Wee Willy Weber, Captain Noah, Chief Halftown, and the Uncle Floyd Show starring Floyd Vivino and his brother, band leader for the Conan Show.

Of course, there are many others... plus the nationally syndicated programs (such as Soupy Sales and Romper Room) and programming imported from Japan, poorly dubbed into English.

I would like to know why, of all the cities in America, this show completely dissed Philadelphia.


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