Episodes cast for
"America in Primetime" (2011) More at IMDbPro »

Season: 1
Year: 2011

Season 1

Season 1, Episode 1: Independent Woman

30 October 2011
In the early days of television, American prime time provided an idealized and stereotypical view of the American woman, who was more often than not portrayed as being subservient to the man, basically as housewife and mother in service to the family. In real life, most American women could could not measure up to this idealized view. From 1950 to 1970, three lead characters are seen as groundbreaking away from this stereotype (despite two being wife and mother): Lucy Ricardo in "I Love Lucy" (1951), Laura Petrie in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961) and Mary Richards in "Mary Tyler Moore" (1970), who were each independent for different reasons, much of those reasons specific to the era. Other characterizations of independent women that followed owed much to these three, and were reflective of the times. They include Roseanne Connor in "Roseanne" (1988), and the title character in "Murphy Brown" (1988). The lack of advertising on cable opened up the role of the independent woman even more, with "Sex and the City" (1998) being one of the earliest successes. Current examples of American prime time shows that feature independent women include "Desperate Housewives" (2004), "Weeds" (2005), "Grey's Anatomy" (2005), "Nurse Jackie" (2009) and "The Good Wife" (2009). Similarities between the women portrayed in these shows are that they are far from perfect but they are true to most parts of their selves.

Judd Apatow ... Himself

Roseanne Barr ... Herself (as Roseanne)

Candice Bergen ... Herself
Liz Brixius ... Herself

James L. Brooks ... Himself

Marcy Carsey ... Herself

Marc Cherry ... Himself

Diablo Cody ... Herself

Danny DeVito ... Himself

Diane English ... Herself

Edie Falco ... Herself

Patricia Heaton ... Herself

Ron Howard ... Himself

Felicity Huffman ... Herself
Michelle King ... Herself
Robert King ... Himself

Jenji Kohan ... Herself

Steven Levitan ... Himself

Eva Longoria ... Herself

Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Herself

Julianna Margulies ... Herself
Stephen McPherson ... Himself

Laurie Metcalf ... Herself

Mary Tyler Moore ... Herself

Elisabeth Moss ... Herself
Sue Naegle ... Herself

Sandra Oh ... Herself

Archie Panjabi ... Herself

Mary-Louise Parker ... Herself

Sarah Jessica Parker ... Herself

Kevin Reilly ... Himself

Carl Reiner ... Himself

Shonda Rhimes ... Herself
Mike Royce ... Himself

Will Scheffer ... Himself

Darren Star ... Himself

Dick Van Dyke ... Himself

Linda Wallem ... Herself

Tom Werner ... Himself
Alan Yentob ... Himself - Presenter (UK version) (2013)

Season 1, Episode 2: Man of the House

6 November 2011
In the post WWII days of American primetime television, the depictions of men at home as being the stable breadwinner who could solve any problem that faced the family was borne out of a need for the American populace to feel safe. The counterculture movement of the 1960's made those depictions seem outmoded and unrealistic. The shows of Norman Lear, most specifically _"All in the Family" (1968)_, broke open that mold, where the men were shown as being independent thinkers often regardless of the needs of the family. By the mid 1980's, these two trends melded with "The Cosby Show" (1984), where Cliff Huxtable had a very specific point of view with regard to how to raise his often defiant children. In the 1990's and beyond, the post-feminist era made the man at home more undefined, where he could be placed in almost any role, from the self-absorbed shlub (such as Ray Barone or Homer Simpson) to the self-doubting family man (such as Michael Steadman, Tony Soprano or Walter White). And different forms of the family and their associated issues are also now shown, from "Modern Family" (2009) to "Big Love" (2006) to "The Bernie Mac Show" (2001).

Ron Howard ... Himself - Opie, The Andy Griffith Show

Bill Paxton ... Himself - Bill Henrickson, Big Love
Mark V. Olsen ... Himself - Co-Creator, Big Love

David Lynch ... Himself - Co-Creator, Twin Peaks

Alan Ball ... Himself - Creator, Six Feet Under & True Blood

Roseanne Barr ... Herself - Roseanne Conner, Roseanne (as Roseanne)

Rob Reiner ... Himself - Mike Stivic, All in the Family

Will Scheffer ... Himself - Co-Creator, Big Love

Jerry Mathers ... Himself - Beaver Cleaver, Leave it to Beaver

Shawn Ryan ... Himself - Creator, The Shield

Felicity Huffman ... Herself - Lynette Scavo, Desperate Housewives

Carl Reiner ... Himself - Creator, The Dick Van Dyke Show

Mary Tyler Moore ... Herself - Laura Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show

Dick Van Dyke ... Himself - Rob Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show

Marshall Herskovitz ... Himself - Co-Creator, Thirtysomething

Jon Hamm ... Himself - Don Draper, Mad Men

Norman Lear ... Himself - Creator, All in the Family

Larry Wilmore ... Himself - Creator, The Bernie Mac Show

Alec Baldwin ... Himself - Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock

Tom Fontana ... Himself - Executive Producer, Homicide: Life on the Street

Warren Littlefield ... Himself - Former President, NBC Entertainment

Marcy Carsey ... Herself - Executive Producer, The Cosby Show

Tom Werner ... Himself - Executive Producer, The Cosby Show

Andre Braugher ... Himself - Owen Thoreau Jr., Men of a Certain Age

Edward Zwick ... Himself - Co-Creator, Thirtysomething
George Meyer ... Himself - Writer, The Simpsons

James L. Brooks ... Himself - Executive Producer, The Simpsons

Al Jean ... Himself - Executive Producer, The Simpsons

Ray Romano ... Himself - Ray Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond

Philip Rosenthal ... Himself - Creator, Everybody Loves Raymond
Mike Royce ... Himself - Writer, Everybody Loves Raymond

Patricia Heaton ... Herself - Debra Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond

Shonda Rhimes ... Herself - Creator, Grey's Anatomy

Steven Levitan ... Himself - Co-Creator, Modern Family
Stephen McPherson ... Himself - Former President, ABC Entertainment

Christopher Lloyd ... Himself - Co-Creator, Modern Family

Jesse Tyler Ferguson ... Himself - Mitchell Pritchett, Modern Family

Eric Stonestreet ... Himself - Cameron Tucker, Modern Family

David Chase ... Himself - Creator, The Sopranos

Bryan Cranston ... Himself - Walter White, Breaking Bad

Diablo Cody ... Herself - Creator, United States of Tara

Vince Gilligan ... Himself - Creator, Breaking Bad

Rainn Wilson ... Himself - Dwight Schrute, The Office

Edie Falco ... Herself - Carmela Soprano, The Sopranos

Kevin Reilly ... Himself - President, Fox Entertainment

Matthew Weiner ... Himself - Creator, Mad Men

Elisabeth Moss ... Herself - Peggy Olson, Mad Men

Judd Apatow ... Himself

Michael Chiklis ... Himself

Dennis Franz ... Himself

Mitchell Hurwitz ... Himself
Alan Yentob ... Himself - Presenter (UK version) (2013)

Season 1, Episode 3: The Misfit

13 November 2011
The character of the misfit has long been a staple in American primetime television, especially in comedies, whose inherent nature is to pick on the odd. The audience often roots for the misfit when he doesn't crumble under the scrutiny of what are considered normal social circumstances. Shows like "The Beverly Hillbillies" (1962) and "The Addams Family" (1964) showed a group of misfits trying to assimilate into the world around them but not really knowing how. "Taxi" (1978) had the extra dimensions of having the group trying to cope in their world while adding the mean character - in this case, Louie de Palma - into the mix. _"Seinfeld" (1990)_ turned the concept around by having the misfits existing on their own terms. "Twin Peaks" (1990) created a surreal world in which the already misfit group moved. "Freaks and Geeks" (1999) showed the angst faced by misfits in high school. And "The Larry Sanders Show" (1992) showed how celebrity misfits try to achieve that love that many misfits desire. More recent trends with misfits on American primetime television are the sense of narcissism that many misfits have, and that misfits are becoming the new "normal".

Jason Alexander ... Himself

Judd Apatow ... Himself

John Astin ... Himself

Alec Baldwin ... Himself

Alan Ball ... Himself

James L. Brooks ... Himself

David Chase ... Himself

Diablo Cody ... Herself

Greg Daniels ... Himself

Larry David ... Himself

Danny DeVito ... Himself

Paul Feig ... Himself

Vince Gilligan ... Himself

Michael C. Hall ... Himself

Marilu Henner ... Herself

Ron Howard ... Himself

Mitchell Hurwitz ... Himself

Mike Judge ... Himself

Warren Littlefield ... Himself

Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Herself

David Lynch ... Himself
James Manos Jr. ... Himself
George Meyer ... Himself
Sue Naegle

Philip Rosenthal ... Himself

Shawn Ryan ... Himself

Garry Shandling ... Himself

Jeffrey Tambor ... Himself

Matthew Weiner ... Himself

Larry Wilmore ... Himself

Rainn Wilson ... Himself
Alan Yentob ... Himself - Presenter (UK version) (2013)

Season 1, Episode 4: The Crusader

20 November 2011
The character of the crusader, who always took some sort of risk to achieve the desired triumphant end, was very much the typical "white" hero in the very "black and white" characterizations of the 1950s and early 1960s. That sort of hero was most evident in the many westerns of the era. This characterization was borne out of the winning attitude of WWII, where many Americans wanted to believe their heroes - predominantly males - did no wrong. Men wanted to be like them, and women loved them. The Vietnam era ushered in a new compassionate view, reflective of a character like Hawkeye Pierce in "M*A*S*H" (1972). The character of Andy Sipowicz in "NYPD Blue" (1993) was one of the first characterizations where the crusader was by no means perfect, but lived by his own moral code. More recent such characterizations, which often portray the crusader choosing the greater good - in the eyes of his own moral code - over personal happiness, and/or legal or political correctness, include Frank Pembleton in "Homicide: Life on the Street" (1993), Vic Mackey in "The Shield" (2002), Omar Little in "The Wire" (2002), Gregory House in "House M.D." (2004) and Dexter Morgan in "Dexter" (2006). Perhaps the character with who most people within recent memory have rooted for, despite his internal struggles and flaws, is Jack Bauer in "24" (2001). In the few instances where the crusader has been a woman, she is often portrayed side by side, or even slightly subservient to the male crusader, such as Dana Scully to Fox Mulder in "The X-Files" (1993).

Alan Alda ... Himself

Gillian Anderson ... Herself

Judd Apatow ... Himself

Alan Ball ... Himself

Steven Bochco ... Himself

Andre Braugher ... Himself

Chris Carter ... Himself

David Chase ... Himself

Michael Chiklis ... Himself
Robert Cochran ... Himself

Diablo Cody ... Herself
Sara Colleton ... Herself

Tom Fontana ... Himself

Dennis Franz ... Himself

Vince Gilligan ... Himself

Michael C. Hall ... Himself

Marshall Herskovitz ... Himself

Hugh Laurie ... Himself
James Manos Jr. ... Himself

David Milch ... Himself

Bill Paxton ... Himself
Clyde Phillips ... Himself

Shawn Ryan ... Himself

David Shore ... Himself

David Simon ... Himself
Joel Surnow ... Himself

Linda Wallem ... Herself

Michael Kenneth Williams ... Himself (as Michael K. Williams)
Alan Yentob ... Himself - Presenter (UK version) (2013)

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