Pioneers of Television (TV Series 2008– ) Poster

Episode List


Season 1

2 Jan. 2008
Sitcoms have been a major form of entertainment since the very early days of U.S. television. Jackie Gleason surprised many when he decided to stop his variety show in favor of a 30 minute version of The Honeymooners (1955), which had its origin as one of his regular skits. Working with regulars Art Carney and Audrey Meadows, they created 39 episodes of pure joy. 'Lucille Ball' and Desi Arnaz made history with I Love Lucy (1951) not only by making people laugh but by writing in Lucy's real-life pregnancy. In Make Room for Daddy (1953), Danny Thomas presented a believable family and as a producer, introduced Andy Griffith to a broader TV audience in The Andy Griffith Show (1960). The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) show, also with Mary Tyler Moore, made use of the stars inestimable ...
9 Jan. 2008
Late Night
In the early years of US television, a new form of entertainment was created: the late night talk show. Steve Allen was the first of his kind and he was noted for its wacky comedy and willingness to engage in crazy stunts. It was also a showcase for African-American performers such as Cab Calloway and Count Basie. He was succeeded in 1957 by Jack Paar, a skilled interviewer who got his start in radio and brought the art of conversation to the small screen. Johnny Carson followed as the next and undoubtedly most popular host of the show. He agreed somewhat reluctantly and became a TV staple for the next 30 ...
16 Jan. 2008
Variety shows were the mainstay of early American TV with stars such as Milton Berle, Red Skelton and Sid Caesar dominating the airwaves. Ed Sullivan was a mainstay of television with his Sunday night show presenting everything from acrobats to stand-up comedians to scenes from Broadway plays. Arthur Godfrey at one point had two hit TV shows on the air and his folksy charm seemed to be just what America wanted at the time. His firing of popular singer Julius LaRosa on live TV changed the public's perception of him. Singers hosting their own variety show became popular with Pat Boone, and Andy Williams both hosting very popular shows. Perry Como was so ...
23 Jan. 2008
Game Shows
Game shows existed long before TV and were popular on radio. Producer Mark Goodson created a national sensation with Stop the Music which offered a huge prize to a randomly selected contestant. Ralph Edwards created Truth or Consequences and later on TV passed it on to Bob Barker to act as host. Early TV needed programming to fill the schedule and game shows were easy to produce. Edwards later created the popular This Is Your Life (1952) and Groucho Marx had You Bet Your Life (1950). It all came crashing down with the now infamous game show scandals where contestants were given the answers to questions to add to the drama. The first was Dotto (1958), then Twenty-One (1956) where its most ...

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TV Schedule

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