Pioneers of Television returns to WITF, Tuesday, April 15, featuring standup comedians who landed sitcoms, TV doctors and nurses, standout comedic actors and those who broke the color barrier on television. Offering inside stories from some of America’s most beloved television stars, the fourth season of the Emmy-nominated series reveals intriguing behind-the-scenes stories and fascinating facts about television’s best-known and influential celebrities.
The fourth season combines new interviews with legendary stars, such as Ray Romano, Bob Newhart, Robin Williams, Jimmie Walker, Tim Allen, Roseanne Barr and Dick Van Dyke, with never-before-seen images and timeless footage that continues to entertain TV viewers decades later. Pioneers of Television’s first-hand look at the medium is guided by the stories of television icons and their memories about the iconic genres they helped popularize.
Series Episodes -
STANDUP TO SITCOM April 15, 8:00-9:00 pm.
This star-packed premiere episode features fresh interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen, Ray Romano and Bob Newhart. The program reveals how America’s top standup comics made the transition from the comedy stage to the sitcom form. It includes dozens of clips from “Seinfeld,” “Home Improvement,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Roseanne” and more.
DOCTORS AND NURSES April 22, 8:00-9:00 pm.
From George Clooney on “ER” to Richard Chamberlain on “Dr. Kildare,” television’s long love affair with doctors and nurses shows no signs of letting up. Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, Gloria Reuben and Eriq LaSalle open up about the secrets of “ER”; Howie Mandel, Ed Begley, Jr., Norman Lloyd and Christina Pickles revisit “St. Elsewhere.” The episode features the final interview with Chad Everett of “Medical Center” before his death in 2012.
BREAKING BARRIERS April 29, 8:00-9:00 pm.
This episode traces the story of people of color on American television — including the mid-1960s breakthroughs of African Americans Diahann Carroll (“Julia”) and Bill Cosby (“I Spy”). Latino landmarks range from “I Love Lucy” with Desi Arnaz to “Miami Vice” with Edward James Olmos. Also featured are Asian Americans such as George Takei (“Star Trek”), who details the childhood years he spent in a Japanese-American internment camp.
ACTING FUNNY May 6, 2014, 8:00-9:00 pm.
This episode peeks behind the curtain to reveal the techniques of America’s favorite comedic actors. The program features the manic improvisational style of Robin Williams and his comic predecessor, Jonathan Winters. Their style is a fascinating contrast to Tina Fey, who explains her measured, highly prepared approach. The episode also highlights the all-time #1 Emmy Award winner for comedy acting: Cloris Leachman, and the physical comedic style of Dick Van Dyke.
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