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Pioneers of Television 11x60

More than 200 stars bring their stories to life in the Emmy®-nominated documentary series Pioneers of Television. Each episode melds compelling new interviews with irresistible clips to offer a fresh take on TV’s breakthrough celebrities and beloved programs. Pioneers of Television features the incredible stories of the visionaries who shaped a fledgling medium with their creativity, foresight, and wisdom, and provided an essential escape for millions of viewers who eagerly waited to watch them each week.

Science Fiction — Humans have always gazed up at the stars with equal parts fascination and fear. In the early to mid-1960s, a number of innovative television writers, producers and actors began playing with these ideas on the small screen with shows such as Star Trek, Lost in Space and The Twilight Zone. Click here to screen the full program.

Primetime SoapsDallas and Dynasty kicked off the nighttime soap frenzy in the late 1970s, a phenomenon that continued through the last season of Knots Landing in 1993. Primetime Soaps offers surprising new details about the legendary “Who Shot J.R.” episode of Dallas and reveals the backstage personalities that shaped Dynasty and Knots Landing. Click here to screen the full program.

Miniseries — Miniseries still rank among the top-rated programs in television history. This episode covers the very first miniseries, Rich Man, Poor Man, as well as the biggest TV miniseries, Roots, and the landmark romance miniseries, The Thorn Birds. Click here to screen the full program.

Crime Dramas — Pioneering television crime dramas established new rules for viewers, amping up violence and quick dialogue and delivering reluctant, but likable, heroes who solve complex crimes in an hour of delicious television. The groundbreaking crime dramas featured in this episode include Dragnet, I Spy, and Police Woman. Click here to screen the full program.

Westerns — Viewers have idolized the gritty and romantic version of the American West with its portrayal of the loner who faces the world by himself and, mostly, comes up victorious. Westerns like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and The Big Valley left an indelible impression on audiences. Click here to screen the full program.

Superheroes — These iconic characters have morphed into massive movie franchises. Superheroes traces their television ancestry from the 1950s to the 1980s, featuring The Adventures of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, and The Greatest American Hero. Click here to screen the full program.

Standup to Sitcom — This star-packed episode reveals how America’s top standup comics made the transition to the sitcom form and includes dozens of side-splitting clips from Seinfeld, Home Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond, Roseanne and more. Click here to screen the full program.

Doctors and Nurses — 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, Howie Mandel, Ed Begley Jr., Chad Everett and others tell their stories. Click here to screen the full program.

Acting Funny — Peek behind the curtain to see the backstage techniques of America’s favorite comedic actors—ranging from Robin Williams’s manic improvisational style to Tina Fey’s measured, highly-prepared approach. Click here to screen the full program.

Breaking Barriers — Trace the story of people of color on American television, including the breakthroughs of African-Americans Diahann Carroll (Julia) and Bill Cosby (I Spy); Latinos Desi Arnaz (I Love Lucy) and Edward James Olmos (Miami Vice); and Asian-Americans George Takei (Star Trek) and Margaret Cho (All American Girl). Click here to screen the full program.

Robin Williams Remembered — In celebration of award-winning comedian, TV star and film and stage actor Robin Williams, who lives on in fond memories of audiences worldwide, Robin William Remembered is a one-hour special featuring Williams’ last full-length television interview. The documentary includes never-before-seen footage of his comments on life and work, tributes by those who knew and worked with him closely in all phases of his career and clips from iconic moments throughout his career. Click here to screen the full program.