Stars featured in PIONEERS include Carol Burnett, Lynda Carter, Joan Collins, Diahann Carroll, Richard Chamberlain, Patrick Duffy, Lou Ferrigno, Tina Fey, Louis Gossett Jr., Larry Hagman, Cloris Leachman, Joan Rivers, Leslie Uggams, Rachel Ward, Adam West and Betty White, among many others.
In Pioneers of Television more than 100 stars bring their stories to life, telling backstage tales of America’s favorite shows. Each episode melds compelling new interviews with iconic clips and never-before-seen photos to offer an insider’s look at television’s biggest celebrities.
“We are thrilled to bring another season of Pioneers of Television to PBS and the American public,” said executive producer Steve Boettcher. “It’s doubly exciting to have our show led by Ryan Seacrest, who’s both a major television star, and an ardent fan of television’s pioneers.”
Below are descriptions of Pioneers of Television’S THIRD season episodes.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
This episode offers surprising new insights about television’s most-beloved variety star Carol Burnett. “Funny Ladies” also looks at the backstory behind Lucille Ball’s breakthrough, “I Love Lucy” and the sitcom stars who followed, including Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White and Marla Gibbs. Featured television stand-ups include Joan Rivers and the late Phyllis Diller—whose final interview was for this episode. The episode also includes interviews with contemporary actresses Tina Fey and Margaret Cho.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
“Dallas” 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. The episode 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.” Interviewees in this episode include Larry Hagman, Joan Collins, Linda Evans, Diahann Carroll, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Michele Lee, Joan Van Ark and Donna Mills.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
“Superheroes” crosses many eras: “Superman” in the 1950s, “Batman” in the ’60s, “Wonder Woman” and “The Incredible Hulk” in the ’70s and “The Greatest American Hero” in the ’80s. The episode features in-depth interviews with Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Lynda Carter, Lou Ferrigno, William Katt and others. It also includes comments from Robert Culp about his show “The Greatest American Hero,” recorded just days before he passed away.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Miniseries still rank among the top-rated programs in television history. “Roots” was the biggest — interviewees about that groundbreaking series include stars LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr., Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, John Amos, Georg Stanford Brown and Ed Asner. This episode also considers the very first miniseries, “Rich Man, Poor Man” as stars Peter Strauss and Susan Blakely offer fresh insights. All of the key stars from the landmark miniseries “The Thorn Birds” (the most-watched romance) provide surprising commentary about the romance seen by more viewers than any other in TV history. These new interviews with Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown mark the 30th anniversary of one of television’s biggest events.