WTVP Headlines




Friday, December 28th, 2012


Ryan Seacrest to Narrate


Airing Tuesdays, January 15th - February 5th at 7:00pm on WTVP-HD.

Lynda Carter prepares for a stunt on TV’s Wonder Woman.

– Go Behind the Scenes with Television’s Most Iconic Stars –

Emmy-award winning radio personality, television host and producer Ryan Seacrest, has signed on to narrate the third season of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION, PBS’ Emmy-nominated series that brings to life the stories of television’s most beloved stars. PIONEERS OF TELEVISION returns to WTVP-Public Media on Tuesday, January 15th, 2013, 7:00pm and runs through February 5th. The new season’s four episodes are “Funny Ladies” (January 15), “Primetime Soaps” (January 22), “Superheroes” (January 29), and “Miniseries” (February 5).

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,” said executive producer Steve Boettcher who, along with producing partner Mike Trinklein, has helmed numerous acclaimed specials and series on television’s breakthrough performers. “It’s doubly exciting to have our show led by one of contemporary television’s most ubiquitous stars as well as one of its most ardent fans and talented creators.”

Below are descriptions of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION season three episodes.

FUNNY LADIES - Tuesday, January 15th, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
This episode begins with the first standup comediennes to appear on television, including Joan Rivers and the late Phyllis Diller—whose final interview was for this episode. “Funny Ladies” also looks at Lucille Ball’s breakthrough on “I Love Lucy” and the sitcom stars who followed, including Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White and Marla Gibbs. And television’s most beloved variety star Carol Burnett, reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of her long running show. The episode also includes interviews with contemporary actresses Tina Fey and Margaret Cho.

PRIMETIME SOAPS - Tuesday, January 22nd, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
“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.

SUPERHEROES - Tuesday, January 29th, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
“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.

MINISERIES - Tuesday, February 5th, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
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.




About PBS
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 123 million people through television and more than 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices.





For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of Programming, at (309) 495-0591 or linda.miller@wtvp.org



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