Pioneers of Television

The four-part series examines the people who left their imprint on sitcoms, late-night, variety and game shows in the early days of the medium. The program features interviews with legendary stars, including Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Art Linkletter, Andy Griffith, Betty White, Phyllis Diller, Jim Nabors, Marlo Thomas, Jonathan Winters, Ed McMahon and Merv Griffin. Using never-before-seen images and showcasing timeless clips, the documentary examines the entertainers that provided the classic scenes that still amuse us today.

Thu, Feb 23 9:00 P.M. Breaking Barriers     NHPBS

Trace the journey of people of color featured in American television - trailblazers including Diahann Carroll (Julia), Desi Arnaz (I Love Lucy), Edward James Olmos (Miami Vice), and George Takei (Star Trek).

Thu, Feb 23 10:00 P.M. Variety     NHPBS

The origins of the variety genre are traced, from Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town and Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theater, to The Carol Burnett Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and Laugh-In, among others.


Watch Pioneers of Television - Clips, Episodes & Previews


Pioneers of Television By Episode


NHPBS Over-the-Air Broadcast

WENH-TV Ch. 11 Durham

WLED-TV Ch. 48 Littleton

WEKW-TV Ch. 18 Keene

W50DP-D Ch. 50 Hanover

W34DQ-D Ch. 34 Pittsburg

Cable and Satellite Channels


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All Creatures Great and Small | Episode 1
United in Song | United In Song 2022: Ringing in the New Year Together
This Old House | E10 | Newburyport Forever House | Powering Through
Ask This Old House | E10 | Pocket Door, Shaker Table | Ask This Old House
Vienna Blood | Episode 1 | Deadly Communion Part 1
American Experience | The Lie Detector
First Contact: An Alien Encounter | First Contact: An Alien Encounter
Finding Your Roots | Hidden Kin
American Masters | Groucho & Cavett
Mary Berry's Ultimate Christmas | Mary Berry's Ultimate Christmas
The Letter: A Message For Our Earth | The Letter: A Message For Our Earth
In A Different Key | In A Different Key
The David Rubenstein Show: Peer to Peer Conversations | Kristalina Georgieva
La Otra Mirada | Fear of the Other
The Earthshot Prize | The Earthshot Prize 2022
Christmas With The Tabernacle Choir | O Holy Night: Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir
Celebrate & Sing! Glory to the Newborn King! | Celebrate & Sing! Glory to the Newborn King!
The St Olaf Christmas Festival | The St. Olaf Christmas Festival: Love Divine
Miss Scarlet & The Duke | Episode 1: The Vanishing
Tutankhamun: Allies & Enemies | Episode 1
The Caverns Sessions | BRIT TAYLOR
Magpie Murders | Episode 6
The Great Age Reboot | The Great Age Reboot
How She Rolls | A Very Carrie Christmas
NOVA | Zero to Infinity
Next at the Kennedy Center | A Joni Mitchell Songbook
Austin City Limits | Cimafunk & The Tribe
Antiques Roadshow | Junk in the Trunk 11
Great Performances | NY Phil Reopening of David Geffen Hall
Nature | American Ocelot
Secrets of the Dead | Hidden In The Amazon
After Action | All Gave Some
Local, USA | In Their Element
Her War, Her Story: World War II | Her War, Her Story: World War II
Dia de los Muertos | Dia de los Muertos
Making Black America | Episode 4
POV | An Act of Worship
The House That Norm Built | The House That Norm Built