If you missed the PBS' exploration of trailblazing moments of TV history, featuring a lineup that included an episode titled Breaking Barriers, which traces the history of people of color on American television (it aired last week Tuesday), you can watch it right now, as PBS has made the entire series available online.
It's all part of the 4th season of the Emmy-nominated PBS series, Pioneers Of Television.Breaking Barriers features the mid-1960s breakthroughs of African Americans Diahann Carroll (Julia) and Bill Cosby (I Spy), as well as Latino landmarks, ranging 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.
Offering inside stories from some of America’s most beloved television stars, the episode includes new interviews with stars of the time, such as Jimmie Walker, Leslie Uggams, Ray Romano, Bob Newhart, Robin Williams, Roseanne Barr and Dick Van Dyke, with never-before-seen images and footage.
The full lineup of 4 hour-long episodes of this season of Pioneers Of Television includes, in addition to Breaking Barriers:
STANDUP TO SITCOM
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
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. and Christina Pickles revisit “St. Elsewhere.” The episode features the final interview with Chad Everett of “Medical Center” before his death in 2012.
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.