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Color Adjustment - A History of African American Portrayal on Television
In this documentary, Marlon Riggs - Emmy winning producer of ETHNIC NOTIONS - carries his landmark studies of prejudice into the Television Age. COLOR ADJUSTMENT traces 40 years of race relations through the lens of prime time entertainment, scrutinizing television's…
Class Dismissed - How TV Frames the Working Class
Narrated by Ed Asner, and based on the book by Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television's beginnings to today's sitcoms, reality shows, police dramas, and daytime talk shows. Featuring interviews…
For the Love of Spock - The Life of Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy
A one-of-a-kind documentary sure to unite trekkies worldwide, FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK tells the life of Star Trek's Mr. Spock and the actor who played him, Leonard Nimoy, for nearly fifty years. The film's focus began as a celebration…
Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal - Political Debates Between William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal
In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley Jr. was a leading light of…
Showrunners - The Art of Running a TV Show
The first ever feature length documentary film to explore the fascinating world of US television showrunners and the creative forces aligned around them. These are the people responsible for creating, writing and overseeing every element of production on one of…
Brand New You - Makeover Television and the American Dream
What do popular television makeover programs like What Not to Wear, The Biggest Loser, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy , and The Swan tell us about how to look and feel? What do they tell us about what a…
Pencils Down! - The 100 Days of the Writers Guild Strike
In 2007, the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the labor union that represents writers in the American television and movie industry, hit an impasse in their contract negotiations with the Studios. At the center of the dispute was jurisdiction over…
TV Family - Behind the Scenes of America’s First Reality Television Show
In 1960, NBC aired what is widely considered to be the first "reality television" show in American broadcast history. Hosted by Jane Wyatt of Father Knows Best fame, and billing itself as a "new kind of visual reporting," it was…
Jim Henson
Part of the Series: In Their Own Words
PBS
Explore the incredible life of the man behind The Muppets and so much more. Follow Jim Henson's career as he transcended puppetry to become one of the most creative, prolific, and influential artists of his time. Journey into his first…
Television under the Swastika
Legend has it that the triumphal march of television began in the United States in the 1950s but in reality its origins hark back much further. Nazi leaders, determined to beat Great Britain and the U.S. to be the world's…
Norman Lear - The Life and Career of Television Legend Norman Lear
Part of the Series: American Masters
PBS
The first documentary about legendary showrunner Norman Lear, who dominated and reshaped television for decades. Largely responsible for the explosion of bold American television in the 1970s, Lear's name is synonymous with the sitcom, yet he brought provocative subjects like…
The Electronic Storyteller - Television & The Cultivation of Values
Gerbner clearly and comprehensively outlines the way in which the universal story-telling function of human societies has been colonized by corporate media. Drawing upon the path-breaking research of the Cultural Indicators Project, Gerbner outlines, in a comprehensive and clear fashion,…
Dying to do Letterman - A Comedian Chasing His Dream
When 35 year old stand-up comedian Steve Mazan learns he has cancer, he dedicates his life to achieving his dream of performing comedy on The Late Show with David Letterman. As Steve says, 'If you stop chasing your dreams, you're…
Funny Ladies
Part of the Series: Pioneers of Television
PBS
This episode includes the first standup comediennes to appear on television, including Joan Rivers and the late Phyllis Diller. Funny Ladies also looks at Lucille Ball's breakthrough on I Love Lucy and the sitcom stars who followed, including Mary Tyler…
Superheroes
Part of the Series: Pioneers of Television
PBS
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. They all fought villains, rescued the innocent and became role models.…
The Spirit of TV - The Effect of Television on an Indigenous Tribe
Beginning with the arrival by canoe of a TV and VCR in their village, The Spirit of TV documents the emotions and thoughts of the Waiapi as they first encounter their own recorded images and those of others. Viewing news…
Violence & Television - with George Gerbner
Part of the Series: Mass Communications Collection
Violence & Television with George Gerbner: George Gerbner, communication scholar, theorist, teacher, poet, and the founder of cultivation theory, discusses his work which influenced four decades of research on violence and television.
Miniseries
Part of the Series: Pioneers of Television
PBS
Miniseries such as Roots , Rich Man, Poor Man and The Thorn Birds mastered the art of storytelling. With their epic sagas, these television events kept America riveted night after night. Revisit famous scenes and hear actors talk about the…
Studio 9 - The Home of Australian Television
A retrospective look at some of the greatest live-to-air moments in Australian television history, Studio 9 celebrates the spirited and impromptu jocularity that became a mainstay for households throughout the nation and set the standard for home entertainment well before…
Primetime Soaps
Part of the Series: Pioneers of Television
PBS
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 new details about the famous "Who Shot JR" episode of Dallas.…