Pioneers of Television enters second season
Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011
Pioneers of Television returns to KET for a second season, once again transporting viewers behind the scenes for a revealing look at four of the most popular genres in television: science fiction, westerns, crime dramas, and local kids’ TV. Pioneers of Television airs Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 18 at 8/7 p.m. CT on KET and Mondays, beginning Jan. 24 at 9/8 p.m. CT on KET2.
The series kicks off tonight with “Science Fiction.” Storytellers Gene Roddenberry, Irwin Allen, and Rod Serling created the storylines and characters behind the best-loved futuristic television of their time. But as Roddenberry’s Star Trek competed for ratings with Allen’s Lost in Space, each show’s creator aimed for a very different direction.
This episode explores how Roddenberry and Serling (of The Twilight Zone) used the future as a stage for modern morality plays, and William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, and other science-fiction stars describe how they prepared to interact on-camera with a malevolent alien force … or, perhaps, a giant radish.
Then, “Westerns” looks at Fess Parker’s portrayal of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, James Garner’s Maverick, The Big Valley, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke.
Next, as viewers began to revel in the shadowy underworlds of crime dramas, creative geniuses emerged in the forms of Jack Webb (Dragnet), Desi Arnaz (The Untouchables), and Bruce Geller (Mannix and Mission: Impossible).
Finally, Pioneers of Television looks at local kids’ TV, which shaped millions of childhoods with small budgets and little support.