Pioneers of Television

Tuesday, March 12, 7pm/8mtn

Ryan Seacrest narrates the "Funny Ladies" episode from the third season of this Emmy-nominated series, which reveals intriguing behind-the-scenes stories and fascinating facts about television shows and programming genres that continue to influence the medium today. The episode begins with the first standup comediennes to appear on television — legends such as Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers. It 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. The episode covers television’s most enduring variety star, Carol Burnett, and features interviews with contemporary actresses including Tina Fey and Margaret Cho.

This is followed by the "Late Night" episode. From Jack Paar’s extemporaneous small talk to Steve Allen’s infectious laugh to Johnny Carson’s witty monologues, and all the big personalities that filled the guest chairs, America has had a love affair with late night television programming for years. 

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