Providing Support for PBS.org

Pioneers of Television

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Cloris Leachman Talks Comedy

Pioneers of Television

S4: Cloris Leachman Talks Comedy

Emmy-award winner Cloris Leachman shares her acting philosophy.

1:52

S4: Cloris Leachman Talks Comedy

1:52

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television Jonathan Winters "Mentors" Robin Williams

Pioneers of Television

Jonathan Winters "Mentors" Robin Williams

Improv master Jonathan Winters paved the way for younger comedian Robin Williams.

1:36

Jonathan Winters "Mentors" Robin Williams

1:36

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television Robin Williams Hones his Craft

Pioneers of Television

Robin Williams Hones his Craft

Robin Williams developed his signature style of improvisational comedy as a young comic.

1:10

Robin Williams Hones his Craft

1:10

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4 Ep4:  Jonathan Winters' Improvisational Comedy

Pioneers of Television

S4 Ep4: Jonathan Winters' Improvisational Comedy

Classic comedian Jonathan Winters was at his best when he was improvising.

1:38

S4 Ep4: Jonathan Winters' Improvisational Comedy

1:38

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4 Ep4: Jimmie Walker on "Taking the Pie"

Pioneers of Television

S4 Ep4: Jimmie Walker on "Taking the Pie"

Despite "Good Times" producer Norman Lear's wishes, Jimmie Walker was there to be funny.

1:48

S4 Ep4: Jimmie Walker on "Taking the Pie"

1:48

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Dick Van Dyke's Knack for Physical Comedy

Pioneers of Television

S4: Dick Van Dyke's Knack for Physical Comedy

Dick Van Dyke loved to perform physical comedy, even if the script didn't call for it.

1:19

S4: Dick Van Dyke's Knack for Physical Comedy

1:19

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Jimmie Walker on "Good Times"

Pioneers of Television

S4: Jimmie Walker on "Good Times"

Walker's "Good Times" character was such a hit, he changed the direction of the sitcom.

1:18

S4: Jimmie Walker on "Good Times"

1:18

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Bill Cosby Revives the Sitcom

Pioneers of Television

S4: Bill Cosby Revives the Sitcom

In the Fall of 1984, Bill Cosby almost single handedly revived the sitcom genre.

1:13

S4: Bill Cosby Revives the Sitcom

1:13

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Diahann Carroll on "Julia"

Pioneers of Television

S4: Diahann Carroll on "Julia"

Though “Julia” aired during the turbulent 1960s, the show abstained from racial activism.

1:20

S4: Diahann Carroll on "Julia"

1:20

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: George Takei on being an Asian-American

Pioneers of Television

S4: George Takei on being an Asian-American

George Takei discusses his early life in a paranoid United States.

2:48

S4: George Takei on being an Asian-American

2:48

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Margaret Cho on "All-American Girl"

Pioneers of Television

S4: Margaret Cho on "All-American Girl"

Comic Margaret Cho discusses her short-lived sitcom, "All-American Girl."

1:16

S4: Margaret Cho on "All-American Girl"

1:16

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Professor Cosby

Pioneers of Television

S4: Professor Cosby

Bill Cosby's interest in education began long before "The Cosby Show."

1:14

S4: Professor Cosby

1:14

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: George Clooney and his "Powerful Pen"

Pioneers of Television

S4: George Clooney and his "Powerful Pen"

George Clooney used his popularity to speak out against discrimination.

1:04

S4: George Clooney and his "Powerful Pen"

1:04

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Howie Mandel on "St. Elsewhere"

Pioneers of Television

S4: Howie Mandel on "St. Elsewhere"

Howie Mandel thought he was auditioning for a sitcom.

1:23

S4: Howie Mandel on "St. Elsewhere"

1:23

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Noah Wyle as Dr. John Carter

Pioneers of Television

S4: Noah Wyle as Dr. John Carter

Noah Wyle discusses the character growth of Dr. John Carter.

1:48

S4: Noah Wyle as Dr. John Carter

1:48

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: St.Elsewhere "Got it Right"

Pioneers of Television

S4: St.Elsewhere "Got it Right"

"St.Elsewhere" was the first show to portray the medical community accurately.

1:36

S4: St.Elsewhere "Got it Right"

1:36

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Bob Newhart on Listening Funny

Pioneers of Television

S4: Bob Newhart on Listening Funny

Legendary comedian Bob Newhart describes his first TV role as psychologist Robert Hartley.

2:01

S4: Bob Newhart on Listening Funny

2:01

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Creating "Seinfeld"

Pioneers of Television

S4: Creating "Seinfeld"

Together, comics Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David created the hit sitcom "Seinfeld" in 1989.

1:27

S4: Creating "Seinfeld"

1:27

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Jerry Seinfeld on "Getting Laughs"

Pioneers of Television

S4: Jerry Seinfeld on "Getting Laughs"

Jerry Seinfeld describes the challenging act of "getting a laugh."

0:43

S4: Jerry Seinfeld on "Getting Laughs"

0:43

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Roseanne Barr, Working Class Feminist

Pioneers of Television

S4: Roseanne Barr, Working Class Feminist

With her sitcom, Roseanne Barr made waves by fearlessly tackling difficult issues.

1:53

S4: Roseanne Barr, Working Class Feminist

1:53

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Tim Allen on his First "Tonight Show" Appearance

Pioneers of Television

S4: Tim Allen on his First "Tonight Show" Appearance

When sitcom star Tim Allen first appeared on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show," he bombed.

2:42

S4: Tim Allen on his First "Tonight Show" Appearance

2:42

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S4: Tim Allen's Transition to TV

Pioneers of Television

S4: Tim Allen's Transition to TV

"Home Improvement" star Tim Allen wasn't planning on leaving standup for television.

1:26

S4: Tim Allen's Transition to TV

1:26

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television Roots as Untold History

Pioneers of Television

Roots as Untold History

Leslie Uggams and LeVar Burton on how "Roots" brought untold history to light.

2:01

Roots as Untold History

2:01

Video thumbnail: Pioneers of Television S3 Ep4: A Transcendent Moment in Roots

Pioneers of Television

S3 Ep4: A Transcendent Moment in Roots

Roots co-stars Louis Gossett Jr. and LeVar Burton describe a scene they shared.

4:11

S3 Ep4: A Transcendent Moment in Roots

4:11

Support for PBS.org provided by: