Friday, February 1, 2013

Pioneers of Television - PBS Video: 'Miniseries' Preview Airs Feb 5 '13

Source: PBS [follow link for additional information]



Watch a preview of the newest Pioneers of Television episode, featuring "Roots," "Rich Man, Poor Man" and "The Thorn Birds."

Beginning in the mid-1970s, miniseries based on novels captivated television audiences like never before. Networks poured money into the productions and reached huge numbers of viewers around the world. The key to these miniseries’ success are beloved characters that survive twists and turns that unfold over decades, including struggles to be accepted, whether in a loving relationship or within society.

Roots,” based on Alex Haley’s novel, was shown over eight consecutive nights in 1977 and attracted more viewers than any other television drama before. “Roots” was a cultural landmark that had a profound effect, shifting opinions and revealing the truth about the African-American experience of slavery.

Roots cast included pre-Star Trek: The Next Generation's LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Ben Vereen, John Amos, Leslie Uggams, Carolyn Jones, Louis Gossett, Vic Morrow, Chuck Connors, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Edward Asner, Ralph Waite, Robert Reed, Lynda Day George, Madge Sinclair, Scatman Crothers, George Hamilton, Richard Roundtree, Lloyd Bridges, Georg Stanford Brown, Lynne Moody, Sandy Duncan, Moses Gunn, Thalmus Rasulala, Hari Rhodes, Lorne Greene, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Maya Angelou, Doug McClure and Cicely Tyson.

In “Rich Man, Poor Man” (1976), two starkly different brothers seek acceptance from their rough-edged immigrant father as they also build their lives in America, from post-World War II through the 1960s.

Rich Man, Poor Man cast included Peter Strauss, Nick Nolte, Susan Blakely, Dorothy McGuire, Tim McIntire, Ray Milland, Robert Reed, Bill Bixby, Norman Fell, Lawrence Pressman, Kim Darby, Murray Hamilton, Herbert Jefferson Jr., Van Johnson, William Smith, Edward Asner and Dick Sargent.

Set in Australia between 1915 and 1969, “The Thorn Birds” (1983) saga centers on a handsome priest’s devotion to both God and love of a woman.

The Thorn Birds cast included Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Christopher Plummer, Bryan Brown, Barry Corbin, Star Trek: The Next Generation's John de Lancie, Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Simmons, Piper Laurie, Earl Holliman, Ken Howard, Richard Kiley and Mare Winningham.

Watch Miniseries - Preview on PBS. See more from Pioneers of Television.

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