More than 200 breakthrough stars bring their stories to life in season four of the Emmy®-nominated documentary series Pioneers of Television. Each episode melds compelling new interviews with irresistible clips to offer a fresh take on TV’s biggest celebrities.

This season’s four new episodes include…

Standup to Sitcom – This star-packed episode reveals how America’s top standup comics made the transition to the sitcom form; and includes dozens of side-splitting clips from Seinfeld, Home Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond, Roseanne, and more.

Acting Funny – This episode peeks behind the curtain to reveal the backstage techniques of America’s favorite comedic actors–ranging from Robin Williams’ manic improvisational style to Tina Fey’s measured, highly-prepared approach.

Doctors and Nurses – From George Clooney on ER to Richard Chamberlain on Dr. Kildare, television’s long love affair with doctors and nurses shows no signs of letting up. Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, Gloria Reuben, Howie Mandel, Ed Begley Jr., Chad Everett, and others tell their stories.

Breaking Barriers – This episode traces the story of people of color on American television–including the breakthroughs of African-Americans Diahann Carroll (Julia) and Bill Cosby (I Spy); Latinos Desi Arnaz (I Love Lucy) and Edward James Olmos (Miami Vice); and Asian-Americans George Takei (Star Trek) and Margaret Cho (All American Girl).


“Pioneers of Television” covers a lot of important ground. After all, television was a mirror to American society. Throughout the years, we watch as roles changed and people started to move up higher and higher. Whether it’s women taking over comedy or the boardroom; Television were there first. There’s also some stuff about breaking race barriers. But, that was very rushed.

The fourth season does a lot of strong work and Benjamin Bratt offers up some decent narration. I bet you thought I was going to make a Benjamin Bratt joke, didn’t you? My days of calling him the human Anti-Life equation are over. Now, I shall segue into our latest bit of news.

The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is typical for a program boasting so many archival clips. The Dolby track does what it can. Still, it’s a compilation of talking heads and old shows. If you’ve collected the other ones, then I recommend a purchase.


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