BIG EVENT, THE: TV GUIDE: THE FIRST 25 YEARS (TV)

Summary

This special, hosted by Phil Donahue, looks at an era of history as it was portrayed on television. This special includes clips of programs and interviews with such personalities as Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Michael Landon, William S. Paley, Norman Lear, and others. Highlights include: clips of "The Ed Sullivan Show" and news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow; how physical comedy helped Milton Berle become "Mr. Television"; the domestic comedies of Sid Caeser and Imogene Coca on "Your Show of Shows" and Lucille Ball on "I Love Lucy"; changes in the portrayal of domestic life with "The Honeymooners"; how the political climate in the 1950s and the threat of being blacklisted changed television; the live television dramas of the 1950s which were presented in small studios and featured a different cast and story line each week; a clip of the popular drama "The Days of Wine and Roses" starring Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie; game shows and the infamous quiz show scandals; the influence Elvis Presley's first appearance on television -- singing "Hound Dog" and "Love Me Tender" -- had on popular musical taste; the Beatles first television appearance; how President John F. Kennedy changed the face of politics on television with live press conferences; how his assassination and funeral kept viewers glued to their sets; the bright world of entertainment in the 1960s with performers such as Fred Astaire leading the way; the success of highly profitable primetime drama series, beginning with the westerns such as "Colt .45," "Rawhide," "The Rifleman," "Gunsmoke," and "Bonanza"; how police shows followed in the footsteps of the western's success with such shows as "Peter Gunn," "The Untouchables," "The F.B.I.," and "Hawaiian Eye"; how television began tackling social and racial issues on shows like "East Side, West Side"; how sports, especially football, began to thrive as directors learned more about the game; how the situation comedy became more polished and began to take over the viewing audience; a Barbra Streisand special that is still considered one of the most electrifying hours on television; how violence and tension came to television via the nightly news, documentaries, and the Vietnam War; sit-coms as an escape from the real world with shows like "The Brady Bunch" and "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."; "Batman," "Mission: Impossible," and "The Fugitive" as drama programs in the guise of escape fantasy; "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" as the highest-rated show to be cancelled because of the controversy it aroused; how variety shows began to flourish with "The Carol Burnett Show" and "Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre" leading the pack; the changes made to story lines as black characters took the lead roles in many shows; how the moon landing was molded for television to take advantage of the broad viewing audience; how the arrival of the series "All in the Family" dramatically altered the sit-com and triggered three spin-offs, "Maude," "The Jeffersons," and "Good Times"; the increasing prominence of women's roles, illustrated with a clip from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"; how comedy programs such as "M*A*S*H" sometimes switched gears and dove into heavy drama; how made-for-television movies experimented with sensitive subjects; the Watergate Scandal and the subsequent hearings which were covered by television for nearly a year; how variety programs metamorphosized into lavish productions; how the new technology made athletics a director's dream and how the Olympics became the focus of every network and every viewer; the mini-series which captivated people sometimes for weeks at a time and the most watched dramatic series in history, "Roots"; how children's programs such as "Sesame Street" not only entertained children but taught them at the same time; how daytime programming proved to be more profitable with soap operas and the many advertisers who wanted daytime spots instead of primetime spots; and how the content of many television programs affects our daily lives. Includes commercials, promos, and public service announcements.

Details

  • NETWORK: NBC
  • DATE: October 21, 1979 Sunday 8:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:58:35
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T80:0357
  • GENRE: Specials
  • SUBJECT HEADING: History
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV, 1979
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Jeep CJ automobiles^TV - Commercials - Tupperware food storage containers^TV - Commercials - Mounds & Almond Joy candy bars^TV - Commercials - Toyota Celica Supra^TV - Commercials - Caress soap^TV - Commercials - Maximun Strength Anacin aspirin^TV - Commercials - Olympus camera^TV - Commercials - Continental automobiles^TV - Commercials - Beneficial finance systems^TV - Commercials - Ford automobiles^TV - Commercials - Big Red chewing gum^TV - Commercials - Contact cold pills^TV - Commercials - Oldsmobile automobiles^TV - Commercials - Nalley Chili^TV - Commercials - Total cereal^TV - Commercials - GTE phone systems^TV - Commercials - TWA airlines^TV - Commercials - Wells Fargo Bank^TV - Commercials - Oven Fry chicken coating^TV - Commercials - Yogurt & Grape-Nuts mix^TV - Commercials - Honda Civic automobile^TV - Commercials - JCPenny stores^TV - Commercials - Real Estate Network^TV - Commercials - BankCal: The Bank of California^TV - Commercials - Arco energy savers^TV - Commercials - Heath candy bar^TV - Commercials - Mazda automobiles^TV - Commercials - Tostitos tortilla chips^TV - Commercials - Holiday Inn hotels^TV - Commercials - Sylvania television sets^TV - Promos - "Real People"^TV - Promos - "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century"^TV - Promos - "Diff'rent Strokes"^TV - Promos - "Hello, Larry"^TV - Promos - "The Best of Saturday Night Live"^TV - Promos - "Primetime Sunday"^TV - Promos - "NBC News Update"^TV - Promos - "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo"^TV - Promos - "Undercover With the KKK"^TV - Promos - "Shirley"^TV - Promos - "Little House on the Prairie"^TV - Promos - "And Baby Makes Six"^TV - PSA - Shell Safe Driving Handbook^TV - PSA - United States Army^TV - PSA - Camp Fire Girls

CREDITS

    • Robert H. Precht … Executive Producer, Producer
    • Jay S. Harris … Executive Producer, Based on the book compiled and edited by
    • Tony Jordan … Associate Producer
    • Russ Petranto … Director
    • Jeff Greenfield … Writer
    • Peter Matz … Music by
    • Phil Donahue … Host
    • Michael Landon … Guest
    • Lucille Ball … Guest
    • Bob Hope … Guest
    • Lee Grant … Guest
    • William S. Paley … Guest
    • Arthur Godfrey … Guest
    • Merrill Panitt … Guest
    • John Chancellor … Guest
    • Richard Salant … Guest
    • Tom Smothers … Guest
    • Norman Lear … Guest
    • Elton Rule … Guest
    • Neil Hickey … Guest
    • Nicholas Johnson … Guest
    • Fred Silverman … Guest
    • Peggy Charren … Guest
    • Aaron Spelling … Guest
    • Carl Reiner … Guest
    • Jesse Jackson … Guest
    • Lee Grant … Guest
    • Rebecca Sobel … Reporter, NBC News Update
    • Spiro T. Agnew
    • James Arness
    • Fred Astaire
    • The Beatles
    • Milton Berle
    • Amanda Blake
    • Dan Blocker
    • Carol Burnett
    • Raymond Burr
    • Sid Caesar
    • Art Carney
    • Imogene Coca
    • Ann B. Davis
    • The Doors
    • Jackie Gleason
    • Lorne Greene
    • Florence Henderson
    • John F. Kennedy
    • Harvey Korman
    • Piper Laurie
    • Joseph R. McCarthy
    • Maureen McCormick
    • Mary Tyler Moore
    • Edward R. Murrow
    • Jim Nabors
    • Joe Namath
    • Elvis Presley
    • Cliff Robertson
    • Rolling Stones, The
    • Morley Safer
    • George C. Scott
    • George Segal
    • Dick Smothers
    • Barbra Streisand
    • Ed Sullivan
    • Frank Sutton
    • Marlo Thomas
    • Dick Van Dyke