Back to Pressroom Home


Join PBS as Pioneers of Television reveals intriguing stories and uncovers fascinating facts from the early days of television. Many little-known facts about some of the most beloved series and stars in television history are revealed when Pioneers of Television returns for a second season, narrated by Kelsey Grammer, which transports viewers behind the scenes for a revealing look at the inception of four of the most popular genres in television: science fiction, westerns, crime dramas and local kids’ TV. Pioneers of Television airs in four parts on Mondays beginning June 11, 2012 at 9 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS.

Utilizing new interviews with legendary stars, along with never-before-seen images and timeless footage that still entertains decades later, Pioneers of Television brings to life the fascinating history of some of the most successful and beloved shows in television. Stars such as James Garner, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, Angie Dickinson, Bill Cosby, Robert Culp, Stefanie Powers, Martin Landau, Peter Graves, Robert Conrad, Linda Evans, Mike Connors, Fess Parker and writer Stephen J. Cannell are among those interviewed whose imprint on the iconic genres they helped create still impact the medium today.

To mark the premier, New York City’s 92nd Street Y will celebrate the “Pioneers of Television” when they welcome four Legendary Women of Television: Angie Dickinson, Linda Evans, Nichelle Nichols and Stefanie Powers for a special evening event on Sunday, January 16. Additional information can be found at

Pioneers of Television takes viewers back in time to a different era of entertainment, both humorous and poignant,” said John Wilson, PBS chief TV programming executive. “Executive producers Steve Boettcher and Michael Trinklein have once again delivered a remarkable series that captures the innovation, genius and vision behind the early years of television.”

Pioneers of Television depicts the epic beginnings of the four featured television genres and explores the stories and influences of their groundbreaking pioneers

Access behind-the-scenes photos and watch video interviews with television pioneers on the Pioneers of Television Facebook page ( The series will also be accompanied by a website on, launching in late 2010, with a special “in memoriam” section featuring videos of the last interviews of Stephen J. Cannell, Robert Culp, Peter Graves and Fess Parker filmed by the Pioneers of Television producers shortly before their passing in 2010.

About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture -- utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961. Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems. With more than 1 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station's annual budget.

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.