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America in Primetime

6 customer reviews

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America in Primetime + Pioneers of Television: Season 4 + Pioneers of Television: Season 2
Price for all three: $56.45

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Editorial Reviews

Since its inception, television has served as a lens on American society, and in the expansive world of modern TV, today s heroes and villains have come a long way from their predecessors. America in Primetime showcases this iconic American art form, which has both reflected and shaped our national character.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS (DIRECT)
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005T5OCL4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,343 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

5 star
67%
4 star
33%
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ramm TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 16, 2012
Format: DVD
PBS continues to mine the archives of commercial TV to create new documentaries about its competitor. In 2002 they created a program titled "Pioneers of Television". This was followed on 2008 by a four part series "Pioneers of Prime Time". This new four-part, four-hour, series focuses on new shows, while briefly remembering the past. Depending on your age, you probably are familiar with either the shows of the 1950s and early 60s ("Father Knows Best", "Leave it To Beaver", "The Rifleman" and "Dragnet"). Or the newer series - mostly on cable ("The Sopranos", "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "24", "House" and "Weeds"). Not having cable TV, many of the newer shows were unfamiliar to me, but may not be for you. Still I'm willing to bet that, after watching this series., there will be shows you've only heard of that you'll look for either on TV, hulu or on DVD sets.

The series is divided into chapter on the "man of the house" (from "Father Kows Best" to "All in the Family" to Tony on "The Sopranos"), "The Independent Woman" (from Lucy and Mary Tyler Moore to Roseanne and on to "The Good Wife", "Desperate Housewives" and "Weeds"0, "The Misfits ("Taxi", "The Office", "30 Rock" and "Glee") and "The Crusader" (from Joe Friday on "Dragnet" to "Homicide: Life on The Street", "NYPD Blue" and on to "Dexter" - with sops at "MASH" and "Superman").

There are many interviews with actors, directors and writers (and Rob Reiner fills all three shoes) as well as short clips. The story is interesting and will certainly appeal to pop culture folks (of which I count myself among them.)

There are few weakness which resulted in my four star rating.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Abrahamal Lincolni on January 13, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
PBS's documentary series "America in Primetime" features original interviews with some of the best minds that TV and film have to offer, painting a picture of the evolution of American television across the last 60 years: David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Mulholland Dr.), Matthew Weiner (Mad Men), Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), David Chase (The Sopranos), Diablo Cody (Juno, The United States of Tara), James Manos Jr. (The Sopranos, Dexter), Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, True Blood), and many other notable creators of television.

"America in Primetime" is entertaining and educational, and an insightful look into the medium of narrative television. If you want an idea of what this documentary series is like, then check out this article featuring a segment from "America in Primetime" discussing the impact of David Lynch's influential 90's TV Series "Twin Peaks":
[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By g.r. on October 23, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I grew up watching most of the shows and performers in this series and it only points out to me how the artistic development of television has stymied. Though the ratings were important for most of the shows/people included in this retrospective, it was also the a pride in ones performance as an artist/writer/director etc. I learned and relearned about the hey-day of television and the artists who have made most of what we now see possible, though we don't live up to the previous standards. Enjoyable, educational, and a must for budding actors, film makers, writers and the list goes on and on. Watch and you will laugh, cry and learn much about the performing arts, not just television.
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