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America in Primetime

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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(Jan 17, 2012)
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$15.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 11 left in stock. Sold by twilightmedia and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

The new Golden Age of television is now. In the expansive world of modern television, more groundbreaking shows are being created today than ever before. America in Primetime showcases this iconic American art form.

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:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005T5OCL4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,553 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Ramm TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 16, 2012
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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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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Limited selection of shows... does show impact of cable. Denies mentioning that cable is a commercial transaction...not exactly like Cadillac and cornflakes, but cable sells entertainment to mass audiences who can or will watch mesmerizing insanity, much the way a hanging, beheading or public humiliation/execution fascinated crowds of earlier centuries.

The comment by Edie Falco that the Sopranos was about a "family" had me reaching for a flight bag to puke.
It reminded me of the old joke:
"So, Mrs. Lincoln, otherwise, how did you like the play?"
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By Peejay on December 10, 2012
If you don't see this you will miss out on a wonderful experience. The documentary tracks TV from the post WWII era to the present day and if you were watching over the decades you will not only appreciate the well edited clips from various shows you have watched and loved but also the comments from directors, actors and writers are entertaining and informative. I saw it on TV but was so impressed I am going to buy the DVD so I can watch it again. Enjoy.
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This has been one of the most informative and entertaining documentary series I have ever seen. I must have in any 20th century social historian's collection.
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