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PIONEERS OF TELEVISION: Crime Dramas

Airs Friday, July 19, 2013 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Angie Dickinson as Sgt. "Pepper" Anderson in the award-winning series "Police Woman."

They were the stars of the small screen in the early years of television, and much of the nation came to a halt whenever their shows aired. They strolled, sprinted, fought, laughed, cried and loved through worlds that took viewers to places past, present and future. As the originators of these innovative television formats, they provided an essential escape for millions of viewers who eagerly waited to watch them each week.

PIONEERS OF TELEVISION returned to PBS for a second season in January 2011, offering the inside stories of these formidable visionaries who recall the fledgling medium they shaped with their creativity, foresight and wisdom.

Classic TV Trivia Quiz

If you're starved for classic television trivia that will keep you guessing, give this quiz a try.

This series once again transports viewers behind the scenes for a revealing look at the inception of four of the most popular genres in television: science fiction (July 5), westerns (July 12), crime dramas (July 19) and local kids’ TV (July 26).

"Crime Dramas" - As viewers reveled in being transported to shadowy underworlds, creative geniuses emerged in the forms of Jack Webb (“Dragnet”), Desi Arnaz (“The Untouchables”) and Bruce Geller (“Mannix” and “Mission: Impossible”).

Groundbreaking actors Bill Cosby (“I Spy”) and Angie Dickinson (“Police Woman”) reveal the methods behind their successes as the first African-American and breakthrough female lead characters in a television series.

Barbara Bain and Martin Landau share the secrets behind the innovative hit “Mission: Impossible”; Peter Falk’s friends and colleagues recall the evolution of his “Columbo” character; and James Garner and series creator Stephen J. Cannell recount the success of the “The Rockford Files.”

This episode originally aired in 2011.

Video

Angie Dickinson on becoming a sex symbol

Above: In this clip, Angie Dickinson describes the pros and cons of becoming a Hollywood sex symbol. Groundbreaking actors Bill Cosby (“I Spy”) and Angie Dickinson (“Police Woman”) reveal the methods behind their successes as the first African-American and breakthrough female lead characters in a television series in PIONEERS OF TELEVISION.

Video

Robert Culp on Bill Cosby

Above: Robert Culp on how Bill Cosby-- his co-star on "I Spy"-- broke television's color barrier. Never before had an African-American man and white man been portrayed as friends and equals. Robert Culp (and Bill Cosby) talk more about this significant chapter in television history in the upcoming season of PBS's PIONEERS OF TELEVISION. Culp passed away March 24, 2010.

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Tribute to James Garner

Above: James Garner's two hit series are all-time favorites: "Maverick" and "Rockford Files." Here Garner and "Rockford Files" creator Stephen J. Cannell reflect. From the archives of PBS PIONEERS OF TELEVISION returning early 2011 with four new episodes that feature Garner and many other TV pioneers.

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