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PIONEERS OF TELEVISION: Superheroes

Airs Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Lynda Carter’s portrayal of Wonder Woman was a breakthrough for female superheroes on TV.

Emmy-award winning radio personality, television host and producer Ryan Seacrest has signed on to narrate the third season of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION, PBS’ Emmy-nominated series that brings to life the stories of television’s most beloved stars. PIONEERS OF TELEVISION returns to PBS Tuesday, January 15, 2013, and runs through February 5. The new season’s four episodes are “Funny Ladies” (January 15), “Primetime Soaps” (January 22), “Superheroes” (January 29) and “Miniseries” (February 5).

TV Trivia

Which pioneer of television are you? Answer all 10 questions to find out which icon of television has a lot in common with you!

Courtesy of PBS PIONEERS OF TELEVISION

Adam West enjoys his morning coffee before a day of shooting on the 1960s BATMAN television series.

Courtesy of PBS PIONEERS OF TELEVISION

Adam West, Burt Ward, and Cesar Romero rehearse a scene in the 1960s BATMAN television series.

Stars featured in PIONEERS include Carol Burnett, Lynda Carter, Joan Collins, Diahann Carroll, Richard Chamberlain, Patrick Duffy, Lou Ferrigno, Tina Fey, Louis Gossett Jr., Larry Hagman, Cloris Leachman, Joan Rivers, Leslie Uggams, Rachel Ward, Adam West and Betty White, among many others.

In PIONEERS OF TELEVISION more than 100 stars bring their stories to life, telling backstage tales of America’s favorite shows. Each episode melds compelling new interviews with iconic clips and never-before-seen photos to offer an insider’s look at television’s biggest celebrities.

“We are thrilled to bring another season of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION to PBS,” said executive producer Steve Boettcher, who, along with producing partner Mike Trinklein, has helmed numerous acclaimed specials and series about television’s breakthrough performers. “It’s doubly exciting to have our show led by one of contemporary television’s most ubiquitous stars, as well as one of its most ardent fans and talented creators.”

“Superheroes” - This episode crosses many eras: SUPERMAN in the 1950s, BATMAN in the ’60s, WONDER WOMAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK in the ’70s and THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO in the ’80s.

The episode features in-depth interviews with Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Lynda Carter, Lou Ferrigno, William Katt and others. It also includes comments from Robert Culp, about his show THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO, recorded just days before he passed away.

Video

Preview: Pioneers Of Television: Superheroes

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Watch Superheroes Preview on PBS. See more from Pioneers of Television.

Above: “Superheroes” crosses many eras: SUPERMAN in the 1950s, BATMAN in the ’60s, WONDER WOMAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK in the ’70s and THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO in the ’80s. The episode features in-depth interviews with Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Lynda Carter, Lou Ferrigno, William Katt and others. It also includes comments from Robert Culp, about his show THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO, recorded just days before he passed away.

Video

Wonder Woman, Everyone’s Superhero

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Watch Wonder Woman as Everyone's Superhero on PBS. See more from Pioneers of Television.

Above: In this clip from "Superheroes," Lynda Carter describes the origins of Wonder Woman and how she played the part on television to appeal to both both women and men, and girls and boys.

Video

Dangerous Stunts on BATMAN

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Watch Dangerous Stunts on Batman on PBS. See more from Pioneers of Television.

Above: In this clip from "Superheroes," Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin) on risky stunts during the early days of BATMAN.

Video

Lou Ferrigno and Burt Ward on Childhood Dreams

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Watch Lou Ferrigno and Burt Ward on Childhood Dreams on PBS. See more from Pioneers of Television.

Above: As a child, Lou Ferrigno read Hulk comic books and wished he could be like The Hulk, which he accomplished when he won the role on THE INCREDIBLE HULK. Burt Ward's childhood dream was to become "Superboy" --- instead, he beat out more than 1,000 other actors to become Robin, Batman's young sidekick on the series BATMAN.

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