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Arts & Culture

PIONEERS OF TELEVISION: Primetime Soaps

Michele Lee of “Knots Landing,” the longest-running primetime soap (14 years).
Courtesy of PBS PIONEERS OF TELEVISION
Michele Lee of “Knots Landing,” the longest-running primetime soap (14 years).

Airs Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 8 p.m. on KPBS 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!

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Joan van Ark and Michele Lee on "Knots Landing."
Courtesy of PBS PIONEERS OF TELEVISION
Joan van Ark and Michele Lee on "Knots Landing."

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.”

"Primetime Soaps" - "Dallas" and "Dynasty" kicked off the nighttime soap frenzy in the late 1970s and spun off the long-lasting series "Knots Landing." Sometimes forgotten is the genre's antecedent: 1964's "Peyton Place," which starred Mia Farrow and Ryan O'Neal.

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Interviewees in this episode include Larry Hagman, Joan Collins, Linda Evans, Diahann Carroll, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Michele Lee, Joan van Ark and Donna Mills.

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Watch Joan Collins on Dynasty Fashion on PBS. See more from pbs.

Joan Collins explains how her character on "Dynasty" required a high sense of fashion.
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Watch Primetime Soaps - Preview on PBS. See more from pbs.

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