February 1, 2011

032: Just the facts, ma'am

I love PBS.  We sat around for two hours after dinner, watching the two episodes of Pioneers of Television shown tonight, doing a rundown of early TV westerns and crime dramas.  Two weeks ago, they ran one about science fiction shows.  I think my frequent use of the television label speaks for how much I watch, and my go-to genre is the crime drama, so I was particularly interested to see the overview of the way it all started.

Some of these shows I've never seen and have barely heard of -- I'd never heard of Mannix at all -- but I find the behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the actors and writers fascinating.  You can see how some of the crime shows on the air today evolved; the humor on Castle owes quite a bit to The Rockford Files (and the latter's creator, the late Stephen J. Cannell, was a consultant for the former), and Law & Order's "these are their stories" tagline is akin to Dragnet's "the story you are about to see is true" introduction.  This is the kind of stuff I find interesting and entertaining.  No, I don't get out much, how could you tell?

Anyway, if I've learned only one thing from this series it's this: Martin Landau and Veronica Cartwright have been on every television show, ever.  Seriously, look it up -- those two are everywhere.


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