U.S. public broadcaster PBS will air America in Primetime, a four-part series exploring the past and present state of American primetime television, this fall.
Each episode of the series will focus on a particular character archetype that has featured prominently through the history of American scripted primetime TV.
The “Man of the House” episode charts the evolution of male characters from “kings of their castles” to more conflicted characters, while “Independent Woman” showcases the transformation of female roles from “model housewives to complex and sometimes controversial characters.”
“The Crusader” episode focuses on the heroes of American television and the internal conflicts those characters possess, and “The Misfit” looks at the eccentric characters TV viewers have gravitated towards time and again.
Among the celebrities taking part in the series via interviews are Alan Alda, Alec Baldwin, Ron Howard, Candace Bergen, Mary Tyler Moore, Roseanne Barr, Larry David and Dick van Dyke. Series creators and writers featured include Judd Apatow, Steven Bochco, James L. Brooks and Diablo Cody.
America in Primetime, airing on PBS stations from October 30 to November 20, is a production of WETA Washington DC and The Documentary Group, in association with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. Funding is provided by the Annenberg Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.