Over the next four Sundays on PBS, a documentary series called America in Primetime will talk about the best shows created since the invention of television.
America in Primetime is structured around the most com-pelling shows on television today, unfolding over four hours and weaving between past and present. Each episode focuses on one character archetype that has remained a staple of primetime through the generations - the Independent Woman, the Man of the House, the Misfit, and the Crusader — capturing both the continuity of the character, and the evolution. The finest television today has as its foundation the best television of yesterday.
The series has been getting great reviews…here’s one from NPR:
And when these people talk about TV, they don’t feel the need to play nice and agree. While most writer-producers in this show talk about television drama series as a novel, allowing an examination of characters over dozens of hours instead of just a movie-length drama, Sopranos creator David Chase asks what’s so great about that? Who needs a Casablanca II, III or IV? And when it comes to the idea of having a serial killer as your central character in Showtime’s Dexter, you’d be surprised who doesn’t approve of that concept. At least I was surprised. Because right along with Michael C. Hall, the star of Dexter, talking about his vengeful character, you have Tom Fontana and then David Simon, creator of The Wire, talking about why they think Dexter goes too far.
Here’s an eight-minute video introduction to the show: