tv The Eighties CNN January 28, 2017 6:00pm-8:01pm PST
when really, it's scorching. and while some may say the desert is desolate... we prefer secluded. what is the desert? it's absolutely what you need right now. absolutely scottsdale. the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause. they reserve the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat. >> the russians are gearing up for war. >> the senatepproved a record 136.5 billion dollar defense budget. >> the largest anti-nuclear
♪ >> in afghanistan today, soviet troops are reported on the move in several areas, but it is also clear the russians are meeting resistance from muslim tribes men and members of the afghanistan army. >> in 1980 the soviet union moved into afghanistan. it was nicaragua, it was in the caribbean. there was a feeling that the united states and i felt it, the united states could lose the cold war. >> there was a model of behavior during the cold war, and the way i often described it, it was the red side of the map and blue side of the map, separated by the iron curtain. the rest of the world we competed for. >> that fundamental clash between communism and capitalism, between dictatorship and freedom divided the world. people assumed it would last rever. but it is a volution starting
to stir. >> there has been an unexpected velopment abroad. polish workers in the baltic area are standing firm in their strike against the government. >> the demands of striking polish workers concluded free press, release of political prisoners and right to strike. they assumed the risk of striking illegally. >> along comes solidarity, but not a union run by communists, it is a union run by polish patriots, so it is a tremendous threat to the ussr because of possible contagion, it would wipe out communism if allowed to spread. >> in this season of discontent, spent part of the weekend reinforcing the link between the poland workers and the catholic church. >> it is important to understand solidarity without the impact of john paul ii.
>> the soviets are nervous about john paul ii, he is anti-communist and beloved by the pols. these pressures are forcing the polish government to figure out how to keep control. >> the strike by polish ship yard workers is over. for the polish strikers, it was a day worthy of hyperbole, telling his followers we are co-masters of this land. >> they're showing that you could have an independent union in a communist country, and the question was how independent were they going to be allowed to be. >> how the u.s. deals with poland, with the eastern block and with russia, the early challenges for the foreign policy of the president elect ronald reagan. >> reagan spent much of his career blasting the soviet union, attacking any republican or democrat who said we can negotiate. he had been the leading opponent of detente, the policy of trying
to ease relations with the soviets. what he disliked about detente, they were hitting the negotiating team as equals. reagan thought there are two super powers, but we have moral superiority because democracy is inherently good and sovietism is inherently bad. >> the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve under themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat. i think when you do business with them, even at a detente, you keep that in mind. >> and everybody was like oh, this cowboy is shooting from the hip, actor, doesn't he understand that's not diplomatic. boy did he get the soviets' attention, but there was tush tushing about whether this was appropriate for the president to say. >> ronald reagan had a more radical view of american goals in the cold war than any president before him. as he put it, my policy toward the communists is simple.
we win, they lose. it shocked people. >> it sounds as if, sir, you're saying that there isn't going to be any summit meeting with -- >> no, i don't know. but i do believe this, that it is rather foolish to have unilaterally disarmed by letting a margin of safety deteriorate, and then you sit with the fellow who's got all of the arms, what do you have to negotiate with? >> the senate today approved a record $136.5 billion defense budget for fiscal 1982. the vote was overwhelming. 92-1. >> reagan was trying to spend the ussr into oblivion. he said what we spend on our armed forces is a much smaller proportion of our economy than is the case with you. now see if you can compete. >> ronald reagan's clear
anti-communism made many people worry that though he didn't want war, the effect of his thinking would come up with unwanted war. >> this decree is the induction of marshall law, beginning today. >> the leader of solidarity is said to be in a government guest house, not under arrest, but dozens of polish activists and dissidents were locked up along with former leaders of the communist government. >> have you said anything to the russians, mr. president? >> we made it clear how seriously we would view any interference by them. >> there was concern the soviets were going to invade and that the pols in drive for self determination were going to go beyond whatever mental threshold the soviet leadership had. >> pope john paul ii expressed concern for the worsening situation in his native poland. he told 200 polish pilgrims in the crowd that they and all fellow pols should pray for peace.
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tragic events in poland almost two years to the day after soviet afghanistan have been precipitated by secret pressure from the soviet union. the united states is taking action to suspend economic relationships with the polish government. >> the first crisis in poland provides a vehicle for reagan to begin to think maybe the communist system in eastern europe is not as stable as people imagine. >> this is the pershing missile. a new version of it will be deployed in europe. this is the cruise missile to join nato's arsenal and point for the soviet union and communist bloc. >> reagan started to push for those missiles in europe, and we are going to ratchet up the cold war further. >> many demonstrations in the
next two days are protesting deployment of the missiles. they fear in event of war, it makes europe a battlefield, and leave america unscathed. >> they are for the most part nonviolate, trapped by geography on the front line of the east, west struggle. >> the fears in the early 1980s, if things went wrong, they would go totally wrong, we might be at the cusp of total nuclear war. >> the largest anti-nuclear protest engulfed manhattan. >> up to 700,000, comparable to largest of the anti-vietnam rallies a decade ago. >> this is life, this isn't political. this is about the future of life. >> ronald reagan thought the freeze was ridiculous. the number of nuclear weapons in the world was way too high. that the freeze would lock in soviet superiority in numbers he wanted to eliminate. >> the nuclear freeze proposals,
beware of declaring both sides equally at fault. to ignore the facts of history and the impulses of an evil empire, to call the arms race a misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle of right and wrong, good and evil. >> he delegitimized the soviet union. trouble is you're both poised with weapons pointed at each other, mutually assured destruction. reagan said let's put a protective shield between us so i have some other option. that's the birth of the strategic defense initiative, sdi or unkindly called "star wars." >> what if free people could destroy ballistic missiles before they reached our soil or our allies? >> the united states is spending a billion dollars on laser technology, the buck rogers
technology the president talked about. >> he didn't understand the technologies, he thought well, if we have a defensive system that stops their offensive miss -- missiles then their missiles have no value and we're safe. >> the soviets were nervous and afraid. there's a stasis at the top of the leadership, they were fearful the reagan administration would take advantage of their weakness. as a result, the soviets are very reactive. >> if you are watching this broadcast last night, you probably went to sleep with the same impression we did. there had been some kind of hassle between soviet fighter jets and korean airline 747, and we led you to believe the plane landed safely on soviet territory. sadly that was not true. >> at approximately 1600 hours, the aircraft strayed into soviet air space, the korean aircraft was recorded at 10,000 meters.
at 1826 hours, the soviet pilot reported that he fired a missile and the target was destroyed. >> they went on a peaceful trip, they weren't any spies or anything like that. >> i think the russians are gearing up for war and doing everything that they can to prepare for it. >> it was not an intentional hostile act against korean airlines, it was a mistake of a system that was falling apart. >> this crime against humanity must never be forgotten here or throughout the world. it was an act of barberism, born of a society that wantonly disregards individual rights and value of human life, seeks constantly to expand and dominate other nations. >> the timing was particularly bad because the united states and soviets were not talking at all. two great powers are afraid of each other. and 007 happens at the climax of a period of fear.
it makes 1983 one of the most dangerous years of the cold war. >> because of the suspicions about ronald reagan, the soviet intelligence agencies thought that under the cover of military exercise called able archer, a first nuclear strike on moscow could be launched. >> when reagan discovered that the soviets actually did think that the united states might launch a preemptive strike, it was kind of one of these moments. my gosh. look upon them in a different light. >> an estimated 100 million americans watched last night as some of the horror of a nuclear bomb attack on the united states was portrayed in a tv movie. >> reagan processed a lot of history through movies, and the fa that this fear of nuclear annihilation was very real, he started feeling that maybe he
was put on earth here to avoid nuclear war. >> just suppose with me for a moment that ivan and anya could be in a waiting room with jim and sally and there was no language barrier. would they then debate differences between their respective governments or would they find themselves comparing notes about their children, what each other did for a living. they would prove that people don't make wars. >> reagan comes to understand he's made a mistake by not trying to meet with the soviets, and his desire to do this gets stronger, after it becomes clear to him that there's such a level of misunderstanding between the two adversaries that an inadvertent war is possible. >> this is a cbs news special report. gorbachev takes control. >> when the death of konstantin chernenko was announced, the
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at 54, gorbachev is the youngest to lead the soviet union since stalin. unlike his predecessors, he may feel less tied down by the burden of soviet history. >> he is a revolution in himself, talking about a new soviet uni, allowing some freedom of speech, allowing a more open society. gorbachev had seen how the gap between how the soviet people lived and what the party said was growing wider and wider. but he is a child of the system. he did not want to destroy it. he had in his mind i have to save it.
>> i want him to fight for peace and for better life. >> i think that he will be a good leader and i like him. >> the first couple of years of the reagan first term, reagan didn't meet any soviet leaders. when asked about it, reagan said they keep dying on me. that was true, but he wasn't making much of an effort, and there was a fear that if you don't reach out to the soviets, they're so afraid of us, they'll do something stupid. >> president reagan had a change of heart, he is much more eager to meet with the new leader of the soviet union, and he has sent michaela gorbachev a letter suggesting a summit. >> all previous summits had a communique worked out ahead of time by the foreign ministries. here's what we say at the end, and some gaps to be filled in
during the meetings. reagan said we are not doing any communiques. whatever comes from the summit is what we develop while there. >> after 70 minutes with advisers, mr. reagan invited gorbachev to stroll the garden to the pool house where they sat alone before a fire. mr. reagan talk without notes, not about arms control but about reducing the level of fear and misunderstanding between the two nations. >> the main thing is they met each other as human beings, reagan in particular concentrated his attention on gorbachev as a person. he spent more time studying gorbachev than he did the esoteric things having to do with arms control. >> it is understood the president tried to dispel his negative image of the u.s. gorbachev wouldn't budge but wasn't as combative as he was with other officials recently. >> is it a good sign? >> of course. >> i would think so. >> i was at lunch when ronald reagan came out of the first
meeting with gorbachev and he said this is a new type of soviet leader. >> the president announced gorbachev will visit the u.s. next year and they agreed to accelerate arms talks. the soviet leader was more negative. >> the most important problem concerning the arms race and increasing hopes of peace, we didn't succeed in reaching at this meeting, so of course there are important disagreements on matters of principle that remain between us. >> the general feeling here is that president reagan deserves credit for starting a dialogue with soviet leader gorbachev, that in the nuclear age any lessening of tension must be applauded. but many pronounced the summit only a modest success because it failed to achieve significant progress on arms control. the first word that something was seriously wrong came from
the power plant in eastern sweden where workers coming on the job registered abnormally high levels of radiation on their bodies. as tests were conducted, similar reports of high radiation came from scandinavia. still no accidents were reported. finally a surprise. radiation was coming from 750 miles away, at chernobyl, in the soviet union. a terse announcement picked up from radio moscow. >> the soviet government reports an accident at the chernobyl nuclear power plant in the ukraine. >> the instinctive reaction of the soviet bureaucracy was to deny anything had really happened, as a result of which people died not only, not only soviets not getting the truth about chernobyl, the top leaders weren't getting the truth. gorbachev discovered he was also in the dark as the soviet leader. >> soviet news casters deliberately played down the incident, reporting it after the
latest five-year plan and crop report. eight or nine minutes into the news, an announcer said only two people had been killed in the incident, contradicting one news report that casualties numbered in the thousands. >> chernobyl wasn't a flash in the pan. every few weeks there would be something like chernobyl because of structural defects of the soviet system. >> officials say because it took place at the newest reactor, it is another indication of inferiority of soviet technology and they say they brought on the accident not taking the same safety precautions taken in the united states. >> chernobyl reminded the soviets they couldn't play in the game of modern technology, they couldn't protect their own people and they couldn't hide it any more. >> gorbachev's biggest challenge was how to get the country moving again, and in order to do that, he needed to end the arms race, spend more money on improving living standards of ordinary people. for that he needed a relaxation
of tension with the west. >> iceland? >> that's what i was here to tell you about. yeah. well, i am pleased to announce general secretary gorbachev and i will meet in iceland. meeting proposed by general secretary gorbachev and i accepted. >> no agreements at the meeting next week? >> i don't know. all we've agreed upon is we're having a meeting. >> gorbachev needs a show of progress overseas to boost his stature in moscow. the irony will be that when reagan, leader of the free world, meets gorbachev, the autocrat, it will be gorbachev that most needs the publicity back at home. i used to ask if you could
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and while some may say the desert is desolate... we prefer secluded. what is the desert? it's absolutely what you need right now. absolutely scottsdale. the feeling was we didn't have to prepare all that much. according to everything we knew, it would be howdy, hello, handshake. turned out to be anything but that. after the first morning when reagan and gorbachev met, we were called into the embassy which was right nearby.
reagan says gorbachev really wants to reduce nuclear weapons, so he hands a piece of paper to no one in particular. all of us kind of grab it, looked it over, and it was a holy cow moment. this guy really wants to reduce nuclear weapons. here's a soviet leader not goi by the script, here's a guy that wanted to do business. >> the first indication that some progress may have been made at today's talks came at a white house briefing a few minutes ago. there's no prediction yet on the outcome of the talks, but they give rise to some optimism. >> i was up there as the clock was ticking down. they had worked and worked and worked on an arms control agreement and at the last minute it fell apart. >> mr. president. >> do you have an agreement, mr. president? >> do we have an agreement, sir? >> will you meet again? >> when i saw reagan come out of
the room with gorbachev, his face was a mask of rage. gorbachev was stiff, the guy beside me said i don't like the body language. >> president reagan, secretary gorbachev appear to have reached tentative agreement on much of a historic breakthrough arms reduction arrangement. but in the end, the soviets insist that president reagan must drop his "star wars" program to get the deal. president reagan wouldn't do that. >> the soviets feared that sdi was more real, that this could really protect the united states. it wasn't mutually assured destruction at that point, it was assured destruction of the soviet union but assured protection of the united states. so they went crazy. >> insisted until the end on retaining for the united states the right to test things
relating to sdi. it would have tan a madman to accept that. >> inside the united states there is astonishment and beyond that fear of what reagan talked about doing, banning nuclear weapons. >> he moved to sign a deal with the soviets, was criticized by president nixon and kissinger. they said it would be a profound mistake to eliminate all medium range missiles in europe. >> many conservatives thought reagan had been charmed by gorbachev, and reagan had more problem dealing with his hard right than he did the left. so reagan had to constantly let the right know i know what i'm doing. >> reagan was being accused already of getting soft on communism, but he hadn't forgotten the problems we have. europe was still divided, there was still a berlin wall. >> there's one sign the soviets
can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. mr. gorbachev, open this gate. mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. >> it was perfect. it was beautiful. he had to insist on keeping it in the speech. and he did it. don't let anybody tell you it was a staffer or anybody else that did that. >> meanwhile, in the soviet union gorbachev decides to do something bold and he says let's separate sdi from reducing the nuclear stockpile. once he does this, it opens up the possibility for a third summit. >> this week's summit may prove especially important, even historic. for the first time since the onset of the nuclear age, the united states and soviet union will sign a treaty reducing the
number of nuclear missiles. >> it involved elimination of an entire class of weapons, intermediate range ballistic missiles. it changes, it went from arms control to arms reduction. you're now getting rid of nuclear weapons. >> some say he is too anxious to ensure his place in history books as peace maker. >> well, i haven't changed from the time i made a speech about an evil empire, and i think i could sum up my own position with recitation of a very brief russian proverb. "doveryay, no proveryay." it means trust but verify. ♪ the importance of this treaty
transcends numbers. we have listened to the wisdom in an old russian maxim. doveryay, no proveryay. trust but verify. >> you repeat that at every meeting. i like it. >> the improbability of either of them, reagan cold war hawk, gorbachev, the party guy, doing this is unheard of and they did it. >> reagan had been in a low in 1987 with iran contra, many americans didn't like him, trust him. negotiations the soviet union in many ways saved his presidency. >> mr. gorbachev may not have seen much of america, but he certainly made sure a lot of americans saw him. motorcades don't often turn heads in a city. when they stop on a dime, so
does everyone else. >> i want to say hello to you. >> that was very special. he didn't have to do it. he did it. i am surprised and pleased. >> what do you think of gorbachev? >> the guy is a pr genius. jumping out of the car like that. unbelievable. >> congressional leaders say they gave president reagan a round of applause on the morning after the summit meeting, but there was caution against euphoria. >> everybody applauded when the president came in. >> the president said gorbachev is a different leader, he no longer wants world domination. do you agree? >> it is one thing to sign the imf agreement, something else to follow through on other areas. i still don't trust him. not a c, but i'm calling about that credit scorecard. give it. sure! it's free for everyone. oh! well that's nice! and checking your score won't hurt your credit. oh! i'm so proud of you. well thank you. free at at discover.com/creditscorecard, even if you're not a customer.
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>> because of afghanistan, communism was no longer affordable. the idea of promoting your ideology around the world, defending its interests became too expensive. >> white house officials are thrilled at the idea that when the president arrives in moscow for a summit with gorbachev in late may, it appears the soviets will have begun their pullout from afghanistan. ♪ >> ronald reagan built his career saying communism is evil, and the notion that five years after his evil empire speech, ronald reagan lands in moscow and is welcomed and greeted is mind blowing. >> just about like every other american tourist that comes to moscow, president reagan today toured red square, which is the
historic center of the capital. he had the best possible tour guide, gorbachev. >> so friendly, president reagan threw his arm around gorbachev, at another point completely took back his evil empire pronouncement. >> you still think you're in an evil empire, mr. president? >> no. >> why not? >> i was talking about another time, another era. >> the war monger is saying the cold war looks like it is coming to an end. >> freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority or government has a monopoly on the truth. it is the right to put forth an idea, scoffed at by the experts, and watch it catch fire among the people. >> in gorbachev's soviet union, food has become even harder to get. once there was a selection, maybe two or three cheeses. now there's only one. there's a dangerous undertone to
complaints. we ate better they say in the days of brezhnev. >> there was stress in the soviet system because they were trying to change it to a system that was unchangeable and unable to adapt to a modern world. gorbachev thought the united states is so far ahead of him, the soviet system is so far behind, we need to accelerate the reforms. >> today i can report to you that the soviet union has taken decision to reduce its armed forces. within the next two years their numerical strength will be reduced by 500,000 men. numbers of conventional armaments will be substantially reduced. >> gorbachev was relaxing the soviet grip on eastern europe. they didn't have much choice on this because they couldn't bail out the eastern european economies. what were they going to do? >> the impact in the united
states is that finally the critics of reagan, this is in the final month of his presidency acknowledge that things are fundamentally changing. >> in china, the change in democracy was the issue. more than 100,000 defy the government, took to the streets demanding democratic reform. >> in beijing, demonstrations grow and grow and grow to the point they reach a couple of million people. in the middle of all of this, in comes gorbachev. this is going to be a visit in which the chinese communist party hopes to improve relations with the soviets. >> as the sun rose, it was clear the chinese students' protest is gaining strength and urgency. students are dropping from exhaustion, some vowing to die if necessary. >> the chinese leadership didn't know what to do, but recognized
they couldn't reform the way they were being pushed to reform. they couldn't allow this challenge to their authority. >> the soviet leader largely ducked questions on the chinese student issue. i cannot be the judge, he said. >> in china, the government declared marshall law in beijing, ominously journalists face restrictions that amount to a news blackout. >> there's chaos in tiananmen square. there are bodies all over the place. there's no way to ascertain how many have been killed or wounded. >> china is now restored into a deeply repressive leninist regime. it is a question, what will gorbachev's attitude be toward people that want to change the communist system?
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victory is sweet. the numbers are overwhelming. in a dramatic announcement, the government conceded. defeat. promised continued reforms. >> stupendous first time it ever happened in eastern european communist history and this was contagious. >> one of our producers from primetime live went into east germany posing as a tourist. took a home video camera, went to leipzig and he found an incredible scene there. >> in east germany, you see a series of demonstrations for change and the question becomes, are these demonstrations going to be repressed and wiped out? what is gorbachev going to do? >> this was the show of mikhail gorbachev's show and tell day. eric honn eker at military
parade through the heart of east berlin. he preached reform and offered a gorbachev proverb. those being late, he said, will be punished by life itself. >> gorbachev felt he could put a happy face on socialism, that he could modify it. but the freedom genie got out of the bottle and couldn't get it back in. >> the time has run out for honecker. leader of east germany. he resigned today. the official reason given was poor health. political unrest made the change inevitable. >> the people have their government on the run. today, in the bid to convince people that he's serious about reform, the easterman leader, who has had the job for less convince all of the members of the government he inheritethey the question is this, what next? >> the pressure on the east german government was getting enormous. and as part of the kind of package to present themselves as human, there had been a resolution passed which is going
to introduce new rules about immigration. he went to this press conference, he hadn't been at the meeting so didn't know what was in it. he said, here's something i can tell you. the biggest administrative error in history. [ speaking german ] >> when the east german government opened the window a little bit and said, well, if you want to move from east germany into west germany, you may, that's all people needed to hear.
>> history turns on these magnificent little pivots. there are border guards who could have fired at these first people but they didn't. instead of firing on those who were coming close to the wall, instead of firing on them, they just let them do it. [cheers and applause ] ♪ >> it was the sort of news that defies the possibility of a headline. what we know is that we are standing in attendance at a moment in history as you look now at the berlin wall.
>> we didn't really anticipate that the wall would come down like that but so much pent up emotion and so much of the desire for freedom that it just overwhelmed them but it wasn't anticipated. it was a surprise. >> our joy wasuswatching germans roll through that wall and knock it down and start making souvenir slices and it was a truly exciting night because we had wanted this for 40 years and now it's happening. >> the long-time communist leader of bulgaria suddenly and surprisingly today announced his resignation. >> it turns out that these regimes are more brittle than gorbachev understood and they couldn't find many gorbachevs. he tried to encourage people like him to rise to the fore in these countries. they weren't successful. >> had gorbachev decided to use force, this whole scenario would
have been totally different and, furthermore, the cold war might have ended in a far different way. it might have ended with a bang and not with a whimper. >> how can one sum up what we've gone through in the last months? perhaps a concert. the conductor was leonard bernstein and they climaxed to "the ode de joy" except one word was changed, "ode to freedom." ♪ >> the playwright activist is the first noncommunist party in -- president in 41 years.
>> deposed despot were executed after military court found them guilty of genocide, stealing state funds and trying to escape prosecution. >> from our point of view, there was no argument about the most remarkable story of the decade. freedom. in some cases, freedom which had been unthinkable as the decade began. root cover up. unexpected situation? 3 seconds to flawless roots. 3
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♪ it's a time of enormous turmoil. >> '60s are over. >> here's michael at the foul line. good! >> we intend to cover all the news all the time. we won't be signing off until the world ends. >> isn't that special. >> any tool for human expression will bring out both the best and worst in us. and television has been that. >> they don't pay me enough to deal with animals like this. >> people are no longer embarrasses to admit they watch television. >> we have seen the news, and it is us. ♪ ♪
was on any given evening, 9 out of 10 people watching only one of three networks. >> more than 30 million people are addicted to it. social critics are mystified by its success. what is it? it's television's primetime prairie pot boilers "dallas." >> a move like that will destroy all of ewing oil and ruin our family name. >> a thought like that never crossed my mind. >> brother or no brother, whatever it takes, i'll stop you from destroying ewing oil. >> "dallas" established new ground in a weekly hour-long show. literally captivated america for 13 years. >> "dallas" is a television show which is rooted in the 1970s and one of the crazy things that emerges is this character j.r. ewing as a pop phenomenon. >> tell me, j.r., which slut are you going to stay with tonight. >> what difference does it make? it's got to be more interesting than the slut i'm looking at right now. >> such a delicious villain. everyone was completely enamored by this character.
>> at this point, so many people were watching television that you could do something so unexpected that it would become news overnight. >> who's there? [ gunshots ] >> the national obsession in 1980 around who shot j.r. it's hard to imagine how obsessed we all were with that question. t we we. >> who shot j.r. is about as ideal a cliffhanger as you possibly could get. >> who did shoot j.r.? we may never get the answer to that question. the people who produce that's program are going to keep us in suspense as long as they possibly can. >> we shot j.r., then we broke for the summer. then the actors went on strike. it delayed the resolution, and it just started to percolate through the world. >> i remember going on vacation to england that summer and that's all that people were talking about there.
>> we know you don't die. you couldn't die. >> we don't know that. >> how could you die? you couldn't come back next season. >> i couldn't come back but the show could still go on. >> but you wouldn't. what is that show without j.r.? >> that's what i figure. >> i guess if you don't know by now who shot j.r., you probably do not care. last night some 82 million americans did. and they watched the much touted "dallas" episode." it could become the most watched television show ever. >> who shot j.r. is a reflect job of old-fashioned television. it gathers everybody around the electric fireplace which is now the television set. >> one special american television program. critics said it transcends in popularity ever other american statement about war. and something special happened today to mobile harmy surgical hospital 4077. that will touch millions of americans. it was the kind of event that would grab the world's breath. the end of the korean war.
the television version "m.a.s.h." >> it's been an honor and privilege to have worked with you. i'm very, very proud to have known you. >> there were those landmark times when shows that had been watched through the '70s and into the '80s, like "m.a.s.h." had its final episode. and we were all sad to see them go. >> i'll miss you. >> i'll miss you. a lot. >> all over the country, armies of fans crowded around television sets to watch the final episode and to bid "m.a.s.h." farewell. >> the finale of at m.a.s.h." was unprecedented. 123 million people watched one television program at the same time. >> i really should be allowed to go home. there's nothing wrong with me. >> when we ended the show, we got telegrams of congratulations from henry kissinger and ronald
reagan. the size of the response and the emotional nature of the response that we were getting was difficult for us to understand. >> who shot j.r. and the last episode of "m.a.s.h." are the last call for the pre-cable world of television. it's like they are the last time that that huge audience will all turn up for one event. >> all right. that's it. let's roll. hey. let's be careful out there. >> dispatch, we have a 911. armed robbery in progress. >> when quality does emerge on television, the phrase" too good for tv" is often heard. one recent network offering that's seems to deserve that phrase is "hill street blues." >> "hill street" is one of the changing points of the entire industry in the history of tv. >> we had all watched a
documentary about cops and had this real hand-held in the moment quality that we were very enamored of. >> the minute you looked at it, it looked different. it had a mood to it. you could almost smell the stale coffee. >> we didn't want to do a standard cop show where, you know, you have a crime and you have your two cops and you go out and tch the bad guy and you sweat him and he confesses, and that's it. cops have personal lives that impact their behavior in profound ways. >> is he here or elsewhere? >> don't get excited. we're working on it. >> how is this for logic. if he's not here, and if he's not elsewhere, he's lost. >> we didn't say that. >> you lost -- >> not lost. >> never in my entire life have i listened to so much incompetence covered up by so much unmitigated crap. find my client, or, i swear,
i'll have you up on charges. >> there would be these ongoing arcs for these characters that's would play out over five, six episodes, sometimes an entire season. and in a way for certain stories, over the entire series. and no one had really done that in an hour-long dramatic show. >> these past four months, i've missed you. i had to find that out. come on. >> in the past, people had watched television passively. and the one thing i think we did set out to be were provocateurs. >> you fill it out. >> what the hell is the matter with you, man? >> they don't pay me enough to deal with animals like thus. >> all they see is a white face and all they -- >> listen to me. it was a white man that pulled the trigger, not a black one. >> it set a trend. the audience can accept characters being deeply flawed
even though wearing this uniform. i thought that was important to finally get across. >> we wanted to make a show that made you participate. made you pay attention. and i think that worked pretty well. >> and the winner is -- >> "hill street blues." >> 21 nominations. and we went on to win eight emmys. it put us on the map, literally. that's when people finally checked us out. >> programming chief of one of the networks used to say to me about shows like "hill street" and "st. elsewhere" what's the american people want is a cheeseburger. what you are trying to give them is a french delicacy. and he said your job is to keep shoving it down their throat until after a while, they'll say, that's doesn't taste bad. and maybe they'll even order it themselves when they go to the restaurant. >> nice for you to join us. >> the success of "hill street blues" influenced everything
that came after. and then "st. elsewhere." >> you know what people call this? st. elsewhere. a place you wouldn't want to send your mother-in-law. >> when it first came on, it was promoted as "hill street hospital." >> you gave your patients the wrong antibiotics. don't know what medications they're on. you write the worst progress notes. you're pathetic. >> bill? >> what? >> dr. morning needs you right away. >> i'm sorry. >> "st. elsewhere" broke every rule there was and then built some new rules. >> blood bank called a little while ago. they ran a routine panel. t-cell count was off. >> they would have tragic things happen to these characters. there was real heartache in these people's lives and you really felt for them. >> i've got aids? >> television at its best is a mirror of society in the moment. >> "st. elsewhere" challenged people and challenged you as an actor, much less the audience to
think. the stuff they gave you was extreme in what they did, whether they were dealing with aids or having one of their main doctor characters raped in a prison. >> they tackled lots of difficult subjects. >> "st. elsewhere" was run by people trying to stretch the medium and in the '80s, television producers were encouraged to stretch the medium. >> clear. but then i realized there was. so, i finally broke the silence with my doctor about what i was experiencing. he said humira is for people like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened;
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a lot of people used to say, i was there. now people say, they watch it on television. >> a lot of excitement connected to sports in the '80s. you used to have to depend on the five minutes at the end of your local newscast. there just hadn't been enough. give us a whole network of sports. >> there's just one place you need to go for all the names and games making sports news. espn "sportscenter." >> what happened in the 1980s is sports becomes a tv show. and what are tv shows built around? characters. >> you can't be serious, man. you cannot be serious! you got the absolute -- >> mcenroe, the perfect villain. the new yorker that people loved to hate. the cool swede never giving any
emotion away. >> what tennis really wants is to get its two best players playing over and over again in the final. whether they are john mcenroe and bjorn borg or chrissy and navratilova. that's what we want to turn in over and over. >> three match points to martina navratilova. >> this man has a smile that lights up a television screen from here to bangor, maine. >> and that there is magic johnson, this urban kid from michigan and larry bird, this guy who worked carrying trash. one plays for the lakers. the other plays for the boston celtics. it's a great story. >> lakers had several chances. here's larry bird. >> magic johnson leads the attack. >> look at that pass. oh, what's a show! >> what a great play. >> what a show! >> when the championship games are in primetime and people are
paying attention to that, television feeds into those rivalries and makes them bigger than they've ever been before. >> primitive skill. they're just as good as dead. >> every mike tyson fight was an event. every fight was like an ax murder. when he fought michael spinks. the electricity, you could just feel it watching it on tv. tyson was made for tv because there was drama. >> it's all over. mike tyson has won it. >> not a lot of junior high school kids can dunk. especially at -- >> everybody tries. >> i think that he is starting to transcend his sport that he's becoming a public figure. >> michael jordan becomes the model every other athlete wants to shoot for. they want to be a brand. and that's what television does for these athletes. turns them into worldwide iconic brands. >> the inbounds pass comes in to jordan. michael at the foul line. good! the bulls win.
>> athletes in the '80s became part of an ongoing group of people we cared about. we had an enormous pent-up demand for sports and the '80s began to provide. thank goodness. cable television is continuing to grow. it's estimated will go into 1 million more u.s. households this year. >> with cable television offering an array of different channel choices, the audience bifurcated. that's an earthquake. >> i want my mtv! >> i want my mtv! >> i want my mtv! ♪ >> a new concept is born. the best of tv combined with the best of radio. this is it. welcome to mtv music television. the world's first 24-hour stereo video music channel. >> music television, what a concept. mtv was, pow, in your face. you were not going to turn us off.
>> mtv did nothing but play current music videos all day long. so let me get this straight. you turn on the tv, and it's like the radio? >> i'm martha quinn, the music will continue nonstop on mtv music television's newest component of your stereo system. >> when mtv launched a generation was launched. 18 to 24-year-olds were saying, i wantmtv. i want my mtv videos. i want my mtv fashion. >> yo. >> mtv was the first network really focused on the youth market. and becomes hugely influential because they understand each other. the audience and the network. >> mtv had a giant impact. visually and musically on every part of the tv culture that came next. >> freeze, miami vice. ♪ >> friday nights on nbc are different this season thanks to "miami vice." it's a show with an old theme but a lot of new twists. described by one critic as containing flashes of
brilliance, shot entirely on location in south miami, the story centers around two undercover vice cops. >> i don't know how this is going to work, tubbs. i mean, not exactly up my alley style and persona-wise. heaven knows i'm no box of candy. >> television very much was the small screen. it was interesting about tony's pilot screen play for "miami vice." it was not that. very much the approach was, okay, they call this a television series. but we're going to make one-hour movies every single week. >> here we go. stand by. >> action. >> police. >> just describing the show as a new wave cop show. >> it's a cop show for the '80s. we use a lot of mtv images and rock music to help describe the mood and feeling of our show. >> in a lot of ways you don't get "miami vice" without mtv because in a lot of ways "miami vice" was a long video. the music was such a big part of that show.
>> there was an allure to using great music that everybody was listening to as opposed to the routine kind of tv scoring of that period. ♪ i can feeling coming in the air ♪ >> it was only not afraid to let long scenes play out. it would drag -- a car going from point a to point b could be a four-minute phil collins song. and it was. ♪ >> being able to take a television series like "miami vice" and let's rock 'n' roll with this until somebody says stop or are you guys crazy, you can't do that. >> freeze!did. police. the highly advanced audi a4, with class-leading horsepower.
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♪ thomas magnum? >> hammond? >> private investigator? >> oh, you are probably wondering about the goat. just let me drop off my friend, and then we'll talk. >> when we entered the '80s, a lot of of one hour dramas that were lighthearted like "magnum p.i." were very popular. after "m.a.s.h." went off the air, the next season there wasn't a single sitcom in the
top ten. first time that had ever happened in tv history. the prevailing feeling was that the sitcom was dead. >> brandon tartikoff, nbc programming chief, says reports of the sitcom's death were greatly exaggerated. >> time and time again, if you study television history, just when someone is counting a form out, that's exactly the form of programming that's leads to the next big hit. ♪ >> 1984 "the cosby show" comes on. bill cosby is not new to tv but "the cosby show" is different. stands apart from everything else he's done. >> i wanted my scrambled. >> coming up. >> they talked about parenting. previous to that on television the kids were cool and the parents were idiots. "cosby" says the parents are in charge and that was something new. >> instead of acting disappointed because i'm not
like you, maybe you can just accept who i am and love me anyway because i'm your son. >> that's the dumbest thing i've ever heard in my life! >> it helps the casting a lot in television. the kids were just great. >> if you were the last person on this earth, i still wouldn't tell you. >> you have to tell me what you did. ju tell me what's they're going to do to you. >> unlike every other show on tv, it's showing an upper middle class black family. this wasn't "all in the family." they weren't tackling deep issues but that was okay. the mere fact they existed was a deep issue. >> the decade was waiting for something real. in other words, unless it's real, it doesn't seem like it moves anybody. if someone is feeling something, you get to the heart and the mind. if you can hit the hearts and minds, you've got yourself a hit. >> how was school? >> school? dear, i brought home two
children that may or may not be ours. >> "the cosby show" brought this tremendous audience to nbc. and that was a bridge to us. our ratings went way up. ♪ sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name ♪ >> even the theme song to "cheers" puts you in a good mood. >> hello, everybody. >> what's shaking, norm? >> all four cheeks and a couple of chins, coach. >> by the end of the "cheers" pilot, not only did you know who everybody was, but you wanted to come back and see what was going to happen. it's like all you have to do is watch it once. you're going to love these people. these are universal characters, and the humor worked on so many levels. >> i was up until 2:00 in the morning finishing off kierkegaard. >> i hope he thanked you for it. >> you have to create a community that people are
identifying with. and "cheers" gives you that community. >> i've always wanted to skydive. i've just never had the guts. >> what did it feel like? >> i imagine a lot like sex. not that i have to imagine what sex is like. i have plenty of sex and plenty of this too. and plenty of this, too. why don't you just get off my back, too. >> in the first episode, there was a rather passionate annoyance. something is going on here. a really intelligent woman would see your line of bs a mile away. >> i never met an intelligent woman that i would want to date. >> on behalf of the intelligent women around the world, may i just say, phew. >> you saw what ted and shelly had together. we said, oh, no. we've got to do this relationship. >> ted and i understood what they were writing right away. >> if you'll admit that you are
carrying a little torch for me, i'll admit that i'm carrying a little one for you. >> oh, i am carrying a little torch for you. >> well, i'm not carrying one for you. >> diane knew how to tease sam. sam kn how to tease diane, and i guess we know how to tease the audience. >> incredible chemistry between the two of them ignited the show. that's what's drove the show for the first five years. >> what's the matter? >> i'm devastated. i need something brutal to numb my sensitives and blast me into sweet oblivion. make it a mimosa. >> we had the luck to be able to rotate cast and every time we put somebody in, they were explosions. >> there was something very special about that setting, those characters that i never
got tired of writing that show. >> sophisticated surveys, telephonic samplings, test audiences. all of those help to separate winners from losers and make midcourse corrections. you can't cut all comedies from the same cookie cutters. all you can hope is every night turns out like thursday. >> yo, angela! >> next. >> how rude. >> quick, i'll give him that. >> all of television said oh, well, maybe sitcoms are alive again. and that's all that it took. it took one success. >> a few years from now, something new may tempt the people that pick what we see. it's a very safe guess whatever gets hot for a season or two those who create good television comedy will be laughing all the way to the bank. oh, did i say there's only one special edition? because, actually there's 5. aaaahh!! ooohh!! uh!
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♪ this is my last broadcast as the anchorman of the "cbs evening news." for me it's a moment for which i long have planned but which nevertheless comes with some sadness. for almost two decades, after all, we've been meeting like this in the evenings, and i'll miss that. and that's the way it is, friday, march 6th, 1981.
i'll be away on assignment and dan rather will be sitting in here for the next few years. good night. >> uncle walter had donad, certainly cbs, but in a way, the country. people used to say he was the most trusted man in the country. >> once walter cronkite retires, all three network news anchors within a couple of years switch over to a new generation. the '80s may have been the last gasp where people liked and trusted the media. >> nuclear arms and how to prevent global destruction expected to be the major topic of president reagan's news conference tonight. that conference will be nationally televised within the hour. leslie stahl is at the white house. >> the white house is hoping -- >> in the '80s, women came into the newsroom. when i first joined, it was '72. there are very few. by the '80s, there were more and more. the decade of the '80s was still sink or swim. you had to be resilient in your own way to survive in a period
when you were going up against a lot of people who still didn't think women had what it took. >> these are some of the most famous faces in broadcasting. all of them happen to be women. >> the best producers, i'm going to get fired -- the best producers at cbs news are women. and they're at the level of taking hold and making decisions about individual pieces. they are not yet executive producers of all the news shows. but they will be. >> the past 24 hours, christine craft has taken her cause to many of the nation's news and talk programs. >> i didn't set out to be joan of ark, but i think what happened to me deserves some attention. >> reporter: christine craft had a very successful career but there she was in her late 30s and the tv station said to her, we're taking you off the air because you've gotten older and you aren't as attractive as you once were, which was outrageous. she decides to make an issue of it. she filed a lawsuit and it became a huge national topic of discussion. >> a jury said she got a raw
deal because she is a woman. >> women in television news everywhere were asked, what do you think about christine craft. >> unfortunately in recent years the emphasis has been on physical appearance and to the extent this decision helped swing the emphasis back to substance and to good journalism. i think we've got something to be happy about. >> it was important to make the point that what mattered was, what's kind of reporter are you? it took the christine craft incident, i think, to bring that conversation out into the open. >> this coming sunday, a new television network opens for business. cnn. cable news network. you are throwing all the dice on this one. >> why not? nothing ventured, nothing gained. faint heart never won fair lady. >> well, on that original point, mr. turner, thank you very much, indeed. >> i wanted to see what was going on in the world. and it was no way that you could do it watching regular television stations. news only comes on at 6:00 and 10:00. but if there was news on 24
hours, people could watch it any time. >> we decided on june 1 and barring satellite problems in the future, we won't be signing off until the world ends. >> it was widely believed it was a fool's errand. how could this possibly find an audience? >> well, he did. >> camera three. >> good evening. i'm david walker. >> i'm lois harp. here's the news. >> television news before this was stuff that had already happened. for the first time, cnn brought the world to people in realtime. >> cnn, the world's most important network. >> i didn't do cable news network because somebody told me it couldn't be done. i figured it was a very viable concept, and i went ahead and did it. it was after we announced we were going to do it that the detractors showed up. >> is cable news network just going to be a new means of delivering the same kind of fare? >> no. it already does provide
different fare. cable news network is a perfect and maybe the best example of that. >> people love news. and we had lots of it. and the other guys had not very much. so choice and quantity won out. >> new york city, hello. >> the major catastrophe in america's space program. >> i am lou dobbs along with financial editor, myron kandel. >> jessica mcclure trapped for almost three days now in a dry art easian well. >> the iron curtain between east germany and west berlin has come tumbling down. >> i'm pat buchanan, the conservative on "crossfire." >> the american people appreciated the new television. they certainly came to cnn in droves. >> mr. gorbachev and i both agree on the desirability of freer and more extensive personal contact between the peoples of the soviet union and the united states. >> we began to realize that the best way to get a message to a foreign leader was to have the president go in the rose garden
and make a statement. because everybody was watching cnn. >> cnn was a breakthrough. it changed the whole world. >> it changed quickly. the network news business. that business that we weren't the only ones. and it was hard. it's hard to be on the top little perch and have to come down off it. >> a special segment tonight, the network news. the first in a two-part series on the profound changes taking place in television news. changes being brought about by business, competition and technology. >> there were a variety of reasons why people who worked at the broadcast networks were freaked out in 1980s. one of them was cnn. and the rise of cable. another was being taken over by foreign entities in corporate america. >> new owners spend billions buying the networks recently, and all of them want their money's worth. >> people began to find out that news could be a profit center. and that focused a lot of attention on us. a lot from people in wall
street, for instance. >> if you think about the news divisions of cbs, nbc and abc, they were part of a really proud tradition. a journalistic tradition that really matters. we serve the public. this is not about profit and loss. the people who worked at those news stations were very freaked out by what it meant they were now owned by these larger corpate entities. >> the television news isn't profitable asome pnt there won't be any more television news on the networks. >> i worry about people only worried about money and power getting a hold of television. it has higher purposes than that. >> we have seen the news, and it is us. are you getting this? these numbers are off the charts... sir! what's the status? there's a meteor hurtling towards earth. how long until impact? less than a minute. what do you want to do, sir? listen carefully... if we all switch to geico we could save 15% or more on car insurance.
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♪ sometimes ambition in a woman is considered to be a dirty word unfortunately. >> i don't hear the female voices reverberating in the halls of power in this business. >> i'm surprised aren't more shows about women talking about who they are. >> it seems to be an area almost impossible to break through. >> i think the '80s were the era when women were being looked at. with a little skepticism, but definitely with more acceptability. you could see the door opening. but it wasn't wide open.
>> "cagney & lacey" was huge. that there would be two women and they had a serious job and they solved crimes and were out on the streets and tough. that was emblematic or ot in front of what was happening in the country. >> so we're a terrific team. >> this is true. >> by that point, hundreds of buddy cop shows. these buddies were women. it had never been done before. >> i didn't go after this job because i couldn't find anything else. all right. i did not come here because i needed some kind of work to help pay the orthodontist. this means something to me. >> what the hell are we talking about here? >> we didn't even realize this was going to be such a big deal. and strangely, all these guys would say to us, well, yeah. i mean, it's a good script, but who is going to save them in the end? >> come on. we're getting out of here. >> where are you taking my wife?
>> you don't take one more step. >> sergeant nelson, you have until 8:00 tomorrow morning to turn yourself in. if you don't, i will. >> it was the time where you really saw an emergence of women on television who were not necessarily just 20 and blond and had a small role. but women who had substantial roles. ♪ thank you for being a friend ♪ traveled down the road and back again ♪ >> it was unpredictable that an audience, a young audience, a not so young audience and lots in between, could relate to those older ladies. >> ma, you couldn't see, why didn't you call me to come get you? >> i tried to. every time i put in a dime and dialed, a condom popped out. i got five in my pocket. here, dorothy. a lifetime supply.
>> she's was recently named along with norman lear and jim brooks as one of television's most gifted creative writers. when you look back at the past women's role models on tv, it's easy to see susan harris' impact. >> susan harris was the greatest writer of her generation at that time, singularly. so all credit to her for coming up with so many iterations of something so amazing. >> do you think there is a woman's voice as a writer? >> woman's vce? they generally speak higher. softer. >> i should know not to ask that of a writer. >> yes, of course, there's a woman's voice. women have a different perspective. women laugh at different things. so, yes, there very definitely is a woman's voice. >> oh, do you know how many problems we have solved over a cheesecake at this kitchen table? >> no, dorothy. exactly how many. >> 147, blanche. >> cut-throat primetime time this fall as some 23 new shows compete in one of the hottest ratings races in years.
>> here's one just about everybody predicts will be a big hit. "designing women". >> if sex were fast food there would be an arch over your bed. >> thomasson created one of the funniest most unusual shows in "designing women" they were a different group of women than you saw on television. feisty, sexy, and linda's voice came through shining. >> men can get away with anything. look at reagan's neck. it sags down to here. everybody raves about how good he looks. imagine if nancy had that neck. be putting her into a nursing home for a turkey. >> they've given me 23 minutes
to address whatever topic i want. it's such a privilege, more than the president of the united states gets. thrilling to have that every week. be lying if i said i didn't put opinions in the show. >> lovely ladies look like you're in need of male companionship. >> trust me when i tell you you completely misassessed the situation at this table. >> i'm a woman and a writer but don't enjoy being called a woman's writer. labels are harmful to us. >> with "murphy brown" everything seemed new. civil rights movement and women's movement just get shown in the '80s. >> you know it's for us on. >> something you've got and i
don't, a tiny, pathetic, little y chromosome. >> it was a sea change. because she was so popular and such a strong independent tough woman. >> no matter what you think of guest or their views, obligated to act in professional manner. >> he thinks it's neat his office chair swivels and calling me unprofessional. be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses.
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imy moderate to severeng crohn's disease. i didn't think there was anything else to talk about. but then i realized there was. so, i finally broke the silence with my doctor about what i was experiencing. he said humira is for people like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactio, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. if you're still just managing your symptoms, talk with your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible.
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>> and the tide is turning in terms of where late-night television is going to go and johnny was holding out and he was not of his time in the '80s but he did sustain a certain timelessness. he's the king. [ laughter ] >> he's just playing. >> playing my [ bleep ]. >> my next guest not only has a college degree, but he also has a high school degree. >> that is right, i do. >> as well. he's hosted the tonight show as long as johnny carson and now he has his very own show, weekday mornings at 10:00 on nbc. [ laughter ] >> witnessing here is a good idea. fun-filled surprise turning into