tv The Eighties CNN July 15, 2017 9:00pm-11:00pm PDT
this is the brilliance of the show. i say always keep them running. all the time running, run. run. run, yasmine, run like the wind. 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 the worst in us, and television has been there. >> they don't pay me enough to deal with animals like this. >> people are no longer ep embarrassed to admit they watch television. >> we have seen the news, and it is us. ♪television.
>> as you begin the '80s in the television world, the landscape was on any given evening, nine out of ten 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 boiler "dallas." >> a move like that will destroy all of ewing oil, and it will 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 terms of a weekly one-hour show that 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?
whoever it has got to be more interesting than the slut i'm looking at right now. >> he was 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. but we were. >> 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 you program are going to keep us in suspense as long as they possibly can. >> who shot j.r. and then we broke for the summer. then coincidentally, the actors went on strike.
and 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 note 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.? >> well, 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 reflection of old-fashioned television. it's a moment that gathers everybody around the electronic fireplace, which is now the television set. >> one special american television program. critics said it transcends in popularity every other american statement about war.
something happened today to 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 a 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 m.a.s.h. was unprecedent 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 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 got a crime and you got your two cops and you go out and you catch 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. >> well, what about it? 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 -- >> 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 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. come home, pizza man. >> i think 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? >> i'll tell you something, they don't pay me enough to deal with animals like this. all they see is a white face and all they -- >> listen to me.
it was a white finger that pulled the trigger, not a black one. >> it set a trend. the audience can accept characters being deeply flawed even though they are wearing this uniform. i thought that was important to finally get across. >> don't do it. no biting. >> 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." >> we got 21 nominations and we went on to win eight emmys and 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 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 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's came after. and then of course, you saw shows like "st. elsewhere." >> do you know what people call this place? st. elsewhere. a place you wouldn't want to send your mother-in-law. >> when it first came on, it was actually promoted as "hill street hospital." >> you gave your patients the wrong antibiotics. you 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. >> bobby, the blood bank called a little while ago. they ran a routine panel on than pint of blood. the 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 who were trying to stretch the medium and in the '80s, television producers were encouraged to stretch the medium. >> okay, clear. whoa! you're not taking these. hey, hey, hey! you're not taking those. whoa, whoa! you're not taking that. come with me. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. mom, i'm taking the subaru. don't be late. even when we're not there to keep them safe, our subaru outback will be.
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>> there were a lot of people used to say, i was there. now people say, they watch it on television. >> there's just 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? they're 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 born borg or chris everest and martina 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 then there is magic johnson, this urban kid from michigan, and larry bird this guy who worked carrying trash. one plays for the los angeles 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! >> 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. >> what primitive skill. they're just as good as dead. >> every mike tyson fight was an event because every fight was like an ax murder. when he fought michael spinks. the electricity, you could just feel it on tv. >> there he goes. >> tyson was made for tv because there was drama. >> 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 something of 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.
here's michael at the foul line. a shot. good! the bulls win. >> athletes in the '80s became part of an ongoing group of people that 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 that it will grow 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. the music will continue nonstop on mtv music television, the newest component of your stereo system. >> when mtv launched, a generation was launched. 18 to 24-year-olds were saying, i want my mtv. 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, you're not exactly up my alley style and per season nan 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. >> you were just describing the show as sort of 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 feel it coming in the air tonight ♪ >> not only was it 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. you know, 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, and nobody ever did. >> freeze! police. ♪
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just let me drop off my friend, and then we'll talk. >> when we entered the '80s, a lost one-hour dramas that were light-hearted 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 forum out, that's exactly the form of programming that's leads to the next big hit.m 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 he's had other tv shows. but "the cosby show" is very
different. it stands apart from everything else he's done. >> mom, i wanted my eggs scrambled. >> coming up. >> they talked about parenting. before that, the kid 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. just 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. >> evening, 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. >> i have to imagine what sex is like. but i have plenty of sex. and plenty of this, too. why don't you just get off my back, okay? >> 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. >> we saw what ted and shelley 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 knew 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 expeditious and brute to number my
sensibilities and blast me into sweet oh livon. 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 things help to separate winners from losers and make mid course 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. >> he's quick. i'll give him that. >> all television said, oh, well, maybe the sit-coms 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.
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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 dominated, 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 period of a couple of years switch over to a new generation. the '80s may have been the last gasp where people watching the immediate 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 were very few. by the '80s, there were more and
more. the decade of the '80s was still a time 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 whom 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're not as attractive as you
once were, which was outrageous and she decided 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. >> i think unfortunately in recent years, the emphasis has been increasingly 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 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 one 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 there was no way that you could do it watching an the 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 a wide belief this was a fool's errand. how could this possibly find an audience? >> well, he did. >> ready camera three. >> good evening. i'm david walker. >> i'm lois harp. now 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 finish editor myon kandel. >> jessica mcclure trapped for almost three days now in a dry ar teasion 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. >> on 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 the 1980s. one of them was cnn. and the rise of cable. another was being taken over by foreign entities in corporate america. >> new owners spent 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 divisions were totally freaked out by what it meant that they were now owned by these larger corporate entities. >> if the television news isn't profitable at some point 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. i take pictures of sunrises, but with my back pain i couldn't sleep and get up in time. then i found aleve pm. aleve pm is the only one to combine a safe sleep aid plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am.
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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 and 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 they were tough. that was emblematic or maybe out in front of what was happening in the country. >> so we're a terrific team. >> there had been 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. >> i'm taking my wife. >> you don't take one more step. understand me? >> 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, if 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 was recently named as one along with norman leer and jim brooks as one of television's most lifted creative writers. when you look back at the past women's role models on tv, it's easy to see susan harris' impact. >> singularly. all credit to her for coming up with so many iterations of something so amazing. >> do you think there's a woman's voice as a writer? >> generally they speak higher, softer. yes, of course, there's a woman's voice. women have a different perspective. women laugh at different things.
>> do you know how many problems we have solved over a cheesecake at this kitchen table? >> no, dorothy. exactly how many? >> 147, rose. >> there are 23 new shows competing for one of the hottest races. here's one everybody predicts will be a big hit. designing women on cbs. four friends forming an interior decorating business and giving each other the business. >> suzanne, if sex were fast food, there would be an arch over your bed. >> linda created one of the funniest, most unusual show in "designing women." they were a different group of women than you really saw on television. they were feisty. they were sexy. linda's voice came through shining. >> men can get away with anything. i mean, look at reagan's neck. it sags down to here.
everybody reagans about how great he looks. can you imagine nancy had that neck? i mean, putting her in a nursing home for turkey. >> it's such a privilege more than the president much the united states gets, and it's kind of thrilling to have that every week. i would be lying if i said i didn't put my opinions in the show. >> excuse me, but lovely ladies look like you're in need of male companionship here. >> trust me when i tell you that you have completely misassessed the situation at this table. >> moving on to scene d. >> i am a woman, and i am a writer, but i don't really enjoy being called a woman's writer. i think labels are harmful to us. >> with murphy brown, everything about that program felt new. for civil rights movement and the woman's movement, had just begun to sort of be reflected.
>> it has to do with something you have and i don't. a tiny pathetic, little y chromoso chromosome. >> murphy brown was so popular and such a strong independent, tough woman. >> no matter what you think of a guest or their views, you are obligated to ask the questions in a dignified manner. she was unprofessional. am i right? >> well, i did. >> do you believe this, jim. he thinks it's neat his office chair swivels, and he is calling me unprofessional. because i get a safe driving bonus check every six months i'm accident free. because i don't use my cellphone when i'm driving. even though my family does, and leaves me all alone.
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>> you are in a good mood tonight. i tell you, we have put a great show together. it will be on a week from thursday. >> johnny carson in the 1980s is making the transition from -- he was a throwback to that old show biz stuff. >> i haven't been on with you for some time. >> you have been busy with other things. >> the tooird id tide is
starting to turn. johnny is kind of holding out. he was not necessarily of his time in the 1980s, but he did sustain a certain timelessness. he is the king. >> he is just playing. >> playing? >> my next guest not only has a college degree, but he also has a high school degree. >> that's right, i do. >> as well. he has hosted the tonight show practically as often as johnny carson, and now he has his very own show. week day mornings at 10:00 on nbc. >> what you are witnessing is a good idea gone awry. a fun-filled surprise turning into an incredible screw-up right here. >> david letterman originally had a one-hour daytime show, and nbc after, like, 13 weeks
decided to cancel it. >> today is our last show on the air. monday las vegas. [ booing ] have these people been frisked? >> it was a dismal failure in terms of ratings, but not in terms of introducing us to letterman. >> david, thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> in spite of all this nonsense that goes around in the background, stay with it. don't give up. stay with us here in new york. >> dave is back in new york. you are going to post a late night television program that premiers monday night. what are critics likely to say tuesday morning? >> i don't much care because i found a way to deal with that. pills and whiskey. >>. >> just enjoying listening to you snort. >> they gave him the late night show after the tonight show, and at the time people thought who
is going to watch television at 12:30 at night? who is up. i tell you who is up. young people wrrks college people. >> is it going well? i know this is the fist show, and this guy needs a little support. >> he was anti-establishment at his core. he was thumbing his nose to any existing social structures. >> who are those women, by the way? >> neighbors. >> hey. >> excuse me. >> he spoofed the whole notion of talk shows. >> it's the late night guest cam. please say hello to tom hanks. >> there he is. >> we can get in the two shot here today. we can actually send the crew home. >> as a comedian, you want the
biggest audience that you can get. for dave he knew a lot of things that he would do were going to alienate people. he didn't care. he wanted his thumbprint out there, and that's the most important thing. >> do you have any accompanying music here for small town news. paul shafer, everybody. >> the foe make fun of itself and turning itself inside out. it was something kind of new. >> don't we look like guys that you would see hanging around together? boo like to hang around with me? >> nope. >> how are you doing? >> i'll say it again. this is the stupidest show i have ever -- >> i thought that i would never want to do this show with you. >> now, why? because you thought i was -- >> [ bleep ].
>> is there any way i can get mtv? >> that's just a monitor, and all can you get on that is our show. >> oh. that's okay. >> there was a degree of cynicism that was needed in the art form at that time, and it's a cynicism that just became commonsense after a while. it never got old. >> i have watched johnny carson, and you are no johnny carson. >> the toronto one is the one that fueled the sc tv series which originally was isn't
indicated and got to the states that way. >> ceasar, hail. >> thank you very much. i particularly want to thank my supporters over there in the caesarean section. >> it's healthy to be an outsider. you know, as a comedian and canadians are always outsiders, but they're looking at the other culture, which is right next door to them. >> i want to bear your children. >> it was the type of comedy that had only been accessible if you could have gotten into the improvince clubs in chicago or toronto. >> it was far more conceptual in its humor because it didn't have to be performed in front of an audience. there was also just the idea that it was this sort of low rent thing. it was sort of by the seat of
their pants kind of operation that gave it an authenticity. >> now that our programming day has been extended, i'm going to be spending -- >> where do you want me to put the kilbasa. >> put it in the frig. >> you were rooting for the show and the characters that they created. there was just something that you got behind. >> snl through the 1980s was a big enterprise. >> lorne decided to leave, and so did those close to him. including me, al franken. >> nbc had to pick a new producer. most knowledgeable people, as you might imagine, hoped it would be me, al franken. >> well, it was a real question of whether saturday night live would continue at all. or whether it would just die. >> the press hasn't been overly kind. >> i read that stuff. >> saturday night live is saturday night dead. >> oh, come on.
jeez. >>. >> they were having a hard time, and then came the man that saved the show, eddie murphy. there was a buzz about him, so you tuned in, and there was this kind of explosion of talent in front of your eyes. >> it really rejuvenated the show. >> i'm gumbi, damn it. you don't talk to me that way. >> after a while the show regained its status and its clout and became even more of an institution than it had been. >> hey, bob. >> listen, harry. if you are unhappy with my work, tell me now. >> you're through. you'll never work in this town again. >> don't make me hang -- >> we were a little worried at first because we had a new cat, but everyone loves us. >> you guys have been so nice to us during our stay. >> isn't that special?
>> i am hans. >> i am frans, and we want to pump you up. >> a lot of things they could do on saturday night live they couldn't do on a sit com. >> let me just sum up on track stay the course, 1,000 points of light, stay the course. >> governor dukakis, rebuttal. >> i can't believe i'm losing to this guy. >> i'll get it. >> people were taking all the old principles of comedy and try to turn them into something new. we've spend years and years watching sit coms and dramas and talk shows. we knew them by heart. if somebody played on that and parodied it, we got it instantly. >> i appreciate you coming in you should these conditions, lewis. i really do. you want to hold the credits?
okay. now, see, we were going to show the credits, skps you screwed that up because you're late. >> the gary shand tling show was aware of the fact that it was a situation comedy. it highlighted the cliches in funny ways. >> are you looking into the camera? >> no. no -- >> don't look into the camera. >> i didn't. >> don't. don't come in here and look in the camera. >> i didn't. >> i'll bop you. i will. if i see a tape of this show and you are looking into the camera -- >> it's about that time. >> peewee's play house on cbs, a saturday kids show that adults could watch and wink at each other is very clever. >> good morning, kongy. >> what's today's secret word? today's secret word is good. >> it was a show certainly for kids and it was for stoned baby
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was a pretty fair little athlete. >> the wonder years was a guy in modern times looking back on his childhood. that in itself is not new, but the wonder years did it with a wit and with the music. it was a brilliantly written show, and a great performance by that entire young cast. >> hey, steve. it looks like my baby brother and his girlfriend have found each other. >> kevin around is a regular kid. he is not really aware of many of the events. like in one of the episodes, the whole family is watching the apollo 8 kick off, and i'm just sitting there trying to call a girl. >> the first episode of "the wonder years" anyone who saw it remembers the ending where, you know, the first kiss with whinny
and kevin arnold. the song that they play is "when a man loves a woman." that moment seemed so pure and so real. ♪ when a man loves a woman ♪ can't keep his mind on nothing else ♪ >> the tone of the 1960 rz is about rebellion. by the 1980s it's time to grow up, and so they shave their beards, give up their -- and put on power suits. a whole new notion. >> ah, the yuppies. last year the politicians are talking about winning their votes, and now the young urban professionals and the rest of the generation are being wooed by advertisers and their agencies. >> by the 1980s it was pretty clear that the generation after the generation of the 1960 rz may be embodied by alex keaton on "family ties" and seemed to be more interested in the corner office than the new jerusalem. >> you are a young man. you shouldn't be worried about success.
you should be thinking about hopping on a trafrp steamer and going around the world. >> the 1960s are over. >> thanks for the tip. >> you wroent laughing at michael j. fox's character for being too conservative. you were actually laughing at the parents for being too hopelessly liberal. >> what is this? i found it in a shower. that's generic brand shampoo. >> ah! >> this is him. this is the guy i've been telling you about. this is everything you would want in a president. >> the genius of "family ties" is it allows a youthful reagan-ite that's focused on the critique of the 1960s. >> michael j. fox as alex keaton really became the center of the show. writers could see they have something special, and -- >> it's not fair alekts. >> there's nothing you can do about it, genreal estate. my advice to you is in a you
just enjoy being a child for as long as you can. i know i did. the best dwo weeks of my life. >> alex -- the "wall street journal" is his bible. >> i watched the iran-contra. >> if mom and dad thought this generation was going to the dogs, think again. this is the generation that has discovered hard work and success. >> american culture is changing in the 1980s, and in terms of television, there's a whole notion of demographic segmentation. >> networks were beginning to not be afraid to appeal to a very specific demographic. >> hi, handsome. look at that shirt. is that a power shirt or what?
>> nice suit. good shoulder pads. you looking to get your after buddy eagles? >> thirty something said we're not going to have cops, lawyers, or doctors. we're just going to be about people. >> why did we start this business? >> to do our thing. >> right now we have two wives, three kids, four cars, two mortgages, a payroll. that's life, pal. you be the breadwinner now. >> is that what i have. >> sthirt something is an important show as you are going into this era of television being more pin troe spektive and more emotional, and some people weren't buying it. for other people when they were talking about things like having kids and who was going to go back to work and some of these issues that hadn't been talked about a whole lot, it was important to people. >> i was so looking forward. i was so looking forward to doing this. i need a grown-up for just an hour. >> in the beginning there was talk of this being the yuppy show. you mentioned it tonight. you said that if there was a
category for the most annoying show, this might win as well. >> what some people perceive as annoying has nothing to do with yuppy. that's a word made up by -- i don't think it has anything to do with what the show is. >> thirty something was not a jie giant hit, but it was a niche hit. it attracted enormously upscale group of advertisers. >> the network who was watching? how many were watching? that was more and more catching on in the 1980s. >> a prosecution will ask you that you look to the law and this you must do. i is ask of you that you look to your hearts as well. thank you. >> l.a. law was a classic lawyer show, but it was intertwined with their personal lives and different lawyers who were sleeping together and trying to get ahead. >> the reality level on that show was like a foot or two off the ground. you're willing to go with that because it was a whole new spin
on a law show. >> if you had to do it all over again and she walked in and said take your case, would you? of course, you would, because it is juicy, newsy, exciting stuff. >> it was really fun to take the hill street blues format and use it to frame an entirely different social and cultural strata with vastly different results. >> i wonder if i might engage with my client privately? >> certainly. >> i'll be home in time for dinner tonight. >> i was planning on having you. >> in that case skip lunch. >> the formula had gotten established of how you can do a dramatic show and yet still have an awful lot of fun.
>> stop that, david. i'm calling the police. >> hello, police? >> the networks realized there was an audience looking for something less predictable than traditional primetime fair. >> "moonlighting" was another show that said, okay, i see the formulas that we've had up until here. let's do different things. >> hello. >> hello. >> we're looking a little pale today, aren't we? who have we here? >> i don't know. >> moonlighting was a really experimental show. they had a shakespeare episode. they had a black and white episode. they did a musical episode. >> i'm at a loss. i don't know what a flying fig
is. >> that's okay. they do. >> there's no trouble. there is no trouble. >> well, we have a very volatile relationship. there is a hate-love element to it. >> easy come, easy go. ha. >> they were kept apart for a long time, and bravo to him. cheers was will they or won't they? moonlighting is do they even want to? >> stay away from me. >> here i come. >> but i don't want you. i never wanted you. >> yeah, right. >> does entertaining mean at some point stopping the tease of dave and maddy? do they get together? >> i hope so. that's going to be resolved this year. we like to think of it as two and a half years of foreplay. >> people watching moonlighting for years were waiting for this moment, and your emotions are already there built on to the emotions you are seeing on the screen. when "be my baby" by the romance
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in recent years it seems that television has become a kind of electronic confessional. guests are willing to expose painful and sometimes embarrassing aspects of their lives. quite readily to millions of viewers. >> at the beginning of the decade we get the dominance of phil donahue, and that's sort of a maturation of women's issues. he seemed to talk to them in the audience. he seemed to talk to them through the tv screen. >> i'm glad you called. kiss the kids. >> if you look at the body of work we've had, you'll see the 1980s. >> let's understand this. when you bring a moral judgment without knowing against them for the way that they look, they
feel that confirmed the reason for their rebellion, if that's what you want to call it. >> he really believed that daytime television needed to talk about the ideas we were thinking about, the issues we were concerned about. >> i don't want to characterize his question, but why don't you get this fixed instead of doing this screwy stuff? >> there's not a single recorded case in history of any transsexual that ever through psychological treatment changed. it has never happened yet. >> we were putting very important people on the program. all kinds of people. gay people. people going to jail. people running for office. you know, sometimes the same people. it was a magic carpet ride. >> you really do paint a very, very grim picture of the sitting president of the united states. >> let me just say this. i think he is probably the laziest president i have ever seen.
>> he said and account and built and led the way to oprah. >> hello, everybody. hello. >> oprah has a particularly magical combination of her own background, her own experience, her own insightive mind. >> i'm oprah winfrey, and welcome to the very first national oprah winfrey show. >> i was surprised that the rocket pace that oprah took off because it took us a lot longer. the donahue show rearranged the furniture, but oprah remodeled the whole house. >> there are a lot of other people out there who are watching who really don't understand what you mean when you say, well, you know, we're in love because i remember questioning many i gay friends. you mean, you feel about him the way i feel about -- it's kind of
a strange concept. you know, for a lot of people to accept. >> oprah was connecting with people in a way that no one had on tv before. it was really special to see. >> well, did you know that for the long e time i wanted to be a fourth grade teacher because of you? >> i was not aware of inspiring anyone. >> i think you did exactly what teachers are supposed to do. they create a spark for learning. that's the reason i have a talk show today. >> oprah been friday dominates the talk show circuit both in ratings and popularity. >> i want to use my life as a source to bring people up. that's what i want to do. that's what i do every day on my show. you know, we get accused of being tabloid television, sensational and so forth, but what i really think we do more than anything else is we serve as a voice to a lot of people who felt up until my show or some of the others, they were alone. >> this is what 67 points of fat looks like. >> i can't lift it. >> it is amazing to me that i
can't lift it, but i used to carry it around every day. >> there's nothing more endearing to an audience than to have that kind of honesty and humility and courage on the part of a host, and that i think has a lot to do with her power. >> feels like i could do some good here, and i really do he think that the show does a lot of good. zbloob american television is drowning in talk shows. it's never seen anything like morton downey jr. >> i want to tell you -- >> sit down and shut up. >> other competitors come and take the television talk show in two different directs. you start seeing the phenomenon of daytime television shows becoming less tame and more wild. >> the 180s brought a lot of belligerent to television. whether it was morton downey jr. being the offensive character tour-ish person that he was or geraldo.
he did his own outlandish things. >> stay with us, ladies and gentlemen. we're going to get into the mind of another all american boy who came under the influence of satanism and took part in a crime without passion or moiv. >> hgeraldo riviera takes the power of a talk show to a new level trying to put people on stage who are going to hate each other and fight. >>. >> in the case of the church of satan, we have not had any problems with criminal behavior. >> yet, when you hear story after story after story of people committing these research ed crimes, violent crimes in the devil's name. >> the more tension there is, the more conflict there is, the more violence there is, the more the ratings go up, and the american people love to complain about it, but he this also love to watch. >> geraldo riviera is back in a kwaergs tonight. riviera drew sharp criticism with his recent television special on devil worship. today he found himself in a real free for all. >> i get sick and tired of seeing uncle tom here trying to be a white man. >> go ahead.
>> riviera said the show will be broadcast later this month in its entirety. >> well, it's want something, you know, i would have done. but there was a lot of hypocrisy. one of the major magazines put the picture of geraldo getting hit with a chair on the cover, and the article said isn't this awful? look what's happened to fwigs, and, yet, they couldn't wait to use it to sell their own magazine. >> let's go to the audience, all right? i want to speak to you guys. you guys. >> over the years broadcasting has deteriorated, and now in this era of deregulation, it's deteriorating further. >> give people light, and they will find their own way. relax. america will survive the talk shows. boost® high protein it's intelligent nutrition with 15 grams of protein
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>> all of the critics were kind of unanimous in that they said it will never last because there simply isn't enough entertainment news to fill a half hour every night. >> entertainment tonight has surveyed tv critics in the united states and canada to find out which television shows had the most impact on viewers ever on the years. >> up until this time nobody had done television like this. nobody. >> bert reynolds -- >> i'm surprised to see you here. >> i'm surprised see you. >> thank you. >> i would love -- >> a lot of what makes successful television programming is being in the right place at the right time. >> entertainment journalism has got more curious and had more access. until that point the entertainment business had been something that we didn't know all that much about.
>> with his mother actress mary martin as he was presented with a star on the hollywood walk of fame. >> it was very honorific of the industry. they would do serious coverage of it. it wasn't sell ashs, and you would see actors speaks as actors instead of johnny carson's show. >> what are you like on camera? >> i'm like this. this is on camera. >> this is on camera. >> it was the beginning of a lot of money being made talking about entertainment and celebrities. >> robert redford plays the good guys in the movies, but don't say that to his neighbors in utah. >> the audience grew and grew. that was showing us that the appetite for celebrity news was big. it was big. >> get ready for lifestyles of the rich and famous. television's most dazzling era of excitement. >> hi. i'm robin leech in monaco. the glittering gem of the riviera. >> and you've got a v.i.p. ticket to prince rainier's
private party. >> your sunday newspaper is still delivered with the comics around the news. that was what i always thought lifestyles was. we were the comic around the news. snoo it was a time where pushing the limit was very comfortable. >> one of the earliest stories we presented to you on lifestyles was about the amazing real estate wizard donald trump. if he didn't shock and surprise you back then, he has had plenty of time since. >> the answer is it's my business, my life. it's my lifestyle. i love it. the good, the bad. >> does this bring with it political inspiration? >> no political as spieration.
>> your show has gotten a lot of ridicu ridicule. there are people who say it's nothing more than trash. >> that jent e doesn't upset because because i think it's the best trash there is on television. i am not in the business of brain surgery. i am in the business of fluff. >> you want to stantd in a hot tub with a glass of champagne? rock on. >> we have never seen that kind of wealth every before. we didn't mock it. we didn't say it was right or wrong. we were just through the key hole. >> sometimes you know it absolutely amazes me. i walk away from a shoot, and i think, well, we did it again. >> there was more of everything in tv in the 19le 0s. your opportunity to watch stuff is increasingly vast. >> nbc presents real people. >> my name is michael lee wilson.
>> i think that's probably going to happen. >> american culture used to be a culture that celebrated privacy. in the 180s as we're watching celebrities play out on stage, hey, i want to join too. all the world becomes a stage. you start seeing shows like real people or the people's court. >> the people's court where reality television is taken one step further. >> what copped did was it took away the script and just brought the camera people and the crews on location to try and catch actual things happening.
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>> with my body. >> with my body. >> i thee own. >> i thee own. >> the beggest television event of the 1980s was the marriage of charles and diana. the world stops when that happens. that was like just massive. >> this was the final act of a spectacle that they never again would be seen in this century, if ever. >> the archbishop of canter bury called the wedding of prince charles and lady diana spencer today the stuff of fairy tales. >> the royal couple at this hour is off on a honeymoon while a lot of people here in london tonight are still talking about the events of the day. >> you have great moments like the royal wedding, they're a part of history, and it's done beautifully, and under has a chance to watch it on television, and everybody wants to drink, toast to chick and di. >> a princess who must now be aware as it was on this day that every single move she makes in public will be recorded and observed a very difficult indeed.
>> one final look at what has justifiably been called the wedding of the century. >> by the authority of the state of new york, i pronounce that they are husband and wife. you may kiss the bride. >> your wedding was seen by an astonishing number of people. 16 to 19 million viewers. how do you account for that popularity? >> i can't. i can't. the way it's grown is just amazing to me. >> it did appear in the 1980s that it was a good time for daytime soap operas. especially for a show like general hospital, which had that huge success with luke and laura's wedding. >> i remember when luke and laura got married because it was nighttime news worthy. the soap opera discovers the blockbuster mentality. the sweeps month mentality. what can we do to get even more people watching. you have a wedding. you can a kidnapping. you have an evil twin.
primetime stole from daytime. >> after "dallas" proved that ewing oil was better than real oil for cbs, the network's rush to give the public more. >> the great primetime soap operas of the 1980s, "dallas," dynasty." they're all about excess. this is about being over the top, stabbing each other in the back, going for the gusto, and having fun. >> i know what's wrong with you. >> the empty armed madonna. mourning the baby that she couldn't have, and the baby that she almost got to adopt. that is it, isn't it? >> you miserable bitch. >> there was a bigness to the stories, and they could afford to do it on a network if you are doing one episode a week. you can't do that if you are doing five episodes a week for a daytime show. just the production value gave it the pazazz. >> if you can't have it, watch other people with it, or so say the three networks that are
programming nearly 40% of their primetime fair with series about the very rich. the public is devouring it at such a rate that make-believe money has become ratings gold. >> the characters were larger than life. they were more evil and more cunning and manipulative and more gorgeous. i mean, really. look at the way they were dressed. look at the way they lived. everything was fascinating. >> alexis. >> yes. >> i didn't thank you for your presence. >> it was she who slapped here. not i. >> we all wanted to live like the carringtons, and it all just ended up being a wonderful picture of fun and debachery. >> greed was encouraged in the 1980s. there was a sense of conspicuous consumption as being okay, and those shows exploited that. >> primetime families like the
carringtons who live here in luxury on "the dynasty" sound stage are not the only rich folk on tv. in the last five years more than half of all new shows have featured the wealthy. ten years ago that figure was zero. >> it was an accident. your father is dead. >>. >> falgon crest was a wine family. there's lorenzo llamas, and there's ronald reagan's first wife who is on that show. >> emma is pregnant. >> i know a doctor who can take care of it right away. >> that will never happen. >> all of those shows were, oh, my god, what's next? what's going to happen with that? he can't get away with that, and then you tune in. it was appointment television. >> what would become of the missing twins on "knotts landing?" >> what? they all had a spin-off. knotts landing. the colby's was a spin-off for dynasty. they were seeing how much they could max this stuff out because it was really successful. >> where is your son, miles? isn't he going to be a part of this venture, or is he just
playing polo, as usual? >> colby's can always find room for another trophy. >> you had these people fighting over oil and mansions and what is fantasy? in a kind of so over the top way that it was fun. >> there is nothing dooefus about using your fell nint. >> these shows took themselves so unseriously that they were camp, but that was okay with the central audience that was loving them. it was entertainment. we weren't trying to do high drama. we were there there to intertaken. there was no getting around it. we knew what they were with there, and we did as best we could. >> boost. it's about moving forward, not back.
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he says i'm going to make another broadcast network. >> meantime, he will have to become an american citizen if he is to own tv stations here. something he says he is willing to do. >> some people are saying it will take you 20 years to get your fox network on par with the big three. are you prepared to wait that long? >> sure, i intend to live that long, but i don't believe in the 20 years. >> the idea of murdoch's idea for a fourth network was like ted turner starting cnn. it's ridiculous. what does he know about television? >> we don't have to reach everyone. there's no question we have an inferior lineup of stations to our counterparts. it means we have to work harder to get our message across and get shows sampled. >> they had an idea that in order to succeed we have to differentiate ourselves from the networks we have to do things they would not do. >> fox started throwing anything against the wall not sure what was going to go. first shows were things like "21 jumpstreet." >> what exactly are we looking for here. joan rivers in terms of late
night. >> we have been banned in boston, which is wonderful. so pick a finger, wxne. >> and "the tracey ullman show"" it was a sketch show. and they needed something to go between the sketches. again they were looking for something different. >> i got to have those candy bars. >> you better not be thinking of stealing those candy bars. >> that's it! >> "the simpsons" would never have come along had it not been for "the tracey ullman show." >> ultimately crime hurts the criminal. >> that's not true, mom. i got a free ride home, didn't i? >> bart! >> fox was thrilled that it was different. they said, sure, be experimental, do whatever you want. we're just happy to have a show on the air. >> i'm home. >> "married with children" was their first big, big hit in that way that said if all the rest of television is going this way,
we're going that way. >> bud, kelly, you want to come down and help me in the kitchen? there, that should buy us about 10 minutes. seven more than we'll need. >> the title of "married with children" on the script was not "the cosby show." how great. you have to love that. they were taking the piss out of american families fun. great fun. >> hurry up bud. >> never wanted to get married, i'm married. never wanted kids, i got two of them. how did this happen? >> the bundys were like a reaction to the perfection of the huxtables. you had this wonderful black family and these horrible white family. each show works on its own terms because you could find things to relate to in both shows. >> howdy, neighbor. >> yeah, yeah. >> there was a lot of fun to be had in al and peg bundy.
>> after fox introduces "married with children," it does very well, then back on abc, they came up with another major hit "roseanne." >> you think this is a magic kingdom where you sit on your thrown >> oh, yeah? >> yeah, and you think everything gets done by some wonderful wizard. poof, the laundry's folded. poof, dinner's on the table. >> you want me to fix dinner? i'll fix dinner. i'm fixing dinner. >> oh, but honey, you just fixed dinner three years ago. >> typical american families weren't on television for the longest time. the donna reed days, the "father knows best." hardly anybody lived that way. that was the way advertisers wanted you to live. >> i know what just might make you feel better. >> me too but i bet it's different than what you got. >> i the ideal situation is if you can subvert whatever common stuff is said about families and about parenting. families and about parenting. >> what's in this? lead? >> oh, i got you kids new leg irons. >> her loudness and her unfilteredness were key to why
we liked her. she was saying stuff about working class people, stuff about men and women. so it was about marriage and about raising kids and about how hard it is. >> oh, great. i'm just going to look like a freak, that's all. >> what else is new? >> shut up. >> this is why some animals eat that young. >> tv in the '80s was a big decade for the evolution of comedy, for the evolution of drama. it just pushed everything forward. >> you think perhaps this generation are paying more attention to the dialogue to the relationships they see on television than years previous? >> clearly the people watching our shows and "30 something" and "cheers" and "st. elsewhere." these are shows smartly written. it's their words that define them, and i think that's what people like. >> what we're supposed to be here is the one thing people can trust. if you go out like a bunch of night riders, what are you but just another vicious street
gang? >> that spawned an extraordinary number of shows that really carved out a unique niche for themselves. we began to turn television into an art form. and for the first time, people were proud to say, i write for television. >> up until that point, television was second class. in the '80s, it was something else entirely. and it was new, and it was kind of interesting. >> it's like everyone in the '80s starts to want to tell their stories. that's what really changes things. >> the unexpected was more welcome in the '80s. predictability lost its cachet. >> television has an impact on every era, every decade. >> television still shapes the thinking of america like no other element in our country. sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. >> it gave rise to people pursuing artistic content in a way that i think has raised the
bar in television production exponentially. >> i love you guys. >> there's a shift in the '80s from just wanting to placate the audience to wanting to please and challenge the audience, and that's the decade when it happened. >> we had one hell of a run, didn't we partner? >> yeah, we did, sonny. i'm going to miss you, man. >> i'm going to miss you, too. >> give you a ride to the airport? >> why not. ♪ ♪