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tv   The Eighties  CNN  March 31, 2016 9:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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much. >> of course. any time. "the eighties" starts right now. 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. ♪
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♪ ♪ slowly but surely, the 1970s are disappearing. the 1980s will be upon us. and what a decade it is coming up. happy new year! >> as we began the '80s in the television world, the landscape was on any given evening, 9 out of 10 people watching only one
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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. >> "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
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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's 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 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.
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you couldn't die. >> we don't know that's. >> 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 america. something hand 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."
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>> 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.
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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
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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 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. >> 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,
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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
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even though they are caring 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 toward 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 "st. elsewhere."
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>> 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. 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. >> that guy 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 the stuff they gave you was extreme in what they did,
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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. ♪ ♪ ♪
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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.
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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! oh, 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.
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>> 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 energy, you could just feel it on tv. tyson was made for tv because there was drama. >> 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
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demand for sports and the '80s began to provide. cable television is continuing to grow. it's estimate tuesday 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?
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>> 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 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.
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>> 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.
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♪ 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? and nobody ever did. >> freeze! police. ♪
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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 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.
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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. ♪ >> 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. 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.
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>> 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
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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? >> 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.
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>> what's 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, 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.
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>> 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 brutal to 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
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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 television and, oh, 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 save whatever gets hot for a season or two those who create good television comedy will be laughing all the way to the bank.
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some say "free the whales." for them, nothing else is acceptable. but nothing could be worse for the whales. most of the orcas at seaworld were born here. sending them into the wild wouldn't be noble. it could be fatal. when they freed keiko, the killer whale of movie fame, the effort was a failure and he perished. but we also understand that times have changed. today, people are concerned about the world's largest animals like never before.
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so we too must change. that's why the orcas in our care will be the last generation at seaworld. there will be no more breeding. we're also phasing out orca theatrical shows. they'll continue to receive the highest standard of care available anywhere. and guests can come to see them simply being their majestic selves. inspiring the next generation of people to love them as you do.
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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 dominated, certainly cbs, but in a way, the country. people used to say he was the most trusted man in the country.
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>> 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
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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.
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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. >> 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?
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>> well, he did. >> camera three. >> good evening. i'm david walker. >> i'm lois harp. >> 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.
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>> the major catastrophe in america's space program. >> i am lou dobbs along with myron kandel. >> jessica mcclure trapped for almost three days in a try 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.
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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
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news stations were very freaked out by what it meant they were now owned by these larger corporate entities. >> 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. (ricky gervais) verizon is the number one network in america. i know what you're thinking, they all claim stuff like that. yeah, but some of them stretch the truth. one said they were the fastest. we checked, it was fastest in kansas city and a few other places. verizon is consistently fast across the country. you wouldn't want to hear from the bloke who packs your parachute, "it's good over kansas." do you know what i mean? so that's, you know... anywhere else, splat. only verizon is the #1 network for consistently fast speeds. and now if you buy a samsung galaxy s7 edge
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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. >> i'm sure there aren't more shows about women. >> 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 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 tough.
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that was emblematic or ot in front of what was happening in the country. >> so we're a terrific team. >> 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. >> 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.
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>> 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 was recently named as one of television's most gifted creative writers. when you look back at the past women's role models on tv, it's
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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 voice? they 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.
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>> here's one almost everybody predicts will be a big hit, "designing women." >> suzanne -- >> linda bloodworth created one of the funniest shows in "designing women." they were a different group of women than you ever saw on television. they were feisty, sexy and linda's voice came through shining. >> look at reagans neck. his neck comes down to here. can you imagine if nancy had that neck? they'd be putting her in a nursing home for turkeys. >> they'd given me these 23 minutes to address any topic i want. it's a privilege, more than the president of the united states gets. i'd be lying if i said i didn't
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put my opinions in the show. >> excuse me but you ladies look like you're in need of a little male companionship here. >> trust me when i till you have completely misassessed the situation at this team. >> i am a woman and i am a writer but i don't enjoy being called a woman's writer. i think labels are harmful to us. >> with "murphy brown," everything about that program felt new. >> murphy, you know the dunphy club is for men only. >> and it has to do with one thing you have and i do, a little, tiny, y chromosome.
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>> he thinks it's neat that his office chair swivels and he's calling me unprofessional. . ♪ there it is... this is where i met your grandpa. right under this tree. ♪ (man) some things are worth holding onto. they're hugging the tree. (man) that's why we got a subaru. or was it that tree? (man) the twenty-sixteen subaru outback. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. what if we invented a paint that's not only in the top of its class but lets you breathe as deeply as this
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you are in a good mood tonight. and i tell you, we have put a great show together. it will be on a week from thursday. >> johnny carson in the '80s is making the transition from being the king of late night to being a national treasure. he was a throw back to that old show biz stuff. >> i haven't been on with you for some time. >> it's been a long time. >> yeah, well, you've been busy with other things. >> the tide is starting to turn in terms of where light night television is going to go, but johnny is kind of holding out. he was not necessarily of his time in the '80s but he did sustain a certain timelessness. he's the king. >> he's all right. he's just playing.
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>> my next guest not only has a college degree but he also has a high school degree. >> that's right, i do. >> he's hosted "the tonight show" practically as often as johnny carson and now he has his very own show weekday mornings at 10:00 on nbc. >> ladies and gentlemen, what you're witnessing here is a good idea gone awry. a fun-filled surprise turning into an incredible screw up. >> 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 -- have these people been frisked? >> it was a dismal failure in terms of the ratings but not in terms of introducing us to letterman. >> david, thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you for having us. >> in spite of all this nonsense that goes around in the background, stay with us.
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and don't give up. >> dave is back in new york. you're going to host a late night television program that premieres monday night. what are critics likely to say tuesday morning? >> i don't much care because i find a way to deal with that, pills and whiskey. you're on. proceed. >> oh, i'm on. i was enjoying listening to you snort. >> at the time people thought who is going to watch television late at night? who's up? i tell you who's up. young people. college people. >> he was anti-establishment at its core, thumbing his nose to establishment neighbors.
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>> hey, keep it moving. come on, get on. >> he kind of spoofed the whole notion of talk shows. >> it's the late night guest cam. please say hello to tom hanks. he were he is! >> no one could go on the david letterman show and try to steer it towards a point of view. he just wouldn't stand for it. you're on to do one thing and one thing only, that's be as funny as the rest of the show. >> we can great two shot here. we can actually send the crew home, couldn't we? >> as a comedian, you want the biggest audience you could get. dave knew a lot of things he was going to do were go to alienate people. he didn't care. >> paul, it's time for small town news. paul, do you have any music for small town news? >> the show making fun of it and
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turning itself inside out that way was something kind of new. >> don't we look like guys you'd see hanging around together. >> absolutely. >> would you like to hang around with me? >> nope. >> i'll say it again. this is the stupidest show. >> i thought i would never want to do this show with you. >> now why? because you thought i was -- >> an [ bleep ]. >> there's one rule i keep trying to abide by. and unfortunately i only get to it about 12% of the time, and that is it's only television. we're not doing cancer research. if the 40-year-odd history of television has taught us one thing, there's nothing sacred about television. >> all right, steven is upstairs. >> hey, dave, i was just curious. is there any way can i get mtv on this? >> actually, that's just a monitor. all you get on that is our show. >> oh. that's okay.
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>> there was a degree of cynicism that was needed in the art form at that time. and it's a cynicism that just became common be sense after a while because it never got old. >> i've watched johnny carson and you are no johnny carson. welcome to the great white north canadian corridor. >> there was a second city chicago company, there was a second city toronto company. the toronto one is the one that fueled the s.c. series which originally was syndicated and got to the states had way. >> thank you very much for that marvelous reception. i particularly want to thank my supporters over there in the caesarean section. >> it's healthy to be an outsider as a comedian and canadians are always outsiders but they're looking at the other culture, which is right next door to them.
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>> i love you! i want to bare your children! >> it was the type of comedy that had only been accessible if you could have gotten into the improv clubs in chicago and toronto. >> it was far more conceptual in its humor. it didn't have to be performed in front of an audience. and it was also just the idea that it was this sort of low-rent thing, it was by the seat of their parents kind of operation that gave it an authenticity. >> now that our program day has been extended, i'm going to be -- >> where do you want me to put the kielbasa? >> in the fridge.
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>> after five golden years, loren decided to leave and so did those close to him, including me, al frank. so nbc had to pick a new producer. now most knowledgeable people, as you might imagine, hoped it would be me, al franken. >> there was a real question of whether "saturday night live" would continue at all or would it just die. >> the press hasn't been overly kind. >> saturday night live to saturday night dead. >> my favorite is vile from new york. is there then came the man who 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. ♪
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♪ >> it really kind of rejuvenated the show. >> i am gandhi, damn it, you don't talk to me that way! >> after a while, the show regained its status and clout and became even more of an institution than it had been. >> tell me now! >> you're through! you'll never work in this town again. >> we were worried 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? >> we just want to pump you up. >> a lot of things they could do on "saturday night live" they couldn't do on a sitcom. the humor was more daring and more satirical and it was political. >> you still have 50 seconds left. >> let me just sum up on track,
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stay the course, a thousand points of light, stay the course. >> governor dukakis, rebuttal? >> i can't believe i'm losing to this guy. >> i'll get it. >> it's gary shandling show. >> people were taking all the old principles of comedy and try to turn them into something new. we spent years and years watching sitcoms and dramas. we knew them by heart, that if somebody played on that and parodied it weeks got if instantly. >> you want to hold the credits? we were going to show the credits and you screwed that up, okay, because you're late. >> the gary shandling 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. >> don't look into the camera. >> i didn't. >> don't come in here and look in the camera. >> i didn't.
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>> i'll bop you. i will. if i see a tape of this show and you're looking into the camera -- so-called adult kid's show that adults could look at and wink at was very clever. >> it was a show certainly for kids and it was for stoned baby boomers who were totally wasted on saturday morning and watched pee-wee's playhouse and saw god. >> i sure had a lot of fun. see you real soon. until then, you better be good!
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and if you thought that was amazing, you just wait. ♪ 1968, the summer before junior high school. i was a pretty fair athlete. >> "the wonder years" is a guy in modern time looking back on his childhood. with you it was a brilliantly written show and a great performance by that entire young cast. >> hey, steve, it looks like my
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baby sisters and friend have found each other. >> he's like a regular kid except in the 1960s. and he's not aware of one of the events. in one of the episodes, the whole family is watching the apollo 8 take off but i'm just sitting there trying to call a girl. >> everybody remembers the ending with the first kiss with winnie and kevin arnold. the song that they play "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 ♪ >> by the 1980s, it's time to grow up.
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and so they shaved their beards, and they put on power suits, a whole new notion. >> ah, the yuppies. last year the poll signatureses -- politicians were talking about winning their votes and now they're being wooed by the agencies. >> you're a young man. you shouldn't be worried about success. you should be thinking about hopping on a steamer and going around the world. >> the 60s are over, dad. >> thanks for the tip. >> you weren't laughing at michael j. fox's character for being too conservative, you are actually laughing at the parents for being too hopelessly liberal. >> what is this? i found it in the shower. >> that's generic brand shampoo. >> ah!
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>> this is him. this is the guy i've been telling you about. this is everything you'd want in a president. >> the genius of "family ties," it allows a youthful reaganite to emerge. >> michael j. fox as alex keeton became the center of the show and writers were smart enough to see they had something special and they wrote to that. >> it's not fair, alex. >> yeah. there's nothing you can do about it, jen. my advice to you is that you just enjoy being a child for as long as you can. i know i did. it was the best two weeks of my life. >> alex is a little bill buckley. the wall street journal is his bible. he has a tie to go with his pajamas he's very conservative, a very intense 17-year-old. >> the first thing your teacher is going to ask what you did over the summer.
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a lot of kids said i went to the zoo or to the beach. what are you going to say? >> i watched the iran-contra hearings. >> american culture is changing in the '80s. in terms of television, it'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, alan. good shoulder pads. looking to get drafted by the eagles? >> "30 something" said we're not going to be doctors, we're just going to be people. >> why did we start this business? >> we have two wives, three kids, two mortgages, a payroll. that's life, pal. you be the bread winner now. >> is that what i am?
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>> "30 something" is very important when you're going into this era that's more introspective. it was important to people. >> i was so looking forward to doing this. being a grown-up for just an hour. >> in the beginning there were talk of this being the yuppie show. you said if there were a category for the most annoying show this might win as well. >> i think yuppie is a word made up by advertisers to sell so. >> "30 something" was not a giant hit but it was a niche hit. it attracted an enormously upscale group of advertisers.
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>> it was who was watching, not how many were watching. >> and the prosecution will ask you that you look to the law and this you must do. but i ask of you that you look to your hearts all. >> l.a. law was partly a classic lawyer show, but it was intertwined with their personal lives and different lawyers who were sleeping together, had been trying to get ahead. >> the reality level on that show was like a foot or two off the ground. and you were willing to go with that because it was a whole new spin on a law show. >> tell the truth. if you had to do it all over again and she walked into your office and she said take my 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
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different social and cultural strata with vastly different results. >> i wonder if i might engage with my client privately. >> certainly. >> what are you doing 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. we didn't used to accept that very easily in a tv hour. and even before the '80s are out, it's like, okay, i get it. it's like, all right, what are the rules now? >> i'm doing what i should are done all along. what i wanted to do originally. what i should have done last night. stop that, david! i'm calling the police, david! >> hello, police? >> the networks realhereized t was an audience looking for something less traditional than predictable primetime fare.
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"moonlighting" was another show that said i've seen the formula up to here. let's do different things. >> hello. >> hello. >> we're looking a little pale today, aren't we? >> "moonlighting" had a shakespeare show, they had a musical show. >> i don't give a figure about the lines in my face, the crows in my eyes. i'm at a loss. >> i don't know what a flying figure is. >> that's okay, they do. >> we have a very volatile relationship. there is a hate/lovellment to it. >> the flirtations were great. glen karen kept them apart for long time. bravo to him. >> they took the sam and diane
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dynamic from cheers and escalated it. "cheers" was will they or won't they? "moonlighting" was do they even want to. >> stay away from me. >> here i come. >> but i don't want you. i never wanted you. >> does it mean at some point stopping the tse of david and matty? >> that's going to get resolved this year. we like to think of it as two and a half years of foreplay. >> people who had been watching it for years were into this moment. so when "be my baby" starts playing, it's like the perfect storm of romance. ♪ the night we met i knew i needed you so ♪
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my lineage was the vecchios and zuccolis. through ancestry, through dna i found out that i was only 16% italian. he was 34% eastern european. so i went onto ancestry, soon learned that one of our ancestors we thought was italian was eastern european. this is my ancestor who i didn't know about. he looks a little bit like me, yes. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story. get started for free at ancestry.com
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my children and my family are on my mind when i'm working all the time. my neighbors are here, my friends and family live here, so it's important for me to respond as quickly as possible and get the power back on. it's an amazing feeling turning those lights back on. be informed about outages in your area. sign up for outage alerts at pge.com/outagealerts. together, we're building a better california. in recent years it seems that television has become a kind of an electronic confessional where guests are willing to expose painful aspects of their lives to millions of viewers. >> at the beginning of the decade we get the dominance of phil donahue. that was the maturation of women's issues.
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he seemed to talk to them and through the tv screen. >> i'm glad you called. kiss the kids. we'll be back in just a moment. >> if you look at the body of work that we had, you're going to see the '80s here. >> i'm not going to say you're wrong but when you bring a moral judgment against them for the way that they look, they feel that confirms 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 history ever changed.
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>> 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 say this, i think he's probably the laziest president that i've ever seen. >> the audience for phil donahue built and built and built and built and led the way to oprah. ♪ [ applause ] >> hello, everybody. hello! >> oprah has a particularly magical combination of her own background, her own experience, her own insizive mind and empathetic spirit. >> i'm oprah winfrey. welcome to the first oprah win from show! >> i was surprised at the rocket pace that oprah took off.
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donahue rearranged the furniture but oprah remodelled 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 you're in love. a lot of my gay friends would say you mean you feel about him the way i feel about -- it's a strange concept. >> oprah was connecting in a way that no one had on tv before. it was special to see. >> did you know for the longest time i wanted to be fourth grade teacher because of you. >> i was not awhich are of inspiring anyone. >> you did exactly what teachers are supposed to do, create a spark for learning. >> oprah winfrey dominates the talk show circuit, both in the ratings and popularity. >> i want to use my life as a source of lifting people up. that's what i want to do. that's what i do every day on my show.
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we get accused of being tabloid television and sensationalism and so forth but i think what we do more than anything sells we serve as a voice for a lot of people who felt up until my show and perhaps some of the others that they were alone. >> this is what 67 pounds of fat looks like. i can't lift it. it's amazing that i can't lift it but that i carried it around every day. >> it feels like can i do some good here. i really do think that the show does a lot of good. >> american television is drowning in talk shows. but it's never seen anything like morton downey jr. >> sit down and shut up! >> other competitors come and take the television talk show in two different directions.
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you start seeing the phenomenon of daytime television shows becoming less tame and more wild. >> the '80s brought a lot of belligerence to television, whether it was morton downey jr. being the offensive caricaturish person that he was or geraldo. he did his own outlandish things. >> stay with you, ladies and gentlemen. we're going to get into the mind of another boy to got into the land of satanism. >> geraldo tried to put people on stage who were going to hate each other and were going to fight. >> when you hear story after story after story of people committing these wretched crimes, these violent crimes in the devil's name -- >> the more tension there is, the more conflict there, is the more violence there is, the the more the ratings go up.
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>> geraldo found himself in a real free for all. >> i get sick and tired of seeing uncle tom here -- >> go ahead. go ahead. >> you got to be kidding me. up got to be kidding me. hey, hold it. hold it. >> sit down. >> rivera suffered a broken nose but he said the show will be broadcast later this month in its entirety. >> well, that's not 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 television, 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. >> over the years broadcasting
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has deteriorated and 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. why do so many businesses rely on the us postal service? because when they ship with us, their business becomes our business. that's why we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. here, there, everywhere. united states postal service priority: you it's a delicious,'s refreshing and easy to drink hard soda. but not too hard- you've got stuff to do tomorrow. henry's hard soda. live hard...-ish.
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this woman... this cancer patient... christine... living her life... loving her family. moments made possible in part by the breakthrough science of advanced genomic testing. after christine exhausted the standard treatment options for her disease, doctors working with the center for advanced individual medicine at cancer treatment centers of america suggested advanced genomic testing. the test results revealed a finding that led to the use of a targeted therapy that was not considered for christine before. now, they're helping fight her cancer on another, deeper level... the genetic level. this is precision cancer treatment, an approach to care that may help patients like christine enjoy the things that matter most in their lives while undergoing treatment.
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the evolution of cancer care is here. that's definitely something worth celebrating. learn more about precision cancer treatment at cancercenter.com. appointments are available now.
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>> up until this time nobody had done television like this. nobody. burt reynolds, the hottest actor in hollywood. >> it's nice to see you. >> a lot of what makes successful television programming is being in the
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right place at the right time. it was the right time. >> entertainment journalism evolved. until that point the entertainment business had been something we didn't know that much about. >> we could go behind the scenes in our effort to really give an insider's look. >> the crafty j.r. was with his mother as he was present with a star on the hollywood walk of fame. >> it was very honorriffic. you would see actors speaking as actors. >> what are you like on camera? >> i'm like this. this is on camera. >> it was the beginning of a lot of money being made talking about entertainment. >> robert redford may be great
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on camera, but don't tell that to his neighborhoods. >> get ready for lifestyles of the rich and famous most dazzling hour of excitement. >> and you've got a vip ticket to the private party. >> your sunday newspaper is still delivered with the comics around the news and that was what i always thought life styles was. we were the comic around the news except we did it as seriouslys they did lose. >> finally in the driving seat of his own career he burned rubber in a new direction. >> it was a time where pushing the limits with wealth was very comfortable. >> one of the earlier stories that we present to you on life styles was about the amazing
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real estate wizard donald trump. if he didn't shock and surprise you back then, he's had plenty of time since. >> with all of this costing billions, not millions, do the figures ever frighten you? >> no. it's my lifestyle. i love it. >> does this bring with it political aspirations. >> no political aspiration. >> your show has gotten a lot of ridicule and there are people who say it's nothing more than trash. >> that doesn't upset me because i think it's the best trash on television. i'm not in the business of brain surgery. i'm in the business of fluff. >> that's the fantasy element at a time when the access is possible. we didn't mock it. we didn't say it was right, we
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didn't say it was wrong. we were just through the keyhole. sometimes it absolutely amazes me. i walk away from a shoot and think we did it again. there were more than everything on tv in the '80s. your opportunities for watching things was vast. >> it dawned on me the application of a small motor on a pair of rollerskates might really be a great thing. >> somebody once said this each one of us will be a star for 15 minutes. i think that's probably going to happen. >> american culture used to celebrate privacy. in the 1980s, was a we were watching celebrities play out, hey, i want to join, too. you start seeing shows like "the people's court." >> "the people's court," where reality television is taken one step further. >> to see more tv, people had to come up with new and different ways to give them television. >> don't be stupid.
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>> i told you not to be stupid! >> what "cops" did is it took away the script and just brought the camera people and the crews on location to try and catch actual things happening. >> cocaine, possession of a stolen firearm no less. what else are you going to do? ♪ don't let dust and allergies get between you and life's beautiful moments. with flonase allergy relief, they wont. most allergy pills only control one inflammatory substance. flonase controls six. and six is greater than one. flonase changes everything. technology moves faster than ever. the all-new audi a4, with apple carplay integration.
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some say "free the whales." for them, nothing else is acceptable. but nothing could be worse for the whales. most of the orcas at seaworld were born here. sending them into the wild wouldn't be noble. it could be fatal. when they freed keiko, the killer whale of movie fame, the effort was a failure and he perished. but we also understand that times have changed. today, people are concerned about the world's largest animals like never before. so we too must change. that's why the orcas in our care will be the last generation at seaworld. there will be no more breeding. we're also phasing out orca theatrical shows. they'll continue to receive the highest standard of care available anywhere. and guests can come to see them simply being their majestic selves. inspiring the next generation of people to love them as you do.
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>> with this ring -- >> with this ring -- >> i thee wed. >> i thee wed. >> with my body -- >> with my body -- >> i thee honor -- >> i thee honor. >> the biggest was the wedding of prince charles and princess diana.
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>> when you have great moments like the royal wedding, they're a part of history and it's done beautifully and everybody has a chance to watch it all on television, everybody just wants to drink a toast to chuck 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 life indeed. >> we'll be back in just a moment with some closing observations and one final look at when 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 have kiss the bride. >> your wedding was seen by an astonishing number of people. 16 million people. how do you account for that popularity? >> i can't. the way it's grown is amazing to me. >> it did appear in the '80s, it was a good time for daytime so operas, which had the huge success with luke and laura. >> i remember when luke and laura got married because it was nighttime newsworthy.
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>> what can we do to get even more people watching? you have a wedding. you have a kidnapping, you have an evil twin and primetime stole from daytime. >> after dallas proved that ewing oil was better than real oil for cbs, the network rushed to give the public more. >> "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 she couldn't have and the baby that she almost got to adopt. that is it, isn't it? >> well, you are miserable bitch! >> there was a bigness to the stories. and that they could afford to do on a network if you're doing one episode a week. you can't do that if you're
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doing five episode as week for a daytime show. so just the production value gave it that pizzazz. >> if you can't have it, watch other people with it, or so say the three networks who are programming nearly 40% of their primetime fare with series about the very rich, and 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, it was fascinating. >> alexis, i didn't thank you for your present. >> it's he you should slap, dear, not i. >> we all wanted to live like we were on dynasty, like the carringtons. >> it was a wonderful picture of debauchery.
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>> agreed was okay in the 80s. >> primetime families like the carringtons who live here in luxury on the "dynasty" und stage are not the onlyich folk in tv. almost half of all new shows have featured the wealthy. ten years ago, that figure was zero. >> it was an accident. your father is dead. "falcon crest" was a winery.
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>> all of those shows where, 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 and it was appointment television. >> what will become of the missing twins on "knots landing"? >> what? >> colby was the spinoff for "dynasty." they were seeing how much they could max this stuff out. >> where is your son myles? is he part of this or is he playing polo as usual? >> the colbys can always find room for another trophy. >> you had these people fighting over oil and mansions and it was fantasy but in a kind of so over the top way that it was fun. >> there's nothing devious about using your femininity. >> 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 a high drama. we were there to entertain, we were glossy. there was no getting around it. we knew what we were there for and we did it as best we could. >> announcer: this cnn original
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series, "the eighties" is brought to you by ace.
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its most important export may be neither its animal, it's beer or films, it could be one mr. rupert murdoch. he could be in the middle of building what is said to be the most extensive news empire in television history.
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>> rupert murdoch having disrupted the newspaper business in australia, the television business in britain, he arrived saying i'm going to make another one. it was a big, bold bet. >> meantime, he is going to have to become an american citizen if he is to own television stations here, something murdoch said he's willing to do. >> some say it will take 20 years to get your network here. will you wait that long? >> intend to live that long. >> ted turner, what does he know about television? >> we tonight have to reach everyone. there's no question we have an inferior lineup of stations to our counterparts. we'll have to work harder to get our message across and get our show sample. >> they had an idea we have to differentiate ourselves from the other networks.
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>> fox started throwing things against the wall. first show "21 jump street." joan rivers in terms of late night. >> we've been banned in boston, which i think is possible. wxne so pick a finger wxne. >> it was a sketchhow. they needed something to go between the sketches. >> i got to have those candy bars. >> you better not be thinking of stealing those candy bars. >> "the simpsons" would never have come along had it not been for the tracy ullman show. >> ultimately crime hurts the criminal. that's not true, mom. i got a free ride home, didn't i? >> fox was thrilled that it was different. they said, sure, be experimental, do whatever you want.
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we're just happy to have a show on the air. >> i'm home! >> "married with children" was their first big hit 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? that should buy us about ten 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. just taking the piss out of american families. fun, great fun. >> the bundys were almost like a purposeful reaction to the perfection of the huxtables. you had these wonderful black family and these horrible white people.
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>> howdy, neighbor. >> why don't we sit down. >> there was a lot of fun to be had in al and peg bundy. >> after fox introduces "married with children" and it does very well, back on abc they came up with another major hit, "roseanne." >> you think this is a magic kingdom and you just sit here on your thrown and everything gets imagine cliff done. oh, poof, the laundry is folded. >> you want me to fix dinner? i'll fix dinner. >> oh, honey, you just fixed dinner three years ago! >> the don a reed days, hardly anyone lived like that. >> the ideal situation is if you
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can subvert whatever common stuff is said about families and about parenting -- >> what's in this? >> 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, she was saying stuff about men and women. so it was about marriage and about raising kids and about how hard it is. >> 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 their young. >> tv in the '80s was a big decade for the evolution of comedy, for the evolution of drama. it just pushed everything forward. >> do you think perhaps this generation are paying more attention to the dialogue, to the relationships that they see on television than in years previous? >> clearly the people that are watching our shows are a "30 something" and "cheers" and "st. elsewhere." these are shows that are smart live written.
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it's their words that define them. that's what people like. >> what we're supposed to be here is the one thing people can trust. >> if you go out there like a bunch of night riders, what the hell are you but just another street gang? >> that decade 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 started to want to tell their stories. >> predictability lost its cache. >> television has an impact on every era, every decade.
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>> television still shapes the thinking in our country like no other element in our country, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. >> it gave rise to people pursuing artistic content that i think has raised the bar in television exponentially. >> i love you guys! >> there's a shift in the '80s from just wanting to placate the audience to wanting to please the audience. that's the decade when it happened. >> we had one hell of a run, didn't we, partner? >> we sure did, sonny. >> i'm going to miss you, man. >> i'm going to miss you, too, sonny. >> can i give you a ride to the airport? >> why not. ♪ ♪
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donald trump's rivals ramp up their attacks after his controversial comments on national security and abortion. we'll go live to india where rescue crews are searching for survivors after an overpass collapsed. a groundbreaking architect zaha hadid has died. we look at her legacy. the u.s. women's soccer team sets a goal for equal pay. welcome to viewers in the united states and around the world. we're live in atlanta. i'm natalie allen. >> i'm george howell from cnn headquarters. "newsroom" starts right now.

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