tv The Eighties CNN March 23, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
important thing. >> paul, do you have any accompanying music here for the small town news? paul schafer ladies and gentlemen. >> the show making fun of itself and turning itself inside out that way was something kind of new. >> don't we look like guys that you could see hanging around together? >> absolutely. >> would you like to hang around with me? >> no. >> i'll say this 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 a [ bleep ]. >> there was one rule i keep trying to abide by and unfortunately i only get to it about 12% of the time and that is its only television. we're not doing cancer research. there's nothing sacred about
television. >> it became common sense after awhile. it never got old. >> i watched johnny carson and you are no johnny carson. >> there was a second city chicago company and second city toronto company. the toronto one fuelled the sc tv series which originally was sicindicated and got to the states that way. >> thank you for that marvelous reception. i want to thank my supporters over there in the cesarean
section. >> it's healthy to be an outcider. as a comedian -- canadians are always outsiders but they're looking at the other culture that's right next door to them. >> it was the type of comedy that was only accessible if you could have gotten into the improv clubs. i had never seen anything like second city tv. >> i'm sorry. >> it was far more conceptual. it didn't have to be performed in front of an audience and there was also this idea that it was a 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 a lot -- >> where do you want me to put the kelbasa.
>> you were routing for the show and the characters that they created. there was just something that you got behind where as snl from the gate and through the 80s was a big enterprise. >> after five golden years, lauren 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 frank. >> there was a real question of whether it would continue at all or whether it would just die. >> saturday night live. is saturday night dead. >> come on. >> they were having a hard time and then came the man that saved the show, eddie murphy.
there was buzz about him. so you tuned in and there was an explosion of talent in front of your eyes. >> it really rejuvenated the show. >> after awhile it regained it's status and became more of an institution that had it been. >> if you're unhappy with my work, tell me now. >> you're through. you'll never work in this town again. >> let me know where i stand. >> we were worried at first because we had a new cast 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 it was political. >> you still have 50 seconds left. >> let me just sum up, on track. stay the course. 1,000 points. stay the course. >> >> i can't believe i'm losing to this guy. >> oh, i'll get it. >> people were taking the old principles of comedy and trying to turn them into something new. we spent years and years watching sitcoms and talk shows and we knew that if somebody played on that we got it. >> the 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? >> i didn't. >> don't come in here and look at the camera. >> i didn't. >> i'll bop you. i will. if i see a tape of this show and you're looking into the camera. >> it was very clever. >> today's secret word is good. >> it was a show for kids and stoned baby boomers that were wasted on saturday morning and saw pee wee's play house and saw
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years did it with witt and music. it was a brilliantly written show and great performance by the entire young cast. >> hey, steve, it looks like my baby brother and his girlfriend have found each other. >> she's not my girlfriend. >> kevin arnold is like a regular kid except in the 1960s and he's not aware of many of the events. like 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. >> the first episode of the wonder years, anybody that saw it remembers the ending where, you know, the first kiss with winnie and kevin arnold. the song they play is when a man loves a woman. that moment seemed so pure and
so real. >> the tone is about rebellion, by the 1980s it's time to grow up. so they put on power suits. a whole new notion. >> last year the politicians were all talking about winning their votes. now the young urban professionals and the rest of the baby boom generation are being wooed by advertisers and their agencies. it was pretty clear that the generation after the generation of the 60s may be embodied on family ties seemed to be more interested in the corner office than the new jerusalem. >> you're a young man. you should be thinking about 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 were actually laughing at
the parents for being too hope leslie liberal. >> what is this? i found it in the shower. >> that's generic brand shampoo. >> 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 is it allows a youthful reaganite to emerge that's focused on the future. >> michael j. fox as alex keaton really became the center of the show and writers were smart enough to see that they had something special and they wrote to that. >> it's not fair alex. >> there's nothing that you can do about it jen. my advice is you just enjoy being a child 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
bib bible. he has a tie to go with his pajamas. >> the first thing your teacher is going to ask is what you did over the summer. a lot of kids will say i went to the zoo or beach or baseball game. what are you going to say? >> i watched the iran -- >> if mom and dad thought this generation was going to the dogs, think again. this is the generation that discovered hard work and success. >> american culture is changing the 80s and there's a whole notion of demographic s segmentation. >> networks were beginning to not be afraid to appeal to a specific demographic. >> look at that shirt. >> nice suit. are you looking to get drafted by the eagles. >> 30 something said we're just going to be about people. >> why did we start this business? >> to do our thing. >> but right now we have two
wives, three kids, four cars, two mortgages. >> a payroll. and that's life pal. >> 30 something is a important show and some people weren't buying it but for other people when they were talking about having kids and who was going to go back to work and some of these issues that hadn't been talked about a lot, it was important to people. >> i was so looking forward to doing this. to be a grown up for just an hour. >> in the beginning, there was talk of this being the yuppy show and 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 advertisers.
it has nothing to do with what the show is. >> it was not a giant hit but it was a niche hit. it attracted an enormously upscale group of advertisers. >> the network cared who was watching, not how much were watching and that was more and more catching on in the 80s. >> the prosecution will ask you to look to the law and this you must do but i ask that you look to your hearts as well. >> l.a. law was partly a classic lawyer show but intertwined with their personal lives and different lawyers sleeping together and 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. >> 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's juicy, exciting stuff.
>> it was really fun to take the hill street blues format and use it to frame an entirely different social and cultur cultural strata with 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 be able to accept that very easily in a tv hour. it's like okay what are the rules now. >> i'm doing what i should have done all along. what i wanted to do originally. what i should have done last night. i'm calling the police. >> hello, police?
>> the networks realized there was an audience looking for something less predictable than traditional primetime fare. >> moonlighting was another of those shows that said i see the formulas we had up to here. let's do different things. >> we're looking a little pale tod today. who do we have here? they had a shakespeare episode. they did a musical episode. they tried a lot of different stuff. >> i don't care about the lines on my face, the crows feet by my eyes or the altitude of my caboose. >> well, i'm at a loss. i don't know what that is. >> that's okay. they do. >> we have a very volatile relationship. there is a hate-love element to
it. >> flirtatious and kept them apart for a long time and bravo to him. >> what they did was took the sam and diane 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. >> yeah, right. >> does entertaining mean at some point stopping the tease? do they get together at some point? >> that's going to be resolved this year. we like to think of it as 2.5 years of foreplay. >> people that have been watching moonlighting for years were waiting for this moment and you're emotions are already there built on to the emotions that you're seeing on the screen so when be my baby starts playing it's like a perfect storm of romance. ♪
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>> at the beginning of the decades we get the dominance of phil donahue. that's a mature ratiation of wo issues. he seemed to talk to them through the tv screen. >> we'll be back in just a moment. >> if you look at the body of work we've had you're going to see the 80s there. >> i'm not going to say you're wrong but when you bring a moral judgment without knowing them against them for the way that they look, they feel that confirms the reason for that rebellion that's what you want to call it. >> he believed that daytime television needed to talk about the ideas we were thinking ab t about, the issues we were concerned about. >> i don't want to characterize his question but why don't you get this fixed? >> there's not a single recorded case in history of any transsexual that ever through
psychological treatment changed. that's 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. 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's probably the laziest president i've ever seen. >> the audience for phil donahue built and built and built and built and lead the way to oprah. ♪ >> hello, everybody. >> oprah has a particularly magical combination of her own background, her own experience, her own incisive mind, and
emotions pathet empathetic spirit. >> i'm oprah winfrey and welcome to the very first oprah winfrey show. >> i was surprised at the rocket pace oprah took off. it took us longer. the donahue show rearranged the furniture but oprah remodelled the whole house. >> there's a lot of people watching that don't understand what you mean when you say we're in love. i remember questioning my gay friends like, you mean, you feel about him the way i feel about -- it's a strange concept for a lot of people to accept. >> oprah was connecting with people in a way that no one had on tv before and it was really special to see. >> did you know that for the longest 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. it's the reason i have a talk show today. >> oprah winfrey now 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. we get accused of being tabloid television and sensational and so forth but what we do more than anything else is we serve as a voice to a lot of people that felt up until perhaps my show or some of the others that they were alone. >> this is what 67 pounds of fat looks like. i can't -- 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 endeering 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 can do some good here and 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 take the television talk show in two different directions. you start seeing the phenomenon of daytime television shows becoming less tame and more wild. >> the 80s brought a lot of beligerance to television. whether it was morton downny jr. being the offensive person that he was or haroldo. he did his own outlandish things. >> we're going to get into the mind of another all american boy that came under the influence of satanism and took part in a crime without passion or motive. >> he takes the power of the talk show to a whole other level trying to put people on stage that hate each other and are going to fight. >> in the case of the church of satan we have not had any problems with criminal behavior. >> yet when you have hear after story after story of people committing these wretched crimes
and violent crimes in the devil's name. >> the more attention there is, the more conflict there is, the more violence there is the more the ratings go up. the american people love to complain about it but they love to watch. >> rivera drew sharp criticism with his television special on devil worship but today he found himself in a free for all. >> i get sick and tired of seeing uncle tom here -- >> go ahead. >> hold it. >> rivera suffered a broken nose but he said the show will be broadcast later this month in it's entirety. >> that's not something that i would have done. but there was a lot of hypocrisy. one of the mayor magazines put the picture of it on the show
and the article is isn't this awful. look what's happened to television and they couldn't wait to use it to sell their own magazine. >> let's go to the audience. i want to speak to you guys. >> over the years, broadcasting has deteriorated and now it's deteriorating further. >> give people light and they will find their own way. relax, america will survive the talk shows. (paul) how do we tell people they get the best of both worlds with sprint? (sassbot) how about we get two-sport legend, bo jackson... (bo) sup? guys - you don't need me. just tell people they get a great network and a great price with sprint. (sassbot) yes! you can get an unlimited plan and a super cool all new samsung galaxy s10e for just $35 a month. on an lte advanced newtork that's up to 2x faster than before. (evelyn) bo does...know.
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big thing that changes in the 80s is the number of hours spent watching television goes up. the number of hours spent talking about television goes up. one of the symbols of the at the no, ma' phenomenon is entertainment tonight. >> welcome to our opening night, the premiere edition of entertainment tonight. >> all 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 surveyed tv critics in the
united states and canada to find out which television shows have the most impacts on viewers over the years. >> up until this time nobody had done television like this. nobody. >> burt reynolds, the hottest actor in hollywood. >> i'm surprised to see you here. >> i'm glad to see you. >> thank you. >> a lot of what makes successful television programming is being in the right place at the right time. and it was the right time. >> entertainment journalism evolv evolved as people got more curious and had more access. until then the entertainment business was something we didn't know that much about. we could go behind the scenes in our effort to really give an insiders look. >> he was 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. you would see them speaking as actors instead of an a johnny carson show. >> what are you like on camera? >> i'm like this. this is on camera. >> it's the beginning of a lot of money being made talking about entertainment and celebrities. >> robert redford plays the good guy in the movies but don't tell that to his neighbors in utah, they're still bitter. >> the audience grew and grew and 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 hour of excitement. >> hi, i'm robin leach in monaco. the glittering gem of the riviera. >> and you have a vip ticket. >> 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
seriously as they did news. >> finally in the driving seat of his own career, he burned rubber in a new direction. david hasselhoff rock idol. >> it was a time where pushing the limits with wealth and ostentaciousness was comfortable. >> it was about donald trump. if he didn't shock and surprise you back then, he's had plenty of time since. >> it's my business. it's my life. my life style. i love it. the good and the bad. >> does it bring with it political aspiration? >> no political aspiration. >> your show has gotten a lot of ridicule. there's people that say it's nothing more than trash. >> that doesn't upset me because i think it's the best trash there is on television. i'm not in the business of brain surgery. i am in the business of fluff.
>> that's the fantasy element. at a time when the access is possible. it's escapism and it's aspirational. you want to stand in a hot tub with a glass of champagne, rock on. >> we had never seen that kind of wealth ever before. we didn't mock it. we didn't say it was right and we didn't say it was wrong. we were just through the looking hole. >> sometimes it amazes me. >> we did it again. >> it was more of everything in tv by the 80s. your opportunities for watching stuff is increasingly vast. >> nbc presents real people. >> it dawned on me that the application of a small motor on a pair of roller skates might be a good thing. >> someone once said each one of us will be a star for the 15 minutes and that's probably going to happen. >> it used to be a cultural that celebrated privacy. as we're watching celebrities
play out on stage, hey, i want to join too. all the world becomes a stage and you start seeing shows like real people or the people's court. >> the people's court where reality television is taken one step further. >> to see more tv producers had to come up with new and different ways to give them televisi television. >> don't be stupid. >> get over here. >> i told you not to be stupid. >> what cops did was it took away the script and just brought the camera people and the crews on location to try to catch actual things happening. >> cocaine, possession of a stolen firearm no less. what else are you going to do? before the trip, jessica sent 22 texts to a swim instructor to help manny overcome his fear. their gps took them to places out of a storybook. and they called grandma when manny felt sad about not being able to swim.
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to save 30% on all the medications we carry. so go directly to petmeds.com now. with this ring i thee wed. >> with my body. >> the biggest television event in the 1980s, like the world stops when that happens. that was just massive. >> this is the final act of a spectacle that may never be seen in this century if ever. >> the wedding of prince charles and lady diana spencer was called the stuff of fairy tales.
>> the royal couple is off on the honeymoon while people in london are still talking about the events of the day. >> when you have great moments like the royal wedding, they're part of history and it's done beautifully and everybody has a chance to ch with a watch it al television. everybody wants to drink and toast to chuck and di. >> every single move she makes in public will be recorded and observed. a very difficult life, indeed. >> we'll be back with closing observations and one final look at what has justibeen called th 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 a astonishing number of 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 soap operas. especially a show like general hospital that had huge success with luke and laura's wedding. >> i remember when luke and laura got married because it was nighttime news worthy. 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 moved that it was better than real oil for cbs the networks rushed to give the public more. >> the great primetime soap operas, 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? >> there was a bigness to the stories and they could afford to do on a network if you're doing one episode a week. you can't do that if you're doing five episodes a week for a daytime show so just the production value gave it that pizazz. >> if you can't have it, watch other people with it or say the three networks that 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 makebelieve 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. >> 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 and it all just ended up being a wonderful picture on the floor fun and debotchery. >> there was a sense of c consumption as being okay and those shows exploited that. >> primetime families like the carringtons are not the only rich folk on tv. in the past years more than half of all new shows featured the wealthy. ten years agatha figure was zero. >> it's an accident. your father's dead. >> falcon crest was a wine family. there's lore nzo lamas and ronad reagan's first wife is on that
show. >> emma is pregnant. >> i know a doctor that 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. then you tune in. it was appointment television. >> what will become of the missing twins? >> they all had spin offs. dallas had the spin off knots landing. you 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 apart of this venture or is he just playing polo as usual? >> they 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
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show me decorating shows. this is staying connected with xfinity to make moving simple. easy. awesome. stay connected with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. australia's most important export may be neither it's animals nor it's beer, nor it's films it could be rupert murdoch. he's in the midst of building the most extensive media empire
in history. >> a huge development in television. rupert murdoch having disrupted the newspaper business in australia, the television business in britain. he arrives in america and says i'm going to make another one. >> this was a big, bold bet. >> meantime, he'll have to become an american citizen if he is to own tv stations here. something murdoch says he is willing to do. >> some people say 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. but i don't believe in the 20 years. >> the reaction to murdoch's idea for a fourth network was similar to reaction to ted turner starting cnn. it's ridiculous. what does he know about television? >> we don't think of ourselves as abc, cbs, nbc. we don't have to reach everyone. there's no question we have an inferior line-up to our counter parts. we'll 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 do things they would not do. >> fox started throwing anything against the wall not knowing what was going to go. first shows were things like 21 jump street. >> what are we looking for here. >> joan rivers in terms of late night. >> we have been banned in boston which i think is wonderful. wnex. so pick a finger. >> and the tracy alman show. >> oh, please. >> it was a sketch show and they needed something to go between the sketches. they were looking for something different. >> i got to have those candy bars. >> 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 tracy ulman 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. 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, do you want to come down and help me in the kitchen. that should buy us about ten minutes. 7 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. fun. great fun. >> hurry up, bud. never wanted to get married. i'm married. never wanted kids i get two of them. how did this happen. >> the bundys were a purposeful reaction to the huxtables.
you had this wonderful black family and horribly miserable white people. you could find things to relate to in both. >> howdy neighbor. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> there was a lot of fun to be had in al and peg bundy. >> after fox introduces married with children and it does very, very well back on abc they came up with another major hit, roseann. >> you think this is a magic kingdom where you sit up here on your throne. >> yeah. >> everything gets done by a wizard. laundry is folder, poof, dinner is on the table. >> 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 reid days, the early days, the father knows best, hardly anybody really lived like that. that was the way advertisers wanted you to live. >> i know what might make you
feel better. >> me too but i bet it's different than what you got. >> the idea situation is if you can subvert whatever common stuff is said about families or parenting. >> what's in this, lead? >> i got you kids new leg irons. >> her loudness and unfilteredness were key to why we liked her. she was saying stuff about working class people and about member and women. it was about marriage and raising kids and about how hard it is. >> great. i'm just going to look like a freak. >> 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. >> perhaps this generation are paying more attention to the dialogue, to the relationships that they see on television than in years previous? >> clearly people are watching our shows and cheers and st.
elsewhere. these are shows that are smart and written. it's their words that define them and i think that's what people like. >> but we're supposed to be here is the one thing that people can trust. if you go out there like a bunch of night riders what are you but just another vicious street gang. >> a 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 starts to want to tell their stories. that's what really changes things. >> the unexpected was more welcome in the 80s. predictability lost it's cache.
>> 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 and sometimes for the worse. >> it gave rise to people pursuing artistic content in a way that raised the bar in television production exponentially. >> there's a shift from just wanting to placate the audience to wanting to believe and challenge the audience. that's the decade when it happened. >> we sure did, sonny. >> i'm going to miss you, man. >> i'm going to miss you too, sonny. >> i give you a ride to the airport? >> why not.
♪ we'll be doing for tv what fm did for radio. >> some accused your videos of being soft porn. >> never had any problem saying how they feel. >> what are your dreams? >> to rule the world. >> michael jackson is the man of the 80s. >> music that's all beat and talk. it's rap music. >> heavy metal, it glorifies sex and violence and hates authority and adolescent boys love it. >> this weird, beastly pr