A new four-part second season of Pioneers of Television began last week on PBS. The first subject was Science Fiction. This week it was Westerns. The format of the 50 minute show includes interviews with actors and actresses from key TV series in each genre. The main problem of the format is the limited coverage that ignores major TV shows. So this week the Westerns episode featured Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Maverick, The Rifleman, The Wild Wild West, The Big Valley, The High Chaparral and Daniel Boone. Missing from the discussion of the genre was The Virginian, Cheyenne, Rawhide, Laredo, Alias Smith and Jones etc. No mention of any Universal TV production indicates copyright restrictions for the low budget PBS network.
We did get to see interviews with many actors who have sadly passed away since the episode was filmed. Fess Parker, Robert Culp, Peter Graves, Stephen J. Cannell and rare film interviews with Mitch Vogel, Linda Evans, James Arness, Henry Darrow and Robert Conrad plus stars from Daniel Boone.
Definitely worth watching when it plays in your area. But very frustrating to see The Virginian ignored.