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    CBS Evening News

    CBS Evening News

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    CBS
    The CBS Evening News is a TV institution, having some of the most well-known journalists in the world anchor it through its many decades on the air. The show was at it's peak when it was hosted by the iconic Walter Cronkite from 1962 to 1981. Dan Rather took over and was the anchor until 2006.

    The show is currently anchored by Katie Couric, who takes over from Bob Schieffer. The half hour show covers both international and domestic news.moreless
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    Shark Week

    Shark Week

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    Discovery Channel
    Discovery Channel's Shark Week is an annual series of investigations into the characteristics and habits of the dangerous and often misunderstood marine predator. It is also cable television's longest-running programming event (it premiered in 1988). In Shark Week 2006, host Mike Rowe takes a closer look at one of the ocean's most feared creatures as well as the lives of the researchers, scientists and documentarians who work to find out more about them.moreless
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    Austin City Limits

    Austin City Limits

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    PBS
    Austin City Limits has established a reputation for showcasing great live musical performances. The show's studio allows for intimate and engaging performances by independent, mainstream, critically acclaimed, and popular artists. The show was originally created to display the emerging talents of the alternative country music scene in Austin, TX in the 1970s. Soon, however, the show branched out to include all types of music: alt country, pop rock, bluegrass and zydeco are just a few. Many television historians attribute MTV, CMT and VH1'a success to the contributions of this groundbreaking musical series. On Wednesday, November 12th, 2003; President Bush presented ACL with the National Medal of the Arts. ACL was the first television show (ever) to win the award.moreless
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    The Joy of Painting

    The Joy of Painting

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    PBS (ended 1994)
    The Joy of Painting was a television show dedicated to the art of the late Bob Ross, during this half an hour television show, Bob would do his best to teach everyone, from the most talented painter, to casual art type, his special techniques. Bob was famous for his landscapes and "Happy little trees" that would be our little secret.moreless
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    Nature

    Nature

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    PBS
    Nature is a wildlife documentary program that has been airing on PBS since 1982. Its longevity is explained partly by its quality; Nature has won numerous Emmy awards. Documentaries have explored a multitude of different animals, plants, and other aspects of the natural world. Subjects vary from "Africa" to "Yellowstone Otters." Some documentaries have featured celebrities, such as "Wild Horses of Mongolia with Julia Roberts" and "John Denver: Let This Be a Voice." While the documentaries vary in creator, style and narrator, they are all educational and suitable for the entire family.moreless
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    NOVA

    NOVA

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    PBS
    Seen in more than 100 countries, NOVA is the most watched science television series in the world and the most watched documentary series on PBS. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Each week NOVA takes an in depth look at a particular topic or individual in the science field. NOVA's topics cover all branches of science and engineering. NOVA's unique way of presenting each topic can be interesting to both those with no prior knowledge or those whose life's work is being covered.moreless
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    This is Your Life (UK)

    This is Your Life (UK)

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    BBC (ended 2003)
    Each week, a celebrity guest of honour is surprised and presented with a 'Red Book' by the show host. The host conducts a biography of the guest with the help of family members, friends, and acquaintances.moreless
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    Frontline

    Frontline

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    PBS
    Since it began in 1983, ‘Frontline' has been airing public-affairs documentaries that explore a wide scope of the complex human experience. Frontline's goal is to extend the impact of the documentary beyond its initial broadcast by serving as a catalyst for change.moreless
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    Biography

    Biography

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    A&E
    This show provides an in-depth profile of the lives of people throughout history who have captured our imagination.
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    American Experience

    American Experience

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    PBS
    Since 1988, PBS has broadcast a series that focuses on the history of the United States and what has made it unique. Called American Experience (originally titled The American Experience), the program examines the people, events, technology, and natural resources that have shaped the country. Hosted by David McCullough until 2002 and narrated by a number of well-known personalities - American Experience uses historians and authors, period images and film, music, dramatic re-enactments, and contemporary context to set the stage for its topics.

    The series continues to this day with a variable number of installments produced each year. Episodes are generally 60 minutes in length, but some longer episodes and multi-part series have also been produced. The show airs at different days and times on local PBS stations.

    Though American Experience has used many films from independent film makers and has been assisted by various PBS stations throughout the country, it has always been spearheaded by WGBH in Boston.moreless
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    Explorer

    Explorer

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    National Geographic
    Explorer is an American documentary television series that premiered on Nickelodeon, produced by National Geographic, which moved to The National Geographic Channel on July 8, 2004. In the show, the host, which has so far been Bingo O'Malley, Tom Chapin, Robert Urich, Boyd Matson, and Lisa Ling, takes viewers on a journey to explore marvels around the world. From spider sex to the world's most dangerous gang to the secret mummies of China, Explorer's features vary across a wide range of interests. Some shows even feature topics that are out of this world-literally! In 2010, Explorer aired an episode about Jupiter's moon, Europa. With such a wide range of topics, and the engaging, in-depth view into each subject, as viewers have come to know and love from National Geographic, Explorer has something for everyone. The series has received much critical acclaim since its inception in 1985 and has also attracted and steadily large audience. Explorer is the longest-running documentary television series on cable television won over 400 awards, including 52 Emmy Awards, as well as being nominated for 2 Academy Awards.moreless
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    Diamonds

    Diamonds

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    Global (ended 1989)
    Once upon a time, actors Michael Devitt and Christina Towne starred together on a hit television show called "Two of Diamonds", about two private eyes married to each other. Eventually, the two co-stars married in real-life, but when their marriage floundered, so did the show. Divorced, and unemployed, Mike decides to open a real private detective agency, and convinces Christina to join him. They call the agency "Two of Diamonds." Michael is the impulsive, instinctive one, and Christina is the more reserved one, methodical, logical, pragmatic. Suffice it to say that sparks of a rather romantic nature occasionally took flight in this Canadian production that smells a bit like Moonlighting, although, for the most part, Mike and Christina kept it strictly business. It was clear they still cared for one another, but it didn't degenerate into a overly sappy and soggy "will they/won't they?" storyline. Aiding and abetting the on-again, off-again twosome is Michael's cousin, Lieutenant Lou Gianetti, a member of the York (Toronto, actually, trying once more to be New York) police force, and René, a former collegue and one of the best special effects men in the business.moreless
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    National Geographic Channel Specials

    National Geographic Channel Specials

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    CBS
    A series of documentary specials that covers a diverse number of subjects including the natural world of wild creatures, native cultures, historical discoveries, etc. The specials range from a Nazi Expedition to Monkey Hunters, all the way to the Penguin Death Zone, and exploring the Year of the Hamster.

    The NGC specials is a collection of educational documentaries presented by the National Geographic Society that first began it's telecast on CBS Primetime Specials from 1964 until 1973. From 1973 to 1975, it was on ABC Primetime Specials. PBS began telecasting the NGC specials at various times between 1975 to 1985. In 1985 and onwards, the programmes were telecast on various cable networks including the National Geographic Channel.moreless
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    Cosmos

    Cosmos

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    PBS (ended 2005)
    Carl Sagan brings us the Cosmos, everything that ever was and ever will be, in an approach that is easily accessible even for those of us that are not science wizards. This 13 part series covers everything from the history of astronomy, the challenges it faced at its creation, how the universe was created and how it all might end, to the evolution of life on Earth, and the nature of the human brain. First aired in 1980 by the Public Broadcasting Service, Cosmos has seen multiple versions over the years. When the series was released on home video in the late 1980s, a 14th episode was included, which consisted of an interview between Dr. Sagan and Ted Turner. Dr. Sagan taped new epilogues for the 10th anniversary version in 1990, in which he addressed new discoveries and alternate viewpoints. The Science Channel rebroadcast the series on its 25th anniversary in 2005 with enhanced computer graphics. The series was awarded an Emmy and a Peabody Award. It has been broadcast in 60 countries and has been seen by an estimated 500 million to 1 billion viewers worldwide.moreless
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    Lifestyles of the Rich And Famous

    Lifestyles of the Rich And Famous

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    (ended 1995)
    This hour-long series looked at how much money Hollywood celebrities spend on homes, cars, and other rewards.
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    Dispatches

    Dispatches

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    Channel 4
    Award-winning investigative documentary series produced by Channel 4, exploring complex and contemporary issues facing the UK, and the world. Established in 1987, it has a reputation for tackling subjects other shows shy away from.moreless
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    Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth

    Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth

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    PBS (ended 1988)
    Bill Moyers interviews legendary scholar and teacher Joseph Campbell about the origins and meanings of mythology. Using history, art, Jungian psychology, and even modern cinema, Campbell demonstrates the origins of mythic images in the deepest parts of our psyche and the power of myth in our daily lives. Most of these conversations were filmed at George Lucas' 'Skywalker Ranch.' Lucas volunteered the use of the buildings to thank Professor Campbell for the role his work played in shaping Lucas' Star Wars films.moreless
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    Ali's Greatest Fights

    Ali's Greatest Fights

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    HBO
    Ali’s Greatest Fights is a HBO special that lets you celebrate the world’s greatest heavyweight boxer’s best fights. As an amateur, Ali won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division during the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Later, as a professional, Ali went on to win the heavyweight championship three times. Ali’s Greatest Fights contains three of his most well known matches: Rumble in the Jungle (1974), Thrilla in Manila (1975), and I Shook Up the World (1964). In Rumble in the Jungle, Ali faced defending champion George Foreman and his odds of victory were about as strong as a snowball’s chance in hell. The match saw Ali’s implementation of the “Rope-A-Dope” technique, and through superior stamina, a stunning underdog victory. In Thrilla in Manila, Ali faced Joe Frazier for the third time – a final clash between to titans in the game. Inspired by Ali’s taunts, Joe Frazer boxed the match of his life in a match in which neither fighter was willing to lose. In I Shook Up the World, Ali faced Sonny Liston, a fighter many were reluctant to tango with, and came away with his first heavyweight championship.moreless
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    Planet Earth (1986 Miniseries)

    Planet Earth (1986 Miniseries)

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    PBS
    Planet Earth (1986 Miniseries) is a seven-part nature documentary series from PBS and narrated by Richard Kiley that takes viewers on an exploration of our home planet, examining the history of the world and determining the many factors that have shaped the land and seas over time. This series seeks to provide a comprehensive portrait of Earth's past and present, and uses scientific data to project the Earth's most likely future. Over the years the planet has slowly been shaped to look the way it does today. This series ventures beneath the Earth's crust and into the ocean's depths to look at the geological forces at work beneath our feet, as well as turning an eye to the sky and examining the solar system's role in Earth's development. Planet Earth is an illuminating and entertaining nature program that offers a glimpse of the events that have led to the modern world.moreless
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    Timeline

    Timeline

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    PBS (ended 1989)
    One of the forgotten gems of the eighties, Timeline was an educational series with the brilliant premise of having a TV news team report straightfacedly from some of the Middle Ages' greatest turning points. Rarely has this startling mix of hard mediaeval history and the inexplicably fantastic intrusion of TV news ever been attempted. The best comparison is Walter Cronkite's You Are There, but Timeline wins over with its modern wit amidst a feudal backdrop. Curtis Olmstead has noted that Timeline series creator Gary Witt may have drawn inspiration from the 1969 proto-Python series The Complete and Utter History of Britain, though to be fair, Peter Watkins' Culloden pioneered the format as serious documentary on the BBC in 1964. And as Witt and series producer Leo Eaton have kindly pointed out, the original incarnation of Timeline on PBS was as a series of shorts called Newscast From the Past. Timeline had a long list of international producers, location shoots in Turkey, Spain and England, and a price tag of over $2 million. But PBS virtually killed the series by mismanaging its broadcast schedule (this your editor can attest to, from memory, and see dates below). Its current distributor has 5-minute RealVideo samples of each episode online; see link at left. The production companies included Maryland Public Broadcasting System, KRLU-Austin and The Newscast Company of Texas, Turkish Radio and Television, Television Española, and Holmes Associates and Molinare/Visions of Great Britain.moreless
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