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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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    Modern Marvels

    Modern Marvels

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    The History Channel
    According to the History Channel, this show first aired in January of 1995, but it was released on VHS in 1994. It was probably on another network before the History Channel was formed in January of 1995.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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    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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    Judge Mathis

    Judge Mathis

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    The CW
    Judge Mathis is entertaining Court TV inspired by the troubled childhood of the judge of the same name. Judge Greg Mathis leads the court for an hour long session. Cases in the court are anything but dull. The litigants in each case are typically comical in their own right each with a lengthy story to tell. But Judge Mathis holds his own against the revolving guests, as he can always be counted on to offer a witty statement or instigation from the bench. And his two cents is constantly appreciated by the viewers and the spectators of the court. Lately the television judges of today are straying further from the 'stern-faced' no nonsense judges of the past and the intimidation role of such persons like Judge Judy. Instead, it looks as if the judge of today aims to display this "I want to be your friend" sort of demeanor – which often comes across as strained or scripted. But not with Mathis. When Judge Mathis laughs it up from his post on the bench, or heckles a litigant that was caught cheating on his girlfriend – it doesn't seem scripted, but downright genuine. Mathis seems to gather just as much amusement listening to the stories from his ruling position as the viewers gather from their posts at home. Of course, Judge Mathis isn't based upon an entire platform of humor. Present is the sporadic second of blatant seriousness. No times for laughs, but time for the spotlight to shine as Greg Mathis addresses a courtroom guest about straightening up their life. For importance adds his 'been-there-done-that' point of view about how life on the streets, drugs, and 'thuggin' will get you nowhere but in prison, or dead. The moment of unsmiling monologue is easy to digest – Mathis never goes over the top, he keeps it short and like a flash he moves on and the ho-hum 'scared straight' moment is lifted. Judge Mathis is 60 minutes of entertainment. Underrated against other shows of its genre, it remains a highly favored show among staunch fans. But the show doesn't go completely unnoticed. In 2004 and 2005, Judge Mathis was nominated for a NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding TV News, Talk or Information Series or Special.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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    Big Cat Diary

    Big Cat Diary

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    BBC (ended 2008)
    Filmed in Masai Mara, Africa, big cats such as lions, leopards and cheetahs are shown in their natural habitat. The presenters offer commentary and focus on big cats with cubs and lion prides.moreless
  • 8
    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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    E! True Hollywood Story

    E! True Hollywood Story

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    E!
    Want the inside scoop on Tinseltown's steamiest secrets? Watch E!'s Emmy-nominated documentary series for the real Story on the shows, the stars and the secrets of the Hollywood elite.
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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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    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.
  • 12
    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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    America's Castles

    America's Castles

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    A&E
    America's Castles is an A&E documentary series that showcased the most extraordinary and elaborate mansions, house and castles in America. Several episodes showed castles outside of America though as well, such as ones in Scotland and England. The show lasted from 1994 to 1997. From old castles built at the turn of the 20th century to more modern masterpieces, this show highlighted them all, pointing out their marvelous architecture and fascinating individuality and custom made interiors. See Rockefeller's sprawling country estate in the Hudson Valley, Donald Trump's mansion in Palm Beach Florida, mansions designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Chateau Sur Mer, The Breakers, the Marble House, Chinqua-Penn Plantation and many, many more. The show was hosted by curators and the directors of the estates, giving close and highly education views on all the castles.moreless
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    Independent Lens

    Independent Lens

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    PBS
    Celebrate independent films with this Emmy award-winning PBS series. Each week spotlights new documentaries, dramas, shorts and other cinematic artistry by different filmmaking visionaries.
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    The FBI Files

    The FBI Files

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    Discovery Channel (ended 2006)
    Through re-enactments of high profile cases involving the FBI, the show reveals how agents solve these crimes behind the scene. The show producers work with FBI special agents and examiners in high tech crime labs to portrait each case accurately. You will learn how the FBI protects the lives of Americans and brings the most notorious criminals to justice. The FBI was originally established to address crime that covered cities, counties, and spread across state lines. The country needed a federal law-enforcement entity to do those investigations. And over the years, as the country has grown and as the world, by the same token, has grown smaller, the FBI’s mission has changed to meet the various threats. The show is hosted by James Kallstrom, the former director in charge of the FBI's New York office. Along with The New Detectives, the FBI File is one of Discovery Channel's highest rated series. The FBI Files is also available on international televisions. Globally, key outlets include RTL 2 in Germany, Channel 5 in the UK, TVDanmark, and the Discovery Channel in the UK, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Selected regional showtime: Discovery Channel (U.S.): weekdays at 3PM EST / PST Discovery Asia: Friday at 11PM Discovery Australia: Wednesday at 7:30PM AESTmoreless
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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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    Walking with Dinosaurs

    Walking with Dinosaurs

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    BBC (ended 2004)
    This six-part series, developed by Framestore Ltd. and the BBC, follows the life of Earth's greatest life forms through their reign over the Mesozoic world, from their humble beginning in the late Triassic, to their fall in the Cretaceous. Along the way, we are also witnessed to their reptilian cousins that ruled the seas and air during this fantastic time in Earth's history. Though one must keep in mind that the stories are mere speculation, the filmmakers enlisted the aide of scientists to provide them with as many facts as possible for this series. Walking with Dinosaurs scored the highest ratings for a cable series ever when it aired on the Discovery Channel. The series won an Annie, two BAFTAs, a Broadcasting Press Guild award, three Emmys Awards for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming More Than One Hour), Outstanding Sound Editing in Non-Fiction Program & Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (out of six nominations), the Peabody Award, three Royal Television Society awards, a TV Quick Award, a Television and Radio Industries Club Award, and a Young Artist Award. Since this series aired, it has spawned several follow-up series, including The Ballad of Big Al, Walking with Beasts, Walking with Cavemen, and at least three specials hosted by naturalist Nigel Marven.moreless
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    Behind The Music

    Behind The Music

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    VH1
    "Behind The Music" chronicles the personal lives of many of the most popular musical acts of the rock era, and occasionally strays into related subjects, such as Woodstock, Hair and radio pioneer Alan Freed, as well as 'year' episodes, which tell the events and issues of certain years through the music of the time. The series was born following the success of a VH1 documentary about heroin abuse. The producers strictly follow a policy of having complete cooperation from their subjects, even when delving into embarrassing issues, which prevents the show from falling into the pitfall of tabloid sleaze. They hunt down possible interviewees, sometimes using detectives, and ask direct, probing questions, which prompt revealing, and brutally honest (we hope) responses. Nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series for four consecutive years, BTM has established a rigid formula. We explore humble beginnings, meteoric rises, major setbacks, personal struggles, crippling vices, devasting falls, and climaxes that include revivals, deaths, and career changes. Unfortunately (for us), success has crept in. As BTM became VH1's top-rated show, it also has become a vehicle for commercialism. In 2000, the market was flooded with BTM books, CD's, and videos, and the recording industry started to realise the direct influence the show has on music sales. Vanilla Ice reportedly sold four times more albums after his episode aired, and many back catalogue sales have increased. So the later episodes have veered away from the 'classic' artists, and feature trendy, marketable newer acts. Hence, there sometimes is precious little drama to the artists' stories, and the series has turned rather uneven. Still, there is an occasional worthy tale, though VH1 produces only three or four new episodes per season these days. It's sister show, "VH1's Storytellers", has also been revived .moreless
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    VH1 Storytellers

    VH1 Storytellers

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    VH1
    This acclaimed series began with a broadcast of Ray Davies talking about his songs and performing them solo, as part of his own "Storyteller" concert tour in 1996. Ray being one of more eloquant and insightful writers of our time, the show was well-received, and other performers were lined up. Many of popular music's greatest artists and songwriters have taped episodes, mostly in intimate settings, some taking audience questions and telling first-hand stories about their writing and personal experiences. By definition, the series is rather uneven, (after all, if you're not a fan of the performer, it's not your cup of tea). But it has produced many inspiring moments and memorable performances. As of November 2008, 79 episodes have aired, many in conjunction with its sister series, "Behind The Music". CD's and DVD's of episodes are available, including some "Best Of" and "Lost Songs" collections. It was listed as on hiatus from 2002 to 2005, then a few occasional episodes have been taped, mostly in conjunction with the artist's latest release.moreless
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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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