CBS: The First 50 Years (1998)

Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This two-hour TV entertainment special takes a surface skim (95 minutes minus commercials and promos) over the history of CBS, quickly skipping past decades of CBS radio to concentrate on CBS television from the late '40s to the present. It features more than a dozen hosts (Adam Arkin, Ed Bradley, Carol Burnett, David Copperfield, Roma Downey, Fran Drescher, Don Johnson, Angela Lansbury, David Letterman, Cheech Marin, Mary Tyler Moore, Dan Rather, Della Reese, Ray Romano, Jane Seymour) introducing a parade of primetime clips covering a variety of shows, events, and people -- Ed Sullivan, The Carol Burnette Show, 60 Minutes (Mike Wallace interviewing Barbra Streisand), Gunsmoke, The Honeymooners, Edward R. Murrow (his oft-seen editorial on Joe McCarthy), I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, The Waltons, Dan Rather reporting from Vietnam, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Green Acres, Dallas, Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, M*A*S*H, The Andy Griffith Show, Murphy Brown, the JFK assassination, and more -- with reminiscences from Tom and Dick Smothers, David Letterman (on Ed Sullivan), Larry Hagman (on "Who shot J.R.?"), Alan Alda, Ron Howard, Walter Cronkite, and others. At 95 minutes, these nostalgic nods, truncated tributes, and familiar faces might leave many viewers yearning for an archeological dig through the little-seen rarities and antiquities buried in the Museum of Television & Radio collection while waiting for the major networks to cover broadcasting history in depth. Premiered May 20, 1998 on CBS.