tv The Nineties CNN December 29, 2019 7:00pm-9:00pm PST
>> look, what about me? i could be on there, couldn't i? >> it was always letterman's dream to be the host of "the tonight show." he idolized johnny carson, rightfully so. >> the big decision that's had the entertainment industry buzzing is due this week. that of course is the fate of nbc's "late night" stars jay leno and david letterman. don't touch that dial. >> most of us thought the person we're about to flip it for you. who deserved to get it was david >> in five, four, three, two. >> tv is changing dramatically letterman. he didn't get it. jay leno got it. now with 150 channels that might be available in the near future. >> there's a lot of things that we do that you couldn't have on network television. >> leno, who earlier rode his >> people are really trying to motorcycle into a news conference hosted by nbc entertainment president warren do something adventurous. littlefield, still has a bruised >> shame on you! ego about the way the network >> this is more celebration of wavered in its support for him. culture and opening the doors and allowing america to come on >> when we found out leno was going to get "the tonight show," inside. >> there is always something on we were all obviously depressed. television and some of it may be we felt like we were being punished for making fun of them better than we deserve. >> that was cool. ♪ and not cooperating and not being as collaborative as we could have been. and we also felt like we were being disrespected because we did 11 years of great shows. >> just how pissed off are you? [ laughter and applause ]
>> by all rights, david letterman should have taken over for johnny carson, but his agent took a very, very aggressive stand. we're going to really control all of late night. ♪ it's going to cost you a fortune. and they put our backs to the wall. >> i can only tell you it's been an honor and a privilege to come into your homes all these years and entertain you. and i hope when i find something >> listen to it. i want to do and i think you oh, they know when it hits the bottom, it will be 1990, will like and come back, that good-bye to the 80s. you will be as gracious inviting me into your home as you have been. i bid you a very heartfelt good >> ten, nine, eight -- eight, night. >> "the tonight show" without johnny carson as the regular eight, eight! >> oh, will this horrible year never end? >> when the '90s began, we started to see a lot of host made its debut last night. jay leno emerged from behind the
experimentation. curtain, stepping into the big shoes that were filled for 30 years by johnny. >> cbs came to us and made a very attractive offer. >> here we go, number ten. head cbs, tails cbs. number nine -- and "the simpsons" i think in some senses was inspired by not necessarily hatred of >> letterman did place a call to television, but a distrust of a lot of the ways in which johnny carson asking for his television was talking to us. advice and johnny said, if it >> tv respects me. was me, i would leave. it laughs with me. and i think that advice was really the linchpin. not at me. letterman always took johnny's advice. >> the late-night wars are about >> you're stupid. to begin in earnest on american television. david letterman is now headed >> doh! for cbs. >> i think the sitcoms of the >> cbs had lured him over with a '80s were such a warm, safe, humor. salary more than four times that >> i love you guys. of leno and given him what he really wanted, the 11:30 time >> the kids, they listen to the slot. rap music, which gives them the now as dave and jay prepare to brain damage. go head to head, one thing is clear -- late-night tv will >> and i think there was a real never be quite the same. yearning for another type of >> all of a sudden, there's a talk show war. humor. ♪ >> we were able to spoof >> start up your remote controls. the late-night race is about to fatherhood -- >> what a bad father. begin. >> on monday, david letterman's >> -- which at the time, and i new show debuts here on cbs. stress at the time, was bill followed a week later by chevy cosby as the shining example. chase on fox and a week after
that by conan o'brien on nbc. ♪ did you ever know that you're my hero ♪ these combatants join "the >> the stuff they got away with tonight show" with jay leno, because it's a cartoon. arsenio, and nightline. the father strangling the child. >> why you little -- >> it became a crowded space and >> we are going to keep on the competition became that much more difficult. trying to strengthen the american family to make american families a lot more like the >> in the third corner, his waltons and a lot less like the ratings fading rapidly, arsenio simpsons. hall. some tv writers think arsenio could be the big loser in this >> we go to a completely bizarre free-for-all. >> when letterman came in, it essentially diluted arsenio's period of time in 1992 when a brand because there were so many sitting president is raging against a sitcom. >> they have dealt with politics. they have dealt with popular culture. alternatives. they've dealt with all kinds of >> i'm sad to see you go because issues of racism, of sexism. america is going to have a big >> don't ask me, i'm just a chunk missing out of its existence. >> losing arsenio, yeah, it was bad. girl. >> right on, say it, sister. he was the lone voice, gone. >> it's not funny, bart. millions of girls will grow up thinking this is the right way to act. >> they have found a way to talk about everything that's going on >> david letterman had the suits at nbc pausing for a moment.
in our lives through the filter did we make the right choice? of "the simpsons." >> them immigrants. because he came out gangbusters they want all the benefits to living in springfield, but they ain't even bothered to learn themselves the language. and he was beating jay leno in >> yeah, those are exactly my the ratings. >> there's some people who say, sentimonies. you blew it, that by picking leno to replace carson over letterman, that that was a big programming mistake. >> it was a shaky start. >> i think one of the governing things that's happening with a really, really shaky first season start. >> it's true confessions time "the simpsons" is a distrust of anyone who tells us we should trust them and doesn't earn that trust. for actor hugh grant who is trying hard to put his recent encounter with a hollywood prostitute behind him. >> when hugh grant was arrested, >> i'll take that statue of justice too. it was big, live action news and >> sold. >> when they make fun of how fox hugh grant was supposed to do works -- >> you are watching fox. "the tonight show" that night. >> what the hell were you thinking? >> we are watching fox. >> they are telling you don't trust us either. >> eat my shorts. >> all right. i'll eat -- eat your shorts? [ drum sting ] [ cheers and applause ] >> it all came together in that moment and everyone saw it and that's it. >> "the simpsons" is like we were never number two again. >> hey, hey! >> for us it was the fun shakespeare in the sense that we experience. we got our own theater, an quote the simpsons all the time, very often without knowing it. >> excellent! >> i wish i could create unlimited budget, we've got something that culturally access to every star in the indelible. it's unlike anything else tv has
ever run. >> "twin peaks" showed up out of nowhere at the beginning of the decade. business who wants to do the show. >> somebody bring me the jaws of life! the pilot episode of that was >> so, i think going to cbs was heaven-sent. it really was. one of the strangest and most >> good night, everybody! exciting things i have ever seen. (paul) i'm going to keep this short and sweet. >> i'm at the twin peaks county morgue. with the body of the victim. what's her name? [ screaming ] >> it was incredible. now you can switch to sprint and get both just how slowly in the beginning an unlimited plan and the samsung galaxy s10 plus the news spread around this included for just $35 a month. little town that this young, yup. short and sweet. beautiful girl had died and that haunting music was so dark and for people with hearing loss, visit sprintrelay.com. so beautiful. ♪
>> i've got good news. the gum you like is going to come back in style. >> what on earth is essentially a art film doing in prime time television? >> american network television quitting smoking is freaking hard.st, has long been considered the home of the blands, the cautious and the predictable. like quitting every monday hard. quitting feels so big. so, try making it smaller. so it was with some trepidation and you'll be surprised at how easily starting small... ...can lead to something big. that the abc network recently start stopping with nicorette launched a new series that was none of those things. there's room for more than just the business you came for. "twin peaks" is already described by one critic as the whether that's keeping up with what you always do... series that will change tv. it's directed by david lynch. or training for something you've never done before. >> david lynch was a filmmaker known for his taste in the that's room for possibility. ♪ eccentric and memorable. the idea that he would do [ alarm b ♪ ng ] network television in the '90s was crazy. >> do you watch much of it? >> i like the idea of television, but i'm too busy to see very much of it. >> what do you think of that which you do see? >> some of it i really enjoy. >> are you being diplomatic? >> sort of. [ screaming ]
what if once in a blue moon happened more than once in a blue moon? >> the beautiful thing about reach for the moon. television ihe initial attentio got allowed all the other networks to say, let's do something different. >> what was interesting about "northern exposure" it was an odd sort of universe that this guy was dropped into. >> the day's coming. it ain't going to be long when you ain't going to have to leave your living room. no more schools, no more tabernacles. no more cineplexes, all right? you're going to snuggle up to your fiberoptics and bliss out. what are you doing back there, junior? since we're obviously lost, i'm rescheduling my xfinity customer service appointment. ah, relax. i got this. >> you also had experimentation that set the stage for a lot of what came later. which gps are you using anyway? >> it's kind of hard to pin down a little something called instinct. been using it for years. what exactly "the x files" is. yeah, that's what i'm afraid of. he knows exactly where we're going. i mean, on the surface, it's a my whole body is a compass. oh boy... show about investigating paranormal activities. >> unidentified flying objects. the my account app makes today's
i think that fits the description pretty well. xfinity customer service simple, easy, awesome. tell me i'm crazy. not my thing. >> mulder, you're crazy. >> that dynamic, that dramatic tension of believer versus skeptic is one of the engines of the show. you were always seeing it from a specific point of view. >> they're equals? >> yeah, absolutely. they are equals in a way they have kind of switched gender stereotypes because the character i play, mulder is the intuitive one. and scully is the rationalist, the doctor. >> a lot of folks who enjoyed "the x files" who otherwise didn't watch tv might have been drawn to the show by its, for lack of a better way to put it, stick it to the man ethos. don't trust the government or big business or anybody but yourself and your friends and family, i guess. in the mid-1990s if you took a look at the list of the 50 most-watched shows on cable, at it's a message that's somewhat dark and cynical, but was kind of a breath of fresh air in the early '90s.
>> the '90s was a time of the top would be nickelodeon. "rug rats," "blues clues." conspiracies. and the internet was starting to >> don't you know cartoons will ruin your mind? spread beyond just like >> "ren and stimpy" had some hard-core computer users. so you could have message boards and use net news groups. and everybody wanted to talk about the black oil and the bees and mulder's sister and what the cigarette smoking man was up to. very surreal, high-concept humor to it. this is the beginning of the splintering of the television audience and splintering of the >> i would go to alt.tv/xfiles. family audience, really, because with families having three or four tvs in the house you had a and people were so nuts for this kid watching nickelodeon, the dad watching espn sports, the show. >> it's just pure science mom watching lifetime. fiction. that's probably what i like most you know, they were in their own about it. >> the xfiles changed the way separate universes watching television. by the time of the '90s, mtv wasn't merely a music channel. people watched television. they were having great success >> you could sense the successful creators trying to see how they could do things different five or ten years ago. in terms of creating shows that sometimes that led to really challenging network television that was cool and fun to watch. and sometimes it seemed to fall incorporated music but that also off the edge a little bit. were shows and programs that ♪ let's be careful out there stood on their own. >> at the time, steven bochco
was a very successful producer >> yes! >> huh huh huh! of hour dramas and wanted to try huh huh huh! huh huh huh! something brand-new. >> we're the police! we have a warrant for your arrest. >> so his idea was to combine a that was cool! gritty cop show with a broadway musical. >> "beavis and butthead" >> i saw one in which a bunch of established what mtv could be because the shows were about gang bangers were in jail. making fun of music videos just they began to sing. like people in the audience were doing. >> whoa, check out his neck. life in the hood ain't no pizza >> yeah. there's like all these bones and pie, everybody die when the stitches moving around. >> yeah. >> my manager would call me, like, hey, you got this big bump bullets fly. because you were on "beavis and ♪ life in the hood ain't no butthead" last night. >> i sit there like a doughnut pizza pie, people die when watching these guys. bullets fly ♪ >> and i said wait a minute. i thought this is it. this is great. this is going to be as innovative as anything i have and i find them endlessly entertaining because i know and ever done. you know and the world knows, these guys are always, will be, ♪ he is guilty, he is guilty, judge, you can see it in his and cannot be anything but eyes ♪ ♪ he did the crime and now he's idiots. >> that's right. >> mtv has a detrimental, got to pay ♪
>> it circled the drain. damaging, developmental effect on the sexuality, on the morality, on the spirituality, maybe even the physical development of our young people. >> i will give credit to anybody who goes outside the box and swings really hard for the fences. ♪ >> now we hit the '90s and once ♪ i worked real hard and i got you can go for an audience of 5 million and have a successful my education ♪ >> i'm creatively proud of it. show, you can say, i don't care still. if the parents don't like this. >> can i tell you something, miss ellen? >> of course, wendy. >> don't [ bleep ] with me! >> what? i'm very glad we tried it. i don't think i'd want to do it >> you heard me. stay away from my man, bitch, or i'll whoop your sorry little ass back to last year! >> trey parker and matt stone again. were two of the funniest people i ever met. and their success story is proof that if you just stay true to (vo) in every trip, there's room for more yourself, you don't have to do than just the business you came for. anything else. >> people think, oh, you came and did the show and now you're big sellouts. whether that's getting a taste of where you are, the truth is, we were sellouts to begin with. >> perhaps there is no stopping the corporate machine. or bringing some of that flavor back home. >> i mean, we were sleeping at friends' houses, had no money, and then one fox executive had that's room for possibility. seen a cartoon we had made in college and he said, make me ♪ let's get to living another christmas video i can send out as a christmas card. he gave us like 700 bucks. we went and made this five-minute short. >> i come seeking retribution.
>> he's come to kill you because you're jewish, kyle. >> oh [ bleep ]. >> it went around the tv community like wildfire. >> i mean, it -- it was the funniest thing you'd ever seen in your life. >> go, santa! >> somebody showed me the short. >> go, jesus! >> i thought it was hysterical. i called and said get them in here right away. >> oh, my god! they killed kenny. ♪ you bastards! ew keurig k-duo brewer makes any occasion the perfect coffee occasion. >> "south park" was able to be topical. family brunch! just add ground coffee for a carafe, or pop in a pod for a freshly brewed cup. good strong coffee. our french roast. it was a decaf for you, yes? >> "south park" really, really detests hypocrites. >> christians and republicans in your favorite mug. there we go. and nazis, oh, my! >> well, okay, mrs. cartman, i'll legalize 40th trimester abortions for you.
>> could you imagine back then that these people would ever get on network television or any kind of television? >> howdy ho! >> it's a miracle. "south park" is a miracle. >> the early '90s the hbo shows start to kind of come into their own. you have a brother in [the second battalion? >> and then have i always had yes sir. these breasts? they're walking into a trap. your orders are to deliver a message calling off tomorrow's attack. >> a lot of people want freedom. if you fail we will lose sixteen hundred men. they don't want to go back to the networks, which are saying your brother among them. you can come to us where you'll make more money but you'll also have content restricted. you could go to cable and have we need to keep moving. come on! there's only one way this war ends. last man standing. no restrictions. (paul) do you get confused byi don't blame you.claims? the most reliable. the most awarded.
not make as much money but have the best, the fastest, freedom of expression, which almost everybody who works in the best and the fastest. these mediums wants. it's too much. >> some of the content truly sprint's doing things differently. was, you can't get this anywhere they're offering a 100% total satisfaction guarantee. else. >> you're a fantasy maker, the only limit on the kinds of fantasies is people's i mean i think sprint's network and savings are great. imagination. >> hbo turned to people who but don't just take my word for it. try out the network and see the savings for yourself. said, i can't do that on television, but you can do it on hbo. switch and get both an unlimited plan and the samsung galaxy s10 plus included, >> white people don't trust black people. for just $35 a month. for people with hearing loss, visit sprintrelay.com. that's why they won't vote for no black president. like a black brother will [ bleep ] up the white house. like the grass won't be cut. dishes piled up. cousins running through the white house. cookouts. basketball going in the back. >> in the late '80s hbo was just sort of gaining ground for series. >> by the '90s hbo had started to begin its explosion. >> when we started doing "dream on" one of the things hbo said to us was, it's got to be something that couldn't be on network tv. ♪ >> because hbo was driven by subscribers and not by commercials and selling advertising time, they had a different way of looking at success or failure. what they were looking for was generation x, the 20 critical acclaim. something's, boomerangers, >> you've watched letterman, you've watched leno, but what
about larry? baby busters, whatever the 46 million young souls are called are turning out larry sanders, that is. to be a hard sell. he's the tv alter ego of comedian garry shandling. >> in the '90s, what we realized >> garry shandling wanted to do is advertisers would pay premiums for college educated young adults 18 to 49. we started reinventing nbc and a show that deconstructed the trying to speak to that audience. >> where is someone? i'm starving. kind of show "the tonight show" was. >> this is him right here. >> just pretend like you're talking to me till we're off the air so it won't seem weird. >> okay. blah, blah, blah, blah. >> "the larry sanders show" was >> is there a table ready? >> the chinese restaurant was sort of cathartic. one of the very, very early because in the world of "the larry sanders show," there was a episodes of "seinfeld." network. >> you want me to [ bleep ] your and truly nothing happened in budget? the episode. is that what you want me to do? they were waiting for a table. >> so it became this weird funhouse mirror thing, where you >> i feel like just walking over there and taking some food off could use stuff from your of somebody's plate. misery, your career, as fodder. >> don't take this as a threat >> we said to larry david, hey, but i killed a man like you in like nothing happens. and larry was offended. korea, hand to hand. my boy doesn't want to do any he was like wildly offended. more commercials. >> larry sanders to me was, aside from being a brilliant >> nbc believed in the show so they said we're committing to four episodes. >> yes, yeah, right. four episodes. >> normally it's 13 or 8 or
something. >> yes, at least. television show -- >> we really didn't think they had too much confidence in the >> can you say, hey now. >> hey now. show. >> it was my everyday life. >> i'm here for three good >> we didn't think it would reasons. last show. big ratings. work, but we thought they had to go through their process and they would learn and ultimately movie coming out. they knew better than we did. bim, bam, boom. >> "the larry sanders show" was very unique in that it was very >> my mother caught me. >> caught you? deadpan. and really groundbreaking in its doing what? day. >> i think it made people really go, that's the level of work you >> you know. may be able to do on a cable network. >> please, do not flip around. i was alone. come right back. >> hey now! >> the turning point for oh, you sound good. "seinfeld" from like nice show that all of the cool people kind of know about but that's it to massive hit was an episode called "the contest" where they tried to abstain from self-pleasure for as long as possible. >> 6:30, time for your bath. >> george, i'm hungry. everything your trip needs for everyone you love. expedia. >> hang on, ma.
hang on. >> once you do 30 minutes on masturbation, you can pretty for everyone you love. robinwithout the commission fees. so, you can start much get away with anything. investing today wherever you are - >> i guess you'll be going back even hanging with your dog. so, what are you waiting for? to that hospital. >> my mother, jerry. >> but are you still master of download now and get your first stock on us. robinhood. your domain? ew keurig k-duo brewer makes any occasion the perfect coffee occasion. >> i am king of the county. >> the week after that aired, family brunch! people were talking about that in the workplace the entire just add ground coffee for a carafe, week. or pop in a pod for a freshly brewed cup. they still are talking about it. 52 seconds and two of the good strong coffee. greatest words in sitcom history. our french roast. it was a decaf for you, yes? in your favorite mug. there we go. >> i'm out. >> one of the shorthand descriptions of "seinfeld" is no hugs, no lessons. let's push it a little further than it's ever been pushed before. >> i think the big breakthrough of "seinfeld" was that the characters were not nice people. >> shut up, you old cow! >> they were narcissistic. >> help! >> they would screw each other at the drop of a hat. >> he's just a dentist.
>> and you're an anti-dentite. at t-mobile, we're lighting up 5g, and when you buy a samsung note 10+ 5g, you get one free. >> and yet be best friends the plus you can experience it on the nation's largest 5g network. next week. so you can stay connected like this. ♪ when you wish upon a star score a last minute this. >> you don't have to love them. we just have to laugh at them. get home easier, like this. and share all of this... >> i'm really sorry. with that. >> i was in the pool. so do this. on that. with us. i was in the pool! and now, buy a samsung note 10+ 5g >> the idea of a character with and get one free when you add a line. darker tendencies, that was so taboo in television comedy. >> are you about done? >> i'm just getting warmed up. >> we're in the confines of network tv with commercials, with still a lot of things that are very highly structured and yet we're able to find ways of pushing in the boundaries. >> no soup for you. >> it took us to a new level of comedy.
and it kind of defined like, yeah, nbc, thursday night, this show, expect the unexpected. >> can you sing the theme song from "cheers"? ♪ making your way in the world today ♪ >> come on, i know. it's cute. just sing it. ♪ takes everything you got ♪ taking a break from all your worries sure can help a lot ♪ ♪ wouldn't you like to get away ♪ ♪ sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name ♪ >> we decided to end "cheers" in the 11th year. over 93 million people watched the finale of "cheers." it's a sad experience for everybody. this was our baby for 11 years and we're not going to be around these people every day. >> you people are as dear to me as my own family. >> we had been serving fake suds forever. it was time for everybody to sip. in fact, i was sipping along with them. >> time goes by so fast.
people move in and out of your life. you must never miss an opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you. >> we had been through so much together. you spend so much time with the same set of people, it does in the '90s you suddenly had become your family. shows that were aiming at a young audience. one of the things that really >> i feel pretty lucky to have the friends i do. made "90210" stand out is it was one of the first dramas to really get into the teenager's >> i think the legacy of "cheers" is our need to belong. and i think that's what we as americans are longing for. point of view. >> thank you, guys. >> the final scene of "cheers" was really what was sam's real first love. >> you can never be unfaithful >> do you have protection? to your one true love. >> of course. it's always been my problem. lots of protection but nothing >> i'm the luckiest son of a -- on earth. >> his real first love was the bar. to protect. >> sorry, we're closed. >> i wanted to do a tv series that was going to be relevant to teenagers. and it's not about the parents solving the kids' problems. it's about the kids basically
time, r by takf layovers and more, so you can be confident you're getting the right flight at the best price. ♪ kayak. search one and done. solving their own problems. >> what are we supposed to do, sit him down and have a kid-to-parent talk. >> no, you can't talk to parents on that mature level. tragic but true. >> if the '60s had beatle mania, the '90s had "90210" mania. when tv guide had its "youth-quake" cover, that was a sign that suddenly television was focused on these young people. ♪ "my so-called life" was the punk rock version of "90210." it was earnest but not at all saccharine. it didn't have easy answers. it showed teen heartbreak in a way that was staggeringly real for the time. >> you like this. >> like what? >> like how you are. >> hey jordan, you coming or not? >> how am i?
how am i? >> "my so-called life" was your actual life. and the idea that everyone in high school is a misfit, that you have this deep insecurity about who you're supposed to be. >> you know how sometimes the last sentence you said like echoes in your brain? and it keeps just sounding stupider? and you have to say something else just to make it stop. >> oh, i just remembered. i owe you $30. >> "my so-called life" was not necessarily the show the cheerleader or captain of the football team were watching. they were still watching "90210". but it was the people who maybe the wait is over. t-mobile is lighting up 5g nationwide. didn't recognize themselves in "90210" who felt like, ah-ha, while some 5g signals go only blocks, now i recognize myself in "my so-called life." >> demarco asked me if you were getting a sex change. t-mobile 5g goes miles... >> exactly. i don't want to be a girl. beyond the big cities to the small towns... to the people. i just want to hang with girls. >> ricky was out on the show now, millions of americans can have access to 5g on t-mobile. and this is just the beginning. t-mobile, the first and only nationwide 5g network. eventually, and that was a story line treated with great sensitivity. >> and i belong nowhere.
with no one. and i don't fit. >> i mean, it was -- it was so deeply felt. it was saying to the viewer, things that you have gone through, they matter. >> "buffy the vampire slayer" depicted high school in a similar way to "my so-called life" except rather than just feeling like hell, it actually was hell. her high school was literally built on top of hell. and so all of these creatures would come up that she would have to fight. >> three in one night. >> it was a brilliant metaphor for adolescence and all the demons that you have to slay. >> you know, buffy was a teenager, and she was still finding out who she was. one of the story lines that was very popular and much talked about was where she has sex with her boyfriend for the first time, and then in sort of the world of buffy, he becomes
literally evil. >> there must be part of you inside that still remembers who you are. >> dream on, schoolgirl. >> in order to save the world, literally, she knows she has to send him to hell. >> buffy knows in an instant that angel has become good again. >> buffy! >> so she has this moment of reckoning that she has to decide whether to do this or not, and she makes the sacrifice to push him back into hell. >> the show was really working on multiple levels. in buffy in particular, we saw a character that was a reluctant okay, let's play show business. >> as a young kid in cleveland, i knew i would one day end up protagonist. doing a talk show. forced to make tough decisions. >> there was a kind of opening of the floodgates in the '90s >> it's arsenio hall! for women. the idea of being an ideal, i
>> in less than two years, arsenio hall has fired his talk show for the mtv generation into a contender for the crown of late night television. think, was kind of smashed through a lot of the characters on television. >> look, if you're a successful saleswoman in this city, you have two choices. you can bang your head against a wall and try to find a relationship or you can say >> yes, yes! screw it and just go out and >> how come i didn't hear all of have sex like a man. >> "sex and the city" was a huge that woofing going on? success right from the start. when i would watch you? >> too many white people. >> johnny was the big dog. but i knew everybody on the it was very funny, very clever, planet wasn't watching him. and very candid. >> are relationships the and it dawned on me that i could religion of the '90s? >> these are women who are go many weeks and not see a motown group on "the tonight show." >> arsenio hall has been dubbed the prince of late night. making a good living, they were independent, they were single, and they were sort of feeling >> there was a whole world of their power. >> i said all of them. talent that had never and would never have been on any late bad waiter, bad waiter. >> what do you tip for that? night show. >> i wanted these women to be objectifying men in the way men ♪ sitting at home watching had always objectified women. arsenio hall ♪ >> 2livecrew came on and sang >> all right. my turn. >> sorry, i have to go back to work. >> you didn't used to be able to discuss sex as sex. network shows, there never were "meso horny", it was like the people talking about orgasms or sex pistols. i'd never seen anything like it. it was an explosion in the audience. organs or sex. >> okay, words are essential.
tell me exactly how he worded it. >> we've been seeing each other >> he appealed to a black and white young audience and it was for a couple of weeks, i really like you, and tomorrow night a much broader appeal than the after dinner i want us to have anal sex. >> these are women who shared everything with each other and they're discussing what anal sex means. >> it goes up there, there's going to be a shift in power. either he'll have the upper hand powers that be estimated. >> rap. or you will. rap is real big among our teens. that's poetry. >> of course it is. >> and should she do this or not? >> this is a physical expression >> having maya angelou on, i that the body -- well, it was designed to experience. mean, where would you have seen her otherwise? and p.s., it's fabulous. >> what are you talking about? >> in 1892 he wrote a poem that i went to smith. called "a negro love song." >> the show took an interesting it says seen my lady home last night, jump back, honey, jump turn by really focusing on the back. relationship between the women held her hand and squeezed it tight, jump back, honey, jump back. >> he didn't just have black and telling the story of them as people on his show. really soul mates together as but if you were hip, you wanted well. >> you did the right thing to be on arsenio. >> this was something i heard a buying that apartment. political analyst talk about you love it, right? >> yeah. recently. he said you kind of were -- i use the word chilling out. >> and you won't be alone forever. >> historically women are often set up in narratives in which he said you were pulling back. you had been instructed not to say as much or be outspoken.
no? >> i've heard that, but i never know who says it. only one can succeed. it's wishful thinking on the and so showing women not competing with each other and as supporting each other was also an important narrative change. part of some people. >> okay, girls, see you tomorrow. >> guess who suggested to bill >> okay. to do the arsenio hall show if >> night-night. >> the show had a message of you want to get a younger demo? hill-dawg. freedom and liberation especially for women that really ♪ resonated. i think "sex and the city" helped make hbo a place for people to think, i wonder what they'll be doing next. in 1991 we got a call from >> he attracted a lot of people who weren't fans before that night. ♪ ♪ >> the '90s was a glorious moment for black television. because you saw these representations that you'd never seen before. ♪ the premise of "the fresh prince" was this kid who comes from philadelphia. ♪ in west philadelphia born and raised on the playground is where i spent most of my days ♪ >> his mom says i'm going to send you to live with your uncle.
he shows up at this mansion in bel air, baseball cap on backward. like he doesn't even know how to act in this environment. the black producers and directors and writers were always playing with this kind of subverting expectations of what is blackness. >> the incredible work of "the fresh prince" at its most triumphant is when it was showing the ways that being black is always going to be a problem no matter what. >> vehicle registration, please. >> just a second. but the thing, officer, this isn't my car. >> there's the episode i remember where they get pulled over in a car. >> what? >> he is going to tell us to get out of the car. >> you watch too much tv. >> get out of the car. it is horrible and racist in a
lot of ways. continue continue and carlton has this epiphany about how money won't save him. >> no map is going to save you. and neither is your glee club or your fancy bel air address or who your daddy is. because when you're driving in a nice car in a strange neighborhood, none of that matters. they only see one thing. >> the writers of "the fresh prince of bel air" had a really tough task to approach these topics with nuance, and were doing it at a clip that was way ahead of their time. >> now don't touch that dial. we're about to flip it for you to one of the most talked about tv shows. it is, as they say, on another network. fox. ♪ you can do what you want to do ♪ ♪ in living color >> ladies and gentlemen. keenan ivory wayans. >> "in living color" was the first show created by, written by, directed by, starring an african-american, all of those things in one. >> this is celebration of culture and exchange. us opening the doors to allowing america to come inside. >> yo, yo, yo, all you bad ♪ bargain hunters out there, welcome to the homeboys shopping
network. ♪ >> a lot of what they did on "in living color" was trying to take the stereotypes or the misperceptions about what black men are and turn them upside down. >> not only will you get all the ♪ cable stations out there, but you'll be able to talk directly to the astronauts. >> it brought this smart, very controversial comedy that black folks had never seen before that centered around their life experiences. >> who are you? >> i am the minister louis farrakhan. >> african-americans composed 25% of fox's market. >> i always get trapped in the corner with somebody named bob. hey, listen, martin, i just saw "boys in the hood," all right? i didn't know, martin, i didn't know. >> they knew that they needed to capture this audience to grow. >> i guess you think you smart and cool.
but if you think you get a job here, you're a damn fool. >> so they basically gave the black creators freedom to do whatever you want. just get the audience. in 1991 we got a call from mtv and they were toying with >> the wb and upn took that concept from fox. >> your shoulders are harder than cheap breast implants. >> going after this underserved audience of urban minority viewers and really ran with it. >> i'm a new millennium woman who will not be defined by the idea of doing some kind of a scripted show about young people. >> they said it was like a mix between "the big chill" and "the traditional female roles. >> a lot of the networks built themselves up partly on african-american viewers. >> the african-american shows indexed lower in terms of breakfast club." >> but ultimately decided the household income. idea of a show with writers and actors would be too expensive so over the course of the for them. >> the real world, that's what decade, the network started to move away from those shows. this was supposed to be. >> so we essentially applied all >> i don't know about you the drama rules to documentary people, but i'll be damned if it to get our, what we called at that time, a docusoap. i'm going to let them destroy my >> this is the true story. neighborhood. >> black creators felt used and abused. you made your money.
you built your audience on us and now, you know, you're done. >> true story. >> of seven strangers -- >> it was kind of a social experiment to watch what happens when you put these strangers together in a house. when people stop being polite and start getting real. >> do you sell drugs? why do you have a beeper? >> you hadn't seen anything like that on television, that kind of open, honest discussion of race. >> i can try as much as i can to try to deal with you, but ignorance is ignorance. stupidity is stupidity. and that's it. black white, green, purple, blue, whatever. >> "the real world" becomes this big bang moment for reality tv. the idea is that, oh my god, all we have to do is take cameras and put them on people and we'll get great stuff. you had in the next season in . l.a. a young woman who gets an abortion, and the camera literally goes right up to the doctor's door. that's room for possibility. ♪ >> give me a hug. >> by the third season in san francisco you have a young man who is dealing with aids. robinwithout the commission fees. so, you can start investing today wherever you are - >> i'm hiv positive. even hanging with your dog. so, what are you waiting for? >> when pedro told me he was hiv positive, it was just like -- no, not him. download now and get your first stock on us. i like this guy and i don't want robinhood. [ alarm b ♪ ng ] him to have to suffer. >> it was such a triumph that pedro had the courage at his age to come out as someone with
aids. in my small gay community on campus, we all felt like, wow, he was our hero. >> he falls in love. and he and his partner, shawn, have a ceremony. what if once in a blue moon happened more than once in a blue moon? reach for the moon. you know, this is long before same-sex marriage was legal. the tv shows weren't doing this. movies weren't doing this. >> i have to believe that all the pain that i'm going through, that all the anger, all the frustration, that there's something bigger than that. >> aids has claimed a young man who made an enormous impact on a generation of young americans. pedro zamora died in miami today at the age of 22. >> i'm really glad i got to know pedro zamora. i'm grateful that his rich and fulfilling work is still remembered today. and i hope you enjoy and learn from pedro's life of compassion and fearlessness. >> you have to credit "the real world" with sort of helping the acceptance of the lgbt community. because there weren't many portrayals of gay people, period, on television at that point. >> her name is marla. i'm seeing a woman. >> in the '90s, gay characters were always secondary or third. there was never a gay character that was the lead of a show. quitting smoking is freaking hard.st,
like quitting every monday hard. quitting feels so big. so, try making it smaller. and you'll be surprised at how easily starting small... ...can lead to something big. start stopping with nicorette >> so you want to go look at apartments tomorrow? >> great idea! >> ellen degeneres, the comedian, was about to come out. as a lesbian. and she does it on "time" magazine. yep, i'm gay. but they decide that the character ellen plays on tv will also come out. >> it is just reprehensible that abc, now owned by disney of all companies, is going to feature ellen as coming out of the closet. it won't be long before god knows what, you know. bestiality, incest, who knows. >> we were getting bomb threats. disney was really getting a lot of flack for even thinking about having a coming-out episode with ellen. >> i'm 35 years old.
i'm so afraid to tell people. i mean, i just -- susan, i'm gay. >> ellen coming out was a huge moment for me personally because, you know, i was a closeted gay guy. gay child at that time. and it was the bravest thing i saw. >> that felt great. that felt so great. >> initial report suggests abc made a bundle on ellen's highly publicized outing on national tv last night. the broadcast was accompanied by coming-out parties all around the country, including one in birmingham, alabama, where the local abc station refused to broadcast the show. >> she did a great thing. she was brave. the following movie is rated "r." >> in 1990, '91, there was not a
whole lot of original programing for cable, but they were airing >> i made the decision that i wasn't going to live my life as a lie anymore. i was -- i belong with everybody movies. else. and that's what i finally did. >> we used to say ellen opened the door and we knocked it down. ♪ i love my mister ♪ tell me lazy tell me so so we needed to compete and i ♪ tell me i'm crazy maybe i felt that if we didn't, we were going to kind of get swept out. so i came up with a notion of doing a cop show that was r-rated. know ♪ ♪ can't help loving that man of mine ♪ >> take it, jack! >> and pas de bouree, pas de when abc's broadcast standards bouree, i'm gay! >> "will & grace" was a great read our script, they went berserk. show in sort of helping a mainstream straight community connect to the gay community. >> i think i can fix this thing with your landlord but might get >> i was sitting with a pad and a little ugly. >> play hardball, baby. a pencil drawing pictures of throw low and inside. breasts to try to show them what we would show and what we wouldn't show. he's crowding the plate and we've got to -- grown-ups sitting in a room doodling. >> grace, sports, you're losing >> then we started on the language. me. >> i figured 25% of the country wouldn't watch the show just based on the fact that we had two gay men on it. >> we heard some reporter called a low life -- with the brains >> give it to me! >> but if we could make believe that will and grace would get together.
>> will, i told you, you live with a hetero long enough, of a flea and the balls of a moth. you're going to catch it. >> the program premiered with an advertising boycott. >> channel 7, shame on you! >> but it was such an immediate hit, that boycott lasted, oh, four weeks. >> they could use the nudity and the curse words to go deeper into the actual emotional burden >> maybe we could get people to of being a cop. watch thinking that would happen, knowing it would never >> i'm an asshole. happen. >> and it had this character, andy sipowicz. >> suffering sappho! he is a raging alcoholic, racist, sexist, violent. >> you know, it's a shame. he created the tv anti-hero. an image like this is completely >> i know the great wasted on us. >> i remember the network african-american george washington carver discovered the peanut. but can you provide names and calling every other week saying, addresses of these friends? can will just fall in love with grace? and the creators were like, >> you know, you're a racist well, that's weird, he's gay. scumbag. >> despite his flaws, despite his prejudices, i think people identified with his pain. >> i wish there was a way to say gay people don't do that. that's why they're gay. >> why wasn't i your girlfriend, queer bait? this that wouldn't hurt you. >> "will and grace" was the first time you saw characters on television that made gay normal. >> there's a famous episode you wanted to be friends with where they are investigating the rape and murder of a young boy. them. >> guess what we are. >> uh -- a catholic girl gone and they find a homeless child bad -- and karen, what are you molester who murdered the kid and sipowicz to get the supposed to be? confession has to be very sensitive and very good cop.
>> i know this has to be tearing you up inside. but you're going to feel a lot better if you just tell the truth. >> you can sort of see on dennis franz's face this is killing him to not destroy this guy right now. >> the best feeling i get is finally, he gets the confession when people come up and say, he gets the signed statement. thank you for all you do for the gay community, and thank you for playing that part in that show. he walks out of the room, he and you feel so fortunate to have been a part of something so great. goes into another interrogation room and he breaks the door in two with his fist. yup. short and sweet. for people with hearing loss, visit sprintrelay.com. and i'm choking up talking about it right now, because that's how great a moment of tv that it is. >> 20 years from now, the best tv dramas, what do they look like? >> i don't know. >> will they be bolder than what we see today? >> oh, assuredly, assuredly they will be. >> the '90s gave us several shows that didn't explode in the ratings, but were influential to other people making television. "homicide" is one of them. ♪ shell me with questions all night ♪
♪ i'm living in a danger zone quitting smoking is freaking hard.st, >> "homicide: life on the like quitting every monday hard. quitting feels so big. so, try making it smaller. street" was really innovative in and you'll be surprised at terms of its style. how easily starting small... it used music in ways that advanced the narrative and also ...can lead to something big. used feature film directors that brought a look and style to the start stopping with nicorette show that really stood out on television. >> tears coming out of your eyes. there's room for more than just the business you came for. >> ain't no tears coming from my eyes. >> those eyes are brimming with tears. >> they had so many ♪ whether that's taking in every moment... african-american characters in the cast that on several or capturing a moment worth bringing back. occasions they were the only people on camera interacting that's room for possibility. ♪ how far we can go, oh oh ♪ with one another. and that sounds like, so? but since they bought their new house... but as late as the '90s, that which menu am i looking at here? wasn't done on television. start with "ta-paz." >> when a cop shoots somebody, -oh, it's tapas. -tapas. he stands by. he picks up the radio mic and get out of town. calls it in. he stands by the body. if not, cops are no better than it's like eating dinner with your parents. sandra, are you in school? anybody else. yes, i'm in art school. oh, wow. so have you thought about how onna make money? >> in the '90s, television was getting more complicated, at least we're learning some new things. stories were starting to become we bundled our home and auto with progressive, saved a bunch. more episodic and characters were starting to develop and change. oh, we got a wobbler. none of that happened on "law & order." progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us. >> this was a show that completely delivered on its that's what the extra menu's for. formula every time.
you get a crime, you got the investigation into the crime. >> you better be packing more than a dirty mouth. >> you got an arrest. >> what's the charge? hey, i'm asking you a question. what's the charge? >> there's no charge. this one's on us. >> then you had a trial. >> he's badgering, your honor. >> sit down and shut up. >> overruled. you will address the court from now on, mr. mccoy. >> so every time you watched you got what you came for. >> tell me, doctor. all those women you ran through your examination rooms, do you remember their faces or did you not even bother to look up? >> you had in "law & order" the kind of characters people take to heart. >> i'll let you take me to lunch. one-time offer. >> and if you're an actor and you say well, gee, maybe it's not really such a bad medium after all.
>> miranda, bottle of mayo, the when you bundle with us. [ drathis holiday... supreme court's menet decision. ahhhhh!!! -ahhhhh!!! a distant friend returns... the whole thing was illegally elliott. obtained. they were both represented by you came back! counsel. and while lots of things have changed... wooooah! -woah! it's called the internet. >> you just get hooked in. some things haven't. it's life and death and stuff. >> we know what you did. >> counsel. >> you hear me? >> do you hear me? >> look at me! >> "law & order" was like crack. you'd have to sit and watch me get ready for a reunion for 50 minutes just like, not 3 million light years in the making. moving, barely breathing. there's times i have almost passed out watching "law & order." woohoo! -yeah! >> i need your help. >> "e.r." had originally been written as a movie, forced steven spielberg to direct. we had this two-hour piece which was michael's reflection of experiences as a medical student. >> i need an angiocahh and 16
needle. stan what was happening at the you need large in case they're end of the '90s. bleeding. audiences started looking do you know how to start an i.v.? >> actually, no. >> "e.r." is a hospital show, but it's really an action movie. towards television for what they >> three walking wounded. red urgent, yellow critical and have found in feature film. black a gurney. >> victory is mine. >> got it. >> a gurney comes in, people are shouting instructions, climbing on the body and doing cpr and racing off to the surgical great day in the morning, suite. >> get that gurney out of there! >> someone wanders in. they're tossing around medical victory is mine. >> actors no longer felt it was jargon. they don't stop to explain what a come down in television. it is. prep for a peritoneal lavage. i think i know what that is now, what did i ever do to you except but only because i watched a lot of "e.r." over the years. deliver the south? >> you try. you should not have made me pay. >> the segment of the audience showed up to watch the west >> a plural levage? wing, they watched the mcneil, they watched west wing and >> we can bypass him. >> that would be the fastest way. what do you think? >> you're the attending. >> there was so much information coming at you that i think it made the experience feel as if documentaries in foreign languages. >> if the names of the nominees you had to watch it in the same way that you'd watch a film. you had to stay involved in it leaked out before i wanted to be the whole time. >> come on, ben. hold on, buddy. hold on. leaked out, i want going to blame you and you are going to >> there was a lot of research that said people didn't want to find it unpleasant. watch anybody have anything >> '90s television was the first other than a happy outcome. wave, remarkably perfect snitch >> it's not flatlined, it's
defib. another line of epi. >> we argued that wasn't really showing what the world was for physicians. programming. freaks and geeks really sympathized with the losers and had great empathy for its i had unbelievable amount of respect for the people who did this because i understood how human they were. characters. >> "freaks and geeks" break my heart every time i think about it. >> it lasted 18 episodes. they're perfect 18 episodes but nbc hated so much. >> roll down the windows because (smoke alarm) i got a big one. >> oh no. please don't. >> the show is about losers and four losers. they killed it. at the end of the '90s. basically quality migrates to
cable. '97, oz comes along. ♪ wow, what a strange show that was. >> in oz, sometimes the thing you can't touch are more real than you think you can. >> hatred and loneliness. it was jaw dropingly violent. it kind of announces the idea that hbo are serious of doing scripted drama. >> it is finished. it is over. >> hbo really in my mind comes to its own in 1990 with we're proving the new keurig k-duo brewer makes any occasion the perfect coffee occasion. breakfast in bed! just add ground coffee for a carafe, or pop in a pod for a freshly brewed cup. exactly how i like my coffee. "sopranos." you've got your carafe. i've got my light roast. we're brewing the love.
"the sopranos" was a lot of things for everybody. ♪ throw out the handbook. ♪ country roads, take me home tony soprano, the lead actor in there's a booking for every resolution. a drama, he killed a man. book yours at any price, at booking.com we watched him. >> pretty, huh? >> yeah. >> it was just a melting of a guy in a world and the behavior that promoted all the feelings that you would have for a guy that you love in a guy that you hate, you know? "sopranos" came on tv and it shows us the future whether we realize that was going to be the future of television or not. >> this husband of yours, how much we love him. he's the best. come on. >> it is bothering me. >> make sure nothing happens to
him. (paul) do you get confused bbyi don't blame you.claims? that character was a great the most reliable. the most awarded. aspiration. >> i want those kids to have a the best, the fastest, father. >> they got one. the best and the fastest. >> this one. it's too much. sprint's doing things differently. >> me. they're offering a 100% total satisfaction guarantee. tony soprano and all that goes with it. i mean i think sprint's network and savings are great. >> oh, you prick. but don't just take my word for it. some of my favorite shows aired try out the network and see the savings for yourself. in that decade and everybody was switch and get both an unlimited plan watching them. there was still that communal and the samsung galaxy s10 plus included, sense from the early decade of tv but it was being applied to for just $35 a month. for people with hearing loss, visit sprintrelay.com. shows that was reaching higher and further and they were great. because there were so many channels and so much story telling going on. you started to get more variety of stories being told. >> attention. television showed us women in their depths. it began to show us a range of the african-american community. >> we started focusing on teenagers in a more realistic way.
>> things change, dawson. evolved. >> it became a little more outside the box in terms of what people may want to watch. >> you are out of order. this whole trial is. >> after ten years of the '90s, we have a whole new television world that can take us any place we want it and even place that a new era of technology is he did not imagine. >> was that the oven timer? >> that's right, my friend. forcing networks to re-examine it is time for "bay watch!" the way they do business. >> new owners spent billions buying the networks recently. ge buying nbc. capital cities, abc. . >> can you believe they gave >> and loews-tisch brothers buying cbs. stephanie skin cancer? >> i can't believe they promoted and all of them want their money's worth. >> we'll now have the strongest her to tenant. network. we'll have a stronger defense >> you are just saying that piece. this is going to be one dynamite company. >> there's a danger that news will be mixed up with the rest because you are in love with of television and considered yasmee. >> hey, hey, they're running. just another profit center. >> this is the briehl yens lliae
show. i say always keep them running. >> all the time running. >> late 1920s, to early 1930s, to the 1980s, the sense was if some of the broadcasting time run. took public service, 1990s, journalism in the country changed a great deal. you couldn't talk about public run. run yasmee, run like the wind. service. what are the ratings going to be? what are the demographics going to be? what is the profit going to be? well, sensationalism sells. >> in a plea bargain, 18-year-old amy fisher got up to ♪ 15 years in prison for shooting the wife of her alleged lover. ♪ >> so intense is the interest in it this case there are three, three made-for-tv movies now in the works about it. >> you make money off sex. you make money off death. you make money off crime. >> the press calls the case the beverly hills mansion murders. the story reads like a script that circulates here in hollywood. >> we enter into the television news soap opera. >> a story of basic instincts, anger and fear. >> i was scared and i just
wanted him to leave me alone. >> and so, broadcast journalism loses its purity and becomes much more shoddy and sensationalistic. and then it all comes together with o.j. simpson. >> i'm larry carrol in los angeles. the los angeles district attorney has just filed murder charges against o.j. simpson. >> i have to interrupt this call. i understand we're going to go to a live picture in los angeles. police believe that o.j. simpson is in that car? >> the o.j. simpson story starts with the chase and then goes on to his arrest and then culminates with the trial, which goes on and on and on and is televised day after day after day. >> this is going to be a long trial. there's a lot of evidence to come in. >> the o.j. simpson case was such a national phenomenon that those of us who were covering it just lived this case 24 hours a day because there was so much
demand for people talking about it. >> as simpson struggled to slide the gloves on to his hands and turned to a juror saying "they're too small," prosecutors were incensed. >> the trial was on television during the hours that had traditionally been the time for >> he appears to have pulled the gloves on, counsel. >> and o.j. was very much a soap opera. >> impeached by his own witness. >> i ask you to put a stop to it. >> excuse me, mr. bailey. will you stand up and speak when it's your turn. >> no question that the best tv show of the '90s was the o.j. simpson trial, and everybody on it was riveting. >> the simpson trial finally winding to a close. >> we the jury in the above entitled action find orenthal james simpson not guilty of the crime of murder. in violation of penal code section 187-a -- >> the verdict of the o.j. simpson trial viewed by 150 million people.
it's more people than watch presidential election returns. that's crazy. >> because there was trial footage every day, cnn saw its audience increase like five times. the success of cnn was not lost on other people. and so there were competing forces coming into play. >> how delighted i am we have now reached this moment when we can firmly announce the starting of a fox news channel. >> unfortunately, with cable news and the ability -- or the need to be on the air 24/7, where you try to get as many eyeballs as possible at one time, to gravitate toward those stories that are sensational, it brought us the ability to go too far. >> is the jonbenet ramsey murder investigation turning into a media circus? >> yes, it's tabloid. but on the other hand it's a tabloid era.
here's the point. here's where the fear comes into it, i think, larry. it's the fear that says, gosh, if we don't cover it big time, our competition is. when they cover it big time, they'll get a big jump in the ratings. the first thing is to last, to last and survive, we've got to do it. >> what you also see is a whole army of commentators, people who make their business talking about the news. >> what i say is what we should do is we should bomb his capability of producing oil. take out his refineries, his stations, his wells. >> they don't have any capability. >> they're certainly selling a lot of oil -- >> no they're not -- >> the networks were doing good
journalism but they became much more preoccupied by profits. it's much cheaper to have someone in your studio pontificating than to have reporters out in the field reporting. >> i don't know if any of this is true. but what i heard is that the father went down, opened his basement room, which the fbi had bypassed. >> every single sentence on cnn, perhaps, on cnbc, on fox, on msnbc, begins with the words "i think" but after a while people get confused by what is speculation, by what is innuendo, by what is fact. and as far as the viewer is concerned, be very, very careful of unsubstantiated information presented with great hype. ♪ let's get to living
male anchor: ...an update on the cat who captured our hearts. female anchor: how often should you clean your fridge? stay tuned to find out. male anchor: beats the odds at the box office to become a rare non-franchise hit. you can give help and hope to those in need. [ chuckles ] so, what are some key takeaways from this commercial? did any of you hear the "bundle your home and auto" part? -i like that, just not when it comes out of her mouth. -yeah, as a mother, i wouldn't want my kids to see that. -good mom. -to see -- wait. i'm sorry. what? -don't kids see enough violence as it is? -i've seen violence. -maybe we turn the word "bundle" into a character, like mr. bundles. -top o' the bundle to you. [ laughter ] bundle, bundle, bundle. -my kids would love that. -yeah. bundle, bundle, bundle. the wait is over. t-mobile is lighting up 5g nationwide.
tv is changing dramatically now with 150 channels that might be available in the near future. >> there are more choices than ever before. it's a tough job. you have to try and get a sense of what is the audience going to really make an attachment to. >> in the '90s, cable was coming on strong. so we had to examine who are we going to be? well, we wanted to be smart, sophisticated comedy. >> six months ago i was living in boston. my wife had left me, which was very painful. then she came back to me. which was excruciating. >> i thought frasier was dead with "cheers."
but we thought, we got a built-in audience, and great potential to build out the character to another place. ♪ >> "frasier" was kind of like one-act plays. ♪ >> mother and i moved here when i was a small boy after the tragic death of my father. i kept the pain of that loss buried deep within me like a serpent coiled within a damp cave. okay, that's it. >> we always assumed the audience was smarter than most other people did. and we played to that. >> just unschooled like liza doolittle. >> henry higgins. she'll be ready for a ball in no time.
>> leave it to you to put the pig back in pygmalion. >> kelsey grammar played pom positive like nobody you've ever seen and got huge laughs. >> don't consider a move until my fingers have completely cleared the piece. >> what's taking so long? >> but i am analyzing my options unlike your wing-it approach i like to plan a strategy, like a general leading his troops into battle. >> checkmate, schwarzkopf. >> i think "frasier" stands as the single most successful spinoff, at least in the history of sitcoms. >> and the emmy goes to "frasier." >> "frasier." >> "frasier." >> we were lightning hot and it was critical for us to be leading the way, not just following. ♪
>> "friends" is about that time in your life when your friends are your family. >> ow! >> when david crane and i lived in new york we were part of a group of six people. we were all attached at the hip. we went everywhere together and celebrated everything together. and there's that period where you're looking to be out there on your own and the people you rely on are the ones who live down the hall. >> here we go. pivot. pivot. pivot! pivot! pivot! pivot! >> shut up! shut up! shut up! >> "friends" permeated the culture in a way that was really special. everybody was obsessed with the show. and it became like which one of these characters are you? if you were a girl, were you phoebe, monica or rachel? >> i got to tell you this really does put me in a better mood. >> the kids who were watching, the young audience, saw a lifestyle that was aspirational. i wish i had an apartment in new york city that no one seems to be worried about the rent for. i wish that i looked like matt leblanc.
i wish that i had jennifer aniston's hair. one of the things that made "friends" a phenomenon is people beyond the laughs actually bonded with these characters. they emotionally were invested in ross and rachel's relationship. >> i could not have done this without you. >> okay. more clothes in the dryer? >> i was dropping my daughter off for sunday school at our temple, and literally my rabbi stopped me and said, what's going to happen with ross and rachel? >> you look pretty tonight. >> oh, thanks. >> the one with the prom video is one of my favorites. >> you guys, we don't have to watch this. >> yeah, we do. >> come on. come on. >> where's chip? why isn't he here yet?
>> he'll be here, okay? take a chill pill. >> this seemed like a really surprising way to get rachel to know how ross feels. >> i can't go to my own prom without a date. >> take her. you can wear my tux. >> dad, she won't want to go with me. >> she's learning something new and he thinks, oh, god, please don't let her see this. please don't let her see this. >> rachel, ready or not, here comes your knight in shining -- oh, no. >> bye! >> chip! >> oh, dear. >> ross sees himself and you see that look on his face and how sad he is because he wanted to take her to the prom.
>> when she crossed the room, i still kind of get chills from it. when she crossed the room and gave him that kiss -- [ cheers and applause ] >> -- the audience went insane. >> at the height of must-see tv, thursday nights on nbc, 75 million americans watched thursday night. that was at the time one-third of the country. >> ooh! what is this stuff? >> the sweater is angora. >> well, it's wonderful. >> the machine that was nbc in the '90s for comedy was untouchable. >> you're not from around here, are you? >> it generated so much viewership and money and awards. >> you do not need this. >> it's the top of our wedding cake. >> we're not -- it's not a scrapbook, it's a freezer. >> no! >> we were all kind of part of this chapter in television where we realized we were in the right place at the right time. >> let's see how you like this, naughty boy. >> we certainly associate nbc of the '90s of having extremely
successful sitcoms but they weren't the only network that found their way to having some success. tgif was on abc on friday, and it was their block of family-oriented comedies. >> i can't take it. i need the cake. >> it was not sophisticated television. but these were shows that people adored. [ laughing and snorting ] >> cbs. >> cbs was in a really bad spot. they had just fallen apart over the early part of the '90s and had gone through a couple different network executives. >> but then suddenly they had this hit with an unknown comic. this was the year of seinfeld, no hugging, no learning, and this was a show being made as if it was produced in the era of the dick van dyke show. >> i love you. >> there was hugging. there was learning. >> i love you, son. >> all right, all right. >> if you worked for me, your
job was so go home, get in a fight with your wife and come back in and tell me about it. >> don't sleep on the couch. i just cleaned down there. >> in fact, the pilot i put in this true thing that happened to me wherein i sent my parents a gift for the holidays of the fruit of the month club. >> and did you know you sent me a box of pears from a place called fruit of the month. >> that's right. that's right. how are they? >> and my mother reacted as if i had sent her a box of heads from a murderer. >> why did you do this to me? >> oh my gosh. >> i can't talk. there's too much fruit in the house! >> oh! what is happening? >> what do you think we are, invalids? we can't go out and get our own fruit? >> i tried to tell him. >> all right. i'm cancelling the fruit club.
america said good night to for 30 years. ♪ >> and on my watch, johnny decided that 30 years was a great time to take a bow and say thank you and good night. >> 30 years is enough. it's a good time to get out while you're still on top of your game plan. >> johnny carson retiring in the early '90s was the great moment where a huge chunk of the ice shelf breaks off. something that has been there for centuries, for thousands of years, suddenly is no longer there. >> a tremendous part of history. and that's lovely to have made your mark on an era like that. >> johnny had told no one what he had planned to do, and we weren't prepared. and that set off a game of musical chairs for who would get the throne, and there only was one late-night throne. >> hi, you guys! >> jay leno had been pretty much carson's regular substitute host when he went on vacation. >> you know what's amazing, only six months ago people were
talking about donald trump as a presidential candidate. right? that's true. since then he's had an affair, left his wife, run up debt of several million dollars so i guess he's going to be running as a democrat, huh? >> jay leno wanted to essentially just continue doing a johnny carson-type show. and david letterman was the show immediately following carson. and they had different styles. >> what is your name? >> i'm going to ask you to turn the cameras off, please. >> okay, we just wanted to drop off this basket of fruit -- >> part of dave's thing was he attacking authority, he liked that. >> he needed a corporate bad guy to go up against. i was oftentimes that target. >> i can hear this warren