America in Primetime: Man of the House

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Explore the roots of today’s biggest television hits. America in Primetime showcases this iconic American art form, which has both reflected and shaped our national character. The four-part series continues Sundays at 7pm on PBS North through November 20.

America in Primetime presents some of the most compelling shows on television today, as well as those of the past, by focusing on key character archetypes. Each episode of the series focuses on one of the key archetypes:

November 6

Man of the House showcases the evolution of men from the kings of their castles in classic family sitcoms to more intricate, conflicted figures in modern shows. Interviews include Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner (The Cosby Show); David Chase (The Sopranos); Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad); Ron Howard (The Andy Griffith Show); Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show); and Phil Rosenthal and Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond), among others.

November 13

The Misfit celebrates the unique characters who defied comic stereotypes and societal expectations to reflect America’s diverse personalities. Interviews include Alec Baldwin (30 Rock); Diablo Cody (The United States of Tara); Greg Daniels and Rainn Wilson (The Office); Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld); Paul Feig and Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks); Mitchell Hurwitz (Arrested Development); Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead); and Garry Shandling (The Larry Sanders Show), among others.

November 20

The Crusader delves into the increasingly grey area between right and wrong as television heroes confront internal demons while seeking their own forms of justice. Interviews include Alan Alda (M*A*S*H); Steven Bochco and David Milch (NYPD Blue); Chris Carter and Gillian Anderson (The X-Files); Bob Cochran and Joel Surnow (24); Michael C. Hall (Dexter); Shawn Ryan and Michael Chiklis (The Shield); and David Shore and Hugh Laurie (House), among others.

Previously Aired

Independent Woman reveals how women have transformed from model housewives to complex, and sometimes controversial, characters. Watch the full episode:

Watch The Independent Woman on PBS. See more from America in Primetime.

America in Primetime features more than 100 in-depth interviews with the creators, writers and actors who give life to the characters whom audiences have come to love and demonstrates how the finest television today has its foundation in the best television of yesterday.