Biography (TV series)

Biography (TV series)

Infobox Television
show_name = Biography

caption =
rating = TV-G or TV-PG (depending on who/what is profiled)
format = Non-fiction
runtime = 60–120 minutes
creator = CBS News
starring =
country = USA
network = CBS
The Biography Channel
first_aired = 1962
last_aired = present
num_episodes =

"Biography" is a documentary television series. Originally produced by CBS in 1962 and hosted by Mike Wallace, the A&E Network later re-ran it and has produced new episodes since 1987. The series has featured biographies on such people as Elvis Presley, Plácido Domingo, Pope John Paul II, Enrico Caruso, Diego Rivera, Mick Foley, Mao Zedong, and Queen Elizabeth II, and fictional characters like The Phantom, Superman, and Santa Claus. The program ended up profiling enough figures, that in 1999 A&E spun the program off into an entire network, The Biography Channel.

Initially, most of the episodes featured the life stories of historical figures or present political or social leaders. After a few years, however, the show began producing episodes on figures from pop culture. This move away from purely intellectual subject matter has been criticized by some. [cite web
last = Gildemeister
first = Christopher
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = What Your Kids are Discovering on Discovery Channel
work =
publisher = Parents Television Council
date = 2006-10-16
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-07-30
] However, the original Wallace series also featured pop culture figures; in fact, the very first episode discussed the life of baseball icon Babe Ruth. In addition, the series has recently covered figures in the business and technology world, such as Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, and Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google.

At one point, the show aired up to six times weekly in prime time, but recently has been cut back to only once a week, usually on Friday nights. A&E canceled "Biography" after August 2006, making the show exclusively available on The Biography Channel. [Dempsey, John. [ "'Biography' rewrite"] - Variety - June 4 2006] However, A&E currently continues airing the series Saturday and Sunday mornings. [ [ Schedule search for "Biography" airings] - A&E] Usually, the network has focused on people within the popular culture field for its weekend morning broadcasts, but it continues to show "Biography" episodes covering figures outside of the popular culture field, such as business figures J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, KFC founder Colonel Sanders, and Home Depot founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, as well as journalist Meredith Vieira.

"Biography" has been hosted by Peter Graves, Jack Perkins, Karen Hughes, and Harry Smith. Since Smith's departure in 2003, the show has been done in voice-over by Neil Ross.

The Canadian television comedy series "Liocracy" was a parody of "Biography". That program, in fact, was originally titled "Liography" until the producers of "Biography" threatened an intellectual property infringement lawsuit.

The basic format for "Biography" was copied by other networks for more focused genres, such as VH1's "Behind The Music" and E!'s "True Hollywood Story".

ee also

*The Biography Channel


External links

* [ Official site on A&E]
* [ The Biography Channel]
*imdb title|id=0092322|title=Biography

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