DAVID BIANCULLI

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1986: 'Anne of Green Gables' Premieres on PBS
February 17, 2017  | By TV WW
 
On this day in 1986, PBS premiered the first part of Sullivan Entertainment's miniseries adaptation of L.M. Montgomery's classic novel, Anne of Green Gables.

The series — which debuted in Canada in December 1985 — starred Colleen Dewhurst and Richard Farnsworth as turn-of-the-century Canadian siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, who take in the precocious, red-headed orphan Anne (with an "E") Shirley, played by Megan Follows. Supporting castmembers included Patricia Hamilton, Schuyler Grant, Jonathan Crombie and Marilyn Lightstone.

The miniseries inspired two sequels, Anne of Avonlea (aka Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel) and Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and the spinoff series, Road to Avonlea and Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series. In 2008 Sullivan produced a fourth installment, Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning, which starred Barbara Hershey as a middle-aged Anne Shirley, and newcomer Hannah Endicott-Douglas as the young Anne.
 
 
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

This Day in TV History