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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of November 23

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Ah, the Sword in the Stone ride. It's a dream, it's a fantasy, it's something that one day, maybe, possibly, just might be a reality. Okay, it'll probably never be a reality. It's not that it shouldn't be a reality, it's just that it probably won't be a reality. I'm a level-headed person, I understand that, but I won't lie to you and tell you that it doesn't upset me just a tad.

Sunday, November 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "The Wolf That Changed America.” Once upon a time, there was a wolf, a big bad wolf. A man tried to kill the wolf, he tried very hard. He failed. Instead, he wrote a story about the wolf that helped create the national park system and the Boy Scouts. The wolf's name was Shemp and the story is true… except for the wolf's name.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Masterpiece Contemporary – "The Unseen Alistair Cooke.” Maybe unseen to you, but I spotted him behind that vase instantly…. instantly. Oh look, now he's behind the chair. Silly Alistair, we can see you when you're moving out in the open, covering your eyes just hides us from you, not vice versa.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Hairworld: The Pursuit of Excellence. Sorry. They've done synchronized swimming and ferrets Pursuit of Excellence shows, and clearly hairworld too, so now it's your turn. Please insert your own ‘actually I’m holding out for Such-and-Such: The Pursuit of Excellence joke here. There are a number of really great choices that I have off the top of my head, but I’m sure I’m missing some outstanding ones; feel free to comment below.

Monday, November 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Milwaukee (Hour Three).” Wow, Milwaukee. This repeat episode has the show going to the land of beer. I imagine that's what people bring in too, old beer that no one really wants to drink. I promise you people, in at least one of these three episodes beer will come up. Wanna bet?

9:00 – 11:00PM

The Rape of Europa. During Hitler's rule, the German Third Reich deliberately went out and destroyed many a European art treasure. There were a few art historians who stood up to the Nazis. These brave souls heeded the call, they stood up and hid the treasures. Would that they had done that with more people.

Tuesday, November 25:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - “Ocean Animal Emergency." As you know, the water in some parts of the ocean is getting warmer. That means that some of the animals that live in said waters are in trouble. Thank goodness for Dr. Frances Gulland, a San Francisco vet. Gulland has made it her job to save some of these at risk animals in the Pacific.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Frontline – "The Hugo Chavez Story." Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, is something of a controversial figure. Loved by some, hated by others, he is most definitely changing things in Venezuela. He's something of an anti-capitalist (or so he claims). Find out more about the man, where he comes from, and his ideals.

10:30 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – "The Atom Smashers." Fermilab – it's where they smash atoms together at really, really high speeds. They've been looking for the Higgs boson particle. It's their dream, it's their desire, it's what they do. Now you can watch what takes place over the course of 15 months at Fermilab.

Wednesday, November 26:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work – “The Queen and Us/Inside the Firm.” As a whole, the series takes an inside look at the British monarchy. Up tonight, the series airs two episodes. First, "The Queen and Us." It's a cute little tale of four people meeting the queen and how they each "savor" the moment. Then, you get "Inside the Firm" which explains exactly how the Queen and her family go about dealing with the 4,000 various events and meetings that take place on a yearly basis.

10:00PM – 12:00AM

Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work – “The Queen and Us/Inside the Firm.” As a whole, the series takes an inside look at the British monarchy. Up tonight, the series airs two episodes. First, "The Queen and Us." It's a cute little tale of four people meeting the queen and how they each "savor" the moment. Then, you get "Inside the Firm" which explains exactly how the Queen and her family go about dealing with the 4,000 various events and meetings that take place on a yearly basis.

Thursday, November 27:

8:00 – 9:00PM

The This Old House Hour - Episode TBA. It’s This Old House and Ask This Old House. It’s like maintenance… for your home. Wait, no, that’s exactly what it is. That doesn’t mean it’s not awesome though. Seriously, The This Old House Hour is one of the finest home improvement hours on PBS. No joke.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Milwaukee (Hour Three).” Wow, Milwaukee. This repeat episode has the show going to the land of beer. I imagine that's what people bring in too, old beer that no one really wants to drink. I promise you people, in at least one of these three episodes beer will come up. Wanna bet?

10:00 – 11:00PM

The Standard of Perfection – " The Standard of Perfection - "Show Cattle". I don't want to sound conceited or anything, but… done. I joke, relax, I joke, I'm as imperfect as they come. But Mark Lewis, director of The Natural History of the Chicken (seriously, that's not a joke), will be checking out show cattle, their owners, and the judges in New England at the Fryeburg Fair.

Friday, November 28:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4821. Another whole week has gone by and good old Gwen Ifill and National Journal are here to fill us in. For the record, I like to pretend the National Journal is a sidekick, like Robin to Batman, Starsky to Hutch, or chocolate sauce to chocolate ice cream.

8:30 – 9:30PM

NOW on PBS #447. It’s the Emmy award-winning weekly newsmagazine. It looks at issues facing our democracy. The show is hosted by David Brancaccio. And, even better, they still send me e-mails (I think that makes me cool and them nice). Thanks, Now, you guys are awesome!

9:00 – 10:00PM

Bill Moyers Journal #1233. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,233rd journal (not really, but I’m not going to explain to you the way in which TV shows are numbered at this point in time, maybe later if you’re nice). He’s a good journalist so I assume this will be good journalism (at least the odds are it will).

10:00 – 11:00PM

In Search of Myths and Heroes – "Jason & The Golden Fleece." I have a story to tell, and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells. Wait, that deals with Jason, but it's not really about Jason, is it? What we really need for this story about Jason is a little Ray Harryhausen action, isn't it?

Saturday, November 29:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – " Coldplay." I saw Coldplay play once. Once. Literally, it was like one song. They were at the Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard. I think it's gone now, but it was there then. Anyway, I didn't know that they were going to be there, but this woman I was dating was in town from London for a couple of days and we were meeting someone at Wolfgang Puck. Long story short, I married the woman.

 

The question then really becomes – what, if anything, can we do to make the Sword in the Stone ride a reality? Is there some way to move it forward? Is there some way to press the issue? Should the issue be pressed? Should it be considered, and thought about, and discussed? Should it just be allowed to sit, ever Google-able? That, is the question.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.