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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of January 11

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So that you don't think I've forgotten, I want you to be well aware that I'm still on the hunt for the perfect location for my Sword in the Stone ride. I'm studying maps of the Magic Kingdom, I'm plotting points in EPCOT, I'm discovering nooks in Disney Hollywood Studios, and I'm going apoplectic looking for possible locations in Animal Kingdom. I don't want you to think that I'm doing this all for me though; I'm doing it for you. I just want you all to be happy.

Sunday, January 11:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "The Dragon Chronicles." See, I find this a little amusing. A show entitled "Nature" is going to be looking for dragons, and I don't mean little komodo dragons, I mean the fire-breathing, flying kind. You know, the kind of dragon that goes after unsuspecting little hobbits.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Masterpiece Classic – "Tess of the D'Urbervilles." Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) stars in this new adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel. I guess that would make her Tess. Good for Gemma, I love it when a Bond girl ends up in another big role. And the title role in Tess of the D'Urbervilles is a big role. Tonight is part two of two.

 

Monday, January 12:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Palm Springs (Hour Two)." Really? The Antiques Roadshow is going to Palm Springs? Are they going to be looking at objects or people? Are they going to be dating paintings or counting artificial hips? Do you figure they had to start earlier in the day so that everyone could be gone by the time the Early Bird dinner special rolled around? Oh come on, lighten up, these are the jokes, people.

9:00 – 11:00PM

The Story of India – "Spice Routes and Silk Roads/Ages of Gold" Michael Woods heads on a journey – and takes us along – through the history of the subcontinent. He examines the people, the place, and the culture. The first episode this evening delves into India in the days of the Roman empire. The second covers the period from 300 to 1000 AD, which, I gather, was a time where gold was prevalent.

 

Tuesday, January 13:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - “Arctic Passage ‘Ice Survivor.’” Following last week’s episode where the British fail to make a successful journey, this week Nova picks up with Roald Amundsen of Norway trying to navigate the Northwest Passage. It's gotta be the fjords.

9:00 – 11:00PM

The Ascent of Money. Niall Ferguson takes a gander at exactly what went wrong with this global financial crisis we currently find ourselves in. He's going to put the crisis in perspective. He's going to be interviewing know-it-alls on the subject. Pretty much he'll do everything but solve it.

 

Wednesday, January 14:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Make 'em Laugh: The Funny Business of America – "Nerds, Jerks & Oddballs: Would Ya Hit a Guy with Glasses?/Breadwinners and Homemakers: Honey I'm Home." Herein lie two episodes of a six-part PBS miniseries hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. The first hour tonight looks at, as the tile indicates, oddballs and outcasts, while the second episode goes into the "domestic farce." As an example, just think "Lucy, I'm home!"

10:00PM – 12:00AM

Make 'em Laugh: The Funny Business of America – "Nerds, Jerks & Oddballs: Would Ya Hit a Guy with Glasses?/Breadwinners and Homemakers: Honey I'm Home." Herein lie two episodes of a six part PBS miniseries hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. The first hour tonight looks at, as the tile indicates, oddballs and outcasts, while the second episode goes into the "domestic farce." As an example, just think "Lucy, I'm home!"

 

Thursday, January 15:

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 – "Palm Springs (Hour Two)." Really? The Antiques Roadshow is going to Palm Springs? Are they going to be looking at objects or people? Are they going to be dating paintings or counting artificial hips? Do you figure they had to start earlier in the day so that everyone could be gone by the time the Early Bird dinner special rolled around? Oh come on, lighten up, these are the jokes people.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Idina Menzel with Josh Groban and Ravi Coltrane." I LOVE Idina Menzel. I saw her all dressed in green on more than occasion. I don't think she'll be in green makeup tonight, but depending on who you are you might be all green with envy that she's going to be performing with Josh Groban and Ravi Coltrane.

 

Friday, January 16:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4828. 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 #503. 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 #1240. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,240th 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

Nova - “Arctic Passage ‘Ice Survivor.’” Following last week’s episode where the British fail to make a successful journey, this week Nova picks up with Roald Amundsen of Norway trying to navigate the Northwest Passage. It's gotta be the fjords.

 

Saturday, January 17:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Foo Fighters." They're filled with foo and they're fighting mad. They're all-singing, perhaps some-dancing, and performing fools. This week they're going to be doing songs from Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. Great, good, happy, & cool.

 

I, as I think I've said, really won't be able to come up with an answer as to the best location for The Sword in the Stone ride until mid-June. At that point I'll have returned from a fact-finding mission to Orlando, Florida. Only then will I really be able to say with any sense of certitude where the ride would be best placed.

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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.