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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of April 26

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The main ride portion of our Hitchhiker's attraction has begun.  There we are, sitting comfortably in a spaceship, Marvin the depressed android at our side.  So, first things first, how did we get aboard this spaceship, the Heart of Gold?  As I said last time, it's not impossible; it's just highly improbable.  Thank goodness the Heart of Gold runs on improbability drive.

Sunday, April 26:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Crash: A Tale of Two Species.” Ah, the great circle of life. The horseshoe crab is a part of that circle. Another part of that circle is the red knot. The problem is that horseshoe crab numbers are dwindling. That is apparently because they're being used as bait. That's going to cause a problem for the red knot. Watch and find out how.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Classic – "Little Dorrit (Part Five)."  This is a massive five-part miniseries starring Matthew Macfayden as Arthur Clennam and Claire Foy as Amy "Little" Dorrit.  The story, which focuses on the rags to riches to rags story of a family was apparently one of Dickens' favorites, what with his own dad spending some time in a debtor's prison, much like Amy's dad.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Tuba U:  Basso Profundo.  All about the tuba.  You've got your tuba players.  You've got your tuba builders.  You've got your tuba rebuilders.  You've got your tuba rerebuilders.  You've got your 22-piece musical ensemble.  You've got you 100-member tuba group.  Tuba?  Tuba.

Monday, April 27:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow “Grand Rapids (Hour Two).”  I have to imagine that grand Rapids has a ton of flotsam and jetsam floating through it.  I honestly believe that tons of older items will be surfing on through the stop.  Without a doubt there will be water damage from the rapids, but the stuff will be there.  Who cares if the oil painting has run a little?

9:00 – 10:30PM

We Shall Remain:  American Experience – “Trail of Tears."  The massive multi-part American Experience that PBS has been previewing for months on end is here!  It examines in great detail over the course of five 90-minute documentaries the history of this country from the Native-American perspective.  Up this time is the story of the forced march of thousands of Cherokee from their homes in 1838.

10:30PM – 12:00AM

We Shall Remain:  American Experience – “Trail of Tears."  The massive multi-part American Experience that PBS has been previewing for months on end is here!  It examines in great detail over the course of five 90-minute documentaries the history of this country from the Native-American perspective.  Up this time is the story of the forced march of thousands of Cherokee from their homes in 1838.

Tuesday, April 28:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - “Alien From Earth." On the island of Flores in Indonesia there is a cave site. In this site very odd fossil bones were found. They're apparently being referred to as "Hobbit" bones. The scientific community is currently fiercely debating what exactly the bones mean. Nova not only covers the debate, they cover some new excavations at the site.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – "The Released."  Did you know that usually prisoners who are mentally ill, once they leave jail, are released with a bus ticket, $75, and two weeks' worth of meds.  I didn't, but I'm not surprised.  Guess what?  Things don't always go well, and that's on us, as a society.  Watch and find out the details.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – "At Home in Utopia."  Kind of an odd title for a sequel, isn't it?  I mean, there were tons of Road movies, one of them Road to Utopia, so why would they do a direct sequel to that particular film?  What?  You're saying they haven't?  You're saying that isn't what this is all about?  It's about the United Workers Cooperative Colony?  If you say so.

Wednesday, April 29:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secret's of the Dead – " Voyage of the Courtesans”. Back in 1789 more than 200 women thieves, protests, and con artists were shipped off to Australia. They transformed their ship into a floating brothel. I feel like I’ve seen this before. Wasn’t this just on Cinema?

9:00 – 10:00PM

Cry for Help.  This hour of television focuses on first-person stories of adolescents who have dealt with depression, anxiety, and mental illness.  It's a serious topic, which, this time around, means that I won't make any rude jokes about it.  The show will deal not only with the issues but also possible treatments and early signs of trouble.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Legacy of War.  Walter Cronkite returns to European locations from the Second World War.  He'll examine not only what took place, but also what has followed since.  It'll deal with the people, the politics, and just about anything else Cronkite cares to discuss.  He's Walter Cronkite, people; he can do whatever he wants.

Thursday, April 30:

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 “Grand Rapids (Hour Two).”  I have to imagine that Grand Rapids has a ton of flotsam and jetsam floating through it.  I honestly believe that tons of older items will be surfing on through the stop.  Without a doubt there will be water damage from the rapids, but the stuff will be there.  Who cares if the oil painting has run a little?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Appalachia:  A History of Mountains and People – "Power and Place."  This is it, the last episode in the series.  From strip mining and invasive fungi, to killing people with union cards and the Tennessee Valley Authority drowning people's ancestry, it all gets wrapped up here.  Just don't forget to squeal like a pig.

Friday, May 1:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4843. 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 – 9:00PM

NOW on PBS #518.  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 #1303.  It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,302nd 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

Secret's of the Dead – " Voyage of the Courtesans”. Back in 1789 more than 200 women thieves, protests, and con artists were shipped off to Australia. They transformed their ship into a floating brothel. I feel like I’ve seen this before. Wasn’t this just on Cinemax?

Saturday, May 2:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – “Alejandro Escovedo.”  After battling Hepatitis C, Escovedo is back with a microphone in his hand performing songs from The Boxing Mirror.  Apparently Billboard quite liked the album. 

First stop on the Heart of Gold?  Well, I think we need to figure out exactly what happened to Earth, don't we?  Thank goodness we went back in time (just a little) when we jumped aboard the Heart of Gold and can witness what went down with the Earth.  I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "That's impossible."  Nope, not impossible, just highly improbable.  As for what we see, that we'll talk about next week.

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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.
  • http://www.e45.org/forum/programming/ E45

    Thnx nice article

  • Just Another Savage

    RE: We Shall Remain: American Experience – “Trail of Tears.

    Get the rest of this story, and what happened to the children of Ridge, Boudinot, etc. in the recent book, “Jesus Wept” An American Story.