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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of May 10

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With the Heart of Gold rumbling to its first destination, I think it’s time to introduce a new character to the ride, the ever not-so-humble truly fantastic creator of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, Zaphod Beeblebrox.  As you well know, Zaphod has two heads and is one of the worst dressed sentient beings ever.  But, is the President, loads of fun, and has to be present on the ship as he hijacked it.

 

Sunday, May 10:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Voyage of the Lonely Turtle”. Poor, poor turtle. What must it be like to be a little, lonely turtle. Or, a huge lonely turtle depending on what exact type of turtle you are. I imagine there can be in between types of turtles too. 

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Classic – "Wallander ‘Sidetracked.’"  Did you know that there was such a thing as a scruffy Swedish super sleuth?  Well, there is, and his name is “Wallander.”  Even better, he’s played by Kenneth Branagh, and everyone likes Kenneth Branagh… everyone.  That’s right, you in the back, you like Kenneth Branagh too.  Everyone.

10:30 – 11:00PM

From the Top at Carnegie Hall Special Edition – "Rhythm and Strings."  Kids these days, they think they can run the world.  At the very least, they think that they can play musical instruments.  Some of them certainly can, particularly Joshua Jones, Anna Lee, Alice Burla, and Taeguk Mun.  Trust me.  Watch and you'll find out.

 

Monday, May 11:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow “Hartford (Hour One).”   Connecticut – bastion of all that is old and posh, or at least most that is old and posh… okay, some that is old and posh, but the posh is very, very posh.  And, why not do it in Hartford.  Hartford has television.  People like Hartford.  It’s no Westport or Greenwich, but people like it.

9:00 – 10:30PM

We Shall Remain:  American Experience – “Wounded Knee."  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.  This week we get the finale and the taking over of Wounded Knee by American Indian Movement activists.

10:30PM – 12:00AM

We Shall Remain:  American Experience – “Wounded Knee."  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.  This week we get the finale and the taking over of Wounded Knee by American Indian Movement activists.

 

Tuesday, May 12:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - “Space Shuttle Disaster."  Nova takes an in-depth look at the Columbia disaster, talking to the families of some of the astronauts and the accident investigation board.  What, precisely went wrong?  Was there someone to blame?  Could the tragedy have been avoided?  Apparently there may have been some "financial compromises," and here I thought they spent millions on every screw.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – "The Madoff Affair."  Law & Order has already done their episode on Madoff, so why not Frontline too?  I assume that the Frontline version will be far more factual than L&O’s, and while that’s good it doesn’t return the money he stole, some of which, we all know, will be kept by his family for years on end.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – "Crips and Bloods: Made in America."  In parts of Los Angeles you’ve got your Crips.  In other part you’ve got your bloods.  Didn’t you ever see the movie Colors?  This show features interviews with members – past and present – of both sides.  I assume not at the same time.

 

Wednesday, May 13:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “Michelangelo Revealed.”  Was Michelangelo trying to reform the Catholic Church from within?  Was he subtly trying to alter the goings-on within one of the most powerful institutions the world has ever known?  Did Dan Brown write a novel about him involving a codex?  One man things the answers to some of these questions are… yes.

9:00 – 11:00PM

WWII Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, The Nazis and the West – "Cracks in the Alliance (Autumn 1941 to December 1943)."  The centerpiece of this episode is the August 1942 meeting between Stalin and Churchill in Moscow.  Watch some of the “dramatic re-creations” of the moment.  Marvel at Churchill’s hat.  Wonder at Stalin’s mustache.  Learn the history our public schools may not have imparted as fully as they ought. 

 

Thursday, May 14:

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 “Hartford (Hour One).”   Connecticut – bastion of all that is old and posh, or at least most that is old and posh… okay, some that is old and posh, but the posh is very, very posh.  And, why not do it in Hartford.  Hartford has television.  People like Hartford.  It’s no Westport or Greenwich, but people like it.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Adventure Lodges of North America – "United States Adventure Lodges." And the summer doldrums clearly have set in over at PBS. Pledge Week is clearly over. The boss is almost certainly out of town. I kid, I kid, just because I would associate this with the travel channel and not PBS, that doesn't mean that looking at a bunch of historic inns and chalets across North America will be less exciting than watching paint dry.

 

Friday, May 15:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4845. 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 #520.  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 #1305.  It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,305th 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

Secrets of the Dead – “Michelangelo Revealed.”  Was Michelangelo trying to reform the Catholic Church from within?  Was he subtly trying to alter the goings-on within one of the most powerful institutions the world has ever known?  Did Dan Brown write a novel about him involving a codex?  One man things the answers to some of these questions are… yes.

 

Saturday, May 16:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "My Morning Jacket". Oh, I am so happy that they're repeating this episode! My Morning Jacket had been on the show prior to this appearance, but they had to split their time with Death Cab for Cutie. Don't get me wrong, I like Death Cab, but I'm happy to see My Morning Jacket with their own episode. Good for them. Bravo!

 

The audience is all strapped in and seated in the ship, which is, essentially, a movie theatre with the traditional Star Trek-style view screen up front.  Marvin sticks down front throughout the show, and Zaphod, when he arrives comes from off stage and is in front of the view screen.  Zaphod is not amused at humans being aboard the ship.  Why?  Tune in next week and find out.

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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.releaseyourwriting.com Helen Gallagher

    Josh – thanks for this “public service bulletin” you produce on PBS. I’m especially glad to see NOW and Bill Moyers still running. They are both great magazine format shows.

    Helen Gallagher