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PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of April 8

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Baseball season has started! Baseball season has started! Are we not excited about that? We should totally be excited about that. I’m excited about that. You understand, of course, that it’s baseball, the national pastime, bringer of fun. Good times. Lots of larfs, that sort of thing. That, and, the Yankees. Baseball has the Yankees, and I love the Yankees. My Yankees. Go Yankees!

 

Sunday, April 8:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Encountering Sea Monsters”. Is Nature beyond the point where they feel like they need to come up with, you know, nature stories? Sea monsters? Really? It sounds like a stunt for sweeps. But it’s not sweeps. Weird.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Theatre. “The Wind in the Willows.” This could be really, really cool, right up until Disney pulls it and plops down Winnie The Pooh in its place, you know, with a little nod to Mr. Toad on the floor in one of the scenes, but that’ll be the only reference to the original ride… er, I mean show.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Georgia Aquarium: Keepers of the Deep. It’s as though the aquarium in Georgia has a monopoly on fish by the sound of this title. No? Am I wrong? Do we not have fish elsewhere? Next week watch for Monterey Aquarium: Home of Star Trek

 

Monday, April 9:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow - “Mobile (Hour Three)”. I know what you’re thinking and you’re wrong (and, not funny, but who am I to throw stones) — this week’s episode is not literally on the road moving around, it’s in Alabama. But, I do want you to know that I appreciate the notion that you’d try and tell a joke, no matter how badly you failed at it. Good on you.

9:00 – 10:30PM

American Experience – “Jonestown: The life and Death of Peoples Temple”. This week American Experience ventures to Guyana. It investigates and relates the history of Jonestown and the mass suicide that occurred there. 

10:30 – 11:00PM

When Parents are Deployed – the producers of Sesame Street took a close look at what happens to families in general and children in particular when their parents are sent off to war. It’s hosted by Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr.

 

Tuesday, April 10:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - “Sinking the Supership”. An in-depth examination of the sinking of the Japanese warship Yamato in April of 1945. Nova actually finds the wreck and uses CGI to show what it was like before sinking. They also discuss how the sinking of the Yamato led to the end of the “great age of battleships.”

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – “Afghanistan: The Other War”. This week, Frontline takes a look at Afghanistan, which, for those of you who forget, is the other war we’re currently fighting in the Middle East. Seems as though things aren’t entirely rosy over there (kind of like Iraq) and Frontline tries to get down to the bottom of it all. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – “Black Gold”. I always thought coffee was good. Check that, I thought coffee was great, a life saver, a godsend, a good thing. Apparently, like everything else in this world, there’s a bad side. In this case, it’s me being charged $8 for a latte while coffee growers in Ethiopia have nothing. I don’t think the problem is that I have $8 to spend on a latte, I don’t (I just spend it anyway), but I’ll watch and find out.      

Wednesday, April 11:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “Shroud of Christ?”  A closer look at the Shroud of Turin, or if you’re NBC and still promoting last year’s Olympics, the Shroud of Torino. Is it real? Is it fake? Does it end with an “o?” Only this show can possibly reveal these mysteries.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Fat: What No One is Telling You. This special documentary (90 minutes) and follow-up (30 minutes) takes a look at what they refer to you as the “last accepted prejudice.” What causes people to eat uncontrollably even when they’re full? What causes people to make fun of them? Why is this accepted? So many questions this week, and PBS is answering them all. 

 

Thursday, April 12:

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.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow - “Mobile (Hour Three)”. I know what you’re thinking and you’re wrong (and, not funny, but who am I to throw stones) — this week’s episode is not literally on the road moving around, it’s in Alabama. But, I do want you to know that I appreciate the notion that you’d try and tell a joke, no matter how badly you failed at it. Good on you.

10:00 – 11:00PM 

The Hidden Child. Of the 1.6 million Jewish children that lived in Europe prior to World War II, only 100,000 survived the Holocaust. The hid in cellars, attics, convents, villages, farms, anywhere and everywhere. This particular hour focuses on Maud Dahme, who lived in Holland. 

 

Friday, April 13:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4641. 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 #315. 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!

9:00 – 10:00PM

The Dead Sea: A Naked Planet Special. There are so many possibilities here, and I’m just not sure where to start. You can do a Norman Mailer joke. You can do something more Six Feet Under-ish. You can do something more Saturday Night Live sex with dead folks. You can do a The Simpsons, Marge’s sister thing. I’m not going to do any, but I could, and that’s what counts.

10:00PM – 11:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “Shroud of Christ?” Please see above joke. 

 

Saturday, April 14:

9:00 – 10:0PM

Austin City Limits – “John Fogerty”. Put me in, Coach! I’m ready to play. Today. Look at me, I could be centerfield. Yeah I could. I love baseball season, even the beginning part of it, where you just know that the Yanks are going to make the playoffs again but are curious as the exact manner in which the Red Sox will fail. 

There was a moment when I thought PBS wasn’t going to recognize the start of baseball season (or, a week or so after the start of the season). But then, at the very end, they pulled it out with this whole John Fogerty thing. Okay, so that’s a very tenuous relationship that I’m running with solely due to Fogerty’s singing Centerfield. Which, I guess is a relationship, but probably not why PBS is airing that episode of Austin City Limits, but I’m pretending anyway. Deal with it.

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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.