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PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of April 22

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You know, it’s almost the end of April, and that gets me to thinking. What I’ve been thinking, I don’t know, but I’ve been thinking it. Really, I do know, but I don’t want to spoil any of the jokes to come, and certainly telling you what I’ve been thinking just might, it just might. And, consequently, I won’t tell you what I’ve been thinking. Rather, you’ll just have to wait and find out.


Sunday, April 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Dogs That Changed the World ‘The Rise of the Dog’”. How’s this for awesome: they’re going to use DNA analysis and other research methods to figure out how wolves became dogs and how there then became so many different breeds of dogs. Dog, dog, dog, dog, dog.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Masterpiece Theatre. “Bleak House, Episode 1.” I’ll be honest with you, things look dark, dismal, kind of empty. Fine, I’ll say it, things look just plain bleak. I wasn’t going to say it but you forced me to, things look bleak. But, that’s how Chuck Dickens wanted it.  

Monday, April 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow –  “Salt Lake City (Hour Two)”. So many possible jokes exist here, but mainly they’re at the expense of Mormons and so I choose to avoid them. I do hear that Big Love is coming back though, and I really enjoy that show, so go Antiques Roadshow!

9:00 – 10:00PM

American Experience – “Summer of Love”. Why does there only have to be one summer of love? I understand that there is an individual summer that is often referred to as such, but shouldn’t we love each other all the time? Wouldn’t those that participated in that one, said summer be disappointed to know that was the only one ever, that their notion died?

10:00 – 11:00PM

American Experience – “RFK”. Divided into two acts, this tale looks at RFK with JFK and RFK post-JFK. I guess there’s very little on his childhood, because the vast majority of his life was with JFK, not without. But, I do understand the reasons for doing it this way.

Tuesday, April 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Saved by the Sun”. See, Al Gore isn’t necessarily right. The sun is good, warmth is good. I’m not even going to read the description of this episode, because I’m completely and wholly convinced that it’s entirely about how global warming will prevent sad deaths on frozen mountains in the winter, people will be saved by the sun. Yes, that’s the only thing it could possibly be about. It’s certainly not about taking solar energy seriously again due to rising oil prices and trouble in the Middle East. No way.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – “Hot Politics”. Speaking of global warming, that’s what this episode of the public affairs series, Frontline, is all about. Seems as though there may be a bi-partisan effort to try and prevent the government from confronting the issue.   

10:00 – 12:00AM

Independent Lens – “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”. The Academy Award-nominated film is now on Independent Lens. It takes a look at how executives at the seventh-largest U.S. company rob, stole, and cheated their employees and the rest of the nation. Gordon Gecko would be so proud.

Wednesday, April 25:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “Battle for the Bible”. Awesome. Again, I use the word: awesome. This episode looks at the “faith, flames, and martyrdom that led to the Bible’s translation into English.” And, in my opinion, as long as there is blood and flames that makes for a pretty good show.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Bill Moyers Journal – “Buying the War”. You know what it cost him? $1.50. No joke, Bill Moyers bought the war in Iraq for $1.50. They initially wanted $2.50, but much like Sam Malone getting the bar back from the corporation for helping put Robin Colcord behind bars, he low-balled them. Sammy’s got the bar back!

10:30 – 11:00PM

Rosevelt’s America. This is apparently a “cinéma vérité” piece profiling a Liberian refugee in America. For those of you reading quickly, it’s Rosevelt, not Roosevelt. Rosevelt, not Roosevelt. Rosevelt. Got it?

Thursday, April 26:

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 – Big Love is coming back though, and I really enjoy that show, so go Antiques Roadshow!

10:00 – 11:00PM

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo. Apparently Wright had a 30-year relationship with Buffalo. Then Buffalo went out and cheated on him with another architect. It sent Wright into a downhill spiral of drinking and drugs only to be fixed in the third act, when Schenectady decided to go on a mercy date with the architect. Needless to say, Wright wasn’t with Schenectady for long before Hohokus came a-calling.

Friday, April 27:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4643. 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 #317. 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

Bill Moyers Journal #1102. This is, apparently, not the same episode that will be airing earlier in the week. Then again, it may be, PBS is tricksy that way.

10:00PM – 11:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “Battle for the Bible”. Please see above joke


Saturday, April 28:

9:00 – 10:0PM

Austin City Limits – “The Raconteurs/Cat Power”. Wouldn’t it be better if this was The Ratconteurs followed by Cat Power? I wonder if that’s what the booker thought they were getting, because a quick glance at the names might lead one to believe that this was the case. I don’t know it for a fact, but I believe it and that’s enough for me.


Did you figure out what I was thinking? Did you? Yup, that’s right, I was thinking of Hohokus, not Ho-Ho-Kus, but Hohokus. I’m not entering into the whole one versus the other thing, but my understanding is that the former incorporates the latter. That’s what Wikipedia seemed to indicate anyway. I know, that’s not the most trustworthy source ever, but I’m going 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.