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PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of August 19

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I believe that last week I promised to tell you what it meant that we were now in the middle of August, didn't I? See, my short-term memory is just fine. I have no idea whatsoever what it means that we're now in the middle of August, but I really don't think it's relevant to any sort of discussion about my short-term memory, do you? I remember Imagineer Quest 2007 and the rousing success that was. Do you? Do you remember me talking about wanting to be an Imagineer for weeks on end? Well, do you?

 

Sunday, August 19:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Katrina's Animal Rescue.” Despite what this sounds like, Katrina is not actually someone that is rescuing animals. Just the opposite in fact, Katrina is actually hurting animals and people as Katrina is a hurricane. But, I think you can still probably figure out that the episode covers the animal rescuing that came about as a result of Katrina.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Mystery! – “Miss Marple Series III: Ordeal By Innocence. Is it just me or is Miss Marple kind of feisty? I know that I have said in the past that I have had my problems with the lady, but I think I was just trying to deny what we all know is really there. I love that feisty thing she has going on.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Anatomy of a Hurricane. This program ventures inside the National Hurricane Center in Miami during the 2004 Hurricane season. It gives an "inside look" at how the NHC works and what exactly it does.

 

Monday, August 20:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Charlotte (Hour Two).” Honestly, I never saw myself as a Charlotte. I always thought I was more of a Miranda. Other people have said that I'm far more Carrie than Miranda or Charlotte. One thing I'm certainly not however is a Samantha. Nope, that's just not me.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. This show may be the most fascinating show ever, it really may, but its title leaves a lot to be desired. Now I'm just spitballing here, so this many not be quite what they're looking for, but if they want a ratings boost how about something like CSI: History or Law & Order: Old School.

10:00 – 11:00PM

The Standard of Perfection - "Show Cattle". I don't want to sound conceited or anything, but… done. I joke, relax, I joke, I'm as imperfect as they come. But Mark Lewis, director of The Natural History of the Chicken (seriously, that's not a joke), will be checking out show cattle, their owners, and the judges in New England at the Fryeburg Fair.

Tuesday, August 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - "The Most Dangerous Woman in America". Yup, it's all about Hillary. Oh, I kid, relax people. It's actually all about Typhoid Mary, who was, as we all know, the first person in North America to be identified as a carrier of typhoid fever without actually developing the illness. I promise you this, my wife will be watching the show.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – “Gold Futures.” Awesomely enough, this episode takes place in Transylvania. You see, there's all this gold in a village there and has been for years. A company from Canada wants to excavate. And they say Americans are ruining the name North American. Looks like our neighbor to the north ("America Jr.," if you will) might like their forests but are fine with messing up someone else's.

10:00 – 11:30PM

P.O.V. - “Arctic Son.” Stanley Jr. likes his modern ways and modern life. Stanley Sr. thinks Stanley Jr. should learn more of the old Gwitchin ways. Jr. disagrees. Jr. still goes to visit Sr. in the frozen north. They talk. Hopefully, they come to a better understanding of who each person is and where they are coming from.

 

Wednesday, August 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Emperors of the Ice. Penguins. You know they are talking about penguins, and I know that they are talking about penguins. What you may not know, but I do, is that they are using Crittercam for this thing. That's right, Crittercam. This is an "animal-borne research tool." I guess "animal-borne" is better than "animal born," right? Imaging passing a video camera.

9:00PM – 11:00PM

Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain. Hundreds of years ago, Muslims, Christians, and Jews occupied the same land and only irregularly murdered each other. It is because of areas like Islamic Spain that the Renaissance was actually able to occur years later, and some of the work Islamic scholars did during this time really helped push forward a more advanced understanding of the world.

 

Thursday, August 23:

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 – “Charlotte (Hour Two).” Honestly, I never saw myself as a Charlotte. I always thought I was more of a Miranda. Other people have said that I'm far more Carrie than Miranda or Charlotte. One thing I'm certainly not however is a Samantha. Nope, that's just not me.

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 Crittercam.

 

Friday, August 24:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4708. 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 #334. 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 #1120 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,120th 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).

10:00PM – 10:30PM

Exposé: America’s Investigative Reports #210. Each episode in this series focuses on journalistic investigations and the people that went and did them. I think it’s a dying art in this country, we’re all far too interested in the cheap hit than the in-depth story.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers – “Cybersenses". Did you know that replacement synthetic senses for human beings are now a reality? Oh come on, you know about hearing aids and now there's even "artificial hearing." Plus, they are doing trials of electronic retinas. Geordi, we're getting closer everyday.

 

Saturday, August 25:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "The New Orleans Social Club". Weeks after Katrina, legends of New Orleans music got together and celebrated the city that helped make them and their style famous. People in the group include some original members from the Meters and the Neville Brothers. I make fun of things, I know that, but that New Orleans music is just wonderful.

We're getting awfully close to Labor Day now, and when I think of Labor Day, I invariably think of Jerry Lewis. I still have horrific memories of growing up, before we got cable, and having the last weekend of the summer absolutely ruined because there was nothing on TV. The only thing there was Jerry Lewis, looking bad and trying to raise money for a good cause. Do you understand, it wasn't even Jerry Lee Lewis, just Jerry Lewis. Those early Labor Day weekends of my life have scarred me forever.

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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://elvirablack.blogspot.com Elvira Black

    Nice wrapup: yep, guess pledge week is over, and the pickings are hit and miss. But Labor Day usually has some interesting surprises on all the channels, so I’m hopeful.

  • Sven

    I really can’t imagine that you have watched Gold Futures; the film is riddled with factual errors, and well, lies. Please take a look at this preview of the film