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PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of September 23

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Things are going to be a little different for the next couple of weeks on PBS. This week PBS is premiering the long awaited, and sure to be fascinatingly in-depth, brand-spanking new Ken Burns miniseries. It’s all about World War II and it airs over and over and over again. It doesn’t even finish this week, so it’s going to air over and over and over again next week. I predict many interviews and a plethora of panning-over photographs.

 

Sunday, September 23:

8:00 – 10:30PM

The War – “A Necessary War.” The first part of Ken Burns’s six-years-in-the-making, 14-hour documentary looking at World War Two and the stories of people from four different areas of the United States: Waterbury Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and Luverne, Minnesota.

10:30PM – 1:00AM

The War – “A Necessary War.” The first part of Ken Burns’s six-years-in-the-making, 14-hour documentary looking at World War Two and the stories of people from four different areas of the United States: Waterbury Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and Luverne, Minnesota.

 

Monday, September 24:

8:00 – 10:00PM

The War – “When Things Get Tough.” The second part of Ken Burns’s six-years-in-the-making, 14-hour documentary looking at World War Two and the stories of people from four different areas of the United States: Waterbury Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and Luverne, Minnesota.

10:00PM – 12:00AM

The War – “When Things Get Tough.” The second part of Ken Burns’s six-years-in-the-making, 14-hour documentary looking at World War Two and the stories of people from four different areas of the United States: Waterbury Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and Luverne, Minnesota.

 

Tuesday, September 25:

8:00 – 10:00PM

The War – “A Deadly Calling.” The third part of Ken Burns’s six-years-in-the-making, 14-hour documentary looking at World War Two and the stories of people from four different areas of the United States: Waterbury Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and Luverne, Minnesota.

10:00PM – 12:00AM

The War – “A Deadly Calling.” The third part of Ken Burns’s six-years-in-the-making, 14-hour documentary looking at World War Two and the stories of people from four different areas of the United States: Waterbury Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and Luverne, Minnesota.

 

Wednesday, September 26

8:00 – 10:30PM

The War – “Pride of our Nation.” The fourth part of Ken Burns’s six-years-in-the-making, 14-hour documentary looking at World War Two and the stories of people from four different areas of the United States: Waterbury Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and Luverne, Minnesota.

10:30PM – 1:00AM

The War – “Pride of our Nation.” The fourth part of Ken Burns’s six-years-in-the-making, 14-hour documentary looking at World War Two and the stories of people from four different areas of the United States: Waterbury Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and Luverne, Minnesota.

 

Thursday, September 27:

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 – 10:30PM

All-American Presidential Forums. Good old Tavis Smiley. Tavis is moderating a panel of journalists who are posing questions to the major Republican candidates. The topics range from health care to housing to Katrina to the environment to the economy, and all the great ancillary topics that go with these.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Rosevelt’s America. This is a “cinéma vérité” profile of a Liberian refugee. He narrowly escaped execution during Liberia’s civil war, made his way to America, leaving his wife behind, but managing to take his three children. After working several jobs for a few years he is finally reunited with his wife. He has not had an easy life, but it has gotten better.

 

Friday, September 28:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4713. 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 – 9:30PM

NOW #339. 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!

9:30 – 10:00PM

Bill Moyers Journal #1125 - It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,125th 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 – 10:30PM

Exposé: America’s Investigative Reports #215. 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

Fort Niagara: The Struggle For a Continent. Fort Niagara is at the mouth of the Niagara Rivera, in Youngstown, NY. This is a strategic location. There is strategerie involved with it. That means that you have to think about it and figure it out and hold it at all costs. And if that’s not enough, there’s high definition videography involved.

 

Saturday, September 29:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Damian Marley". Damian is the son of Bob. We all know Bob, don’t we? Damian is also a multiple Grammy winner and performs here with his brothers Stephen and Julian.

 

Was I right? Were there a lot of panning-over photographs? That tactic is called, by some, the “Ken Burns effect.” It’s his thing. He likes doing it oh-so-much. Now, I won’t say that he invented it, he may have, but I won’t say it. He did, however, popularize it. He brought it to the masses, and the masses adore it. And for that reason, if nothing else, Ken Burns is a god among men.

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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.