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PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of March 9

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It seems once again as though it's time for the PBS Pledge Drive. It's a good time, a happy time, a time when we can all dig deep into our hearts and pony up the dough for PBS programming. Forget the mortgage crisis, forget the credit crunch, forget the war that is quickly draining our national economy (I'm actually serious), support PBS programming. I think that if we all knew that PBS was going to exist, no matter what, we could take a Quantum of Solace from it.

Sunday, March 9:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Deep Jungle 'Monsters of the Forest'”. Wow. This is part two of a three-part miniseries, a miniseries I tell you, that follows explorers and scientists as they examine life in the jungle. Part two deals with "mysteries of rainforest ecology."

9:00 – 10:00PM

Celebrating The Complete Jane Austen. There is absolutely nothing like giving yourself a good pat on the back. Think of this as PBS doing exactly that. This is a behind-the-scenes look at just how it is that Masterpiece Theatre went about putting all of Jane Austen's work on air.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical Treasure. Hosted by Shirley Jones, this documentary looks at 1940s and 1950s Hollywood musicals. You know, back in the day when they were really able to make 'em laugh, make 'em, laugh. Don't you know the whole world wants to laugh?

Monday, March 10:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Tampa (Hour Two)". I wonder if the things that appear at the Roadshow in Tampa are imported by snowbirds from New York. Either that or they recall the moments back in the day when the Buccaneers were a good team. 

9:00 – 10:30PM

Visions of Austria. I had a vision of Austria, and it was all that you've given to me. Nope, that was a vision of love, wasn't it. This particular feature looks at Vienna, Hohensalzbug, Innsbruck, Linz, and Bregenz. Ah, Bregenz. 

10:30PM – 12:00AM

Daniel O'Donnell at Home in Ireland. O'Donnell is an Irish tenor and will be performing Irish tunes. We're getting awfully close to St. Patrick's Day, aren't we? I think that O'Donnell is really Irish though and not just Irish like everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, March 11:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Mystery of the Megavolcano." Back during the Ice Age (the reality, not the movie) there was a big old volcanic eruption; it's often referred to as the "Toba eruption." The eruption may, just may, have helped change our climate dramatically and might have almost ended all life on Earth. And you complained about global warming.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Brenda Watson's Detox Strategy. Oh goodness gracious. This is not about detoxing someone who is on drugs or drinking, this is about helping people remove toxins from their home and environment. I think we really ought to be focusing on the former and not the latter, don't you?

10:30 – 11:00PM

PBS Pledge Period. It is as they say it is, PBS asking you to dig deep.

Wednesday, March 12:

8:00 – 9:30PM

James Last at the Royal Albert Hall. Last is a band leader, so when he is at the Albert Hall the odds are that a band is not too far behind. Apparently the band evens stands up and dances during the performance. What could be cooler than that (I know, people rattling their jewelry, right?)?

9:30 – 11:00PM

Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical Treasure. Hosted by Shirley Jones, this documentary looks at 1940s and 1950s Hollywood musicals. You know, back in the day when they were really able to make 'em laugh, make 'em, laugh. Don't you know the whole world wants to laugh?

Thursday, March 13:

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

The High Kings. Finbarr Clancy. Brian Dunphy. Martin Furey. Darren Holden. What do these men have in common? I'm glad you asked. They're singers. All of them. Better than that though, they've joined forces and have created a brand-new Irish ballad group. They're called the High Kings. They perform here.

10:30PM – 12:00AM

Historic Pubs of Dublin – It is just possible that Frank McCourt knows a thing or two about old pubs. I certainly hope he does as he's leading a tour of Dublin's oldest pubs. Myself, I could use a drink right about now.

Friday, March 14:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4737. 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 #411.  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 #1149. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,149th 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 – 11:30PM

The Happiness Prescription with Deepak Chopra. Deepak Chopra explains how we can all be happy. He takes Buddha's teachings and relates "them to a contemporary understanding of consciousness." Apparently that can all make up happy. I'll stick with drugs myself.

Saturday, March 15:

8:00 – 10:00PM

My Music: My Generation – The 60s. The episode, despite what it says, focuses on the years 1965 to 1969. That's like a class I took on the cinema of the 1970s in which we watched films from 1965 to 1973. It was an awful class. Well and truly awful. I could say why but I'd rather not.

10:00PM – 12:00AM

The Osmonds 50th Anniversary. It's been 50 years since The Osmonds started to do their thing? It's been 50 years since The Osmonds started to do their thing! Holy mackerel, that's a long, long time. All seven Osmonds perform here and there are old clips and photos too.


Oh come on, don't tell me you disagree. You know you could take a Quantum of Solace from the knowledge that PBS was going to still be around, come hell or high water. There's very little that's certain in life, so I think we all should take the happy certainties where we can get them. And if the eternal programming of PBS is one of those things, so be 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.