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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of June 15

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So, here it is, I'm trying to plan a little Disney vacation for a year from now.  Possible Land, possible World, possibly neither.  There are a number of factors still in play, a number of balls in the air.  But, you see, my wife has vacation at the same time as my daughter's third birthday.  It seems like a great way to celebrate her birthday and we can even go during the week and have fewer lines and crowds.  Of course, even if we don't go, I'll be able to take a Quantum of Solace from the fact that we'll all be together. 

Sunday, June 15:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Silence of the Bees.” By "silence" the show means that honeybees are disappearing from North America. No one is quite sure why, but gosh darn it, they're going to try and find out. Seriously folks, this could be a real problem, due to the whole pollination thing that honeybees do.

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Independent Lens – "Deep Water". Deep water can mean deep trouble, especially if you're an amateur yachtsman.  Deep water did mean deep trouble for Donald Crowhurst who tried to sail his yacht around the world in the first solo, non-stop race that required circumnavigating the globe.

10:30 – 11:00PM

PBS Previews – "Carrier". PBS isn't going to show you Carrier, they're just going to show you a preview of it (it airs at the end of April and beginning of May). They're going to tantalize you. They're going to intrigue you. They're going to tell you about some of the people on the USS Nimitz

Monday, June 16:

8:00 – 9:00PM 

Antiques Roadshow  – "Los Angeles (Hour Three)".  Did you know that there was a time I lived in Los Angeles?  It's strange, but true, I lived there.  It's quite the movie town, everyone seems to be an actor or a writer or a producer.  It's all quite fascinating.  Plus, just about everyone has some sort of movie memorabilia.  I wonder if that's what we're going to see on the Roadshow, a Marilyn Monroe-signed bottle of Chanel, that sort of thing.

9:00 – 11:30PM

American Experience – "Eleanor Roosevelt".  Ah, Eleanor.  Everyone knows about her public life and achievements (and there were many).  Thus, this episode is going to go beyond the public (they'll discuss that too, I'm sure), they're going to look into her private life.  Her hidden life.  Her personal life. 

Tuesday, June 17:

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 – 11:00PM

Frontline - “Young and Restless in China.”  I was young and restless in China. Beijing, specifically.  I think it's because of the jetlag.  It was a long flight from New York, and sleep wasn't terribly forthcoming.  Even so, that's not what the episode is about, it's about the very fast changes coming along in Chinese society and how the young deal with it.

10:00 – 11:00PM 

Independent Lens – "The Cool School".  Apparently for an entire decade the "Ferus Gallery was the catalyst of a nascent modern art scene."  Watch what happened, watch what catalyzed.  Find out if anything that catalyzed eventually needed to be cauterized (and quite possibly disinfected too). 

Wednesday, June 18:

8:00 – 8:30PM 

Ribbon of Sand. Things change. It's the way of the world. It just happens. Things change. Get used to it. In this documentary Meryl Streep tells us all about how things change off the coast of North Carolina, in North Carolina's Outer Banks, to be specific. The sand shifts, the beautiful islands that exist now may not exist in the future. Things change.

8:30  – 10:00PM 

Another Day in Paradise.  It's kind of like Carrier, except that this follows present day folks on board the USS Nimitz.  Wait… wasn't Carrier about people aboard the Nimitz too?  Ummm… maybe this is the stuff that didn't make that series.  Maybe that series sprung from this program and this is just getting a later airing.  I don't know.  I just don't know.

10:00  – 11:00PM 

Carrier - "All Hands".  Well, here it is, again, PBS has previewed it over and over and over again, and now the time has finally arrived. Carrier is here (in repeat fashion). The series follows a group of people on board the USS Nimitz, from admirals on down to newbie sailors. It promises to be a fascinating look not just at this mammoth aircraft carrier, but the Navy in general. 

Thursday, June 19:

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  – "Los Angeles (Hour Three)".  Did you know that there was a time I lived in Los Angeles.  It's strange, but true, I lived there.  It's quite the movie town, everyone seems to be an actor or a writer or a producer.  It's all quite fascinating.  Plus, just about everyone has some sort of movie memorabilia.  I wonder if that's what we're going to see on the Roadshow, a Marilyn Monroe-signed bottle of Chanel, that sort of thing.

10:00 – 11:30PM 

Independent Lens – "Abduction:  The Megumi Yokota Story". No lie, in 1977 a Japanese 13-year-old girl was kidnapped was North Korean spies.  Her parents spent 30 years trying to bring her home… 30 years.  Can you imagine?  Well, if not, you don't have to, you can watch and see what happened.  

Friday, June 20:

8:00 – 8:30PM 

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4751. 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 #425.  It’s the Emmy award-winning weekly news magazine. 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 #1211. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,211th 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 – 11:00PM 

Churchill – “The Lion’s Roar”. This episode follows the man, the myth, the legend, from 1929 and 1945. Churchill, while wise in some areas (like realizing the trouble Hitler and his ideas represented early on) wasn’t in others (not willing to discuss British rule in India). He was successful and enigmatic and just a tad odd.  

Saturday, June 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM 

Austin City Limits – “Gretchen Wilson/Miranda Lambert”. It seems as though Gretchen Wilson is a "'Country Music Mafia' superstar."  I don't know anything about that, all I know is that she's not the Wilson from Wilson Phillips.  Miranda Lambert is also not Wilson from Wilson Phillips, nor, I believe, is she Phillips. I know I'm looking about a year out with this whole thing, but I don't imagine I'll be an Imagineer by then.  I mean, I could be, but it would mean either doing it long distance or being without my family for a while.  Neither of these seem like great choices, but, it's probably a moot point because an offer has not yet been forthcoming (not that I've actually filled out any sort of application).  Still, I'm thinking about it.  I've got my fingers crossed.

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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.