Friday , April 19 2024
The pledge drive is over! Time to do the dance of joy!

PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of March 18

Thank goodness, Pledge Week is over. I should put week in quotes, but I’m not going to. Even so, I’m very happy PBS is back to regularly scheduled programs, because the plethora of complaints I received about their changing the schedule around and stuff not airing at all in certain markets was deafening. Completely deafening. I now completely understand the concept of deafening silence, and am thrilled to be going back to regular old silence.


Sunday, March 18:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “War Wrecks of the Coral Seas”. Ships sink. After they sink things grow on them. This happens in the Coral Seas, where many ships sank during World War II. Ships sank there at that time mostly because there was a war on, and many battles took place in the Pacific that dealt with the Navy. 

9:00 – 10:20PM

Soundies: A Musical History Hosted by Michael Feinstein. A “soundie” is type of movie, first appearing in 1941, that is three minutes long, black and white, and featured big band, jazz, and swing-era artists. And that, is your musical history for today.


Monday, March 19:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “St. Paul (Hour Three)”. I’m standing by this summary from last two weeks: how great would it be if this was at the Cathedral? The experts could go around looking at ancient artifacts and declare them good, bad, or ugly. It’d be really, really funny. 

9:00 – 10:000PM

American Experience – “Hijacked”. In September of 1970 the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked five commercial planes. Three of these were blown up. This show examines the incident, antecedents, and aftermath. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “The Sinking of the Andrea Doria”. See, to me this is just funny, because I know well that dead man tell no tales. At least that’s true until you use science to pry tales from the cold, frozen grip of the dead. And that’s exactly what the scientists do here with the Andrea Doria.


Tuesday, March 20:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Mystery of the Megaflood”. Not to worry, this flood was back during the last ice age. It occurred in what would become the American Northwest, and Nova proves once and for all that it did indeed happen. Must’ve been that damned global warming, Mr. Gore, I salute you.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – “The Soldier’s Heart”. Frontline examines the psychological toll of the war in Iraq. This story originally aired two years ago when a medical study estimated that one in seven returning vets are expected to suffer from major depression, anxiety or PTSD. 

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – “Stolen”. A look at the successful execution of the largest art heist in modern history (just for the record it occurred in 1990 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston). I’ve thought for the longest time that the most successful art heist in modern history was when Titanic stole all those Oscars from deserving movies. 


Wednesday, March 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

National Geographic Specials – “Lost Treasures of Afghanistan”. Due to umpteen different kinds of strife in Afghanistan, various national treasures have been lost, stolen, and/or destroyed. This particular special focuses on the recoved “Bactrian Gold.” What exactly is that? Watch and find out.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Through Deaf Eyes. How can eyes be deaf? I understand what they’re going for here, but I still disagree. Eyes see. Eyes never have the ability to hear, so therefore, technically all eyes are deaf. Yet, that is not the notion they are pushing for here and so I disagree completely with the tack they are taking.


Thursday, March 22:

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.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Great Performances – “Barenboim on Beethoven”. He’s not actually on Beethoven, it’s more like he does Beethoven. Wait, that’s not quite right either. He’s not doing Beethoven as much as he’s performing Beethoven. Or, better still, Beethoven’s music, he’s doing Beethoven’s music. Oh forget it, I give up.


Friday, March 23:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4638. 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 #312. 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

National Geographic Specials – “Lost Treasures of Afghanistan”. Please see description above, cause it’s awesome. 

10:00PM – Lengths Vary

Monty Python’s Flying Circus – #104. It’s the Python boys again. They’re still funny. Funny, wacky, zany, other things. They are the Pythons after all.


Saturday, March 24:

9:00 – 10:0PM

Austin City Limits – “Coldplay”. I started this thing confused and I’m going to end confused. They’re playing in Austin, why are they still cold? And, even if Austin is a little chilly, surely they’ve warmed up in their playing in general so as not to be cold anymore. 


PBS doing regularly scheduled programming, it’s a wonderful thing. Seriously. No more “you have to lose weight” shows or Lawrence Welk specials. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. This, though, is better. Trust me. This is definitely better.

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.

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