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More Hitchhiker's! Does size matter?

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of June 21

One of the big questions I have about the Hitchhiker's ride is exactly what kind of auditorium it should be, how the whole thing should work.  I very much like the idea of a small one, maybe slightly bigger than the Star Tours shuttle, but I would love to be able to incorporate a live actor or two as well.  That could prove difficult in a small size thing.

Sunday, June 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "Animals Behaving Worse."  Ooh… a sequel!  Using the format developed in the 2000 episode, "Animals Behaving Badly."  As it turns out, animals and people don't so much always get along.  Those pesky squirrels in birdfeeders…

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "Poirot – Cat Among Pigeons."  He's back!  David Suchet is back!  These are all-new (as of 2009) Hercule Poirot mysteries, and that is awesome.  I kid you not, I am excited by the notion of David Suchet returning to the character created by Agatha Christie.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Garden Insects. This thirty minute show features close-up photography and an original score as well as facts about insects, their habitat, and their life cycle. I can’t even imagine spending the hours necessary to get the footage, can you imagine the tedium? Can you imagine scoring the tedium of getting the footage? Or facts about getting the footage? Now that I’d like to see

 

Monday, June 22:

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 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. They’re back again! Those History Detectives are going to be puzzling out clues, working the scene of the crime, and hoping against hope to solve that greatest mystery of them all: how did Fred Flintstone manage to run fast enough that his big, heavy car started to move? Seriously now, that’s a question about history and one I feel ought to be answered sooner rather than later.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Make 'em Laugh: The Funny Business of America – "Nerds, Jerks & Oddballs: Would Ya Hit a Guy with Glasses?" Herein lies an episode of a six-part PBS miniseries hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. Tonight, as the tile indicates, the show will explore oddballs and outcasts.

 

Tuesday, June 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – "Ape Genius." I hope they mean Grape Ape. He's certainly an ape, and, in my mind, a genius. Seriously. He goes around telling everyone exactly who he is, and consequently is terribly well known. It's just genius. I think it's a far better strategy than the ape named Ape. He can go around talking about how he's Ape and people will just think he's an ape. Poor planning, Ape, poor planning.  

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – TBA

10:00 – 11:30PM

P.O.V. – “New Muslim Cool.”  Hamza Perez is a Puerto Rican-American rapper who became a Muslim.  He used to be a drug dealer, but no more, now, instead, he's been confronted with a whole new set of realities after the FBI raided his mosque.  Not really the easiest of lives, is it?

 

Wednesday, June 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Sandwiches That You Will Like. My favorites are the turkey club, the patty melt, or something with corned beef, or pastrami, or tongue, or chopped liver, or perhaps all of them. I'm a fan of roast beef, too. Actually, before I saw my Giants defeat the much hated (and cheating) Patriots I ordered some delicious corned beef and pastrami from Zabar's (along with lox and bagels) so that I could watch the game and eat foods from my native NY. This show features Rick Sebak traveling around the country looking for sandwiches.

9:00 – 11:00PM

The Music Instinct:  Science and Song.  I kid you not, when I first read this title, I thought it said "insect" not "instinct."  I think my show would have made for a far more interesting one, but this doesn't seem bad, it's all about why we're moved by music.  I wonder if insects are moved by music too.  Enquiring minds want to know.

 

Thursday, June 25:

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 – "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. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "OneRepublic."  I guess OneRepublic wants their name to be just OneWord, not two.  Maybe that has to do with their whole idea of being "one," if they do have some sort of idea about being one that is.  They certainly do pop and rock, so why not wrap that in a notion of being "one?"

 

Friday, June 26:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4851. 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 #526.  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 #1311.  It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,311th 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

Inside – "Battle of the Wines.”  See chardonnay battle it out against pinot noir.  See pinot grigio take out the merlot.  See a Bordeaux butcher a wine in a box.  Either that or learn about planning a dinner party for the "Wine Maker of the Year."  Me, I'm betting on the super Tuscan.

 

Saturday, June 27:

11:00P M – 12:00AM

Austin City Limits – "Crowded House". This is Crowded House's first television appearance since the mid-'90s, at least it was the first time it was aired. I think that's probably because people don't like seeing poverty on TV or in the mass media in general. Thus, showing a Crowded House on television makes people feel bad, you know, why can't the group afford a house big enough for them all to live in.

I think that the right answer is an in-between size thing.  Think about The Great Movie Ride, they do fun things with live actors there, in addition to having all the sets and clips and things.  I Think that an audience that size could work, it would be slightly larger than Star Tours, but not as large as The Muppets 3D.  Yup, that'll do it.

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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