Friday , March 1 2024
More Hitchhiker's!

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of July 5

Several weeks ago, I visited Disney World in an attempt to place my Hitchhiker's ride into a more real world.  I think I've worked out a lot more about how to put it together.  I know you want to know all about it.  Well, guess what, you'll have to keep reading to learn what I discovered.


Sunday, July 5:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “The Vanishing Lions."  The lions are missing!  The lions are missing!  Well, they're going missing anyway.  They exist now, but they're disappearing from Africa's savannah at a terrible rate.  Why, I ask you, why?  Watch and maybe you'll find out.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "Mrs. Marple, Series IV – A Pocket Full of Rye."  Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie.  A bunch of murders are committed by someone who apparently is all in love with "Sing a Song of Sixpence."  Miss Marple solves the case.  No, I haven't seen it, but I'm pretty convinced that she will.

10:30 – 11:00PM

PBS Previews: National Parks. Soon, but not yet, PBS will airing a Ken Burns special all about our national parks. Apparently he thinks they were one of America’s best ideas. I know that because “America’s Best Idea” is the subtitle for the series. I’m like Sherlock Holmes.


Monday, July 6:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Philadelphia (Hour One).” I am hoping someone brings in the Liberty Bell — that, or the Rocky Balboa statue. Seriously, how much fun would that be, watching the appraisers take a look at the Liberty Bell, see the huge crack in it and deem it worth about $100? Good times.

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 FredFlintstone 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 – "The Knockabouts: Slip on a Banana Peel." Herein lies an episode of a six-part PBS miniseries hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. Tonight, as the tile indicates, we get to see all about slapstick.  You know, Three Stooges stuffs.


Tuesday, July 7:

8:00 9:00PM

Nova – "Secrets of the Samurai Sword". I imagine that the secret is that it allows Hiro to do his squishy-blink thing and freeze time or transport himself elsewhere. That’s what Kensei’s samurai sword did, so surely that’s what virtually all samurai swords do, right?

9:00 10:00PM

Nova scienceNOW – "Episode 402."  ScienceNOW is the newest addition to the Nova family and is currently in its fourth season. Episodes in this series look at a variety of topics over the course of a single episode instead of just one thing for the whole hour.  Tonight, among other things, scientists look for "another Earth."  Hopefully that one is better than Earth 2.

10:00 11:30PM

P.O.V. – “Life. Support. Music.”  Jason Crigler, just as his life was taking off, suffered a brain hemorrhage.  The doctors were not terribly optomistic about his changes.  However, against all odds, Jason and his family fought back.  Did they succeed?  What happened?  Where is he now?  


Wednesday, July 8:

8:00 9:00PM

Time Team America – "Fort Raleigh, North Carolina."  Here it is folks, time to get in on the ground floor of a brand new series.  In essence, the show has a team of folks given just three days to dig into archaeological sites.  I'm not sure from the description why three days is such a relevant number (costs?), but I can tell you this week that they're looking for stuff at Roanoke Island.

9:00 10:00PM

Ascent of Money. Songs have been written.  Movies made.  Stars signed on with the sheer promise of.  Okay, this doesn't have — directly — to do with that.  No, instead, this is all about how the system of global finance has evolved.  This is episode one of four.  Seriously?  Only four episodes?  Don't people go to school for years to figure this out?

10:00 11:00PM

Wide Angle – "TBA." 


Thursday, July 9:

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 – “Philadelphia (Hour One).” I am hoping someone brings in the Liberty Bell — that, or the Rocky Balboa statue. Seriously, how much fun would that be, watching the appraisers take a look at the Liberty Bell, see the huge crack in it and deem it worth about $100? Good times.  

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Death Cab for Cutie." Five years ago I saw Death Cab for Cutie perform.  I won't say where, I won't say when, I'll only say that I saw them.  Frankly, I don't think they want me to say where I saw them.  It might be kind of embarrassing.  They were, however, great.


Friday, July 10:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4902. 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 #528It’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 #1313. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,313th 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 – "Space Launch.”  I've always wanted to know what it's like to be launched into space.  I've done that Disney ride, Expedition:  Space several times, and always on the "real" side, never on the "less intense" experience side.  Even so, I don't think I could handle the trip to space.  I can however watch this and learn more about what it feels like.


Saturday, July 11:


Austin City Limits – "Jakob Dylan/Carrie Rodriguez". Don't be confused, the Wallflowers person, that would be Dylan, doesn't actually perform with the singer-cum-violinist, Rodriguez. I think that's why the title has a slash instead of a "with" or an "and." I'm not saying which way they would be better, just that they don't perform together here.


The truth is, I'm not quite ready to tell you exactly where I'd place the ride.  Instead, I'd again like to focus on exactly what makes Disney World so great.  It's not just that the rides are outstanding, it's the small things.  Every little thing is something that's been considered.  The smallest details are worked out.  Go on a ride, any ride.  Nothing is out of place, nothing is where it shouldn't be.  Everything is placed where it is placed for a reason, all the details are planned and executed.  It's that attention to detail that really sets the stage for the attractions.

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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