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Hitchhiker's - location, location, location. Maybe Magic Kingdom... maybe Hollywood Studios.

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of July 26

Last week I suggested that the Hitchhiker's ride could very possibly go in between the Beauty & the Beast live show and the Fantasmic amphitheatre.  I also said that it would put the ride out there all by itself, but that maybe more rides could be added to the section of the park.  You know, that may be possible, but I'm not quite happy with it as a notion.

Sunday, July 26:

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.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "Mrs. Marple, Series IV – Why Didn't They Ask Evans?"  See, now that's a genius question, why not ask Evans?  I would have asked Evans, I'm sure that you would have asked Evans.  They didn't bother, they simply didn't bother.  Ridiculous. 

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 27:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Fame and Fortune.” No single city nonsense for the Roadshow this week.  No, this week (and the week it originally aired and any and all possible reairings) we're going to learn all about celebrities and the objects of theirs that have appeared on past Roadshows.

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 – "Satire and Parody: Sock it to Me?" Herein lies an episode of a six-part PBS miniseries hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. This week we the show explores the mockers, those who parody others and other things, those who create satire.  Mel Brooks.  Sid Caesar.  Johnny Carson.  Jon Stewart.  Those folks.


Tuesday, July 28:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – "AstroSpies". Did you know that there was "an elite corps of clandestine astronauts" who were "never told the true purpose of their training program?" Oh, it's true, they were out there just like the folks in Moonraker all ready to kill Jaws and Hugo Drax if they ever made it into space..

9:00 – 10:00PM

Nova scienceNOW – "Episode 405."  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 one of the stories the show will air is all about the science behind our sense of taste.  I wonder if they can make everything taste like chocolate.  How great would that be?

10:00 – 11:30PM

P.O.V. – “Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go.”  This is a so-called " vérité" look at Oxford's Mulberry Bush School, a school for emotionally disturbed children.  Who exactly are these kids?  How does the school deal with them?  Is vérité really the best way to explore any of that? 


Wednesday, July 29:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Time Team America – "Range Creek, Utah."  Another week and another episode.  This time out, our team has three days… only three days… to unearth and examine the remains of the Fremont Indians, a group of Native Americans who vanished 1,000 years ago (give or take).

9:00 – 10:00PM

Ascent of Money – "Planet Finance." 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 two of four.  Seriously?  Only four episodes?  Don't people go to school for years to figure this out?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Wide Angle – "Contestant No. 2."  Duah Fares is, the description says, an Arab-Israeli teenager and a Druze (a religious sect).  She wants to be a superstar and thinks that maybe, just maybe, being Miss Israel could take her there.  Her community is none too pleased. 

Thursday, July 30:

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 – “Fame and Fortune.” No single city nonsense for the Roadshow this week.  No, this week (and the week it originally aired and any and all possible reairings) we're going to learn all about celebrities and the objects of theirs that have appeared on past Roadshows.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Josh Groban: An Evening in New York City." I've spent many an evening in New York City and my name is Josh.  I've even spent more than one evening at Lincoln Center.  However, I've never performed there, which is what Josh Groban is going to do here.  I'm not convinced that makes him better than I though.


Friday, July 31:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4905. 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 #531.  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 #1316. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,316th 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 – "Lord of the Rings on Stage.”  That's right, Gandalf, on stage.  Frodo, on stage.  Strider, on stage.  How exactly are they going to do that?  How exactly are they going to drop Gollum into the flames?  Balrog?  How does that work. 


Saturday, August 1:

11:00PM – 12:00AM

Austin City Limits – "Wilco." Roger. Wilco. Ready. Waiting. Do it. To it. They're going to perform classics and some new stuff from their new disc, Sky Blue Sky. I think it's a better title than Green Water Green or Purple Face Purple.


You see, even adding another attraction to that relatively small space at Hollywood Studios would be awkward.  The problem is access, something which I already think is a little problematic at Hollywood Studios (areas don't connect like I think they should).  To put Hitchhiker's and another thing there would, most easily, force access to the area via the Fantasmic amphitheatre path.  That's not cool.  That's just awkward.  The better idea is to demolish the Beauty & the Beast theatre and thereby create an access way to this new section and rebuild the Beauty & the Beast stage so that it too is accessed from this new section (I think it's far more in depth than just rerouting the entrance path to that show which is why I don't suggest that).  See, it's awkward to put the ride there, just awkward.

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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