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The end of this week marks the end of the 2006-2007 television season; don your black garb.

PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of May 20

Sigh. Not that PBS necessarily follows these things, but by the end of this week, the 2006 – 2007 television season will be over. It will be no more. The countdown for the start of the 2007 – 2008 television season will have begun. I guess, maybe, it’s time to go outside, spend more time in the sun, and with family. Then again, there’s still new stuff out there — go and find it.

 

Sunday, May 20:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Murder in the Troop”. The alpha male of one troop of baboons defeats the alpha male of another troop of baboons. This places twin baboons of the defeated leader into a precarious position. Really? We’re going air this repeat? Really? This is the best we could come up with?

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Theatre – “The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton”. Apparently Mrs. Beeton is like a Victorian era Martha Stewart or Nigella Lawson. Except Beeton was dead by the age of 28. Even so, she produced the world’s most famous recipe book.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Encore! With James Conlon – “Apollo or Dionysus?”. Which God is more your speed? It’s music making explored through mythological paradigm. Because it all wasn’t confusing enough.

 

Monday, May 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Omaha (Hour Two)”. Now, I know you know that I know that you know about Antiques Roadshow, which only leaves the question, what do you know about Omaha (steaks don’t count). All I know about Omaha is steak, because that’s what I ate the night I spent in Omaha. The place was great, sawdust on the floor, country music on the jukebox, beer on tap. Not really your antiquey kind of digs.

9:00 – 10:000PM

American Experience – “The Great Transatlantic Cable”. This is an episode all about… yeah, that’s right, how did you know, the laying of the great transatlantic cable. Coolness, go you for figuring that out. High five!

10:00 – 11:30PM

City at War: London Calling. This show depicts London during the Blitz. It also specifically details the impact of American journalists in London. Maybe that’s the “calling” part of the title. Yup, that would make tons of sense and so that’s what I’m going with.

 

Tuesday, May 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “The Great Robot Race”. In 2005 DARPA sponsored a challenge that saw 195 teams from around the globe try and qualify for 132 mile race around across the desert. It was all done with robots. And, in case you were unsure, robots are in fact awesome.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – “A Hidden Life”. Apparently the ex-Mayor of Spokane, Washington was outed in the town's newspaper years after he left office. The method the paper used to get into the story was to have a computer guy pose as an 18-year-old boy online. It’s like “To Catch a Predator” but with someone of legal age. So, not so much a predator, just a guy hiding a secret life. Should it have stayed a secret?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – “Knocking”. I kind of think this episode should be about taking the easy way out in gin rummy, but apparently it’s about some Jehovah’s Witnesses and “knocking” is what they do on your door.

 

Wednesday, May 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “Voyage of the Courtesans”. Back in 1789 more than 200 women thieves, protests, and con-artists were shipped off to Australia. They transformed their ship into a floating brothel. I feel like I’ve seen this before. Wasn’t this just on Cinemax?

9:00 – 11:00PM

The Blair Decade – All about Tony Blair, his policies, and their ramifications on England. How he got to Number 10 Downing Street and what he’s done there.

 

Thursday, May 24:

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.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Omaha (Hour Two)”. Now, I know you know that I know that you know about Antiques Roadshow, which only leaves the question, what do you know about Omaha (steaks don’t count). All I know about Omaha is steak, because that’s what I ate the night I spent in Omaha. The place was great, sawdust on the floor, country music on the jukebox, beer on tap. Not really your antiquey kind of digs.

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.

 

Friday, May 25:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4647. 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 #321. 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

Bill Moyers Journal #1106 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,106th 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).

10:00PM – 11:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “Voyage of the Courtesans”. Back in 1789 more than 200 women thieves, protests, and con-artists were shipped off to Australia. They transformed their ship into a floating brothel. I feel like I’ve seen this before. Wasn’t this just on Cinemax?

 

Saturday, May 26:

9:00 – 10:0PM

Austin City Limits – “The Flaming Lips/The Shins”. The Lips and The Shins? Man, now all we need are The Burning Crotches and The Torsos and we’ll have much of a body. Maybe they’re on next week.

Now, just so we’re clear, it is virtually summer, virtually. The weather is getting better, life is getting better. I’m not a winter person, I’ll be honest. I tend to ramble more in the winter. In the summer, as you can plainly see, I ramble less, and that’s a good thing.

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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