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It's time to move on from Imagineer Quest 2007... let's start a new pledge drive!

PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of July 29

Wow, it’s quite the timing. I finish telling you all about the Imagineer stuff just in time for PBS to start their pledge drive again, which means that beginning this Saturday everything I say about what they’re going to air may or may not happen. I’m working with the best information I have, people, but that just doesn’t mean that what I want to happen, what you want to happen, what everyone wants to happen, will happen? Now, what’s happening?

Sunday, June 29:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Shark Mountain.” How awesome would it be if sharks actually lived on mountains? Think about the ridiculously great movies about stranded climbers you could get out of that. In this case we’re taking about a small spot 300 miles off the coast of Central America, and presumably underwater.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Mystery! “Miss Marple, Series III”. Ever since watching Murder By Death years ago – see it if you haven’t – I can’t take Miss Marple seriously. I don’t have the same problem with Charlie Chan or Sam Spade or any of the other guys, but Miss Marple and I are through. It’s sad really, because back in the day, when I was just a lad at boarding school, she and I, well, you know.

10:30 – 11:00PM

When Parents are Deployed. Cuba Gooding Jr. and the producers of Sesame Street help approximately 700,000 children under the age of five whose parents are deployed overseas. They examine some of the families’ stories and look at the effects on these children.

 

Monday, July 30:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Portland (Hour Three).” Wow, Oregon. No one ever said that the Roadshow didn’t go to the ends of the earth, and I’ve heard that Portland, Oregon is that. Much like with past cities, I’m not saying anything bad about Portland here, I actually really applaud the show for thrusting this otherwise benign city into the national spotlight. Maybe there’ll be a really swell rocking chair from 1821 to be found in Portland.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. This show may be the most fascinating show ever, it really may, but it’s title leave a lot to be desired, not like the next show, the next show has the single greatest title for a show that I’ve ever heard (other than “Josh Lasser, You’ve Been Hired as an Imagineer” of course)

10:00 – 11:00PM

Simon Schama’s Power of Art – “Rothko”. Good old Rothko. He painted some paintings for the Four Seasons restaurant. He then went there. He saw the place. He returned the payment and withdrew his work. Nice.

 

Tuesday, July 31:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova scienceNOW. This is just foolish. Still moving backwards, this week the show will air the second episode from the second season, whereas last week they aired the third. Maybe next week it’ll be the first, and after that… well, that’s when things get tricky. Have you ever contemplated death by a black hole before?

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – “Dishing Democracy.” Cairo has a show that is similar to The View. It’s really, really popular. Will it affect the way people in the Middle East see themselves? Well, will it?

10:00 – 11:00PM

P.O.V. – “Following Sean.” Ralph Arlyck made a short film about this kid named Sean during the height of the whole Haight Ashbury thing. Now he goes back and tries to find Sean, learning about himself in the process.

 

Wednesday, August 1:

8:00 – 9:00PM

To Market to Market to Buy a Fat Pig. This show celebrates the various monster markets that exist around the country. Not that the markets sell monsters, rather that they’re really big and sell everything, like Baltimore’s Lexington Market and the Hill Farmers Market in Hawaii. That’s where I want to be Hawaii, maybe that will be the next quest… maybe not.

9:00PM – 11:00PM

Great Performances – “Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story”. For about 15 years Stax Records put out hit, after hit, after hit. Did you know that while they mainly released music made by African Americans they were founded by a conservative white bank teller? No? Well then, watch this show and find out all about it.

 

Thursday, August 2:

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 – “Portland (Hour Three).” Wow, Oregon. No one ever said that the Roadshow didn’t go to the ends of the Earth, and I’ve heard that Portland, Oregon is that. Much like with past cities, I’m not saying anything bad about Portland here, I actually really applaud the show for thrusting this otherwise benign city into the national spotlight. Maybe there’ll be a really swell rocking chair from 1821 to be found in Portland.

10:00 – 10:30PM

PBS Previews: The War. Never let it be said that PBS isn’t incredibly self-promoting (not that I think that it is bad to be self-promoting, they just are). This is the second week that they are previewing an upcoming documentary that will air on their network. Good for them. The documentary is going to be huge and the more they let people know about it, the better it will be.

10:30 – 11:00 PM

When Parents are Deployed. Cuba Gooding Jr. and the producers of Sesame Street help approximately 700,000 children under the age of five whose parents are deployed overseas. They examine some of the families’ stories and look at the effects on these children.

 

Friday, August 3:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4705. 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 #331. 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 #1117 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,117th 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 – 10:30PM

Exposé: America’s Investigative Reports #207. Each episode in this series focuses on journalistic investigations and the people that went and did them. I think it’s a dying art in this country, we’re all far too interested in the cheap hit than the in-depth story.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers – “Hidden Motives.” Do you think you know why you do what you do? You don’t. I know, but I’m not going to tell you. Let Alan Alda do it, he was Hawkeye Pierce after all.

 

Saturday, August 4:

8:00 – 9:15PM

My Music: 50s Pop Parade. Ah those awesome 1950s crooners are back. Robert Goulet headlines the list which includes Jerry Vale, Kay Starr, Ed Ames, Patti Page, and oh so many more. How could you possibly go wrong? Well, it may not air where you are because tonight PBS starts their pledge drive.

9:15 – 10:30PM

My Music: The 70s Experience. It’s just like the above show, except it is about music from the 1970s, not music from the 1950s, so it is the same, but it is different. Make sense? Well, there is one thing that’s the same about this, it may not air where you air because tonight PBS starts its pledge drive.

 

Well, if this Saturday started the pledge drive, it’s a virtual certainty that it will continue into next week. That means that you should still read I everything I write, I encourage you to hang on every little word, but it also means that what I write may or may not come to fruition. But, if you think about it, I said I wanted to talk to an Imagineer and that came to fruition, so maybe I have some sort of power.

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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