Sunday , February 25 2024
It's the all-singing, all-dancing, PBS Pledge Drive!!!

PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of August 5

Now remember, this is Pledge Week on PBS.  That means that every single show and every single time slot is up for grabs no matter what I actually write below.  That being said, it's now time for the all-singing, all-dancing, all-awesome PBS Pledge Week!  Seriously, there's a whole lot singing going on here, I don't exactly know what that is, but I have a few hypotheses.  Most of them have to do with PBS pandering to the demographic that donates money to PBS (a wise thing to do).


Sunday, August 5:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “The Real Macaw.”  Okay, I know Imagineer Quest 2007 is over, but when I hear "macaw" I think about the old Enchanted Tiki Room, which has a little bit on macaws there.  It's funny.  Trust me, it is.  I'm not saying the new Enchanted Tiki Room is bad, just that there's no line about macaws in it.     

9:00 – 10:30PM

Andre Rieu:  Radio City Music Hall, Live in New York”.  For the record, it's no longer live, it was taped in July 2006, which makes it over a year old.  It's still Andre Rieu though and he's still doing his thing with some very special guests including a then five-year-old violinist. 


Monday, August 6:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Dr Wayne Dyer:  Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life.  So, there's this Dr. Wayne Dyer, he did a one-year immersion and study of the Tao Te Ching.  He has now updated it and is going to tell you, me, and everyone else exactly how it applies to our lives today, and how it can help us and the world around us. 

10:00 – 11:30PM

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

Liam Lawton:  Live in Dublin.  Again, I'm going to have to go with this not actually being live (I don't believe in "live to tape"), but I'll forgive him because the Irish Film Orchestra and Chorus will be there as will boy soprano, Joseph McManners.  And that, my friends, is a night of music. 


Tuesday, August 7:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – "Origins". This is actually a repeat of a series, and the first episode, the one showing tonight is "Earth is Born" in which Neil deGrasse Tyson (of the American Museum on Natural History and Nova scienceNOW) talks about how the earth was built.  Yes, I'm going with the word "built" here.  Want to discuss?  Take a number.  Yours is 42.  That's right, 42.  Or, if you prefer, 6 times 9 in base 13. 

9:00 – 10:00PM

The Borinqueneers.  This program tells the story of the 65th Puerto Rico Regiment in the U.S. Army.  It's the only all-Hispanic unit in U.S. Army history.  The story, as related here, goes up through the Korean War. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

P.O.V. – “The Hobart Shakespeareans.”  There is a teacher of fifth graders in one of the nation's largest inner-city grade schools in Los Angeles that teaches Shakespeare to his students.  Actually, he teaches them a little bit of everything, but his year culminates with a performance by the students of a full-length Shakespeare play.  All the kids take part in it, no child is left behind. 


Wednesday, August 8:

8:00 – 9:30PM

Johnny Cash:  A Man and His Vision.  Yup, the Man in Black.  Or, as I like to think of him, the Man in Really, Really, Really Dark, Dark, Dark Grey, Grey so Dark it Confuses a Lot of People Into Thinking it's Black.  Well, whatever he wore, he did it with style and even had a TV show for almost two years.  This show is about that show.    

9:30PM – 10:30PM

Last of the Breed.  Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price put out an album by that name.  Then, they got together and did a concert based on the album.  This is that concert.  It was taped for PBS in March of 2007 in Chi-town. 


Thursday, August 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

Helmut Lotti:  The Crooners.  Internationally known Lotti performs romantic ballads from the "great era of crooning" (there was a great era of crooning?) in this special.  And, Lotti gets some accompaniment here too, and that's swell. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Bachman Cummings Songbook:  American Woman and More.  The famed duo sing some of their classic songs.  Yes Homer, they sing "Takin' Care of Business," but no, they will not skip to the chorus no matter how much you yell.  This is their show, Homer, not yours. 


Friday, August 10:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4706. 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 #332. 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 #1118 – 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 #208. 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 – 11:10PM

Spiral Fitness with David Carradine and Rob Moses.  Listen carefully, Grasshopper.  You will only be ready to leave once you grab the pebble.  Try and grab the pebble, Grasshopper.  Silly Grasshopper, pebbles are for black belts.  Maybe if you had done some spiral fitness, you could have been a black belt.    


Saturday, August 11:

8:00 – 9:30PM

Andre Rieu:  Radio City Music Hall, Live in New York”.  For the record, it's no longer live, it was taped in July 2006, which makes it over a year old.  It's still Andre Rieu though and he's still doing his thing with some very special guests including a then five-year-old violinist. 

9:30 – 11:00PM

Great Performances – "Lionel Richie:  Live in Paris".  Wow, so many possible jokes here.  Most of them having to do with Lionel's adopted daughter and Lionel's adopted daughter's sometime best friend.  As people that read this watch PBS though, those jokes probably won't fly, neither for their blueness nor the personalities in question. 


Go ahead, admonish me, you know you want to.  But, I reiterate (as I did during the last pledge drive) it's not my fault if your PBS station chooses not to air any of this stuff.  I just write up what I get told they may or may not air, I don't actually hit "play" on the tape machine.  But boy, if I did, what a wonderful world that would be.  Just think of it, me, getting to tell others what to watch.  I sort of do that now, but it's really only a bunch of vague suggestions along with some subliminal messages… wait, strike that last bit, you didn't hear anything. 

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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