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Ah, the first of week of December. The end of the year is nigh.

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of December 2

You know what's back? The PBS Pledge Drive. Who doesn't like that? I love the Pledge Drive. Is it just me or does it feel like the Pledge Drive comes up every two or three months? It's like this fun-filled who knows when things will really air, because they might air on time or not at all cool beans week or two or three. I enjoy it. You should, too. You should also take all the below listings with a grain of salt.

 

Sunday, December 2:

8:00 – 9:30PM

Nature – “The Best of Nature – 25 Years.” Boy, if you think that this is going to be a different episode than the “Best of” that aired back in mid-January you are going to be sorely mistaken. Trust me, between now and mid-January there is no way Nature put out another 25 years of programming.

9:30 – 11:00PM

Masterpiece Theatre – “The Best of Masterpiece Theatre”. This would be another “Best of” episode, but rather than focusing on Nature, it’s going to focus on Masterpiece Theatre. See how that works?

 

Monday, December 3:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “San Francisco (Hour Three).” The Roadshow goes to San Francisco. If you go to, be sure to wear a flower in your hair. They're into that sort of thing. Sure, the hippies may be gone from the city, but their spirit lives on in the actions and attitudes of those who remain.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Barry Manilow: Songs from the Seventies. Recently I had the opportunity to stay at the Las Vegas Hilton. Sadly, I did not realize that the Hilton is where Manilow does his thing nightly. Thus, I did not have the opportunity to purchase tickets to see Mr. Manilow. I am not the fanilow I ought to be. I apologize.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Northern Lights: An Evening with Sissel and Friends. According to the press release Sissel is "one of the brightest talents of the 21st century." I have no idea who Sissel is. I can tell you that Sissel will be singing in the 17th century Norwegian village of Roros. Wow, a 21st century star in a 17th century village. There's like four centuries of difference there.

 

Tuesday, December 4:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Supersonic Dreams”. You see, the 'S' is for super, and the 'U' is for unique
The 'P' is for perfection and you know that we are freaks. Supersonic. Supersonic. Either that or this is the story of the development of the world's first supersonic airliner. I still think that's super and unique.

9:00 – 10:30PM

My Music: Doo Wop Love Songs. How far we have come from the previous hour and "Supersonic." Jerry Butler and Cousin Brucie Morrow host the show, which was recorded at the Ritz Theatre in Elizabeth, NJ back in May. For those who are unaware, Elizabeth is exit 13A off the Jersey Turnpike, and where the IKEA can be found.

10:30 – 11:30PM

Ayo Live in Monte Carlo. Ayo's first CD went double platinum in France. In Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Korea, and Australia it went either platinum or gold (it depends on the country and, quite possibly, how you count). Either way, platinum or gold, Ayo will be singing songs from said CD with her four-man band.

 

Wednesday, December 5:

8:00 – 9:30PM

Great Performances – “Vivere: Andrea Bocelli Live in Tuscany”. Bocelli returns to Italy for a greatest hits concert. But, he doesn't stop there, he also debuts some new songs. So, pretty much what you have is great old stuff and hopefully great new stuff. Plus, Bocelli. Sounds like a plan to me.

9:30PM – 10:30PM

Mario Lanza: Singing to the Gods. A look back at the life and career of Mario Lanza. Lanza was never quite sure whether he ought to stick with serious opera or give in to the temptations of Hollywood. Lanza died at the age of 38, and this special will delve into some of the reasons why that happened.

 

Thursday, December 6:

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 – 10:30PM

Great Scenic Railway Journeys Celebrating North America's Steam Railroads. Do I even need to write anything else about the show at this point, because it seems like the title says everything you need to know, doesn't it? No? You want more? How about this – they visit 17 different steam railroads. Satisfied? Me too.

 

Friday, December 7:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4723. 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 #349. 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 #1135. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,135th 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

The Brain Fitness Program. The whole fitness program is based on neuro-plasticity. For those of you people who aren't doctors, this is "the ability of the brain to change and adapt." Pretty much what has happened is that some scientists have created some stimuli that make good changes to your brain.

 

Saturday, December 8:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Barry Manilow: Songs from the Seventies. Recently I had the opportunity to stay at the Las Vegas Hilton. Sadly, I did not realize that the Hilton is where Manilow does his things nightly. Thus, I did not have the opportunity to purchase tickets to see Mr. Manilow. I am not the fanilow I ought to be. I apologize.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Great Performances at the Met – "Great Moments at the Met: Viewer's Choice". Oh, if I get to choose I'm totally putting down the best collapse in baseball history. How those folks over at the Met (or Shea if you prefer) managed to blow their lead and not make the playoffs is simple unbelievable. It's insane. If I was a Met fan I'd be so unhappy about it all. It's really the kind of thing that keeps you up all winter, isn't it?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Good Night with the Sleep Doctor Michael Breus, PhD. Does this title mean that the good doctor gets into your bed with you at night and helps you go to bed? Maybe he provides a nice back rub or some other sleep-inducing items. Either that or he just suggests that we all should sleep more and better. Maybe he'll go to work for me too so that I'll have the time to sleep.

 

Speaking of good night, I hope you have a wonderful one. Because, in my mind, it's 11pm on a Saturday and frankly, I'm too old to be awake any longer than that. I'm sorry, it's true. If you're reading this at 11pm on Saturday December 8, I've turned 30. If you're reading it on Friday December 7, I'm still 29. December 8 – 30. December 7 – 29. Maybe I'll have entered a timewarp and get to be 29 forever.

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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