Monday , March 4 2024
The creation of the Sword in the Stone ride continues (Imagineer Quest Part 2, as I like to call it).

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of October 5

Do you recall The Sword in the Stone ride?  The ride we've been talking about for weeks on end?  The ride I've described in a moderate amount of detail (enough to pique your interest, but not enough to give away the store)?  The ride that I honestly believe could be a wondrous, wonderful, huge success were it built?  Listen, I can't really give you any more hints about it, I recommend you read up on the past few months of this column so that you learn all about it.

Sunday, October 5

8:00PM – 9:00PM

Nature – "Dogs That Changed the World: Dogs by Design”. How’s this for awesome — as more breeds of dogs are created and mixed and transformed and changed and whatnot, our relationship to dogs changes. As do theirs to us. What’s up with that?

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Theatre – "The Last Enemy (Part 1)”.  Imagine this – an expatriate returns to England to find his homeland transformed.  The place he knew and loved has turned into a paranoid place, terrorists run rampant, spies are everywhere.  You're watching the first part of a five-part series and looking forward to seeing what happens.

10:30PM – 11:00PM

Get Ready for Digital TV.   Two lovely gentleman from This Old House, Norm Abram and Kevin O'Connor, are here to tell you all about getting ready for digital TV (as the transition is coming in February 2009).  Pretty much the answer is that if you have cable or satellite you're fine and that if you don't you're probably going to need a converter box and the government will give you a coupon to buy one.


Monday, October 6:

8:00PM – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow  – "Salt Lake City (Hour One)”. So many possible jokes exist here, but mainly they’re at the expense of Mormons and so I choose to avoid them. I do hear that Big Love is coming back though, and I really enjoy that show, so go Antiques Roadshow!

9:00PM – 12:00AM

American Experience – "The Presidents 'Jimmy Carter'".  Ah, Jimmy, the man from Plains.  The peanut farmer who rose to the heights of power.  The peanut farmer who one-termed his way to a whole new life – a life with a Nobel Peace Prize and new respect.  How did he do it?  Where did he come from?  Why it's important to you.    


Tuesday, October 7:

8:00PM – 9:00PM

Nova – “Arctic Dinosaurs".  We often think of dinosaurs as trudging around our planet in the heat and steam and stink of a jungle past.  While that may be an accurate picture, it is not a complete one.  Some dinosaurs lived in the bitter cold of the arctic.  A new field expedition examines these frozen dinos. 

9:00PM – 11:00PM

PBS Newshour Debates 2008:  A Special Report – " Presidential Debate".   The time has come for the second presidential debate.  I still don't know who out there doesn't know who they're going to be voting for, but I guess you exist.  Learn more about the candidates and their canned answers here.


Wednesday, October 8:

8:00PM – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – "Aztec Massacre". What if the conquistadors didn't just walk over the Aztecs without the Aztecs fighting back? It is just possible that the Aztecs weren't quite as naïve as they are often painted by history. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that they may have fought back and killed more than a few conquistadors.

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Latinos '08.   One of the most important groups for our presidential candidates to woo this year are Latinos.  Which candidate has done a better job?  Which one seems to be more successful at wooing Latinos?  Will McCain's backtracking and changes of opinion on immigration harm him?  Will Obama be able to woo the Latinos that wanted Hillary?  This documentary will attempt to answer those questions, but we'll know for certain a month.

10:00PM  – 11:30PM

P.O.V. – "Up the Yangtze". China is building a huge, massive, ridonkulously large hydroelectric dam.  The building of said dam will destroy some ancient villages and some historic locales.  China's doing it in the name of progress, but others ask if this really is progress at all.  How can we move forward if we don't remember our history? 


Thursday, October 9:

8:00PM – 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.

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow  – "Salt Lake City (Hour One)”. So many possible jokes exist here, but mainly they’re at the expense of Mormons and so I choose to avoid them. I do hear that Big Love is coming back though, and I really enjoy that show, so go Antiques Roadshow!

10:00PM – 11:00PM

Small Fortunes:  Microcredit and the Future of Poverty.   This documentary was made three years ago, when times were different (at least in this country).  Apparently, and it may still be going on, some banks all over the world were giving very small loans (some as small as a few dollars) which really helped their lives.  "Experts" give their opinions on said loans.


Friday, October 10:

8:00PM – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4814. 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.

8:30PM – 9:30PM

NOW on PBS #440.  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!

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Bill Moyers Journal #1226. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,226th 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

Slavery and the Making of America – "Liberty in the Air". The second hour of this repeat series looks at slavery in this country and its ramifications from the 1740s through the 1830s. It covers the Revolution, the Second Constitution, and the start of the emancipation movement.


Saturday, October 11:

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Bettye LaVette/Pinetop Perkins".  I'll tell you this right now, I don't think that this show has ever had two people with finer names on the show.  LaVette is an R&B vet, and Pinetop is a pianist.  But, as I say, far more important than what they do (depending on who you are anyway), is their names…Pinetop.  I love it.

Have you gone back to read up on the ride and its creation?  Excellent, excellent, excellent.  I'm dying to know what you think.  Would you ride it?  How would you change it?  What would you do?  I'm very curious and excited to get the opinions of others.  I want you to be brutally honest with me.  Just remember, I bruise easily and have a very fragile ego.

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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