PBS

TV Full of Horrors, Not All On Purpose

Posted on 10/21/2012 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

EntertainmentI’ve spent more hours than is healthy hunting for a good show to highlight this week, and it’s been hell. Really. Yes, I am well aware that  American Horror Story: Asylum has critics and fans out there giddy, and that the FX offering beat ABC’s Nashville and NBC’s Chicago Fire in the ratings for its premiere last week. A series this newsworthy and star-filled (Jessica Lange, Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Cromwell, etc.) cannot go unmentioned. So I’ll give the devil his due. When it comes to torture, bloodletting …

Eclectic Group of Stars in ‘Dust to Dreams’ Special

Posted on 09/16/2012 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Entertainment I’ll admit it:  I still get a teenage-style thrill out of seeing favorite music stars performing together for the first time — like Carole King with Jennifer Hudson and Mavis Staples. Is that cool or what? The threesome are among the highlights of this Friday’s (9/21) From Dust to Dreams: Opening Night at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts special on PBS, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. They’re part of a lineup of luminaries that ranges from John Fogerty …

Good TV This Week: The National Memorial Day Concert

Posted on 05/27/2012 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

EntertainmentThe National Memorial Day Concert is more than just a music event.  It is, of course, a tradition in itself, a TV destination for millions of us who wish to honor the original intent of the holiday as a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our country.  Jessica Sanchez, “American Idol’s” 16-year-old powerhouse vocalist, is on the bill this year, along with Colin Powell, Dennis Franz, Ellen Burstyn, Natalie Cole, Trace Adkins and Selma Blair.  …

Good TV This Week: Remembering Johnny Carson

Posted on 05/13/2012 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

EntertainmentIn “Johnny Carson: King of Late Night,” the PBS American Masters documentary airing tomorrow night (5/14), the “Tonight Show” host is referred to as an American Sphinx – right there before our eyes, yet enigmatic.  Director Peter Jones shines a light on the more mysterious aspects of Carson’s life – the mother he could never please, the sons he felt he’d shortchanged, the wives who took a back seat to his career – in this special pegged to the 50th …

Getting Up Close and Personal with Tony Bennett and His Song Mates

Posted on 01/20/2012 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

EntertainmentWe’ve heard the Grammy-nominated album.  Now PBS’ “Great Performances” is treating viewers to a look at the making of our own Tony Bennett’s “Duets II” Friday night (1/27).  It’s the Great American Crooner with partners including Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin and Faith Hill.  Watching these artists smiling at each other and grooving on one another’s vocalizations is fun – as is finding out which performers mix with Tony best.  Notice how he lights up with Lady …

Big Bird vs. Rush Limbaugh: The PBS Wars Explained

Posted on 03/10/2011 by | Movies & TV | Comments

EntertainmentHere’s a little bit of TV trivia for you: Back in the 1960s, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was created to replace National Educational Television…because NET was considered too liberal! Ah, those were the good old days of public broadcasting. The money came almost entirely from private funding—mostly from the Ford Foundation. But NET’s decidedly leftward tilt, with in-depth reports like The Poor Pay More and Appalachia: Rich Land, Poor People, made the investors nervous. The Fords stepped back and …