Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER

Sharpie66

PBS: Viewers Like You. Thank You.

Recommended Posts


I am currently watching the long-awaited retun of Time Team America, with two eps broadcast tonight, one digging a short-lived Civil War POW camp in Georgia, and the other a Pueblo village. I am a huge fan of the UK Time Team, and I really appreciate PBS bringing it across the pond. They even had a member of the UK show show up--Mick Worthington, the dendrochronologist (aka tree ring guy), was a popular digger in the early yeats of UK Time Team, known as "Mick the Dig" and then "Mick the Twig" after he specialized in trees.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The show about the Pueblo dig just ended a minute ago on our local station. First time I've watched that particular series.

 

 

This year I've been getting back into watching PBS frequently after years and years of only tuning in a few times a year, and I have two observations:

  1. The NewsHour doesn't seem to be trying quite as hard to remain neutral on the issues as they did when Jim Lehrer was in the mix.
  2. Our local station shows commercials now. They don't call them commercials (they're very careful to avoid saying specific things that qualify legally as commercial speech), but if it walks like a commercial, quacks like a commercial, and annoys like a commercial...
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

If you liked Time Team America, definitely look up the UK version on YouTube (but skip Season 19--they tried to tart it up and took out everything that made my history/archeaology loving heart glad about the show, before they finally killed it a year later). There was even an early (Season 5, IIRC) ep where they went to Maryland to help on a colonial dig, and had to cope with the differences in dig techniques between the Brits and the Yanks.

Getting back to PBS, the commercials are so common that I just automatically fast forward through the first few minutes of shows on the network.

Edited by Sharpie66
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I have a question for all PBS viewers.

 

If you were able to choose what programs to watch during Pledge Week(s), what would you choose?

A. Suze Orman, Wayne Dyer, Dr. Amen, etc.

B. Anything but Suze Orman, Waybne Dyer, Dr. Amen, etc.

C. Cooking or DIY show marathon

D. Classic Masterpiece Theater/Mystery! series  or something like it marathon (ex. "I, Claudius", the Jeremy Brett "Sherlock" series, "Brideshead Revisted")

E. The regular scheduled programs with reminders to donate.

F. I don't watch PBS during Pledge Week(s)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

B, C, D, and E.

 

Unfortunately, all I get is A, with the occasional dash of Celtic Thunder, which usually leads to F.

 

BTW, I looove the idea of D, and wish that PBS station programmers would use it!! I live in Chicagoland, and the WTTW Prime channel on cable, which has a really good selection of shows throughout the week, will occasionally do marathons of America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country, or once they did Kevin Dundon's Irish cooking show (love his accent!), as well as broadcast Ken Burns docs on Saturday nights. That is good programming, IMO, especially since they do not pair up those marathons with pledge pleas, which they reserve for the main WTTW channel. That main channel does also have a good source of local shows to marathon during Pledge weeks, the 15 or so local history/tour shows that are produced by a WTTW employee (and Architectural Society docent and tour guide) Geoffrey Baer, who has really entertaining shows highlighting the city and suburbs. WTTW also will have all-night marathons of the Rick Steves Europe travel shows, with Steves there in the studio with the phone bank during the pledge breaks.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

B, C, D, and E.

 

Unfortunately, all I get is A, with the occasional dash of Celtic Thunder, which usually leads to F.

 

BTW, I looove the idea of D, and wish that PBS station programmers would use it!! I live in Chicagoland, and the WTTW Prime channel on cable, which has a really good selection of shows throughout the week, will occasionally do marathons of America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country, or once they did Kevin Dundon's Irish cooking show (love his accent!), as well as broadcast Ken Burns docs on Saturday nights. That is good programming, IMO, especially since they do not pair up those marathons with pledge pleas, which they reserve for the main WTTW channel. That main channel does also have a good source of local shows to marathon during Pledge weeks, the 15 or so local history/tour shows that are produced by a WTTW employee (and Architectural Society docent and tour guide) Geoffrey Baer, who has really entertaining shows highlighting the city and suburbs. WTTW also will have all-night marathons of the Rick Steves Europe travel shows, with Steves there in the studio with the phone bank during the pledge breaks.

  Fellow WTTW viewer here. Both A and F will stop me from watching PBS, although I'll usually watch some of the Geoffrey Baer shows if they are on. As far as WTTW Prime, I also appreciate the occasional marathon they do of one or another Henry Louis Gates' geneology series.

Share this post


Link to post

E.

 

I've burnt out on all self-help (selection A) stuff after living through the 80's and I'm not old enough to like nostalgia specials featuring pre-60's music acts (should be selection G). C and D would also be cool. I've already got a sustaining membership to my local station so the pledge stuff doesn't need to move me one bit, but I'd think having their everyday programming on display would be the best choice since there's something for every potential viewer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

If you were able to choose what programs to watch during Pledge Week(s), what would you choose?...

I'll take E please. I set aside time every week to watch my favorite shows, and I get grumpy when they get preempted. I suppose I could live with D depending on the specific programs chosen

Our local station does an interesting thing for pledges: Instead of having a normal pledge drive, they run promos soliciting pledges for a couple of weeks. Whatever money they raise goes toward shortening the next pledge drive. If they raise enough money, there's no pledge drive.

Share this post


Link to post

E for the love gods old and new, E, but barring that?  Anything but A.  I do mean anything.  Someone humming and someone else tap dancing for an hour while singing, "Don't forget to pledge, you cheap bastards!" would be fine by me.  

 

I thought St. Louis must just have woefully underfunded public television, because it's been back to back Suze Orman and that doctor who drones on about such fascinating subjects as colon health, which hey, colon health is cool.  Go for it with the clean colon, but for the love of all things healthy, I use PBS as my default "This is what I hang out on while I do a guide search" because it beats the hell out of trying to run for my life from Tosh.0 in a dead panic.  I never thought it would be PBS that was fixated on all thing scatological out of comedy central and PBS. 

 

Until the last couple of months when Suze Orman and the suit she stole from the host of "The Weakest Link" has been haunting me on a big screen TV.  Do you know how annoying Suze Orman is on a 55 inch HD screen? It's like a home invasion where the goal is to annoy me into handing over money.  Have some mercy PBS, I'm already a freaking member! Of public radio too. In two states.  One of them is Kansas, I've never even lived in Kansas but I was driving through when I heard that High Plains Public Radio had their operating budget cut by 70% and figured I could skip buying something I almost certainly didn't need to pitch in for the only thing keeping people from All Jesus, All the Time radio on the plains in Kansas.  

I support the living stuffing out of all thing public tv and radio, so please, please get Suze Orman out of my home.  Please.  

Edited by stillshimpy
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

I remember before the self-improvement shows, my PBS stations used to show marathons of DIY shows, like Julia Child or "This Old House". Or they would show a "Brideshead Revisited", "Anne of Green Gables" or "I, Claudius" marathon. IIRC, when I lived in the Mid-West for a short period of time, the PBS station had a "Dr. Who" marathon picking the "best" episodes of each Dr. Who.

 

Then they moved onto musical shows, which I didn't mind.

 

Then it was the Suze Orman, Jonathan Pond, Wayne Dyer, etc. etc. etc. etc. (And they KEEP showing them!)

 

I guess my choices would be B.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I love some of the shows they put together with the old time singers from the 50's and 60's and even later decades. I loved the FOLK rewind they did and the doowop shows. I love them the first half a dozen times they run them - by then I'm not watching but I have it on for background noise while I'm doing something else - but by the fiftieth or sixtieth time, they are as annoying as ten minutes of Suzie Orman. I adore PBS and dearly wish they'd get the funding they deserve and require but I have a feeling their Pledge Drives are driving away viewers, not acquiring new ones.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

D. Definitely D. Run marathons of some of the old classics from Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! Let's have some Rumpole of the Bailey, some Morse, some of the great drama series from the 60s and 70s.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

C,D,and E; I would also suggest (f or the stations that carry them) BritComs and/or Doctor Who, as Milz noted.

 

Currently, for me, F is the answer because of A. There are other things on, but as shok said, the 60 millionth time you have the perfectly fine doo-wop or 50s music special played? Not that special. (I live in the DFW area and the black and white Roy Orbison special has reached this for me.)  I don't think Red Green has been shown enough to get me tired of his specials. ("Remember: we're all in this together.")

 

I'd even enjoy a marathon of classic Sesame Street or Electric Company episodes! Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader? Surely enough people would be tickled at the sight/thought and give some money to their local station, right?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I could watch a marathon of classic Sesame Street or Electric Company. I think that would be so cool to watch them.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I picked E thinking that if PBS is trying to draw in as many new subscribers as possible, they need to pitch their pledge drives as broadly as possible. I know I'm not in the least interested in the old-time music specials or the guru lecturers so if I check the guide and see a block of either of those coming up I stay away. I might be interested in a marathon of a single program I like but other potential subscribers might not be interested and not show up to watch and pledge. A "something for everybody" approach might work.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I picked E thinking that if PBS is trying to draw in as many new subscribers as possible, they need to pitch their pledge drives as broadly as possible. I know I'm not in the least interested in the old-time music specials or the guru lecturers so if I check the guide and see a block of either of those coming up I stay away. I might be interested in a marathon of a single program I like but other potential subscribers might not be interested and not show up to watch and pledge. A "something for everybody" approach might work.

 

From a getting viewers to stick around and watch I'd pick D (classics) and E (regular programming) but I'm not sure that works for getting subscribers and donations.  I think they pick the guru type stuff because they can give away packages with "extras not found in stores."  They used to do old Masterpiece/miniseries and sell VHS tapes.  Since everything is out on DVD, I doubt this works that well anymore.  I tend to think that they have research that indicates not many viewers subscribe just for the programming, they want to get something else out of it.

 

I need to confess.  This thread just sent me into a PBS themed Epic Rap Battles of History spiral.  The mere mention of PBS prompts me to rewatch Pablo Picasso vs. Bob Ross (PBS's Joy of Painting).  But I just now realized that Picasso turns on the TV to PBS and shows epic rap battles for Mister Rogers and Doctor Who and Billy Mays (although I have no idea what Billy Mays has to do with PBS as I don't remember a bunch of his commercials airing on PBS in particular).

Share this post


Link to post

I have a question for all PBS viewers.

 

If you were able to choose what programs to watch during Pledge Week(s), what would you choose?

A. Suze Orman, Wayne Dyer, Dr. Amen, etc.

B. Anything but Suze Orman, Waybne Dyer, Dr. Amen, etc.

C. Cooking or DIY show marathon

D. Classic Masterpiece Theater/Mystery! series  or something like it marathon (ex. "I, Claudius", the Jeremy Brett "Sherlock" series, "Brideshead Revisted")

E. The regular scheduled programs with reminders to donate.

F. I don't watch PBS during Pledge Week(s)

Where I live in Canada my cable package gives me two PBS channels. A non-HD one out of Watertown NY and an HD one out of Buffalo NY. I was flicking channels a few weeks ago and I saw that the non-HD one was doing a pledge drive thing based on British Comedies. I stuck around during the pledge driving for a bit to see if it would be anything cool like The Office (it wasn't). But one cool thing they were doing was playing single episodes of a bunch of different shows and if people called in to pledge they would get a vote on which show they liked. The show that got the most votes PBS would purchase and they would air a whole series. I thought it was kind of cool since if I did donate to PBS I would like to be able to sort of choose what they play. The funny thing was that you could kind of tell that no one watches the Standard Definition channel since at the point I was watching they were like half way through the night and they maybe had like 10 votes all together.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

My PBS stations do the "Viewer's Choice" thing. However, since the "choices" are Suze Orman, Wayne Dyer, Neal Barnard, Dr. Amen, etc. that's what's shown: Suze Orman, Wayne Dyer, Neal Barnard, Dr. Amen. :-(

Share this post


Link to post

Oh happy day, the regular PBS programming is back instead of Suze Orman and the like.

No Way Out was showing the other evening, and then Antiques Roadshow. The financial advice and bowel discussions were at a minimum and I was very grateful.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I love Antiques Roadshow. That's something that never gets old, because people always have something interesting to show and interesting stories to tell about their objects, whether they're about the family members who passed them down or about the great find they made when they purchased the item. The compilation shows that has all of the best finds, or the best value (cheapest price to highest value ratio) are some of my favorites to watch.

 

I still love the Navajo blanket appraisal, which ended up being worth $350,000-500,000 (he sold the blanket for an undisclosed sum). When googling for details on the appraisal, I found a story about a guy who had lost his leg and was barely scraping by on disability--he was watching AR and saw the original appraisal, knew that he had a similar blanket, so he decided to sell it when he got an appraisal of $100,000-200,000. When it finally went to auction, it ended up going for $1.5 million!!! http://www.mostwatchedtoday.com/tag/indian-blanket-sells-for-1-5-million/

 

There's a great wrap-up of some behind-the-scenes details and the five most valuable appraisals here: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/09/01/the-antiques-roadshows-five-most-valuable-finds/

 

One of my favorite of the great-finds stories was the young man who had a chair to show to one of the Keno twins. It was one of those at-the-table appraisals, not at the formal area for staged appraisals, and the guy told Keno that he was on his way into the Roadshow that morning, passed by a garage sale, decided that he had some time to spare and stopped. He saw this dining chair, realized that "it just looked old, felt old," so he decided to buy it for the tagged price of $2. Turns out that it was a 200 year old Chippendale, worth $2,000!!

Edited by Sharpie66
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Does anybody watch POV? Caught an ep tonight called "The Genius of Marian."

 

 

When Pam White is diagnosed at age 61 with early-onset Alzheimer’s, her family grapples with the disease alongside her, and her eldest son attempts to recover her memories by recording conversations in this visually rich, poignant film.

 

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365202416/

 

I was very much drawn into this family's story, especially during the scenes with Pam's pregnant daughter interspersed with vintage home movies of Pam as a young mother. Sigh ...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Someone humming and someone else tap dancing for an hour while singing, "Don't forget to pledge, you cheap bastards!" would be fine by me.

stillshimpy, I would donate to hear your message read intermittently on the air throughout Pledge Week.  I'm afraid I'm an "F" -- can't stand the "hosts" in addition to can't stand the programming.  The local hosts are just dreadful, and often do not sound like they are at all familiar with the shows they are talking about.  Or sure where Great Britain is.  Or what it is. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Oh happy day, the regular PBS programming is back instead of Suze Orman and the like.

No Way Out was showing the other evening, and then Antiques Roadshow. The financial advice and bowel discussions were at a minimum and I was very grateful.

 

One of my PBS stations went back to "regular" programming this week....but Saturday's schedule is Pledge stuff.

Share this post


Link to post

Another Ken Burns documentary series coming on PBS starting Sunday.  Ken Burns does a wonderful job with all of his documentaries.  This one is a 7 part (14 hour) series:  The Roosevelts.   I already scheduled my DVR to record the whole series.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Gah, watching Washington Week with Gwen Ifill tonight was as bad as watching FOX. I couldn't last through the whole show. The panel makes such a huge difference in whether it's watchable or not.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I have a question for all PBS viewers.

 

If you were able to choose what programs to watch during Pledge Week(s), what would you choose?

A. Suze Orman, Wayne Dyer, Dr. Amen, etc.

B. Anything but Suze Orman, Waybne Dyer, Dr. Amen, etc.

C. Cooking or DIY show marathon

D. Classic Masterpiece Theater/Mystery! series  or something like it marathon (ex. "I, Claudius", the Jeremy Brett "Sherlock" series, "Brideshead Revisted")

E. The regular scheduled programs with reminders to donate.

F. I don't watch PBS during Pledge Week(s)

Basically it's D., E. and F. for me a lot of time. They show too much of A. where I'm at, PBS wise.

Damn! Young Teddy Roosevelt was a hottie!

Yea that really surprised me. He did a lot as well both in the presidency and outside of it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

While we love PBS for the educational stuff, the documentary series (like Frontline and Nova),  and Masterpiece, be it Classic or Mystery, wouldn't it be interesting for them to reinvigorate their foreign offerings with shows from non-English-speaking lands?

 

As much as I can honestly watch all four series of Black Adder, as much as I love Open All Hours and The Red Green Show, I keep hearing about wonderful shows from all over the planet. While the interwebs are marvelous and bring us consumers of tv lots to gobble up, I enjoy setting myself in front of the tv, snacks at the ready, and experiencing shows the old fashioned way. Plus, it might start a new trend! (Being from North Texas, KERA keeps on reminding those in the audience that it was the station to bring Monty Python to the US. Endlessly, it seems.)

 

Is there a show from Not!US/UK/Canada/Australia that might be a good fit, or at least a fun one, for PBS stations? Any genre, any age.  Something that might help alleviate the dreaded A. classification that Milz pointed out?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I am loving the new documentary series "How We Got to Now," hosted by the really great science writer Steven Johnson (I have his book "The Invention of Air"--highly recommended!). I have always loved the great docs by James Burke, and this new one is much in the same vein. Johnson takes a simple concept--"clean," "time"--and delves into how we got to where we are now in our culture's approach to the concept.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I am loving the "How We Got to Here" series, too, Sharpie66 - I am completely hooked on all things PBS science & nature has to offer.  I miss Nova: ScienceNow.

 

I also really enjoyed the 'PenguinCam' series.   If anyone missed it, Nature is showing a repeat of the excellent "Murder of Crows" episode tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post

The penguin series was very well-done and a lot of fun too, and had the added bonus of David Tennant's narration in his native Scots accent. That voice can always make me a bit wibbly-wobbly. 

 

And this Sunday, in Chicago at least, we have "Death Comes to Pemberley" on Masterpiece Mystery. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The Penguin Cam thing was a lot of fun. I noticed that the Rock Hopper Penguins jump around in exactly the same way that Opus from Bloom County used to do occasionally.

 

How We Got to Here is ok, but the host irritates me. James Burke did it better.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I was thinking of some sadly departed shows on PBS over the weekend. One of my favorites was American Playhouse, which took American stories in American settings and put them on screen with excellent quality. My favorite story is Vonnegut's "Who Am I This Time?", directed by. Jonathan Demme and co-starring Christopher Walken and Susan Sarandon. I had read the short story in my parents' copy of Readers Digest in the late '70s, so was excited to see it on tv a year or so later. I didn't know any of the names involved at that time, but loved them both in the roles of Harry Nash and Helene Shaw.

For those unfamiliar with the show, it takes place in a small town in the early '60s. Harry is an almost pathologically shy young man who transforms into whatever character he portrays in the local playhouse's productions, but only on stage. Helene is a traveling phone company employee who is recruited to audition for the playhouse's upcoming production of "A Streetcar Named Desire." Initially, she blows her audition because she is so closed off from her emotions, but she ends up reading with Harry, who is in character as Stanley, and they have serious sparkage. She falls for him during rehearsals, even though everyone else warns her that Harry is not who she thinks he is, but she doesn't buy it. Then...well, you'll have to see it yourself!

After seeing this, I am saddened that Walken was never able to do more romantic comedies at that point of his career--he is hilarious, moving, and totally believable as the bumbling, shy hardware store clerk, as well as the forceful Stanley, eloquent Cyrano, and wooing Ernest. Sarandon is wonderful, first cold and efficient, then yearning to connect, then doing so with her castmates as well as with Harry.

It is just so much fun to watch--highly recommended!!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I watch the musical features during Pledge Weeks, which were not on Milz's list. John Denver was on yesterday, and the Bee Gees.

 

I noticed something new during the pledge breaks, though. My affiliate is really pushing the year end tax deduction angle. Also, they are not offering any gifts. Which is fine, because the CDs and DVDs are cheaper at Amazon, but I just thought it was odd. "No gifts, so your donation goes farther!" seemed like an odd promotion.

Share this post


Link to post

Out west we got the BeeGees a couple of times but no John Denver. We did, however, get 25 Years of Peter Paul and Mary a couple of dozen times. I think they were giving away gifts but I can't say for sure because I wasn't watching after the first airing.

Share this post


Link to post

We got the Motown 25 year concert. I saw the Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 portion of it. And we kept getting George Clooney's father hosting the Hollywood Musicals show. I never noticed that one of the 7 Brothers never danced as much as the others, before he pointed it out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Guess there's no This Old House thread set up.  They started a new project this past weekend.  If any fans want to catch Lexington's first episode, it'll probably be repeated all week.  

Share this post


Link to post

I used to watch This Old House regularly when I was growing up. I liked the "sweat equity" theory behind it: that a homeowner can do most home improvement jobs without hiring contractors. Some of the stuff I watched back then, helps today when something in our home goes wonky. But as the series progressed from Bob to Steve and to this redheaded host, the projects moved out of the 'home owner can do' realm into the 'hire a contractor' one. And watching contractors install toilets or counter tops doesn't appeal to me.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

aquabella, under Genre Talk, there's a DIY topic, but it's not very specific.

 

RE PBS, there was a Downton Abbey marathon, hosted by Bernadette Peters. Bernadette can't move her jaw, was she always like that? She seemed animatronic. I found it vaguely creepy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Enjoyed the Billy Joel tribute. I noticed that if you win this one,as opposed to, say, the Mark Twain humor prize, they put you to work.

Share this post


Link to post

I recorded it awhile back, but we watched part of the Bruce Springsteen Tribute last night.  One thing I will say about PBS, is that we have had our tv for probably 3 years or now and nothing that I have ever watched on that TV has ever looked as clear as this special did. I have an average sound system too and nothing I have watched on TV has ever sounded better I don't think. So nice work PBS.

Share this post


Link to post

Enjoyed the Billy Joel tribute. I noticed that if you win this one,as opposed to, say, the Mark Twain humor prize, they put you to work.

 

I wanted to enjoy it, but just didn't.  I loved that they put Billy to work - that was the best part of the show.  Loved Tony Bennett, but wasn't crazy about a few of the other performers (whose names are escaping me at the moment).  And watching the crowd "rock out" was almost cringeworthy...

Share this post


Link to post

aquabella, under Genre Talk, there's a DIY topic, but it's not very specific.

 

RE PBS, there was a Downton Abbey marathon, hosted by Bernadette Peters. Bernadette can't move her jaw, was she always like that? She seemed animatronic. I found it vaguely creepy.

 

 

Thanks, ennui.  Will check it out -

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post. But I'm really getting into the World channel. It's part of PBS and they usually have interesting documentaries on.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size