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April 20, 2014

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'Reading Rainbow' Readies Return?

by Scott Harris, posted Mar 22nd 2010 4:15PM
They say that behind every rain cloud there's a silver lining, and at the end of every rainbow there's a pot of gold. For fans of the beloved PBS show 'Reading Rainbow,' however, there has been little evidence of either since the show was canceled in 2006.

Until now.

Yes, word on the street is that there may be a new version of 'Reading Rainbow' coming to your television sets soon. And by "the street" we mean "LeVar Burton's Twitter feed." Details are sketchy, which is bound to happen when you break news with a 140 character limit, but according to Burton himself, "Reading Rainbow 2.0 is in th [sic] works!"

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This 'Reading Rainbow' Parody is Hilarious, But You Don't Have to Take My Word For It

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 25th 2010 10:02PM
If your child is reading so much that they aren't able to do the most basic activities like eating or dressing themselves and other girls are starting to see them as too smart for their own good, try ruining their natural curiosity of reading.

You can start by getting them to watch one of these latest recommendations from the new 'Reading Rainbow' recommended reading series. WARNING: TV Squad will not be held responsible for the emotional harm caused by this series. Besides, it's really Funny or Die's fault for posting them, so sue them.

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PBS, BBC Rebooting 'Sherlock Holmes'

by Oliver Miller, posted Feb 23rd 2010 11:00AM
Benedict CumberbatchReboots are all the rage these days -- and Sherlock Holmes, well, he's pretty popular too.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, PBS is teaming with BBC to bring 'Sherlock Holmes' back to the small screen.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of last December's 'Sherlock Homes' movie, which starred Robert Downey Jr. as the intrepid detective and Jude Law as his faithful sidekick, Dr. Watson.

Unlike the movie, however, the TV series will feature an actual English actor as Sherlock Holmes: Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured), who will be putting on the deerstalker cap and moving into 221B Baker Street when the show premieres. Meanwhile, Martin Freeman (U.K.'s 'The Office'; 'Hot Fuzz') will star as Dr. Watson.

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PBS Launching New Sherlock Holmes

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 23rd 2010 9:29AM
benedict_cumberbatch_viewimagesBBC Worldwide and PBS have decided that it's time for a new 'Sherlock Holmes.' The 1984 series, which ran ten years and 41 episodes, had Jeremy Brett as Sherlock and is still widely regarded as the best Holmes since Basil Rathbone's incarnation in the movies, but after the success of Guy Ritchie's kinetic Robert Downey Jr. version last Christmas, the people in a position to make things happen are ready to give us a 21st century variation on Holmes and Watson and 221B Baker Street.

Thus far the casting is promising. Martin Freeman, who is best known as the British version of Jim in the UK 'The Office,' will play Dr. Watson. In the role of Sherlock, the actor chosen is named Benedict Cumberbatch. That's a great name for an actor cast as Holmes; it just sounds so British. But Benedict also has the look of a Holmes, and he was in 'Atonement' and was nominated for a BAFTA playing Stephen Hawking in a BCC drama.

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on 'Faces of America' and the Beer Summit

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 9th 2010 2:03PM
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at the premiere of 'Faces of America'While I was in Pasadena for the TCAs, I got a chance to have a very interesting talk with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. He was at the press tour to promote his new PBS series 'Faces of America,' which debuts on Wednesday, February 10.

In the four-part follow-up to his 'African-American Lives' series, Gates traces the lineages of a number of celebrity guests via the use of both old-fashioned digging -- documents, genealogical investigations -- and cutting-edge genome research. Some of the guests include Eva Longoria, Yo Yo Ma, Stephen Colbert, Malcolm Gladwell, Dr. Oz and Meryl Streep.

Professor Gates and I talked mostly about what he found surprising about his research, and what guests were most surprised by their lineages. Of course, I also asked him about the aftermath of the "beer summit" with President Obama and James Crowley, the Cambridge police officer who arrested him for breaking into his own house last summer. You'd be surprised what the officer gave Professor Gates as a keepsake of the incident.

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Black History Month 2010 TV Highlights

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Feb 1st 2010 1:00PM

Today kicks off Black History Month. Although February is the shortest month of the year, our favorite networks have more than made up for it with a plethora of programs. BET, HBO, PBS and Fox have lined up compelling shows and specials that commemorate both Black History and the Civil Rights Movement.

Highlights after the jump ...

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Confessions of a Masterpiece Theatre Addict

by Sandie Angulo Chen, posted Jan 23rd 2010 12:00PM
Hi, my name is Sandie, and I'm a PBS MasterpieceTheatre addict -- especially when it comes to the Masterpiece Classic programs.

It's not really my fault. Blame my dearly departed aunt, a total Anglophile and 'Upstairs, Downstairs' devotee who couldn't wait to watch the original Alistair Cooke-hosted Masterpiece Theatre productions. When I was one year old, my aunt convinced my mother to watch the acclaimed 13-part miniseries 'I, Claudius,' starring Derek Jacobi, and then she was hooked too.

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Guess who's coming to Sesame Street?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 21st 2010 10:40PM
There are few signs in this crazy business that you have become an indelible and beloved member of the pop culture lexicon than getting a cameo appearance on an episode of Sesame Street. Case in point: Gallagher, O.J. Simpson and Kanye West have yet to appear on an episode of Sesame Street.

Well, would you want West teaching your kids the difference between "near" and "far," things that are yellow and why George Bush hates black people?

Some upcoming episodes of the long running PBS kids' show will include appearances by Christina Applegate on Jan. 25, Hugh Jackman on Jan. 27, Debi Mazar and Sarah Jessica Parker on Feb. 16 and Paul Rudd and Eva Longoria-Parker on Feb. 18.

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What You Missed Last Night: Jeff Zucker on Charlie Rose

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 19th 2010 1:30PM
Jeff Zucker
We've heard from Jay Leno, we've heard from Conan O'Brien, we've heard from Dick Ebersol, and we've even heard from Southland's Ben McKenzie. But what about the guy who started all this, Jeff Zucker? He gave an interview to Charlie Rose last night and it's up at Rose's site (I'd embed it here but...I can't).

I love how Rose starts the conversation by saying that things have gone "downhill" for NBC and that it's "in shambles." Zucker quickly corrects him.

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Stephen Colbert is one of the Faces of America

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 13th 2010 4:02PM
PBS has a new documentary series debuting on February 10 titled Faces of America. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (he of the famous "beer summit" at the White House last year) interviews many celebrities about their family history, including Stephen Colbert, Eva Longoria Parker, Malcolm Gladwell, and Mario Batali. Here are three clips where Colbert (hard T) talks about his family.

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Antiques Roadshow jade objects don't fetch as much money as thought

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 5th 2010 10:30AM
Antiques RoadshowIf you watched PBS' Antiques Roadshow last night, you saw the biggest appraisal in the show's history. A woman from North Carolina brought in jade objects that her father brought home from China after World War II. The woman wasn't sure how much they were worth, but the appraisers told her they were worth $710,000 to $1.07 million. Turns out though that she didn't get quite that much when she went to sell them.

Maine Antique Digest reports that the jade objects brought in $494,615 when she sold them at Skinner's in October.

Why didn't the objects bring in as much money as the Antiques Roadshow people thought? It's all explained in the article linked above but too involved to get into here. It involves math.

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Nielsen to Track PBS Ratings

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Dec 23rd 2009 10:40AM
Elmo star of 'Sesame Street'PBS is getting in on the ratings game.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the network has announced that it will be signing up with Nielsen Ratings, providing a weekly -- but not daily -- outlook on its programs. This will be a first for the network, which launched back in 1970.

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Now PETA is going after Sesame Street

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 17th 2009 3:30PM
Sesame StreetThey're incredible and they're edible, but eggs will also harm you. At least that's what PETA is saying.

People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals doesn't like the fact that the PBS show is being sponsored by The Egg Board. PETA's web site says that "Sesame Street is misleading children and parents into believing that eggs are a wholesome food when the truth is that eggs are linked to multiple serious health problems and that the egg industry horribly abuses animals." I think what they meant to say is that the industry horribly abuses animals in a simply delicious way, because scrambled eggs with just the right amount of salt and pepper are awesome.

This is a weird way for PETA to wish Sesame Street a happy 40th anniversary.

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A tribute to Siskel & Ebert

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 14th 2009 2:03PM
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert can probably be credited with really getting everyone interested in movie criticism. Before Sneak Previews, people would read movie reviews, sure, but they brought intelligent film criticism to television and became a huge part of pop culture.

This is a tribute from The Nostalgia Critic, and he covers the history of the show, from the start on PBS to the death of Siskel in 1999 to the hosts that eventually replaced them. He probably needs to get a better microphone, but it's well-done.(Slightly NSFW.)

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They're remaking Upstairs Downstairs

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 13th 2009 7:26AM
upstairs_downstairs_PBSBefore Dallas and Dynasty and Falcon Crest and Knots Landings captured the imaginations of American viewers, there was a British soap import that was even more compelling.

From 1971-75, PBS aired the British upper crust soap Upstairs Downstairs. And now Upstairs Downstairs is going to be remade. It'll be filmed and shown in England first before coming to America in 2011.

What made Upstairs Downstairs classic television – it won Emmys, BAFTAs and Golden Globes – was the way it depicted of the British class system. Upstairs you had the rich, privileged Bellamy family. Downstairs there were the servants who worked for them. The lives of all these characters intertwined in a well-written, brilliantly acted drama series.

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