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By Kim Fernandez, For The Baltimore Sun | June 23, 2014
Pet lovers around the country tune in to the PBS series, “Shelter Me,” which celebrates shelter pets with uplifting stories about them. Soon, the series will feature homeless dogs and cats in Baltimore. On Tuesday, June 24, Aimee Sadler, a nationally recognized animal trainer specializing in behavioral problems, will be at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) hosting a doggie playdate, and a film crew will document the day for a future episode of the show. Sadler will work with shelter staff members on the best ways to hold playdates between their dogs, who often don't know each other very well, if at all. The goal is to reduce frustration for both animals and people and increase the happiness quotient for everyone.
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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2014
"Great Performances," the PBS showcase of American performing arts, came to town for the Star-Spangled Spectacular concert at Pier Six Saturday night and showed how to make great, live television. On paper, the lineup of talent for the concert celebrating the bicentennial of the national anthem was a very mixed bag: Melissa Etheridge, Denyce Graves-Montgomery, Little Big Town, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Kristin Chenoweth, Jordin Sparks, Pentatonix, Paulo Szot, Train, The Navy Band Sea Chanters and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop.
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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 8, 2013
“PBS NewsHour,” once one of the nation's most influential broadcasts, is on the brink of marginalization - if not extinction. And for those of us who believe TV needs at least one noncommercial, nightly, national newscast in these increasingly corporate times, that's a cause for concern. The “NewsHour” has lost 48 percent of its audience in the past eight years, going from an average audience of 2.5 million viewers a night in 2005 to 1.3 million in fiscal year 2013 (PBS shows are measured in fiscal years)
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 15, 2014
One of the biggest events of the TV year and one of the finest new series of the summer arrive on the small screen the next two weeks. In the past, both productions would have been on PBS. Instead, they are on Internet television - Netflix and the Maryland-based Acorn subscription service. Together, they offer a snapshot of both the way technology is radically changing the manner in which we watch TV and the extent to which a downsized PBS is melting away to nothingness except fundraisers, Ken Burns and “Downton Abbey.” On Wednesday, Netflix will release all six episodes of Season 1 of “Happy Valley,” a taut and hard-edged BBC drama set in West Yorkshire.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2012
Baltimore figures substantially in "Arts and the Mind," a two-hour documentary airing on PBS stations around the country. There is a good amount of airtime for OrchKids, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's ambitious music education program launched by music director Marin Alsop and now offered in four inner-city schools. Also getting attention is Dr. Charles Limb, the surgeon and neuroscientist (not to mention jazz sax player) at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His studies into the creative process include putting a hip-hop performer under a brain scanner.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2014
"Great Performances," the PBS showcase of American performing arts, came to town for the Star-Spangled Spectacular concert at Pier Six Saturday night and showed how to make great, live television. On paper, the lineup of talent for the concert celebrating the bicentennial of the national anthem was a very mixed bag: Melissa Etheridge, Denyce Graves-Montgomery, Little Big Town, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Kristin Chenoweth, Jordin Sparks, Pentatonix, Paulo Szot, Train, The Navy Band Sea Chanters and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop.
NEWS
By Daniel Lyons and Daniel Lyons,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 23, 2003
IT'S THAT TIME of year again. Unsatisfied with its $390 million annual grant from Congress, PBS has begun interrupting Sesame Street reruns and documentaries on Armenian culture to continue its relentless pursuit for private donations. This year's efforts have been particularly intense, given the cost of complying with the Federal Communications Commission's requirement that stations convert to a digital broadcasting format. Congress provided an additional $48.7 million to aid that transition, but public broadcasting officials have estimated the conversion's total price tag at nearly $1.7 billion.
NEWS
By Arnold Rosenfeld | March 2, 1999
Washington Week in Review," PBS' long-running public affairs program, is a stolid, dependable performer that features Washington reporters talking about current events, adding a bit of information when that seems called for.Its devotees think "Washington Week" is deep. It is, but only as you compare it to the political food fights that take place elsewhere on the television dial.Nevertheless, it is going through a bad time. Its producers want to pep it up, give it more attitude, get panelists to be bolder, edgier.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik | January 9, 1996
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting yesterday announced it will provide $4.2 million to help fund two new series for preschoolers and their parents.While the money is news in its own right, since it will be matched by another $4.2 million from the U.S. Department of Education, what's unique about the project is the effort by public television to help parents become more involved in their childrens' television viewing.In addition to the new series -- "Dragon Tales" (for children 2 to 5 years of age)
NEWS
October 13, 2011
Despite its promotion by The Sun last week, the recent PBS television program about the War of 1812 once again ignored the Battle of North Point, which was fought in 1814 around the area of what is now Dundalk-Edgemere. This seemed like a deliberate oversight, given the fact that the battle was covered in the show's companion book, "The War of 1812: A Guide to Battlefields and Historic Sites. " Granted, Fort McHenry is the star attraction of the 1812 war because it inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words of our national anthem.
FEATURES
By Kim Fernandez, For The Baltimore Sun | June 23, 2014
Pet lovers around the country tune in to the PBS series, “Shelter Me,” which celebrates shelter pets with uplifting stories about them. Soon, the series will feature homeless dogs and cats in Baltimore. On Tuesday, June 24, Aimee Sadler, a nationally recognized animal trainer specializing in behavioral problems, will be at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) hosting a doggie playdate, and a film crew will document the day for a future episode of the show. Sadler will work with shelter staff members on the best ways to hold playdates between their dogs, who often don't know each other very well, if at all. The goal is to reduce frustration for both animals and people and increase the happiness quotient for everyone.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | June 16, 2014
It took decades before serious documentaries about the civil rights struggle of the 1960s began to appear. But less than a year after some of the biggest victories in the fight for same-sex marriage, a social movement often compared to civil rights, compelling nonfiction films chronicling that history are already starting to arrive. I'm not certain whether such near-instant history will prove to be a good or bad thing, but it's sure to shape the way the fight for marriage equality and gay rights is perceived in future battlegrounds and by future generations.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2014
From Rep. Elijah E. Cummings playing a leading role in televised hearings on American deaths in Benghazi, to the Game Show Network visiting a Baltimore church to play matchmaker for a member of the congregation, there is going to be a distinct local flavor to summertime TV this year. Here are 10 shows, stories and trends to look for in and on Baltimore television in coming weeks - for better or worse. “It Takes a Church” debuts at 9 p.m. Thursday on GSN. The reality-TV series hosted by gospel singer Natalie Grant visits a different church each week and, with the help of the pastor and congregation members, plays the dating game.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | May 20, 2014
UPDATE, 5/20: Part 2 of this landmark documentary airs tonight at 10 on MPT, and it is not to be missed. From Verizon being ordered to hand over phone records of its customers, to James Clapper, director of national intelligence, lying to Congress about it, this hour of TV will make you think long and hard about what this nation has become under President Obama, thanks to his unwillingness to rein in the out-of-control NSA President Bush...
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
If you want to feel good again about what's possible for public television, don't miss “Coming Back with Wes Moore,” which airs Tuesday night on Maryland Public Television. At a time in American life when we are seeing reports of veterans dying while waiting months and even years for basic care at Veterans Affairs hospitals, this documentary about soldiers returning to civilian life after combat in Iraq and Afghanistan is timely and deeply touching. The best-selling Baltimore author, who served as a combat officer in Afghanistan, sets out to chronicle the stories of veterans who have survived the battlefield, in some cases only to face even deadlier challenges at home.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and The Baltimore Sun | April 3, 2014
Baltimore's celebration of the 200th anniversary of the penning of "The Star-Spangled Banner" will be broadcast live during a two-hour episode of PBS' "Great Performances" series on Sept. 13. The show is set for 8 p.m. and will be broadcast live from the Inner Harbor and Fort McHenry. "We are delighted to be Maryland's lead story teller, especially during this banner year," Steven J. Schupak, chief content officer at Maryland Public Television, said in a press release. "' Star-Spangled Spectacular' will be a dynamic, moving and memorable prime-time entertainment special.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 17, 2011
If you want a little mid-summer escape via TV the next three Sunday nights, check out the new PBS mystery series, "Zen," starring Rufus Sewell. I watched all three that were made available for preview, but I love TV mysteries. And I have to say that while I started out thinking this was going to be winner, by the end of episode 3, I changed my mind. There are just too many problems with the lead character and writing for this to ever become a PBS staple like "Inspector Morse" or "Miss Marple" had been.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 21, 2014
PBS stays on a Friday-night arts-programming roll with a "Great Performances" concert staging of Sting's upcoming musical "The Last Ship. " The musical, which opens in October on Broadway, is set in the working-class, shipyard world of Sting's childhood in Newcastle, England. I wasn't that excited when I started the DVD screener, but about 15 minutes in, I was totally gone. The music and the stories Sting tells between songs are superb. Check out this podcast preview I did of "Sting: The Last Ship" for WYPR-FM.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2014
Documentaries were supposed to be a dying genre -- and living proof that we were becoming dumber as a nation. Reality TV is cheaper and easier to make. And who has time for lengthy, in-depth explorations of anything any more in the age of Twitter? Docs were dead, the conventional wisdom decreed, another victim of our rats-on-LSD attention spans. But everywhere you look these days, it seems as if there's another documentary premiering. And some filmmakers believe that's the result of a change in audience attitudes toward the troubled state of American life today.
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