Tony! Tony! Tony!

The Tony Awards are Sunday night and although PBS is not airing the ceremony (I believe we carried the first hour for a few years around the turn of the century) a drama geek like me will always find a connection. As I peruse the nominees for this year’s Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, I am taken by the names I recognize from series I’ve seen on public broadcasting. No surprise, really, as Broadway attracts some of the best actors. The same can be said for the shows on UNC-TV.

So I thought I’d look over a few of the nominees (acting categories only). Consider this a sort of Where Do I Know That Actor (Tony Edition).

Let’s start with Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical. Two names stand out: Renée Fleming (nominated for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel) and Diana Rigg (nominated for My Fair Lady). Fleming is a world-renowned soprano who has appeared in many operas and other musical performances we’ve shown. She’s been seen on Great Performances and The Metropolitan Opera Presents in numerous roles. Rigg, who’s had a longer career, has been a presence on our airwaves for decades. Currently, she’s the Duchess of Buccleuch on Victoria. She’s also played Adela Bradley in The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca, Mrs. Golightly in Moll Flanders and Lady Honoria Dedlock in Bleak House. For years, she was the host of Mystery! and, of course, she was Emma Peel on the 1960s spy series The Avengers. Continue reading

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And The Award Goes To…

It’s no secret that public broadcasting has some pretty high quality programming. And, quite often, the shows that you see on UNC-TV earn not only critical praise but actual bona fide awards from serious award sources! So if you’ll indulge me – here are a few recent accolades tossed in the direction of public television.

The James Beard Media Awards are given annually by the James Beard Foundation and are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America. The 2018 James Beard Media Awards were announced on Friday, April 27, and PBS and member station programs were awarded three Broadcast Media Awards in the following categories:.

Special (on TV or Web) – Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes

Television Segment – PBS NewsHour

Outstanding Personality/Host – Pati Jinich, Pati’s Mexican Table Continue reading

Hail To The Chief!

It’s Presidents’ Day here in the US. So in celebration of the highest office in the land you might want to head to the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE website and relive their Peabody Award-winning Presidents Collection. But do it soon because the Presidents are bidding adieu at the end of the month.

Check out the series’ extensive presidential biographies and peruse additional features, including interviews, articles, image galleries and more. Plus – enter The Presidents Collection Giveaway (five lucky winners will receive The Presidents 17-disc DVD set, copies of our two most-recent presidential bios JFK and Murder of a President, and a Presidents Series Bobblehead).

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has long been delivering exceptional historical documentaries and their Presidents Collection is a highlight. Enjoy the best of the best before term limits expire.

Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

POV presents a vital and influential exploration of the rapid militarization of the police in the United States. Tune in for Do Not Resist – tonight at 10 on UNC-TV.

Sad news for fans of Square One TV. Emmy-winning actor and Square One regular Reg E. Cathey has passed away. He was 59.

Explore the story behind the mostly-forgotten 1920 bombing in the nation’s financial center, which left 38 dead – a crime that launched the career of J. Edgar Hoover yet remains unsolved today. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE relives The Bombing of Wall Street – Tuesday night at 9 on UNC-TV.

Of course, Bill Nye has the coolest friends. Everyone’s favorite Science Guy watched last week’s SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket with none other than astronaut Buzz Aldrin! Continue reading

Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

Travel back to a time when the materialistic extravagance of the wealthy contrasted harshly with the poverty of the struggling workers who challenged them. Meet the titans and barons of The Gilded Age on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – Tuesday night at 9 on UNC-TV.

Laura Linney is headed to the London stage. The Masterpiece host will star in My Name Is Lucy Barton beginning in June at London’s Bridge Theatre.

Examine the challenges of living authentically in the face of deeply held beliefs as director Diana Newton chronicles her own journey toward acceptance alongside her sister Christine, a trans woman navigating the emotional and physical perils of coming out. Don’t miss THE TIES THAT BIND – Wednesday night at 10 on the North Carolina Channel. Continue reading

Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

From films and television to toys and theme parks, the Disney brand is universal. But where did it start? Find out as American Experience explores the complex life and enduring legacy of one of America’s most iconic filmmakers. Tune in for part one of Walt Disney – Tuesday night at 8 on UNC-TV.

Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam has been trying to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote for almost 20 years. Production has now wrapped on what could be his magnum opus, so read up on the disaster-filled history of this fascinating Gilliam project.

Enjoy pancakes in New York and sample loco moco in Hawaii – and that’s just for starters. See why breakfast is the most important meal of the day as we take in interesting and unusual breakfast spots. Don’t miss Breakfast Special and Breakfast Special 2 – beginning Wednesday at 9pm on the Explorer Channel.

Neil deGrasse Tyson was a guest on a recent episode of Talking With Chris Hardwick. Of course, the former NOVA ScienceNow host was his usual ebullient and erudite self. Continue reading

Song of the Summer!

If, like me, you stopped listening to popular music in the late 1980s, you may have very little knowledge of the current pop charts. However, you have to live under an actual rock to be unaware of the 2017 Song of the Summer – a song that may well be the song of the decade!

Despacito by Luis Fonsi, featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, has been atop the US Billboard Hot 100 since May (in addition to hitting number one in 45 countries) and is the first single primarily in Spanish to top the charts since 1996 (remember the Macarena?). The music video has been the first to reach over three billion views on YouTube and has become the world’s most streamed song ever.

American Experience continues its online look at the Songs of the Summer with a take of this pop powerhouse crossover hit. Find out all you ever needed to know about Despacito.