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


My Top Five: Detectives

There are loads of private investigators to choose from on the many series UNC-TV has broadcast over the decades. One series alone (Mystery!) is pretty much devoted to the genre. So I started thinking: who are my personal favorite detectives?

I tried to gravitate towards characters that are sleuths first and foremost rather than police constables who utilize procedure to apprehend criminals. A fine line, I agree – but it narrowed the focus a bit.

As always, these are MY TOP FIVE. Not the best, not the most popular – just my personal favorites. Thus, without further ado, here are MY TOP FIVE: DETECTIVES…

5) The Gumshoes of ACME, Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? – The sleuths of ACME come perilously close to falling under the “police” category since they are part of an organization, but they are gumshoes (it’s in their name) so I had to include them. Throw in Special Agent Greg Lee and Lynne Thigpen as The Chief and the WITWICS gumshoes will always be cool. Continue reading

Monday Montage

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

A holiday classic returns to ring in the holiday season. Don’t miss the sights and sounds of CHRISTMAS IN DUKE CHAPEL – Thursday night at 10 on the North Carolina Channel.

Congratulations to Vivian Howard. The A Chef’s Life star has been honored by the News & Observer as a Tar Heel of the Year.

What’s Eric Idle’s latest project? Nothing short of “the entire universe.” Sounds pretty ambitious but the Monty Python alum has the help of Professor Brian Cox and a slew of special guest stars. Catch this comedic musical extravaganza on ERIC IDLE’S THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE – Friday night at 10 on UNC-TV. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

If you turned on Midsomer Murders on Saturday night (“Secrets and Spies” part one) you saw DCI Barnaby encounter a family of former espionage agents. You also caught sight of several familiar faces you may have recognized from other British programming we’ve aired on UNC-TV. Let’s see who’s who, shall we?

Veteran actor Benjamin Whitrow played eccentric, retired spymaster Sir Malcolm Frazer. His decades-long career (which sadly ended a few weeks ago when he passed away at 80) boasted guest roles in dozens of shows (Wolf Hall, Doc Martin, The Pallisers, Danger UXB, Poirot and Partners in Crime, just to name a few) but he had larger roles in a few Masterpiece Theatre presentations – he was Bailiff Francis la Palotte on Island at War and Thomas Boleyn on Henry VIII.

Peter Davison played Sir Malcolm’s son, Nicky Frazer. He should be immediately known for two roles – that of veterinarian Tristan Farnon on All Creatures Great and Small and that of the fifth Doctor on Doctor Who. However, he too has appeared in a bevy of other roles. Going back to the late 1970s, Davison was Tom Holland on the Masterpiece Theatre series Love for Lydia. In the 1980s, he played Margery Allingham’s gentleman detective Albert Campion on Mystery! In the late 1990s, he portrayed Joseph Lockwood on a Masterpiece adaptation of Wuthering Heights. About that time, Davison played Inspector Christmas on the Diana Rigg vehicle The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries. More recently, he starred as Dr. Bill Shore on the delightful fish-out-of-water series Distant Shores. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

This week’s Midsomer Murders (“The Magician’s Nephew” – part 1) proved that Halloween is a most dangerous holiday indeed. We also saw a few guest stars that keen-eyed viewers might recognize from other UNC-TV fare past and present. I counted five actors of note that I knew from elsewhere. See if you spotted them all.

Michael Fitzgerald portrayed antiquarian bookseller Hugo Cartwright. He was also Canon Neil Patterson on The Choir and Major Salmon on Sharpe’s Revenge. And he played the Duke of Manhattan on an episode of Doctor Who (“New Earth”).

Ronald Pickup was artefact dealer Ernest Balliol. The veteran actor also portrayed Jeffrey Livingstone on The Jury, Daniel Byrne on The Rector’s Wife and Prince Yakimov on Fortunes Of War. Going back a bit, Rickup voiced Aslan on the Chronicles Of Narnia series which ran on Wonderworks. Continue reading

Just Happy To Be Nominated

Last Thursday, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced nominations for the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy® Awards. And even though Downton Abbey is nought but a memory, PBS programs still received 11 nominations. Masterpiece reaped the lion’s share of those nominations thanks to Victoria and Sherlock but here’s a list of all the PBS nominations…

Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking

Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

Outstanding Television Movie
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie – Benedict Cumberbatch
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie or Special
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie Continue reading

Monday Montage

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

Singer Andrea Bocelli performs at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy as the Landmarks series continues. Tune in Friday night at 10 on UNC-TV for Andrea Bocelli – Landmarks In Concert: A Great Performances Special.

As anyone with a love for TV knows, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss breathed new life into a character from the 19th century with Sherlock. Now the BBC wants the duo to tackle literature’s most famous vampire.

Now that summer’s here, take a dip in one of the Tar Heel State’s unusual resort communities. Catch the waves at White Lake: Remembering The Nation’s Safest Beach – Thursday night at 10 on the North Carolina Channel.

On the off chance you’re in London next month, you might want to take in a special performance by Monty Python’s John Cleese. All proceeds go to benefit Denville Hall, a retirement home for those in the theatrical profession. Continue reading