Tavis Smiley, who has brought rare diversity to late-night TV for a decade on PBS, will add another two years to his run.
The Tavis Smiley show has been renewed through 2015, PBS said Thursday. READ FULL STORY
Charlie Rose sat down with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday in Damascus in an interview that will air Monday on PBS and CBS News. It’s al-Assad’s first American TV interview in two years.
Rose called in to Face the Nation on Sunday morning to preview the interview, telling Bob Schieffer that al-Assad denied that he had anything to do with a chemical weapons attack last month.
President Obama will tape six interviews about Syria on Monday with ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and Fox, all of which will also air Monday night.
Watch the Rose preview below:
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The news hour is about to get longer.
PBS’ long-running program NewsHour is expanding to weekends beginning Sept. 7, PBS has announced. The new program will be anchored by Hari Sreenivasan, a NewsHour correspondent.
“It’s an evolution in NewsHour‘s commitment to being a reliable, trusted news source that’s available anywhere, anytime, weekdays, weekends and online,” Sreenivasan said in a release. “I’d like to infuse the public in the content creation and content distribution using different tools to see how we can best engage with smart audiences.” The team “plan to use social media, Google Hangouts, live chats and other platforms to connect with audiences and also to connect viewers with the program’s guests.”
All the digital inclusion will be a push to get younger viewers to check out NewsHour, which has been running since 1975.
ESPN says it’s ending its collaboration with public TV in an investigation of the NFL and players’ head injuries.
ESPN said Friday its decision was based on a lack of editorial control over “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis,” airing in October on PBS’ Frontline public affairs series.
At ESPN’s request, its logo was being removed from websites related to the project and from the film itself.
In an online statement, the producers of Frontline said they regretted ESPN’s exit. The producers said the two-part “League of Denial” will air as scheduled on Oct. 8 and 15.
Meanwhile, both ESPN and the NFL on Friday denied a New York Times report that quotes unidentified sources saying the NFL had pressured ESPN to drop out of the project.
It’s 1922 and all is not well at Downton Abbey. But how could it be? Still reeling from the loss of a few significant characters, season four picks up months after that fateful car wreck to find a house in mourning.
After airing a season four promo and some character specific clips, executive producer Gareth Neame took the stage at TCA alongside Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley), Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith Crawley), Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes), Joanne Froggatt (Anna), and Sophie McShera (Daisy) to tease season four and beyond. The notoriously tight-lipped cast didn’t give too much away, but we were able to glean a few key takeaways about what is in store for both the upstairs and downstairs crew in this time of transition.
This September … they aren’t shucking around.
As you might remember, local PBS affiliate Thirteen released some hilarious subway posters for fake reality shows (we could only hope that The Dillionaires, Bad Bad Bag Boys, and Knitting Wars actually existed) back in May. Their motive? They wanted people to stop and realize the current state of television and support quality programming at thirteen.org.
Well, they’re at it again, producing TV ad spots for three “new” reality shows: Meet the Tanners, Long Island Landscapers and Clam Kings. Upon viewing, it’s difficult not to imagine these clips as actual programs – Meet the Tanners has TLC/ The Style Network written all over it, Long Island Landscapers seems like a fit on Bravo and Clam Kings could find a home on The History Channel — precisely Thirteen’s point.
Thirteen’s marketing plan is pretty genius, but I really wish that these shows could exist — even as parodies. Come on, Clam Kings looks riveting! The spots will run on USA, TVLand, NY1 as well as Thirteen, WLIW and NJTV but you can always check out the trailers below: READ FULL STORY
A series of new posters that chides the state of modern television has begun appearing in subways throughout New York City this week.
The prints, distributed by Thirteen, a local PBS station, advertise outlandish, fake shows with names like Knitting Wars and Bayou Eskimos alongside the biting tagline, “The fact that you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV.”
“It’s pretty scary when you look out there and see what’s on television these days,” Jeff Anderson, Executive Creative Director at CHI & Partners NY(the ad agency that created the campaign) said in a release. “If New Yorkers want an inspiring and educational option, they need to get behind a network that we sometimes take for granted.”
EW has obtained copies of all five posters that will appear in subways until the end of June, and while we’re 98 percent in agreement with the sentiment and snark, we also kiiiiinda want to see Knitting Wars on the air, if only because the “It’s Sew On” kicker had us in… stitches.
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Downton Abbey has an official return date: Season 4 of the period drama will premiere on Jan. 5, 2014. The series will then run for eight straight weeks, until Feb. 23.
Season 3 broke ratings records for PBS, becoming its highest-rated drama in history. Next season will air in Britain in the fall before coming to America, and will include the return of Shirley MacLaine as the moneyed and less-mannered Martha Levinson, as well as several new faces such as Tom Cullen, Joanna David, and Gary Carr (playing the show’s first black character), among others.
Somewhere between tweeting, blogging, and bringing her instructional series Martha Bakes and Martha’s Cooking School to PBS (check local listings), Martha Stewart has managed to squeeze in a few more passions. Namely, marathon viewings of Homeland and Ryan Gosling.
But what elevates the domestic goddess’s binge-watching from that of your everyday entertainment junkie is her method: “I have a big TV in my kitchen, so I can do canning or make jam. That takes hours and hours, and I can watch Homeland, all 13 episodes [at once].” READ FULL STORY
Public television is putting its resources into a week-long examination of the Connecticut school shooting.
PBS announced Monday it will air a series of programs under the umbrella title “After Newtown.” The February series will “continue the public conversation” on the topics of gun laws, mental illness and school security, PBS said.
Programs including PBS NewsHour, Frontline and Washington Week with Gwen Ifill will be part of the initiative. The science series Nova will air a documentary on violence and the brain.
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Good news Downton Abbey fans. Though U.S. viewers have to wait until Jan. 6—that’s more than four months after the U.K. premiere date—to catch the series’ third season, they may get to see season four much sooner than expected. PBS is weighing broadcasting the fourth season, which starts shooting in February, close to the U.K. debut this fall.
“Obviously, spoilers and piracy are two key reasons supporting the case to air Downton closer to the UK broadcast,” MASTERPIECE publicist Olivia Wong told EW in an e-mail. “On the other hand, there are technical hurdles and financial considerations (we’d have to pay more to speed up the cost of post-production).”
Ratings are also a factor in determining Downton‘s return date.
“One big reason to air in January is that it’s an optimal time to schedule a program like Downton — viewership is high and it’s out of the way of the barrage of September premieres. These are on-going scheduling considerations as we look to Season 4,” says Wong.
Now if we could just convince Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley, to stick around for the season…
‘Downton Abbey’ writer Julian Fellowes on the possibility of re-casting Matthew Crawley
Would you watch ‘Downton Abbey’ without Matthew Crawley? POLL
‘Downton Abbey’ renewed for fourth season
‘Downton Abbey’ season 3 UK premiere ratings solid
Vince Neil and PBS may seem like unlikely collaborators, but the two have joined forces for a few episodes of television that come with sky-high expectations. PBS’ The Aviators — the Anthony Nalli-hosted docuseries that provides a behind-the-scenes look at airplanes and the people who fly, build, and otherwise obsess over them — is chronicling the journey of the 51-year-old Mötley Crüe frontman as he sets out to earn his pilot’s license. (Check local listings for air dates.)
His televised education won’t be completed at the conclusion of the second episode, though. EW has learned that Neil has signed a deal with FourPoints Television, which produces The Aviators, to star in a reality series that will follow him through the final stages of realizing his dream. (No network is attached yet.) Titled Vince Neil… Escapes, the travel adventure series will tag along with Neil as he works with a flight instructor, attempts to overcome obstacles with the FAA (Neil has two DUIs on his record, including one that resulted in a fatal accident), and jets off to hot spots in North America and the Caribbean. “It’s not about having a reality show,” says Neil. “But if it’s going to keep me flying, and I am basically getting paid to get better as a pilot, then absolutely! I’ll have that sea plane going to the Caribbean sooner than I thought.”
Below, Neil recounts his experience of learning to navigate a single-engine propeller plane on The Aviators. READ FULL STORY