Downton returns, doubling average PBS evening rating

Posted: January 12, 2012

The return of Downton Abbey proved to be a ratings blockbuster for PBS, while critics  mostly heaped praise on the Emmy-winning drama’s second season. Downton’s season premiere Jan. 8 [2012] attracted an average 4.2 million viewers, not including viewing through … Continue reading

Minutes on Roadshow are pay enough for some

Posted: December 27, 2011

An 11-page diatribe from a former Antiques Roadshow appraiser to producing station WGBH provides a look deep inside public television’s most popular national show as Roadshow knockoffs proliferate on cable channels. The issues raised by Gary Sohmers, a Hawaiian shirt-clad, … Continue reading

Sports: a real community that some stations join

Posted: December 12, 2011

There’s a new game in town — relatively new to public television, anyway. Blessed with digital multicast channels and eager to attract new viewers, PBS stations are finding success with high-school football and other sports as varied as NASCAR and … Continue reading

Pipeline 2012

Posted: December 12, 2011

This year’s Pipeline survey found projects planned, begun or completed about Francis Scott Key and Phil Ochs … religious pilgrims and itinerant carnies … Shakespeare and NASCAR … Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee … Col. George Armstrong Custer and Joe Paterno … Johann Bach and Freddie Fender … aging brains and young multitaskers. Mark (Survivor) Burnett does a “reality” show for PBS about prime ministers’ chefs, and David (Farmer’s Wife) Sutherland gives us verite of an aspiring Sioux social worker. Ken Burns follows up on the Central Park jogger case and Ric Burns looks at the blood spilled by the Civil War and the bad blood that still remains. Continue reading

Closing of news bureau leaves regrets, questions

Posted: December 12, 2011

There was no shortage of ideas for keeping Capitol News Connection afloat. CNC’s stock in trade was chasing down politicians for local legislators’ take on the day’s developments in Congress. Before it was shuttered in September, public radio’s little nonprofit … Continue reading