Public Media Connect Blog

For the week of Halloween, CET and ThinkTV are excited to bring you an American Experience presentation of one of the scariest stories of all time – War of the Worlds.

 

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the legendary radio drama that caused widespread panic. Shortly after 8pm on Halloween Eve in 1938, the voice of a panicked radio announcer broke in with a news announcement reporting strange explosions on the planet Mars, followed minutes later by news that Martians had landed in the tiny town of Grovers Mill, New Jersey.

 

Although most listeners understood that the news was part of a radio drama, the next day's headlines reported that thousands of others plunged into panic, convinced that America was under a deadly Martian attack. It turned out to be H.G. Wells' classic The War of the Worlds, performed by 23-year-old Orson Welles.

 

The film examines the elements that made America ripe for the hoax: America’s longtime fascination with life on Mars; the emergence of radio as a powerful new medium; the shocking Hindenburg explosion of 1937; and Welles himself, the wunderkind director of the drama and mischief-maker supreme.

 

Watch the first chapter of the program online now: 

10/24/2013 Programs 0 Comments
     

For the next month, ThinkTV16 and CET will be following Henry Louis Gates. Jr., as he follows African-American history, from the origins of slavery to present day. This six-part program draws on some of America’s top historians and previously untapped sources to guide viewers on an engaging journey through more than 500 years of history.

 

African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross will premiere at 8pm Tuesday, Oct. 22, and continue each Tuesday through Nov. 26.

 

Gates said: “The story of the African-American people is the story of the settlement and growth of America itself, a universal tale that all people should experience … Since my senior year in high school, when I watched Bill Cosby narrate a documentary about black history, I’ve longed to share those stories in great detail to the broadest audience possible, young and old, black and white, scholars and the general public. I believe that my colleagues and I have achieved this goal through The African Americans:  Many Rivers to Cross.”

 

Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

 

The first episode, The Black Atlantic, explores the truly global experiences that created the African-American people. Beginning a full century before the first documented “20-and-odd” slaves who arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, the episode portrays the earliest Africans, both slave and free, who arrived on these shores. But the transatlantic slave trade would soon become a vast empire connecting three continents.

 

Through stories of individuals caught in its web, like a 10-year-old girl named Priscilla who was transported from Sierra Leone to South Carolina in the mid-18th century, we trace the emergence of plantation slavery in the American South. The late 18th century saw a global explosion of freedom movements, and The Black Atlantic examines what that Era of Revolutions — American, French and Haitian — would mean for African Americans and for slavery in America.

10/18/2013 Programs 2 Comments
     

Everyone loves a good superhero – from the feminine strength of Wonder Woman to the outlaw allure of Wolverine, it’s great to think there are people in the world with extra special powers who can save the day.

 

In honor of all those superhero dreams, CET and ThinkTV16 will be presenting a three-hour superhero special from 8pm to 11pm Tuesday, Oct. 15, called Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle. Here are each of the one-hour segments and what they’re all about:

 

Truth, Justice and the American Way (1938-1958)

During the Depression, the popularity of dozens of superhero characters opens the door for a new generation of artists and writers. World War II creates a patriotic fervor for star-spangled adventurers to represent the American spirit at war and on the home front, but in the 1950s, superheroes are caught in the fire of government scrutiny and regulation.

 

Great Power, Great Responsibility (1959-1977)

In the 1960s, a new breed of superhero emerges in pages of Marvel Comics, inspired by the age of atomic energy and space travel and, in turn, inspiring the pop culture and pop artists of the time. Spider-Man, the Hulk and others are the first to have “problems” with which an adult audience can identify, and contemporary social issues make their way into comic books. Black powerhouses such as the Black Panther and Luke Cage also appear on the scene.

 

A Hero Can Be Anyone (1978-Present)

Superheroes are enthusiastically embraced in all forms of media and by all demographics, beginning with the historic Superman movie featuring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. In 1986, Batman is overhauled as The Dark Knight to reflect the nocturnal underside of his character, and Watchmen brings new sophistication to comic book narratives, illuminating a violent and politicized world. In the new millennium, superheroes have taken over popular culture.

10/10/2013 Programs 0 Comments
     

Football, one of America’s favorite national pastimes, is overseen by the National Football League, but this multibillion-dollar commercial giant is finding itself under fire as thousands of former players claim the league has covered up football’s connection to long-term brain injuries.

 

In a two-hour investigation, FRONTLINE and journalists Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada reveal the hidden story of the NFL and brain injuries, drawn from their forthcoming book League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth. This special, FRONTLINE: League of Denial – The NFL Concussion Crisis, will air at 9pm Tuesday, Oct. 8, on CET and ThinkTV16.

 

What did the NFL know about brain injuries and when did it know it? What’s the truth about the risks to players? What can be done? This FRONTLINE investigation details how, for years, the league denied and worked to refute scientific evidence that the violent collisions at the heart of the game are linked to an alarming incidence of early onset dementia, catastrophic brain damage, and other devastating consequences for some of football’s all-time greats.

 

Follow all the news about the NFL Concussion Crisis through PBS’s FRONTLINE website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/league-of-denial/.

 

10/03/2013 Programs 0 Comments
     

If you’re longing for a fresh dose of turn-of-the-19th-century fashion, then get ready for Masterpiece Classic: The Paradise.

 

This new British drama comes to ThinkTV16 and CET at 9pm on Sunday nights Oct. 6 through Nov. 17. The story, based on the classic French novel by Emile Zola, follows the stories of a gal named Denise Lovett who arrives in a booming northern city and takes a job at The Paradise, the glittering department store across from her uncle’s drapery shop.

 

Of course it’s not long before Denise’s beauty and talent catch the eye of the store’s dashing owner. Can Denise navigate the competing personalities of the ladieswear department and can her ingenuity save the day when she meets the challenges of a shop girl?

 

Here’s a preview of the first season of The Paradise thanks to BBC:

09/26/2013 Programs 0 Comments
     

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