PBS

Betty White -- a lover of people, dogs, bears, games and hot dogs


I've interviewed Betty White often over the years and found her to be just what you'd expect -- smart, optimistic and caring. This story -- keyed to an Aug. 21 special on PBS -- is different: White wasn't available for a Television Critics Association session, but many of the people who know her were. Combining that with her memoir, here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

By now, Betty White
seems qualified for the TV version of sainthood.

Quietly (of course), "British Bake Off" nears its PBS finale


Lately, PBS has offered dazzling settings ("Kingdoms of the Sky"), complex dramas ("Endeavour") and a gripping look at modern-day hatred ("Frontline"), Still, some of its success comes from quiet shows like "Antiques Roadshow" and "The Great British Bake Off." Now the latter is ending its PBS run, Aug. 10 and 17; here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

A 35-year journey -- from "wrong element" to "artistic achievement"


Each year, PBS' 4th-of-July concert offers a vibrant mixture of music, firewoks and fun. This year, it also adds something else -- a neat little postscript to a controversy that began 35 years ago. Hee's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Some noisy
controversies get settled in a few hours. Others ...

It's been a re-invention era for PBS and its president

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Somehow, we don't expect change at PBS. We expect the same faces -- from Fred Rogers to English kings -- to be there eternally. But during her 12 years as head of the network, Paula Kerger has brought a subtle transformation. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Lately, PBS has been
asking people to name their favorite book.

Memorial Day eve concert: The statistics become real, human stories


Each year, PBS' "National Memorial Day Concert" -- on the eve of Memorial Day, actually -- offers a rich blend of music and tributes. It can have a strong impact on some viewers ... and on some participants. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Many of us get the
general idea of Memorial Day, without the real impact.

Ready for more "Little Women"? Here are the basics

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The previous blog is a story I wrote about "Little Women," which runs on the next two Sundays (May 13 and 20) on PBS. Here's an extended box with some of the details:

-- When: 8-9 p.m.
Sunday, PBS; then 8-10 p.m. the following Sunday, May 20.

-- Follow-up: From
10-11:30 May 20, PBS reruns an “American Masters” portrait of
author Louisa May Alcott.

He's Bill Nye, the climate-change guy


For a while, Bill Nye was just a goofy guy wih goofy bow ties. He still has lots of the ties (about 500 of them) and still likes humor. But now, at 62, he's in the middle of dead-serious debates about climate change and more. Nye will be profiled in an interesting PBS documentary movie at 10 p.m. Wednesday; here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Bill Nye has taught
kids many skills, including blowing things up and throwing things
down.

Fred Rogers: The quiet neighbor with an impish sense of humor


Here's a fun Fred Rogers story that I sent to papers ... or, actually, that I will send to papers, whenever the AOL mail becomes unbroken. It's about a dandy PBS special Tuesday, March 6

By Mike Hughes

Television has had
plenty of people with big ambitions and big voices. It also had Fred
Rogers.

It was a grand, golden age ... for one-percent of us


Yes, this is a big time for the commercial networks -- Grammys, Super Bowl, Winter Olympics, more. But PBS is countering with three nights of terrific documentaries. It's Winnie Mandela on Monday (Feb. 5), "The Gilded Age" on Tuesday and the oldest human remains in the Americas on Wednesday. Here's the "Gilded" story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Friends in an age of bias, they meet again after 75 years


It's time for some real-life stories that stir genuine emotion. When Ann Curry's "We'll Meet Again" debuts Tuesday (Jan. 23), it shows reunions of people who met during a time of World War II rage. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

For two decades,
Reiko Nagumo has told the story to schoolkids.