PBS

Queen Victoria is surrounded by luxury, strife and children


Over two seasons, "Victoria" (via PBS' "Masterpiece") has taken us a decade into the reign of a young queen. As the third season starts, she's in a time of tumult and overthrow. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

The kingdom is
wobbling, the masses are fuming and ... well, the monarch is having
another baby.

True Christmas spectacle: Sutton, Hugh, 17,000 pipes and 21,000 souls


Size and spectacle are key parts of many Christmas celebrations. It takes flair to decorate a mega-tree or to soar onto rooftops with eight or nine reindeer. And few events match the joyous spectacle of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's annual PBS and cable concert. Here's the story I sent to papers, looking at this year's event through the eyes of performers Sutton Foster and Hugh Bonneville ... known to TV viewers via "Younger" and "Downton Abbey.:

By Mike Hughes

They finally met their livesaving, leg-saving heroes


The first season of "We'll Meet Again" created some terrific reunions. Now the second season will start strong on Tuesday (Nov. 13); here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Roger Wagner was
sure he would lose his leg; Dave Johnson was sure he would lose his
life.

Then heroes
intervened; now – 50 and 46 years later – they've had a chance to
thank them.

America's favorite novel? Here are the leaders


By Mike Hughes

As voting nears its
final days for “The Great American Read,” one thing is clear: It
helps if a book has a double appeal, to kids and grown-ups.

PBS' “Read”
asked people to choose from a list of 100 favorite novels. A week
before the voting deadline (Oct. 18 at 11:59 p.m. PT), it released a
list of the 10 leaders, in no particular order.

News staffs get smaller; political money gets bigger and darker


We really don't expect great documentaries at the start of a TV season, but three of them were set in the first weeks. Last week it was HBO's "Jane Fonda in Five Acts" and PBS' "Mayo Clinic"; now it's PBS again, this time with the compelling "Dark Money," Monday (Oct. 1). Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Right now, opposite
forces are tugging at democracy:

Favorite book ever? It's a tough choice for most ... but not for a Potterphile


PBS' "Great American Read" is an  ambitious project, complete with six specials, a finale, a book and more ... leading to an announcement of Americans' most-loved book. Here is the mainbar in a three-story package I sent to papers. Scroll down and you'll find a profile of two of the modern authors, and then a set of interesting little facts.

By Mike Hughes

Ready for "Read"? Here's an overview


This wraps up the three-part package I sent to papers, previewing PBS' "The Great American Read." For the other two, scroll upL

By Mike Hughes

Here are glimpses of
“The Great American Read”:

The list

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 ...