PBS

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 ...

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

Keywords

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

Keywords

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.