PBS & Antiques Roadshow apps

PBS announced today the App Store debut of the PBS App for iPhone and iPod touch, featuring more than 300 hours of free video, including full-length programs.

Also launching today, the PBS Antiques Roadshow game app, available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, lets players virtually collect, appraise and bid on real antiques with new collectibles from different cities added regularly.
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Review: Masterpiece Contemporary Lennon Naked

Masterpiece Contemporary Lennon Naked airs on Sunday, November 22, at 8 pm

“What do I want?” That’s the primal question at the heart of Lennon Naked, Masterpiece Contemporary’s biopic of John Lennon in the 60s. Forced at six years old to make a choice no child should ever be asked to make, Lennon spends the years depicted in the film (roughly 1964-1971) searching for the answer, aware that the consequences of any choice he makes will haunt him, no matter what the outcome.

As a result, Lennon spends most of the film on a quest to leave the past behind – not just breaking with it, but scorching the earth and burning any bridge that leads to it. Whether it’s for his own sanity or because he’s a selfish git, Lennon either abandons the people in his pre-Yoko Ono life – his first wife Cynthia, his son Julian, the Beatles – or forces them to abandon him, as with his childhood friend/right-hand-man Pete. It’s a cycle, of course – his father leaving the family when Lennon was six (a pattern repeated by the son) and the unexpected death of Beatles manager Brian Epstein, the father figure Lennon didn’t have as a child, left deep wounds which clearly never fully healed. Only his time with Yoko Ono (who, except for one offhand comment from Paul McCartney, is never portrayed as “the woman who broke up the Beatles”) seems to bring him any peace or happiness, though his own inner anguish still vibrates just below the surface of his man-in-love smile.
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Review: Ken Burns newest documentary

Ken Burns’ The Tenth Inning
Part 1: Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. (encore at 9 p.m.)
Part 2: Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. (encore at 9 p.m.)

What the HELL is Ken Burns thinking! With about a week to go in the Major League baseball season – with division and wild card races at a fever pitch – Mr. Burns has decided to release “The 10th Inning” addition to his ridiculously successful series “Baseball.” After watching the just the first two hours(Top of the 10th) on a weekend when my own beloved Atlanta Braves were in the processes of sweeping the New York Mets to remain in the thick of the NL Wildcard race — I was left with such a baseball adrenaline rush that I felt the need to canvas the neighborhood to see if anyone wanted to play a little catch or maybe find a vacant lot to get a game going.

No I’m not kidding. This series needs a warning label. WARNING: Watching “The 10th Inning” could leave you lightheaded and in need peanuts and crackerjacks.

I think one reason for the strong emotion that washed over me as I watched this 4-hour addendum — came in part from the fact that I was reliving some of the most important baseball memories in my life. While Burns’ “9th Inning” from the 1994 documentary relived my formative baseball years (Steve Carlton, Fernando Mania, the wizard of OZ…etc ) “The 10th Inning” is packed with some of my most loved players, teams and moments. It also feels the least like a history. I need innings 1 through 8 to learn about the greats that came and went before I was born. The 9th and new 10th innings instead provide a key to unlock my own baseball memories. I often found myself watching a key game and saying, “…I remember what I was doing then.”

Now the show isn’t all fun and games as it lays out the game from 1994 to 2009. It also has the arduous task of tackling major league baseball’s steroid era. It shows the abuse and overuse of performance enhancers in a very balanced way…almost to the point of sugar coating how it all began. There is also plenty of blame spread around — from the players union, to the owners, to the players and even the fans – who labeled Barry Bonds a cheater while at the same packing every stadium he played in to see if he’d hit another home run. When talking about steroids — there are thousands of opinions to choose from — and “The 10th Inning” gives each a voice.

Overall “The 10th Inning” does a fabulous job of retelling the stories that are freshest in our baseball minds. With its content coming from the most recent events — in an age of ESPN — the show could have felt like a rehash that didn’t provide any new information. But Burns easily overcomes this obstacle. As each story is laid out — there is at the very least a single nugget of new information that makes hearing the story again worthwhile. But most of the time — the interviews, still pictures and game footage provide enough raw emotion and great storytelling to satisfy the fan in all of us for years.

About the reviewer: Ben Philpott covers state politics and policy for KUT News and the Texas Tribune and has been an Atlanta Braves fan since 1989. When he’s not at the Capitol, Ben can be found at home teaching his two girls the finer points of baseball and wondering why the younger one has decided to become an Astros fan

Review: Tenth Inning

Ken Burns’ The Tenth Inning
Part 1: Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. (encore at 9 p.m.)
Part 2: Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. (encore at 9 p.m.)

From the opening notes of the pounding soundtrack of Ken Burns’ Baseball: The 10th Inning, we realize that the game of baseball has moved on. We aren’t watching a quaint documentary about the history of America’s game, rather we’re embarking on a new, sometimes dark, chapter in the story of the game.

It has often been written that the game of baseball is a metaphor for life. The 10th Inning proves this metaphor to be true. Burns’ interwoven storytelling mixes together the highs and lows, the dark and light, the championships and the bitter defeats in such a way that we realize we cannot have one without the other.

Much of the documentary tracks the effects of two key events in recent baseball history, the fallout of the 1994 baseball work stoppage, and the rise in the use of steroids to enhance player performance. Burns not only documents the obvious negative aspects of both events, but also carefully shows how baseball owners, players, and fans grew the game, and created some of baseball’s most memorable moments by reacting strongly to the strike and ignoring the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Ken Burns’ Baseball: The 10th Inning is not just a documentary for hardcore baseball fans. Rather, this masterful film does for all of us what baseball has always done. Through its simplicity, it forces us to question what is truly important to us, regardless of how complicated our lives have become.

About the reviewer: Shane Guiter is the Director of Development for KLRU. He’s worked at the station since 2005. When he’s not raising money for KLRU, Shane blogs about technology and new media, while listing to Radiohead.

PBS shows get Emmy nominations

The nominees for the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced yesterday in Los Angeles by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. PBS programs garnered an impressive 32 nominations, including outstanding program nominations in Nonfiction Series (3 of the 6 nominees were PBS programs); Miniseries; Made-for-Television Movie; Children’s Nonfiction Program; and Reality Program categories.

Dame Judi Dench, Sir Patrick Stewart, Michael Gambon and Jonathan Pryce all received nominations in the acting categories for their performances in PBS programs.

* MASTERPIECE received 12 nominations, including 7 for “Return to Cranford” and 4 for “Emma”;
* THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA received 5 nominations;
* AMERICAN EXPERIENCE received 3 nominations;
* GREAT PERFORMANCES received 2 nominations;
* IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE received 2 nominations; and
* POV received 2 nominations.

In addition, AMERICAN MASTERS, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, THE BUDDHA, CELTIC WOMAN: SONGS FROM THE HEART, WHEN FAMILIES GRIEVE and INDEPENDENT LENS all received nominations.

PBS’ 32 nominations are more than A&E, Bravo, Discovery Channel and History combined. Last year, PBS received 26 nominations and won 9 Primetime Emmys.

Winners in the creative arts categories will be announced on Friday, August 27; this awards presentation will be televised on E!. The Primetime Emmys live telecast for the remainder of the categories will be Sunday, September 29 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

KLRU & Dell Children’s Hospital 3rd Birthday

On Saturday, June 26th, KLRU-TV, Austin PBS and Clifford the Big Red Dog participated in the Dell Children’s Hospital 3rd Birthday. KLRU was one of many Central Texas organizations that participated, bringing a variety of activities, music and food to the hundreds of Austinites who came out to support the hospital’s efforts. The crowd spent the day dancing to Sara Hickman, taking pictures with Clifford, planting flowers and more.

Your chance to ask BP

Have a question for BP? Ray Suarez of the PBS NewsHour will be moderating a live question and answer session between Bob Dudley, the BP executive now in charge of the oil spill response, and you.

Submit your questions via the form below then watch the interview streamed live at 2:30p.m. CT on the PBS NewsHour site, YouTube or embedded in this blog post. Clips of the interview will also be featured in tonight’s PBS NewsHour broadcast.


Live Videos by Ustream

PBS Annual Meeting Coming to Austin!

More than 800 attendees from PBS stations across the country will be in Austin from May 16-20 for the PBS Annual Meeting. This is a fantastic opportunity for many KLRU employees to meet colleagues, share new fundraising, production and outreach projects, and view upcoming PBS content and programming.

It’s also a wonderful chance for the spotlight to be on KLRU and Austin, and we look forward to highlighting some of our recent initiatives, like:

We are excited to be a part of the PBS Annual Meeting, to share KLRU’s vision and mission, and to learn from our fellow stations and colleagues. As always, our focus will be on how to provide central Texas with the best programming and services possible – to educate, inspire, and entertain viewers of all ages!

Be sure to check back in with us next week if you’re interested in what’s happening with PBS – nationally and locally!