Inside TV – 2012
posted by Susie Hernandez
I love Saturdays...especially with Steve McQueen, Cary Grant and Paul Newman.
It was a big commitment, and I worried about the risks. Buying the Hollywood film package, that we locally branded as Hollywood @ Home, could have been a disaster…but week after week, it proves to be a very smart buy.
I often have to challenge myself in my programming choices—if I like it, it doesn’t mean I should do it (and vice versa). I love old and new Hollywood classics. I rarely go out on Saturday evenings anymore, and besides Law & Order reruns, there are few shows I will watch on those weekend nights. It was a conversation with our GM, Jack Gibson that sold me on buying this rather large film package that would commit us to a few years of movies. We were talking about our signal and picture quality. Now that we have 6 channels to offer Southern Arizona, with just a TV and an antenna, one could watch at least 2 or 3 channels of great AZPM programs for FREE. (Yes, free deserved to be in all caps!) Though Netflix and DVR’s are popular, not all of our viewers use those services. Would people watch old movies on PBS 6? Yes!
Hollywood @ Home premiered on Sept 24th with the Thin Man (1934) starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. So far, in every ratings period H@H films make our top 10 most watched hours! (May 2012 ratings haven’t been reported yet. Crossing fingers, those movies made the list!)
Many talented and movie obsessed volunteers have joined the ranks to help promote the series and research each film title for the Hollywood @ Home website providing background behind the film and trivia for movie buffs! Check it out!
A few weeks ago, we got a call from a viewer who was so happy about the uninterrupted broadcast of Papillon, that she made a donation. She exclaimed on the phone, “It’s just wonderful!” I wish I was working that night, as I would have loved to have chatted about the movie! I was watching at home, most likely lying on the couch! It’s very rare that someone makes a donation during non-pledge times. When someone does, it carries a lot of weight with AZPM. We can’t rely solely on ratings for programming decisions. I love to hear from active viewers and members who share what they love, what they’d like to see, and what they dislike. I encourage you to make a contribution at any time, especially when you really appreciate something you've seen. As the programmer, this tells me, in a very concrete way, that you enjoy that type of programming. Okay, okay, enough about pledge…
A few fans have let us know that without Hollywood @ Home, Saturday nights would be lonely. Nothing is on cable, they don’t have Netflix, their local video stores closed down, and they don’t want to watch a movie on their laptop. People have told me that they decide on whether to go out or not based on the movie. Are we encouraging a great night in? Yes!
Lately I’ve been getting the same question from viewers and staffers (and some University of Arizona faculty): What movie will be on next? This summer, I’m definitely going for lighter fare with some classics from the 30’s and 40’s to start us off. For your Saturday night planning, here’s a sample of what’s to come: (all movies start @ 9PM)
Bringing Up Baby on June 23rd
Gaslight on June 30th
Dial M for Murder on July 7th
Hustler on July 14th
Eight Men Out on July 21st
Rocky II on July 28th
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot on August 4th
Auntie Mame on August 11th
I may do a mini marathon with Dial M and Gaslight in one week. Thoughts? I’m thinking maybe in late August, during the Olympics.
Susie the TV Programmer
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posted by Susie Hernandez
As the AZPM TV programmer, I often get DVD’s of popout series months in advance. Every so often, I hold back on previewing the series early because I want to enjoy it along with our viewers! Can you believe that I withheld from watching Sherlock? I can’t wait for Sundays @8pm!
That doesn’t mean that the DVD’s just sit in my office. It took only four hours for volunteer Rikki M. to be on a couch with a friend enjoying the new season of Sherlock from the time it landed on my desk.
Here's her review:
"As a former employee and current volunteer of Arizona Public Media, I believed few people were as excited about the new season of Sherlock as I (now I know that my enthusiasm is matched by MANY others all over the world). Through a series of complicated dealings in dark alleys and emails, a friend and I were able to procure an advance copy of the new season one evening at 7pm. The only caveat was that the DVD must be returned the next morning. Watch three 90-minute episodes of Sherlock overnight? Challenge accepted!
Episode one stars Lara Pulver as Sherlock’s temptress Irene Adler in A Scandal in Belgravia. The sexual tension throughout this episode between the two geniuses was wonderful and as always, the reminder of Holmes’ mental abilities was a pleasure to watch. Though personally, I think that my favorite part was the suggestion that perhaps Watson might be a tiny bit jealous of Holmes’ relationship with the social dominatrix.
The second episode, The Hounds of Baskerville, was kind of a nice departure from the intensity of the previous episode. Holmes and Watson head out to the moors to find out the truth surrounding the rumors that a gigantic hound is stalking its territory. There were a couple moments of genuine suspense. That being said, it did drag a bit at points and I’m not a huge fan of a hint of the supernatural in the super logical world of Sherlock Holmes. Nevertheless, I am a self-disclosed Cumberholic, so I will forgive this trespass.
I think it is a terrible crime that they only see fit to create three episodes a season. However, if you are only going to create three episodes, you better make the last one worth it. The Reichenbach Fall is worth at least five episodes of another series. Andrew Scott as Jim Moriarty is both insanely creepy and charmingly sincere in his ability to challenge Holmes to solve the “final problem.” I don’t want to say anything else about this episode because any fan will want to go in to this one blind.
Overall, I loved Season 2 of Sherlock. The writing, acting, and the cinematography make each episode feel like a short movie that I didn’t want to end. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks so much to Arizona Public Media for giving me a chance to preview this wonderful program!"
--Rikki Mioduski, Volunteer Social Media Manager and former AZPM staffer
You are very welcome, Rikki! The perks of volunteering!
In anticipation of seeing Sherlock and Watson, a lovely, dysfunctional duo, I looked over the Mystery! films and came up with a great lineup from the AZPM vaults. Why not dedicate a month to the Men of Mystery?
Only on PBS HD 6 will you see Poirot, Foyle, Zen, Lewis (Hathaway!), and Wallander in one month! These cunning, calculating, charming and dangerous risk takers will take their turns every Thursday @ 8pm for your viewing pleasure. I’ve got my opinions as to who the charmers are. See below for the episodes and airdates!
The Men of Mystery! Schedule: Thursdays @ 8pm
--May 3rd: Poirot Mrs McGinty's Dead Check out the preview here
--May 10th: Foyle's War Broken Souls Check out the preview here
--May 17th: Zen: Cabal Check out the preview here
--May 24th: Inspector LewisYour Sudden Death Question Check out the preview here
--May 31st: Wallander Faceless Killers Check out the preview here
The Sherlock schedule: Sundays @ 8pm
6th: Sherlock, Series II: A Scandal in Belgravia
13th: Sherlock, Series II: The Hounds of Baskerville
20th: Sherlock, Series II: The Reichenbach Fall
Check out the new series website for previews and interviews! Click here
Happy Viewing! Please share your favorites with me!
Susie the TV Programmer
posted by Susie Hernandez
I was talking with a viewer today about Downton Abbey. That has been happening alot lately. Discussions range from costumes, Maggie Smith, and the eagerness for the new season to begin.
Fantastic costumes, incredible acting, brilliant writing--not uncommon compliments for Masterpiece dramas. Why is Downton so addictive? Could it be the length? The first season had 4 episodes and was six hours total. Plenty of time to get absorbed.
Abbey addicts or Downton divas might agree that the show simply allows you to escape. It is of no world we are used to, the issues are ones we generally don't face, and through great acting or writing or both, every character is relatable while being intriguing. The series is simply elegant and absolutely witty.
Screenwriter Julian Fellowes won an Oscar for his English country house mystery, Gosford Park, proving that an English country estate is a great place to establish drama! Masterpiece has a great interview with Lord Fellowes online. Check out the interview here.
Facebook can't contain my excitement, nor any of my friends. In the past few weeks, we have been sharing interviews, reviews, games and photos. Whenever a viewer and I get to talking about Downton, I end up passing along the games, photos and reviews to them as well. I thought I'd share a few with you!
Who are you?
Our sister station in DC has created a Downton Abbey Personality Quiz. I took the quiz and found out I am Robert, Earl of Grantham. "Honest and old-fashioned, you’re primarily motivated by honor and duty. You’re so honorable, you’re actually willing to let a virtual stranger inherit all your worldly goods rather than risk breaking up your family’s legacy. Some people might call you a stick in the mud, but you can be extremely generous and forgiving toward those you feel have earned your loyalty." It's not the worst character I could have been! (smile) Take the quiz here
In the UK, the Guardian created a quiz too and I am Lady Mary Crawley. "You yearn for glamour and excitement. And the exhumation of poor Mr Pamuk. Oh how you miss him!" The questions are pretty funny and worth a moment to take their quiz here
The Twitterverse will be celebrating the return of Downton Abbey with a live Twitter event during the broadcast. Special guests include bloggers Austenprose and Tom + Lorenzo, Vanity Fair magazine, and comedian Patton Oswalt. Yes, Patton Oswalt. Add #DowntonPBS to your tweets and join in the fun: http://to.pbs.org/DA2PBS
A new special is being offered that we will premiere on January 22nd @ 7pm. Secrets of the Manor House will air right before an episode of Downton Abbey and will give viewers a historical context. Exactly 100 years ago, the world of the British Manor House was at its height. It was a world of luxury that that has provided a majestic backdrop to a range of movies and popular costume dramas to this day. But what was really going on behind these stately walls and under the servants' stairs? Secrets of the Manor House looks beyond the fiction to the truth of how life was in these ancient British houses, and how mounting financial, political and social pressures were about to bring momentous changes to both the wealthy and their servants.
Entertainment Weekly reviewed Secrets of the Manor stating, "Fingers crossed we hear about sex, scandals, and someone with as biting a tongue as Maggie Smith’s Violet Crawley."
Susie the TV Programmer