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The Not So Small Screen: America in Primetime

Each year, more and more television shows make breakthroughs in storytelling and production values that were unheard of a couple of decades ago. Television shows allow fully developed characters that can grow and break stereotypes over multiple years. Because of this, some of the tropes of characters in early television have been remodeled and adjusted to more realistically portray the complexity of human beings. In July on WETA TV26 & HD, America in Primetime looks at the past and present of a particular type of character and how it has evolved through the changing landscape of television. Watch a trailer for this series by reading the full blog post!

Episode 1: Independent Woman
Early television tended to place women into less important supportive roles, but in modern day television, women often are the ones who hold the most power. Characters like Jackie Peyton of Nurse Jackie and Nancy Botwin of Weeds present women who are independent and strong, providing for their families and taking charge of everything in their lives. Airs Friday, July 5 at 9:00pm.

Episode 2: Man of the House
We’ve all seen the traditional family shows like Full House and Home Improvement that provide a view of a traditional American family where a wholesome man of the house reigns. In today’s television the idea of the wholesome American dad has been challenged, and shows are providing a more realistic, flawed view of these men. Characters like mob boss Tony Soprano and drug kingpin Walter White can all fit within the traditional family, but underneath it they have their own problems and issues that make for compelling characters. Airs Friday, July 12 at 9:00pm.

Episode 3: The Misfit
Outsiders have been popular characters in television since the very beginning. We can all relate to the character that is a little bit different, but still finds a way to use their quirks as an advantage. Shows like Six Feet Under and Freaks and Geeks feature characters that could be considered “weird” by their peers, but their uniqueness makes them some of the most compelling characters on television. Airs Friday, July 19 at 9:30pm.

Episode 4: The Crusader
As long as there have been stories, there have been tales of crusaders saving the day. From Greek mythology to Batman comic books, the characters that are willing to break the rules for a good cause have become beloved. Today’s television features many of these characters, and networks have become more open to these morally ambiguous people. Many hit shows such as Dexter and 24 feature protagonists that could be considered good or evil, depending on your perspective. Airs Friday, July 26 at 9:30pm.
 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Meet New People | WETA April Schedule Highlights

This April WETA has taken the liberty of inviting a few guests to your home. But don’t worry, you won’t need to clean up first! Visit with old friends and meet new ones all month long with special programs introducing you to a wide variety of characters, from Hollywood legends to subjects in groundbreaking documentaries. 

 
 
Part 1 Monday, April 1st at 9pm
Part 2 Tuesday, April 2nd at 9pm
In this special two-part series 

filmmaker David Sutherland introduces us to Robin Charboneau and her two children who are living on an Indian Reservation in North Dakota. The special co-presentation of Frontline and Independent Lens follows Robin over a three year period as she tries to raise her children and rebuild her life after an abusive marriage. 
 
Tuesday, April 2nd at 8pm
In 1936 African American sprinter Jesse Owens broke Olympic records and won four gold medals in Berlin, the headquarters of Hitler's Nazi regime. Rather than boycotting the games, he used with athletic ability to defy Hitler and amaze the rest of the world. Join us for this hour episode of American Experience featuring one of our country’s most important athletes. 
 
Wednesday, April 3rd at 10pm
 
Wednesday, April 10th at 10pm
 
Wednesday, April 17th at 10pm
Meet Michael Mosley, a man determined to live longer, stay younger and loose weight. Will his secret to a healthier life be fasting, exercise or digestion? Join us in this new series as Michael experiments on himself with these techniques to longevity. 
 
Friday, April 5th at 9pm
This is one man who’s probably graced your TV screen in one form or another already. Prehaps you know him as Rooster Cogburn, Bad Blake or the Dude. Learn all about Jeff Bridges and his unique style that’s landed him some of the most memorable roles in Hollywood. 
 
Saturdays at 8pm
Sometimes it’s just as important to get together with old friends as it is meet new ones. Don’t forget about your favorite grumpy Doc, Martin, who can be found helping the citizens of the town Portwenn every Saturday at 8pm. 
 
 
Saturday, April 6th at 9:30pm
James Stewart is one of the most loved American Actors, using his roles of ordinary men to remind us what’s really important. Follow his rise to fame with this documentary paying tribute to his career.
 
Saturday, April 7th at 12am
This is a story about three lives interconnected. After Tibetan master Geshe Lama Konchog passes away, his devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa is faced with the challenge of finding his mater’s reincarnation in a new body. Will this unmistaken child be found among the millions of children in the world? 
 
Tuesday, April 9th at 8pm and Friday, April 12th at 9pm 
Known for her comedy, The Carol Burnett Show, this famous actress’s life hasn’t always been laughs and smiles. Join us for this episode of American Masters as Carol Burnett’s life and career comes into focus.
 
Saturday, April 13th at 9:30pm
After starring in films such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday and My Fair Lady, Audrey Hepburn has left her mark as one of the most successful and glamorous women in Hollywood. Go behind the scenes of her career with interviews and rare footage in this documentary 
celebrating Ms. Hepburn’s life. 
 
Saturday, April 13th at 10:30pm
The life of this self-made movie mogul is just as interesting as the characters she plays. Discover the story of Joan Crawford and her career that spans from the flapper era of the 1920s to thrillers in the 1960s. 
 
Tuesday, April 16th at 9pm
In 1989, five black and Hispanic teenagers were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City. In this new documentary by Ken Burns we hear see from the perspective of those accused and the effects the Central Park Jogger case has had on their lives.
 
Thursday, April 18th at 9:30pm
Meet Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, star of the British crime series based on the Peter Robinson novels. After a succession of murders DCI Banks does everything in his power to find the person responsible for these horrible crimes.

 
Saturday, April 20th at 9:30pm
This leading man was more than just good looks. He had a charismatic personality that landed him in roles such as To Catch a Thief and North by Northwest. Follow Cary Grant’s rise to fame from the working class, through archival footage, family photos and film clips.
 
Saturday, April 20th at 10:30pm
Gregory Peck worked his way up through theater roles to Academy Award winning, Hollywood actor by the end of his career. Learn about the trails and tribulations along the way and his reaction to landing important roles in films such as To Kill a Mockingbird.
 
Saturday, April 20th at 11:30pm
The popular Superherione Wonder Woman has been around in comic books since the 1940s, but what has a powerful woman represented to society both past and present? Learn about the history of super power and the inspiration she’s been for generations of women. 
 
Friday, April 26th at 9:00pm
Star of one of the most loved films in history, The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland captured hearts at a young age and went on to produce a large body of work. Join us for the story of her life told through her own words and the legacy that she leaves behind. 
 
Saturday, April 27th at 11:30pm
This is the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man working to ensure the survival of his country and its citizens. As the most low-lying country in the world, a minor rise in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives. Tune in to learn more about this leader the intensifying responsibilities he has to his people. 
 
Saturday, April 27th at 2am
Set your DVRs and meet Rowan, a young boy diagnosed with autism in Texas. After trying unsuccessfully to help their son, his parents discover he has a deep, calming connection with horses. Determined to heal in whatever way possible, the family embarks on a spiritual journey on horseback through Mongolia in search of a shaman. 
 

 

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An Evening with Jerry Lewis: Live From Las Vegas

 

Born in 1926, Jerry Lewis is one of America’s most iconic slapstick comedians. He rose to fame with partner Dean Martin with the Martin and Lewis comedy act, which first appeared on television in 1948. In the 1950s, he embarked on a solo career and starred in films such as The Ladies Man, The Nutty Professor, and It’s Only Money. More recently, Lewis has performed on Broadway and been awarded for his humanitarian acts, always known as being a key member of the comedic community.

Click here to watch a preview!

 

An Evening with Jerry Lewis: Live From Las Vegas

This Saturday, comedian Jerry Lewis takes to the stage of the Showroom at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, as he tells stories of his eight-decade career in a tribute to his 87th birthday. The performance will feature narrative and musical acts by Lewis, as well as footage from his career, both classics and never before seen. At the end of the evening, Lewis will take questions from fans in the audience. Join us for this monumental presentation with Jerry Lewis, this Saturday at 6:30pm.

Watch An Evening with Jerry Lewis: Live From Las Vegas on Saturday March 2 at 6:30pm. Also airs March 7 at 8:00pm, March 8 at 1:00pm and March 15 at 10:30pm.