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KCET divides new programming lineup into themed blocks

Series4_gang_take2 Theme nights are coming to KCET-TV.

The soon-to-be-former PBS station in Silver Lake revealed on Thursday a few more details of its programming plans as it prepares to exit the network and go independent on Jan. 1.

The biggest news? The station is dividing each night into themed blocks covering such areas as movies, drama and science.

In a statement, executive vice president Mary Mazur said the new lineup "reflects our commitment to provide a mix of programming designed to enlighten and entertain."

Sunday nights will be devoted to Hollywood and movies, with "First Works," about how noted directors approach their craft, and "Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies," a film-reviewing program overseen by the legendary critic. The Sunday movie series hosted by Sam Rubin will round out the night. 

Monday's action and travel block includes the British spy drama "MI5" plus three documentary shows: "Globe Trekker," "Rick Steves' Europe" and "Burt Wolf: Travels & Traditions."

Tuesday is a science night highlighted by the Canadian series "The Nature of Things" hosted by David Suzuki, plus unspecified documentaries.

Drama fills out the schedule on Wednesdays, with two British crime shows, "Hustle" and "Prime Suspect." Capping the night will be "The Write Environment," featuring interviews with screenwriters.

Thursdays are a grab-bag, with "SoCal Connected," the station's acclaimed public-affairs show, anchoring the night. The British series "Doc Martin" and a new documentary offering, "The Aviators," are also included.

Fridays are devoted to news programming.

Weekday mornings, KCET will continue airing kids' programming, including two offerings from the Jim Henson Co., "Construction Site" and "The Wubulous World of Dr. Seuss."

-- Scott Collins Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT

Photo: The cast of the British series "Hustle," soon to air on KCET-TV. Credit: BBC One.

Comments () | Archives (5)

Thus begins KCET's descent into being something like the channel at your hotel that tells you what the weather will be and that you have to call at least 30 minutes ahead for the airport shuttle. I wonder how long it will be until 28.1 is renamed the Huell Howser channel?

Maybe a year from now they will have regained their footing but all these recycled british programs sound like the programming from 20 years ago.

I was sorry to see KCET sever its ties; if costs were that high I would think other stations across the country would share similar feelings and perhaps take the dubious action that KCET has. Apparently the area is not as rich in donors as one would think.

In any event I suspect that I am of an age when I see change I am not happy about it. Even so there was a lot about PBS as shown locally on KCET that I found difficult to support: the endless fund drives with doo wop and Roy Orbison. I remember the "galas" hosted by Beverly Sills with a great deal of pleasure. Times change and so do tastes apparently. I will watch rereuns of Prime Suspect and others assuming if they are of equal quality. Otherwise I can always resort to my ever growing DVD collection and my HBO and cable services. The last two may not match PBS at its best, but what has been proposed quite frankly doesn't really sound all that appealing.

And what will happen to Classic Arts Showcase -- my favorite nightly program?
Where will I find that?

I wonder if this opens up KCET to trying innovative new ideas (theme nights being one of them), if someone from Kcet reads this - reach out, have a beta app i'd like to share with you.

I am disappointed with CPB for not working with KCET to resolve the financial issues, but I am also unhappy with KCET's inability to connect with the viewership. I don't know if it will change in 2011, but I can tell you that in 2010 you could not easily get in touch with ANYONE at KCET except to donate money. They didn't ask our opinions, spent HUGE amounts of air time (around 10%?) with useless "feel good" ads for the station itself. I can understand ads for actual programs, to increase viewership of these programs. But watching a guy dive into water 4 times per hour in slow motion while a sexy womans voice seductively says "World" is not just irritating, but a big waste of time. I'd rather see ads and know that you were getting some money for the time so I didn't have to watch so many fund raising drives.

Maybe as an independent station, they can sell more of the "high class commercials" that they were showing already, raise more money, and drop some of those time wasting fillers they constantly show.

I like the idea of more world programs (I like DW-TV and BBC that were shown in 2010), but I will really miss some of the traditional PBS shows like Nova and Independent Lens.

Lets face it, PBS has some of the best shows on TV today, and those shows appeal to a well educated and wealthy audience who would gladly watch commercials if it meant the same great shows and fewer fund drives. Why doesn't the system wake up to this fact and change the model to allow this and thus relieve the financial burdens on these stations?? All we really want is the good programs, and we're having to watch 5 to 10 minutes out of every hour of worthless self promotion already, so just sell that time and let's get on with it!! Give us the good programs and stop screwing around! This isn't rocket science!

Jigger in Santa Maria


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