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124 Segments




A Measured Look At Roth As The Writer Turns 80.

The celebration of Philip Roth's career reaches its peak in a new documentary — Philip Roth Unmasked — that will screen on PBS next week as part of the American Masters series. There's no doubt that Roth is a master, and not just an American one, but the film tiptoes around the novelist's dark ferocity.


Behind The Scenes Of The Beatles' 'Magical Mystery Tour'

A new documentary on PBS about the making of the Beatles' 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour features outtakes from the original and new interviews with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. TV critic David Bianculli call the film "wonderfully thorough."


The New British Empire: Pop-Culture Powerhouses.

James Bond and The Rolling Stones both turn 50 this year. As critic John Powers points out, both may have been born in response to a dying British Empire, but their evolving legacies have reflected the times through which these brands have lived.


Johnny Carson Gets The 'Masters' Treatment

Monday night on PBS, American Masters presents a two-hour biography of Johnny Carson. Carson retired 20 year ago this month, and vacated a throne that TV critic David Bianculli says no one has managed to claim since.


Traveling To The Corners Of Our 'Frozen Planet'

The team behind the documentary Planet Earth have teamed up again to explore the coldest, most isolated places on Earth. TV critic David Bianculli says watching Frozen Plant "captures images of so much majesty, artistry, and clarity, it's almost ridiculous."


Filmmaker Woody Allen Gets The 'Masters' Treatment

Woody Allen is the subject of a new two-part, four-hour special on the PBS series American Masters. TV critic David Bianculli says the documentary is "a smart, sometimes serious study of a smart, sometimes serious filmmaker."


The 'Making Of The President' In The 1960s.

A new DVD set follows the presidential campaigns of '60, '64 and '68 — and shows just how much times have changed. Critic John Powers says it's hard not to feel a bit nostalgic for the days when running for president was treated as something noble, not grubby.


Must-See Movie Selections For The Giving Season

Critic John Powers has a theory about movies: The best gifts to give aren't necessarily the most recent hits. His 13 picks for the 2010 holiday season include a Charlie Chaplin classic, a Charles Laughton masterpiece and one of the greatest documentaries ever produced.


Hurricane Katrina: As Seen On TV, Five Years Later.

This week marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall in the Gulf region, devastating the area and leading to levee breaches that flooded most of New Orleans. TV critic David Bianculli says that television was all over the story then -- and five years later, is all over it again now.


The Only Summer-TV Guide You'll Ever Need

TV critic David Bianculli says watching television between June and August used to be a real chore. But these days, he says, it's anything but a bore -- if you know where and when t look. Bianculli details the highs and lows of summer 2010 -- and previews the new season of AMC's Mad Men.


Real Life Documentaries Trump Reality TV Every Day.

Reality TV shows like Real Housewives and Jersey Shore have given actual reality TV a bad name. As proof, TV critic David Bianculli looks at Boston Med and Gasland -- two new 'reality' programs displaying actual intelligence.


Love At First Listen: 'The Jazz Baroness.'

Jazz great Thelonius Monk had a unique sound that won him millions of fans — and it certainly stole the heart of the Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter. In a new documentary, The Jazz Baroness, filmmaker Hannah Rothschild explores the unusual friendship between the American jazz pianist and the Englishwoman, and the impact they made on modern music.


Putting 'Planet Earth' in One 5-Disc Package

Documentary producer Huw Cordey helped create the staggeringly ambitious BBC series Planet Earth. The series was five years in the making and was shot in 62 countries on every continent. It was broadcast in the United States on The Discovery Channel, and is now available on DVD.


Bill Moyers, Back on the Beat

Journalist Bill Moyers returns to PBS April 25 with Bill Moyers Journal; the first episode "Buying the War," a 90-minute examination of the role of the press in the run-up to the Iraq War.


New Ken Burns Series Relives 'The War'

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has an upcoming PBS documentary series that tells the story of the World War II through the eyes of the soldiers who fought in it.

Simply called The War, the 14-hour, seven-part series begins airing in September.


Lowell Bergman on News Media Economics

Investigative reporter Lowell Bergman is the correspondent for the new Frontline documentary "News War: Secrets, Spin and the Future of the News." The four-part series, which Bergman co-produced, is about the mainstream news media and the political, legal and economic forces acting on it.

The third installment looks at how the pressure for profits and shifting advertising dollars are affecting the news business. It airs Tuesday, Feb. 27 on most PBS stations. Bergman is a contributor to The New York Times.


The Future of the News Media

Investigative reporter Lowell Bergman is the producer of the new documentary, News War: Secrets, Spin and the Future of the News. The series is about the mainstream news media and the political, legal and economic forces at play.


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