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2,111 Segments




Dr. George Gerber on How T.V. Distorts Our Reality.

Dr. George Gerbner is the Dean of the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Gerber and his colleagues Larry Gross, Michael Morgan, Nancy Signorielli, and sometimes Stewart Hoover have published many studies of television and its impact on society. The studies have been widely published and influential. Gerber believes that television distorts reality, and Americans, who watch a large amount of t.v. programming, are having their views on reality distorted by the medium.


"A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live."

Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad are the authors of the new book "Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live." The book chronicles the eleven year history of the show produced by Lorne Michaels. Hill has written for the New York Times and is a staff writer for T.V. Guide, and Weingrad has written for SoHo Weekly News, the New York Post, and edits the celebrity page of Women's World magazine.


Writing the American Detective

Inspired by progenitors of the genre, Robert B. Parker writes a series of hard-boiled detective novels featuring a private investigator named Spenser. The books have recently been adapted into a television show called Spenser for Hire. Parker's newest novel is called Taming the Sea-horse.


Getting to Know Philadelphia

Cinematographer and film director Garrett Brown has created the "Philadelphia: Getting to Know Us" advertising campaigns. He returns to Fresh Air to discuss why he wanted to show both the "grimy outskirts" and "scrubbed-up insides" of his home city.


The Pointed Irreverence of British Comedy

Graham Chapman came out while working on the sketch comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus. He discusses his activism to support gay rights, as well as the many times the television program lampooned conventional masculinity.


Avoiding Bad Television

TV critic David Bianculli offers his guidelines for identifying programs worth skipping -- even without watching a single episode.


Reimagining Gertrude Stein

Jill Godmilow's American Playhouse film explores the relationship between the avant-garde writer and her partner Alice Toklas. While much of the plot is invented, Godmilow was careful to stay true to the women's lives.


Postponing "The Bombing of West Philly"

The Frontline documentary, about the conflict between MOVE activists and the Philadelphia Police, will be broadcast this week throughout the country -- except for Philadelphia, which has a mayoral primary. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the program and questions why the broadcast has been delayed in the region.


Confusing Tear-Jerkers for Art

Film critic Stephen Schiff believes that the proliferation of film critics on television, whose insights he believes are often superficial, has led moviegoers to believe that emotional manipulation is the sole criterion for great cinema.


Saying Goodbye to "Hill Street Blues"

TV critic David Bianculli regrets the mixed reviews he once gave to what he later considered the best show on television. Though it often never reached its full potential, Bianculli credits Hill Street Blues with laying the groundwork for more sophisticated programming and storytelling on TV.


A Comedy Writer's Career Goals

Harry Shearer got his start in show business at the age of seven. He now writes comedy for television and radio. Shearer joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to discuss his experiences onstage, finding an outlet for his political humor, and his love of bad TV.


Breaking the Sitcom Rules

The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd dispenses with laugh tracks and multi-camera shots, which allows the show to explore new territories in television comedy.


A Role Close to Home

Best known for his role as Colonel Klink in Hogan's Heroes, Werner Klemperer plays Herr Schulz in the revival of Cabaret. Klemperer grew up in Berlin during the time the musical is set.


Visiting "A Town Like Alice"

The Australian miniseries, about prisoners in World War II, is presented in full in a new home video release. Critic Ken Tucker says it powerfully illustrates the cultural divide between Great Britain and Australia.


The End of "Our World"

TV critic David Bianculli says that the documentary show, which shared a time slot with The Cosby Show, didn't deserve to be canceled -- despite its low ratings.


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