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124 Segments




History as the Inspiration for Primetime.

Television critic David Bianculli reviews two new historical shows, one on PBS and the other on ABC. One is a documentary series, "Columbus and the Age of Discovery," and the other a docudrama about the Gulf War, "Heroes of Persian Gulf."


Two Contrasting Historical Programs on Television.

Television critic David Bianculli checks out two programs, NBC's six-hour mini-series about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, titled "A Woman Named Jackie;" and a Showtime documentary called "Hearts of Darkness," about the making of the movie "Apocalypse Now."


The Fiftieth Anniversary of Pearl Harbor on Television.

Television critic David Bianculli reviews two of the many specials commemorating the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tonight's two hour special on ABC, "Pearl Harbor: Two Hours That Changed the World," and Saturday's special on CBS, called "Remember Pearl Harbor."


Journalist Hedrick Smith Discusses the U. S. S. R. after Gorbachev.

Journalist Hedrick Smith. Smith has spent years covering the Soviet Union, as a reporter for the New York Times, as an author, and as a TV documentary producer and correspondent. He's just returned from the former Soviet Union, and his latest report, "After Gorbachev's U.S.S.R." airs this week on the public television documentary series, "Frontline." (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)


New Documentary is a Nightmare.

Television critic David Bianculli reviews "MGM: When the Lion Roars." It's an eight-hour documentary about the MGM studios. It premieres this Sunday on the TNT cable network (which by the way is owned by the same man who owns MGM, Ted Turner).


What We Can Learn from Tribal Societies.

Anthropologist David Maybury-Lewis. He's the founder of Cultural Survival, an organization that that helps indigenous peoples whose ways of life are threatened by development. He's hosting a new PBS series called "Millennium," which starts tonight, and he's the author of the companion book, also called "Millennium." The series and the book seek to gain tribal wisdom for the modern world. (The book is published by Viking.)


Filmmaker Marlon Riggs.

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs. His film about gay black men,"Tongues Untied," was shown on PBS last year, and it unleashed a storm of outrage in powerful right-wing circles. Sen. Jesse Helms (R, NC) even put together and distributed a seven-minute tape of scenes from the film, which, taken out of context, completely distorted Marlon Riggs' intentions. The documentary is often used by Congresspeople as an example of what's wrong with public broadcasting, and why it shouldn't be federally funded.


A Rock Band Put on Trial for Teenage Suicide

TV critic David Bianculli previews public television's "P.O.V." episode called "Dream Deceivers," an analysis of a Nevada court case in which the heavy metal band Judas Priest was sued by the parents of two teenagers who shot themselves after listening to the band's music.


Not Much New in "The Making of Sergeant Pepper"

TV critic David Bianculli reviews a new documentary about the Beatles' classic album on the Disney Channel. He says it covers familiar ground -- but producer George Martin's segments breaking down each song's elements make it worth checking out.


On the Stanton School with Alan Raymond, Susan Raymond, and Deanna Burney.

Documentary film makers Alan and Susan Raymond. They made documentary history with "An American Family," living for seven months with the Loud family, to film the life of a "typical" American family. The 12-part series was broadcast over PBS in 1973, and it turned out to be a portrait of a not-so-typical family, and of a family disintegrating before our eyes.

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