Time was that if there was one thing that attracted the enthusiastic ire of would-be viewers, it was a program that was "promoted a homosexual lifestyle." In 1991, I was verbally abused for weeks over POV's presentation of the documentary Tongues Untied and its portrayal of the black gay community. In 1999, the calls about It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School were so frequent that I began answering the phone with a cheery "It's elementary!" It's been a long time since I've encountered a similar call-in campaign. The last one was in 2005, and the target was the PBS kids' show Postcards from Buster.
As Jurassic World makes all of the money by demonstrating that exploiting monsters for entertainment rarelygoeswell—unless you are Steven Spielberg—I think back to my own relationship with prehistoric giants.
By the time this article is posted, David Letterman’s final Late Show broadcast will have already occurred, but as I write this, it’s still a couple of days off. There have been approximately one godzillion tributes to Letterman in the weeks leading up to his retirement, but I couldn't let the event pass without offering a few words of my own.
It's something that I hate to see: a major PBS personality in the headlines for what seems to have been a breach of the trust that viewers and stations alike place upon such figures of authority. Was the omission of actor Ben Affleck's slave-holding ancestor from an episode of Finding Your Roots an editorial judgement or an ethical failure? We shouldn't have to wonder.
Earlier this month, I set the WABAC Machine to the mid '70s and the introduction of British TV comedy to WILL-TV. In this installment, we'll trade Mr. Peabody's trusty time machine for a DeLorean as we go back to the '80s!
As we approach our 16th annual Great Britcom Vote event on Saturday, March 7, I’m digging into our archives to suss out the early history of British comedy on WILL-TV. Which such series was the first to air in Central Illinois?