"GROWING OLD IN AMERICA," 8 p.m. Saturday (7) (3) (10) (42)--America's aged population may be growing, but the network documentary is shrinking.
The ABC News Closeup unit--which has given America some superlative three-hour documentaries in recent years--has been reduced and restructured for budgetary reasons. So there's no telling what lies beyond this three-hour ABC program that will explore the process of aging in America.
There are many subjects--aging is one of them--that can't be given justice in an hour or the 20-minute segments in magazine shows. So ABC deserves credit for not only expanding the form, but also for bringing style to long documentaries without sacrificing significance.
Hence the longer "Growing Old in America" is welcome indeed. It will focus on the range of long-term care of the elderly, and look at whether their health care needs are being met both in terms of costs and quality. What are the futures of Medicare? Medicaid?