February 13, 1993 |
Every so often, "Masterpiece Theatre" drops its cultural veneer and gets its gloves dirty with a period melodrama. Such a case is the Victorian potboiler "The Blackheath Poisonings," in which the seven deadly sins--and especially gluttony, greed and lust--soar over all those leather-bound Thackeray and Hardy classics that illuminate the program's mannered logo. In the first of three weekly episodes (9 p.m. Sunday on KCET-TV Channel 28 and KPBS-TV Channel 15, 8 p.m.
January 13, 1991 |
It's hard to imagine 1970s television without the Bellamys of 165 Eaton Place and their colorful downstairs staff. Yet if actresses Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins hadn't been broke, "Upstairs, Downstairs" might never have been created. "It wasn't a serious thing to start off with," said Marsh, who had created the series with Atkins when they were both out of work. "One day I said, 'This is ridiculous. I am so poor. I should try and sell the series.'
August 29, 1993 |
"Upstairs, Downstairs" was something veddy different for PBS' acclaimed British drama showcase "Masterpiece Theatre." The 68-part series holds the distinction of being the first "Masterpiece" presentation to be created strictly for television with no claims to literature, the theater or movies. "Upstairs, Downstairs" proved that a masterpiece could be created for the small screen. Rather ironically, the series spawned several novelization productions.
January 8, 1986 |
The elegant Huntington Hotel sits atop the city's famous Nob Hill. You expected Alistair Cooke to stay at Motel 6? The Huntington is where you envision half the male guests being named Alistair, the other half Trevor or Nigel. Mary, who has operated the hotel elevator for 35 years, told me en route to Cooke's tasteful top-floor suite that he and his wife have been staying there for years when in town from New York.
January 12, 2004 |
PBS hasn't yet found an underwriter for its 33-year-old "Masterpiece Theatre" series, but it has landed 11 new corporate funding commitments for other programs, said President and Chief Executive Pat Mitchell, who was in Los Angeles over the weekend attending the television industry's midseason press tour. "We see an encouraging trend," said Mitchell in an interview after the conference's executive session.
October 17, 1986 |
The very Brrrrrritish-inspired "Masterpiece Theatre" begins another season on PBS Sunday, which is as good a reason as any to note next month's 50th birthday of BBC television. The British Broadcasting Corp. has contributed nearly two dozen productions to "Masterpiece Theatre" in the last 15 years, for the most part enriching American TV by heaps and leaps and building a large audience of small-screen Anglophiles. It's been a sweet relationship--lots of money for the non-commercial BBC from U.S.
January 14, 1995
Bill Moyers is absolutely right on target in his assessment of violence shown on TV and, in particular, the violence shown on the commercial networks ("Public Broadcasting Takes Stand on Juvenile Violence," Jan. 7). It has always surprised and amazed me that Sunday nights (the night I have considered to be the real family night) is the night often chosen to exhibit movies with the most horrendous of violent themes. I think that the new House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, would better serve the American people by increasing funding to PBS rather than even suggesting that it be dropped from government funding because I am sure that such wonderful children's shows as "Sesame Street," "Barney and Friends," "Mister Rogers" and others contribute positively to our young population, and, for their parents, such gems as "Masterpiece Theatre" and "Nova" (just two among many)
October 14, 1989 |
"Masterpiece Theatre" unfurls another season in banner style Sunday with a delightful, passionately real, terrifically acted comedy/drama about a British working-class family in World War II. Adapted by Jack Rosenthal from C. P. Taylor's play and directed by Robert Knights, "And a Nightingale Sang" airs in a single 2-hour episode at 9 p.m. on Channels 28 and 15 and at 8 p.m. on Channels 50 and 24.
May 26, 2001
Howard Rosenberg is tired, more tired than he wants to admit. In his rant "Before You Criticize, at Least Watch the Show" (May 14), he chastises Rep. Marge Roukema (R-N.J.) for introducing a resolution condemning "The Sopranos" at the behest of her constituents. Roukema (according to Rosenberg) lacks that authority because she admits to not having seen the show. She is relying solely on the ire of those she is paid to represent. Truth is, she no more needs to view "The Sopranos" than a sitting president needs view a disaster to send federal aid; it's part of the job description.