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The Biz: American Masters Rediscovers Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby

Whenever director Robert Trachtenberg tells people he's made a film about Bing Crosby, he says, "The overwhelming response is, 'He's the guy who hit his kids.'" The actor-crooner's Daddy Dearest image was shaped by the 1983 tell-all memoir from son Gary. But Trachtenberg believes Bing Crosby: Rediscovered, his latest project for American Masters (Tuesday at 8/7c on PBS), will remind viewers that despite his flaws, Crosby is one of the 20th century's most influential pop culture figures.

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PBS Kids Gets in the Numbers Game With Odd Squad

Odd Squad

Does S.H.I.E.L.D. know about this? No case is too big or fantastical for the pint-size investigators on Odd Squad, an ambitious new live-action PBS Kids series that trails secret agents Olive (Dalila Bela) and Otto (Filip Geljo) as they try to solve a head-scratching array of problems in their goofy hometown. Whether it's runaway dinosaurs or citizens suddenly vanishing into thin air or a basketball team that's been hit with a string of bad luck, Olive and Otto always save the day. But get this: They do it by using various forms of mathematics. Consider it damage control.

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Video: Nikita Khrushchev is Back in PBS's Cold War Roadshow

Nikita Khrushchev

He scared the bejeesus out of Americans with his nuclear-war cry, "We will bury you!" But when Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev visited the United States in 1959 he was much more of a pussycat than an evil Commie dictator.

PBS's American Experience will track Khrushchev's bizarre trek in Cold War Roadshow (Tuesday, Nov. 18, 9/8c), a one-hour documentary that offers fascinating insight into the human side of our chilling face-off with the U.S.S.R.

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Will Downton Abbey End After Season 6?

Allen Leech, Tom Cullen and Michelle Dockery

Someone give PBS a hug.

The network is in danger of losing its biggest show, British import Downton Abbey, sooner than it would like if rumors out of the UK are true. The show's creator Julian Fellowes might leave his series following the yet-to-be-announced sixth season, The Radio Times reports.

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Granny's Past and a Baby Bates? Downton Abbey Season 5 Scoop

Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith

Last year, Downton Abbey went through a transitional season dealing with major loss but also laying the groundwork for what could be a very intriguing fifth season.

Before the series returns stateside on Sunday, Jan. 4 on PBS' Masterpiece, the cast -- Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Joanne Froggatt, Allen Leech  along with executive producer Gareth Neame --  attended the Television Critics Association fall previews on Tuesday to present select clips from the upcoming season. Here's what we can expect:

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PBS' Downton Abbey Returns January 4

Downton Abbey

Dust off your fancypants, Downton Abbey fans. The British series' fifth season has a Stateside premiere date...

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Did Downton Abbey Lose Its Charm? Finale Rounds Out a Frustrating Season

Michelle Dockery, Julian Ovenden

[WARNING: The following contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of Downton Abbey. Read at your own risk.]

We are grateful to have Downton Abbey in our lives, but our devotion to the show is the very reason we're so irked at how it progressed this season.

Although we've come to terms with the loss of Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay), it doesn't seem like the writers quite know what to do in the wake of those deaths. So much of this season felt either forced or false or just failed miserably. Has Downton Abbey lost its charm?

Before launching into the season as a whole, let's go over the highlights of the finale, shall we?

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Downton Abbey and the Insensitive Portrayal of Rape on TV

Joanne Frogatt

I tried to give Downton Abbey the benefit of the doubt. I tried to stave off my judgments until I had given the show time to prove me wrong, to prove that this wasn't just another case of rape as cheap and consumable entertainment. But here we are at the end of the season, and my frustration has only grown.

Downton's fourth season notoriously featured the show's most beloved character, Anna (Joanne Froggatt), being violently assaulted by a visiting valet. But contrary to creator Julian Fellowesdefense that he wanted to "[explore] the mental damage and the emotional damage" that follows sexual assault, I still have very little idea how Anna has been intimately affected by this tragic incident. Instead of parsing Anna's psychological state, the show continued its violation of her character by immediately shifting the dramatic tension to questions about how Bates (Brendan Coyle) would respond.

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Downton Abbey: Lady Edith's Heartbreaking Dilemma and Bates' Trip to York

Laura Carmichael

"Sometimes, I don't think God wants me to be happy." Poor Lady Edith. On Sunday's Downton Abbey, the second Crawley daughter is still dealing with the dilemma of becoming an unwed mother in 1920s polite society. On top of that ... read more

Downton Abbey Adds Doctor Who, 24 Alums for Season 5

Richard E Grant

Downton Abbey is adding three to its ranks for Season 5, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Doctor Who and Girls alum Richard E. Grant will play... read more

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