Frontline

1983, TV Show

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Tuesday TV: A Henson Challenge, Brooklyn Finale, NCIS's Big Easy Spinoff

If you like Syfy's Face Off (as I do), then you're already predisposed to enjoy the channel's new reality competition series Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge (Tuesday, 10/9c), which often feels like a shot-by-shot copy, complete with fetching female host (Farscape's Gigi Edgley), insane time pressures in producing elaborately fanciful Henson-esque creatures, and a three-member judging panel including the likable Brian Henson (Jim's son and chairman of the Henson Company with its fabled Creature Shop). What Creature Shop may lack in originality it makes up for in creative energy, with the contestants further challenged in mentoring sessions by being made to focus on having the full-body costumes be fully functional for the skilled Henson puppeteers within. The climactic "Screen Test" reveals are fun to watch, and the critiques (as in Face Off) are smartly constructive.

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Paid | iTunes Aired: 10/14/2014

Season 33, Episode 1
FRONTLINE investigates the widespread use of antibiotics in food animals and whether it is fueling the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance in people. Also this hour: An exclusive interview with the family of a young man who died in a nightmare bacteria outbreak that swept through a hospital at the National Institutes of Health.

Full Episode
Paid | iTunes Aired: 9/9/2014

Season 32, Episode 21
From PBS and FRONTLINE - From the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak, FRONTLINE follows health officials tracking the deadly disease and trying to stop its rampant spread. With special access to teams fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone, the film shows how the outbreak is endangering health- care workers, overwhelming hospitals and getting worse. Also this hour, FRONTLINE investigates accounts that members of the Nigerian military have been committing atrocities in the fight against Boko Haram - the Islamist militants who kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in April. Amid worldwide pressure to find the girls, FRONTLINE uncovers shocking videos showing arrests, torture and summary executions of alleged Boko Haram suspects.

Full Episode
Paid | iTunes Aired: 7/29/2014

Season 32, Episode 20
From PBS and FRONTLINE: FRONTLINE examines the unfolding chaos in Iraq and how the U.S. is being pulled back into the conflict. Drawing on interviews with policymakers and military leaders, the film traces the U.S. role from the 2003 invasion to the current violence, showing how Iraq itself is coming undone, how we got here, what went wrong, and what happens next.

Full Episode
Paid | iTunes Aired: 5/27/2014

Season 32, Episode 18
From PBS and Frontline: FRONTLINE goes inside the raging battle zones of Ukraine and Syria. In Ukraine, with personal and dramatic footage, FRONTLINE reveals the deep-seeded hatreds between right-wing Ukrainian nationalists with historic ties to the Nazis, and violent pro-Russian separatists vying for control of the country. And in Syria, FRONTLINE finds rebel fighters who say they’re being secretly armed and trained by the United States.

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News

Tuesday TV: A Henson Challenge, Brooklyn Finale, NCIS's Big Easy Spinoff

If you like Syfy's Face Off (as I do), then you're already predisposed to enjoy the channel's new reality competition series Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge (Tuesday, 10/9c), which often feels like a shot-by-shot copy, complete with fetching female host (Farscape's Gigi Edgley), insane time pressures in producing elaborately fanciful Henson-esque creatures, and a three-member judging panel including the likable Brian Henson (Jim's son and chairman of the Henson Company with its fabled Creature Shop). What Creature Shop may lack in originality it makes up for in creative energy, with the contestants further challenged in mentoring sessions by being made to focus on having the full-body costumes be fully functional for the skilled Henson puppeteers within. The climactic "Screen Test" reveals are fun to watch, and the critiques (as in Face Off) are smartly constructive.

read more

Tuesday TV Review: Mind Games, Frontline at the Vatican, Glee's New Night

Even in a season distinguished by insta-duds like Lucky 7 and Betrayal, ABC hits a new low with Mind Games (Tuesday, 10/9c), an inexplicably and ridiculously convoluted drama which achieves the rare trick of making Christian Slater look like a master of understated acting. He plays an ex-con who teams with his frenetic, bipolar brother (Steve Zahn in an eye-poppingly cartoonish performance), an expert in all human behaviors but his own, to start a firm that specializes in elaborate psychological manipulations to achieve their clients' aims.

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Tuesday TV: Not Just the Olympics

I'm beginning to hear in my mailbag from those whose reaction to slaloms, snowboarding and skating isn't so much "Oh my!" as "Oh no!" (And we're not talking Apolo.) Personally, I love dipping in and out of the Winter Games, and NBC is giving us plenty of opportunity — not just in the network's prime-time package, but with live online streaming and selected live events (in decidedly not prime-time hours) on cable outlets including NBCSN.

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JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary TV Roundup: A Complete Guide to Coverage

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Texas, and both broadcast and cable networks are featuring special programming tied to the national tragedy. Here's a complete roundup of how you can catch daily coverage of the anniversary on TV, though many networks are offering supplemental coverage online as well.

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The Tuesday Playlist: Ladies' Night on POI, Frontline Tackles NFL Concussion Crisis

Last Thursday, I was honored to moderate a panel at the "Made in NY" PaleyFest at New York's Paley Center, celebrating the third season of CBS's terrific cyber-thriller Person of Interest. Before the discussion with many of the show's cast and executive producer Jonathan Nolan, there was a screening of this week's episode (Tuesday, 10/9c) — the best of the season to date, and a fairly pivotal one — that is especially enjoyable in how it showcases the series' fabulous femmes fatales. With the target du jour a chameleon Casanova, the women must act as nightclub and social-media bait: an off-duty and glammed-up Carter (Taraji P. Henson), the ferociously trigger-happy Shaw (Sarah Shahi, hilariously playing against her natural beauty) and Reese's favorite fixer, the alluring Zoe Morgan (recurring co-star Paige Turco). A CBS contact refers to them as "Finch's Angels," and if they want to spin themselves off, that would be fine by me. A scene where the three ladies of the evening compare their weaponry is a riot. So's a later scene in which Shaw reflects on her disdain for relationships. (When I asked Shahi if Shaw has a soft side, she wasted no time in barking a "No.")

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Premiered: January 01, 1983, on PBS
Rating: None
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Premise: PBS's primary public-affairs documentary series, `Frontline' focuses on one (usually timely) topic each program. Overseen since its inception by executive producer David Fanning, it has been honored regularly over the years, winning 34 DuPont-Columbia awards, 12 Peabody awards and 29 Emmys. In 2001, `Frontline' launched `Frontline/World,' an offshoot devoted to foreign affairs featuring work by young filmmakers.

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