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 | Amazon Instant Video Aired: 7/15/2014

Season 32, Episode 19
Examine the comeback of segregation in America, with a focus on Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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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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Paid | iTunes Aired: 5/20/2014

Season 32, Episode 17
From PBS and Frontline: In Part Two of United States of Secrets, FRONTLINE explores the role of Silicon Valley in the National Security Agency's dragnet. As big technology companies encouraged users to share more and more information about their lives, they created a trove of data that could be useful not simply to advertisers, but also to the government. The revelations of NSA contractor Edward Snowden would push Silicon Valley into the center of a debate over privacy and government surveillance.

Full Episode
Paid | iTunes Aired: 5/13/2014

Season 32, Episode 16
From PBS and Frontline: Last year Edward Snowden downloaded tens of thousands of top-secret documents from a highly secure government computer network. The revelations that followed touched off a fierce debate over the massive surveillance operations conducted by the National Security Agency. Now FRONTLINE investigates the secret history of the unprecedented surveillance program that began in the wake of September 11th and continues today. Through exclusive interviews with intelligence insiders, cabinet officials, and government whistle-blowers, Part One reveals how the U.S. government came to monitor the communications of millions of Americans and to collect billions of records on ordinary people around the world.

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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: TV-PG
User Rating: (64 ratings)
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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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