Downton Abbey, the Masterpiece franchise about life at a stately British manor, began with the sinking of the Titanic; its recently-concluded second season took on the Great War and the influenza outbreak. It’s a series about people unaccustomed to change suddenly dealing with staggering new technological and sociological realities, those who have long enjoyed a Read More
Attendees at AOL and PBS’s recent joint “Makers Lunch” at AOL Studios in the Village posed in front of a bank of monitors featuring images of Katie Couric, Condoleezza Rice, Sandra Day O’Connor, and other famous femmes. They were celebrating the launch of Makers.com, a site that features video interviews with a number of lady machers who Read More
Z’oh my heavens, Mr. Crawley! Terms of Endearment star Shirley MacLaine will be joining the cast of Downton Abbey, which has replaced This Old House and Ken Burns documentaries as PBS’ must-see TV.
Ms. Maclaine will be playing the proud American mom to ex-pat Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) on season 3. (This visit will not go over well with Dame Maggie Smith’s Lady Grantham, we’re sure.)
This news was accompanied by rumors that other stateside cameos might be in the works, so we made several educated guesses as to which American actors could hold their own against the upstairs/downstairs scheming of the McGovern household.
While we’re anxiously awaiting the March return of Mad Men after its year-long hiatus, we have to admit that the time off has given Jon Hamm the opportunity to show off his comedic side. 30 Rock, Bridesmaids, that time he did a reading for Jon Glaser about The Butthole Surfers, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, Between Two Ferns, and the upcoming Friends with Kids directed by (and starring) Mr. Hamm’s long-time girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt are just a few examples.
Of course, you’ll never know where Jon Hamm might pop up next…like on a PBS Kid’s cartoon, perhaps?
how we watch
In the many, many days since Mad Men last aired, a new star has risen in the quality-television constellation: PBS’s Downton Abbey. The series, depicting love and class struggle in 1910s Britain, was first broadcast on this side of the Atlantic in January 2011 under the Masterpiece imprimatur, but has grown far beyond your Read More
As New Yorkers, there’s nothing that we love more than bagels, being mean to tourists, and Woody Allen. Yet for some reason we had our dates mixed up (damn you, TiVo!) and forgot to record Robert Weide‘s 2-part “definitive” documentary of the prolific director for PBS. We haven’t been this mad since Netflix lost our DVD of Bill Moyers’ interview with Joseph Campbell at George Lucas’ ranch!
Lucky for us (and you!) PBS is now screening the two parter Woody Allen: A Documentary from its American Masters series. On the Internet. Thanks to that $20 pledge we made last year. Now go, put on your headphones, and pretend like you’re doing something work-related.
The Lease Beat
Ted Baker, the high-end clothing retailer, will open a flagship store at 595 Fifth Avenue, it was announced today.
The U.K.-based company signed a long-term net lease for 12,000 square feet at the corner of 48th Street and Fifth Avenue, just down from retail icon Saks Fifth Avenue. Ted Baker will use three of the five floors of the building, which they will rent in its entirety, for retail, while the balance are for office and showroom uses. Just a block from high-profile tenants Michael Kors and LaCoste, the space could command up to $2000 per square foot, sources not affiliated with the deal speculated.
Occupy Wall Street
Update: The New York Observer corrected several factual errors in this post after being alerted to them by WNET’s Laura van Straaten.
So you’ve been arrested during an Occupy Wall Street protest. You’re probably looking at your summons or DAT right now and thinking to yourself, “I really should have taken the D.A. up on the deal. Mom and dad are going to be so mad if I go to jail.”
But there is a way out! Just ask John Farley, a journalist for WNET’s MetroFocus online magazine who was arrested and detained for eight hours on disorderly conduct charges during an OWS march on September 24. He managed to have his case totally dismissed last Thursday in only six steps.
As Mr. Farley’s was the only case that was dropped entirely during Thursday’s mass courtroom drama involving 70-plus Occupy-related arrests, you might want to pay attention. This is how Mr. Farley managed to get out of jail free, and exactly why you probably can’t.
As the new CEO on The Office, James Spader has been killing it. The season premiere saw the 80s star return as the enigmatic and semi-threatening Robert California taking Dunder-Mifflin’s “winners” out to a special lunch. After asking Jim an innocuous question about Sesame Street, he went off on a diatribe about the significance of one of its major characters.
“Elmo. God save us… the Elmo era. Sesame Street was created to reflect the environment of the children watching it. The complete self-absorption of Elmo is brilliantly reflective of our time. Our’s is a cultural ghetto. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Yes. We agree! Don’t stare at us with your cold, reptilian gaze, Mr. Spader! Not only do we agree with you, but we’ll raise you one better: That Sesame Street‘s introduction last night of “Lily,” a Muppet whose family lives below the poverty level, is proof that the show is not even trying to be subtle anymore about reflecting America’s current economic crisis.
The Peabody Awards–so much more staid and trustworthy than those flashy Emmys!–announced the recipients of their prizes for excellence in media this morning, and the list is deliriously familiar, if worthy: PBS’ Great Performances, American Masters, and American Experience, C-SPAN’s online library, HBO’s The Pacific. All very worthy recipients! But the more lowbrow Read More