Pipeline Blog

Hello. My name is Holly. I'm part of a team of people who assemble the programming schedule for OETA.

We look at the PBS national schedule, local programs and programs from other stations and distributors. We take in all that information and combine it with Member ballot feedback and viewer suggestions, and at the end of the month, I put together a schedule for each of our four channels.

The following are some notes about upcoming programs, preemptions and other points of interest that viewers might not hear otherwise. I hope you'll find it useful!

A Capitol Fourth

Written by Holly on Friday July 3, 2009

Happy 233rd Birthday, America!fireworks09-01

Get out your lawn chairs and put them in front of the TV Saturday night for A CAPITOL FOURTH, live from the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. This is the 29th year for the event and it promises to be a doozy with the largest fireworks display in the nation. Come on, it's too hot to go outside anyway.

This year's star-studded cast includes:

Barry Manilow
Aretha Franklin
Natasha Bedingfield
The Cast of Jersey Boys
 Michael Feinstein
Andrew von Oeyen
The Muppets from Sesame Street
Erich Kunzel, leading the National Symphony Orchestra

Jimmy Smits hosts the event. Here's a clip of him promoting the show and sharing thoughts about being an American: 

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A CAPITOL FOURTH airs live tomorrow night at 7pm. If you miss it, tune in at 8:30pm for an encore broadcast. 

The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes

Written by Holly on Wednesday July 1, 2009

phc_castIf you know the radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," then you know Garrison Keillor. If not, then watch tonight's AMERICAN MASTERS and you'll find out. The best way I can describe him is to say he's a classic humorist and storyteller. He and his crew of actors and musicians spin stories and song into American gold.

So, how do you tell a story about a storyteller? That's the challenge faced by the producer/director, Peter Rosen. Since Keillor is somewhat of an engima, Rosen determined he could make an "enigmatic" film, using no photos, no home movies, no archival film clips and no expert interviews. He describes his favorite scene:

"I got this idea after watching him always typing his stories on his laptop - in cars, in planes, at the airports, at home, everywhere, he was always writing something. As we shot that, I began to wonder what was going on inside his head, and then actually tried to illustrate that."

typing_-_Cheryl_WalshBellvilleBut what did Mr. Keillor think of his own biography?

 "I haven't seen the Peter Rosen documentary. But I imagine it's good because THE MAN CERTAINLY TOOK A LOT OF FILM IN SHOOTING IT. He was in my house, in my car, backstage at the theater, and like all photographers or videographers, he wanted more, more, more. A truckload of videotape. Me tying my shoes. Me putting yogurt on my bran flakes. Me blowing my nose. I think he learned about video documentary from Andy Warhol. And of course after he had invested weeks and weeks and weeks in shooting the thing, I couldn't very well tell him to stop, so on and on it went. (I believe he started filming in the summer of 1969.)Endless. And each time I got divorced and started a new family, HE HAD TO GO BACK AND SHOOT EVERYTHING AGAIN. It drove me almost out of my mind and my mental health was precarious to start with. The lawsuit, I am confident, will be settled out of court. I struck Peter, but very lightly, just a slap in the face and a kick in the shins, and why he is asking three-point-six million for mental anguish, I don't know, but if we go to trial, I will have plenty to say about mental anguish. The man took years out of my life." *

 AMERICAN MASTERS "Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes" airs Wednesday, July 1 at 7pm.


* (Reprint courtesy of The Prairie Home Companion website.)

NOVA scienceNOW

Written by Holly on Tuesday June 30, 2009

What's the difference between NOVA and NOVA scienceNOW? It's easy. NOVA scienceNOW delivers science and technology in bite-size pieces. It's more of a a fast-paced magazine series while NOVA focuses on one subject per episode. I love them both.

Another difference is that NOVA scienceNOW has a host... Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Over the past four years, he's become one of my favorite TV personalities. I could listen to him talk all day. I actually did listen to him talk for a couple of hours at a PBS conference last year. He's even more interesting in person without a script or teleprompter. He'll never know it but one of his anecdotes changed the way I raise my children. He spoke about his two-year old daughter pouring a cup of milk onto the dining room table and how, much to his wife's chagrin, he enjoyed witnessing his daughter learn the laws of fluid dynamics. It sounds so much cooler coming from him.

This clip shows some of his personality. I think it's his enthusiasm that sucks me in.

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NOVA scienceNOW starts its fourth season tonight on OETA. Tonight's topics include making bad singers sound good, growing diamonds in a lab and the results of the scientific research on the 2001 anthrax attacks. Here's a peak...

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NOVA scienceNOW airs Tuesday nights at 8pm.


Do It Yourself TV

Written by Holly on Monday June 29, 2009

We're celebrating the tinkerers, tweakers and hackers among us with a new weekly TV series called MAKE:.

_T4K9569You might recognize the name from the MAKE: Magazine popular with the inventor crowd. Much like the magazine, the television series is dedicated to "makers" and their insatiable desire to make something out of something else.

Last week's episode explained how to turn an old VCR into an automated cat feeder. Tonight we'll learn how to build a Burrito Blaster (pictured) that will launch hotdogs and other stadium fare high into the bleachers. Future projects include how to make a Steadicam, DTV antenna, wind generator and heat ray. Cool!

The inventions and alterations featured in the show go beyond their specific purposes. MAKE: is about inspiring artists, geeks and viewers of all walks of life to invent, re-invent and recycle.

MAKE: airs most Monday nights at 10pm.

"Elegant Cookies" on Everyday Baking

Written by Holly on Thursday June 25, 2009

host_picCookies come in all different shapes, sizes and flavors... Kind of like cooking shows. There are fancy shows with elaborate backdrops and hard-to-pronounce recipes. And then there are shows with down-home cooking and slapstick hosts. EVERYDAY BAKING falls comfortably in the middle.

Host John Carricelli uses recipes from Everyday Food Magazine to teach viewers how to make bakery-quality desserts without too much fuss.

100_0643I took a peek at the recipes that will be featured in this Saturday's episode "Elegant Cookies" and was taken by the Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps. They looked exactly like cookies my mom makes every year at Christmas. So, I made a batch of them last night (pictured) and, as promised by the show's premise, they were super easy. But how did they taste?

Here's what some of the OETA staff thought...

The size is excellent, the texture is perfect, the blend of chocolate and espresso is equally balanced. Yummy for my tummy. -- Jenelle, Human Resources

I don't like Espresso or anything coffee flavored, but... I was very surprised that the Espresso flavor wasn't overpowering... For someone who wants to taste the Espresso, they might be disappointed.  -- Tanya, Executive Assistant

Just on looks alone, I would not pick out this cookie if I had another choice, it's "funny" looking... I was very surprised when I tasted this cookie...I love it!  It's very chewy and not overly sweet...which I would have guessed it would be overly sweet but it's not. -- Janette, Traffic and Operations

I am not a coffee/espresso fan... I really couldn't taste it while eating. After I had finished, I could taste a little "tang' of the espresso, but it wouldn't discourage me from eating the cookie! -- Rebecca, Administrative Assistant

I think they are balanced.  Not too chocolate and not too much coffee.  For a person who does not like very sweet cookies, this is the one.  The cookies is a very nice texture and too me just the right softeness. -- Natalie, Certified Procurement Officer

I like them.  I don't drink coffee and really like the cookie.  I can't even really taste the coffee in them, all I taste is the chocolate, which I love!  Very yummy!  -- Cindy, Accounting

At first, I was hesitant... due to the powdered sugar, which normally makes me sneeze. I tried one and LOVED IT!  The powdered sugar adds a touch of sweetness to balance the deep chocolate espresso. -- Traci, OETA Foundation

First of all, I thought the cookie was delicious! Great texture; just the right amount of "chewy-ness." I got the "espresso hit" on the second bite, more than the first, which is fine by me. -- Debra, Producer/Director

Other "elegant" cookies featured in this Saturday's episode are Lemon Sandwich CookiesPecan Lace Cookies and Cherry Pecan Meringues.

EVERYDAY BAKING airs Saturday mornings at 10am.