Apr 30, 2009

PBS to air Spike Lee's "Passing Strange"

Great Performances has acquired Spike Lee's film adaptation of the Broadway show Passing Strange and plans to air it on PBS in 2010, according to Variety. The rock musical follows a young black man who leaves 1970s Los Angeles for Europe. The stage version garnered seven Tony Award nominations last year and won for best book of a musical.

CPB ombudsman lauds two pubTV docs

In his latest column, CPB ombudsman Ken A. Bode praises two pubTV documentaries that recently won prestigious journalism awards: Torturing Democracy and Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story.

Jones of PBS ponders new media opportunities

Michael Jones, who became COO for PBS in January, comments on the issue of new vs. traditional media in an interview in The New Pittsburgh Courier. "In my mind, the real challenge is how do you deliver the content in terms of relevancy going forward?" he told the paper. "We stream our programming on the Internet, you can download them on YouTube—how much do you put into Internet distribution and stay with linear television? That’s the challenge. The content we’ve managed pretty well; it’s how do we invest in delivery systems to continue to deliver that content in a way that is relevant to all of the changing audiences?”

Confab focuses on new public media platforms

Pubcasting analyst Jessica Clark weighs in on the recent Media in Transition conference, organized by Henry Jenkins, director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT. The weekend confab "was rife with examples of how projects and practices are migrating across multiple platforms," she writes. She adds: "Government support accounts for less than a quarter of the funding for public broadcasting as it is. Rather than being spread even more thinly, these limited funds should be channeled towards creating media platforms and projects that meet both the needs of citizens and the technologies of the moment."

Smiley's Prince interview garners attention

Tavis Smiley's exclusive interview with Prince, the reclusive rock star, generated worldwide press coverage. Prince has revealed, among other things, that he is epileptic. Part one of the show is here, part two is here.

Mexican Sesame Street creates swine flu PSAs

Plaza Sesamo, the Mexican Sesame Street, is partnering with broadcaster Televisa to produce public-service spots on the swine flu, according to Sesame Workshop. Muppets Pancho and Lola join three of the country's celebrities to appear in the announcements, which instruct children to tell a parent if they feel sick, cover their mouths with a tissue or arm when they sneeze or cough, and wash their hands several times a day. Plaza Sesamo e.p. Ginger Brown was en route to begin a new season of the show when the outbreak began. Instead of filming new episodes, the staff worked on the announcements.