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THIRTEEN Week Kicks Off in NYC, Sept. 16-23

September 14th, 2012

In celebration of our 50th Anniversary, the week of Sept. 16-23 was declared THIRTEEN Week in New York City by Mayor Bloomberg. Join us in celebrating with these events across the city (and right in your living room):

  • On Monday morning, THIRTEEN rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
  • PIONEERS OF THIRTEEN: The 60’s – Experimental Days premiered Monday night at 8 p.m. Watch the full episode here:
  • We ran a “Thank You” message to New York on a Jumbotron at 43rd street between 7th and Broadway. This message ran Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday and appeared approximately every four minutes throughout those days.
  • The Knights, the popular young orchestra we profiled last year, performed around the city on Thursday from the top of a THIRTEEN double decker bus. They stopped and performed mini-concerts at various locations throughout the city (including Times Square, Lincoln Center, and Columbia University).
  • On Saturday, Sept. 22, from 1-8 p.m., THIRTEEN presented “American Graduate Day,” a day-long event dedicated to bringing awareness and action to the dropout crisis in the tri-state area. The broadcast featured journalists Maria Bartiromo, Bryant Gumbel, Stone Philips, celebrities like Yankees first baseman Mark Texiera and actress Bridget Moynahan, and over 20 different organizations.

WNET's 2012 Emmy Nominees

July 19th, 2012

This year, WNET garnered 14 Emmy nominations – five for the News and Documentary Emmy Awards, presented on October 1, and nine for the Primetime Emmy Awards, presented on September 23. PBS collectively received 58 nominations, third behind HBO (81) and CBS (60). Congratulations and good luck to all of our nominees!

And the nominees are…

News and Documentary Emmy Nominations

Outstanding Nature Programming
Broken Tail: A Tiger’s Last Journey
My Life as a Turkey

Outstanding Individual Achievement In A Craft: Cinematography – Documentary And Long Form
Bears of the Last Frontier
Broken Tail: A Tiger’s Last Journey
My Life as a Turkey

Primetime Emmy Nominations

Outstanding Variety Special
Tony Bennett: Duets II (Great Performances) • PBS • A Production of RPM TV Productions, Inc.

Outstanding Special Class Programs
Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel And The LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin (Great Performances) • PBS • A production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET, BFMI, WDR in cooperation with ARTE, Los Angeles
Philharmonic Association and C Major

Outstanding Nonfiction Series
American Masters • PBS • A Production of B Plus Productions, LLC in association with Thirteen’s American Masters for WNET
Susan Lacy, Executive Producer for American Masters
Robert Weide, Producer
Erik Gordon, Executive Producer
Andrew Karsch, Executive Producer
Michael Peyser, Executive Producer
Brett Ratner, Executive Producer
Fisher Stevens, Executive Producer

Outstanding Directing For Nonfiction Programming
American Masters • Woody Allen: A Documentary • PBS • A Production of B Plus Productions, LLC in association with Thirteen’s American Masters for WNET
Robert B. Weide, Director

Outstanding Writing For Nonfiction Programming
American Masters • Johnny Carson: King Of Late Night • PBS • A Co-Production of Thirteen’s American Masters for WNET and Peter Jones Productions, Inc.
Peter Jones, Written by

Outstanding Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming
American Masters • Johnny Carson: King Of Late Night • PBS • A Co-Production of Thirteen’s American Masters for WNET and Peter Jones Productions, Inc.
Mark Catalena, Editor

Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Special
Andrea Bocelli Live In Central Park (Great Performances) • PBS • A Production of Sugar s.r.l. and THIRTEEN for WNET
Robert Barnhart, Lighting Designer
Ted Wells, Lighting Director
Matt Firestone, Lighting Director
Harry Sangmeister, Lighting Director

Outstanding Music Direction
The Thomashefskys: Music And Memories Of A Life In The Yiddish Theater (Great Performances) • PBS • A production of the Thomashefsky Film Project LLC and Thirteen for WNET
Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director

Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Memphis (Great Performances) • PBS • Broadway Worldwide, Inc.
Steven Cimino, Technical Director
Paul J. Cangialosi, Camera
John Pinto, Camera
Chuck Goslin, Camera
Barry Frischer, Camera
Jeff Latonero, Camera
Len Wechsler, Camera
Susan Noll, Video Control
J.M. Hurley, Video Control

Celebrating the Stories of Our Community: Yelena Makhnin

May 17th, 2012

This month, our Community Stories campaign highlights Russian American, Yelena Makhnin. Here, Makhnin discusses emigrating from Russia to the U.S. and the value of public television in making the arts accessible to all New Yorkers.

Learn more about the campaign and view previous videos here.

Check out related stories on THIRTEEN’s local news and culture site, MetroFocus.

Dispatch from the Downton Abbey Diaspora #1

May 14th, 2012

Dispatch from the Downton Abbey Diaspora is written for Inside THIRTEEN by Deborah Gilbert, a British television maven and editor of the E20 Chronicles, a free, weekly Eastenders e-newsletter, and an Eastenders column in the Union Jack Newspaper. Check back for updates.

It’s been a couple of months since Matthew finally popped the question to Lady Mary and the television screen, and our world as we knew it, went dark – so I thought it was time to check back in with all you Downtonians out there. These Crawleyless days have been rather grey, and some Downton Abbey fans have become desperate looking for their fix. So desperate that it’s only the odd bits of Edwardian civilization, added into their modern lives, that has helped many to maintain their sanity. People are naming both sons and dogs Carson; older suburban women, who ordinarily run around dressed in track suits, like Paulie Walnuts, now dress for dinner; silly hats are making a comeback; and chauffers report that they are now getting hit on as much as firefighters. Downton Abbey is more than just a show: It has become phenomenon.

In March, when the White House held a State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister David Cameron, all the press reports said that Lord and Lady Grantham were in attendance. Not Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern – but Lord and Lady Grantham. Call me kooky but I’d say this was a missed opportunity: If there’s any Grantham who should have come to Washington, it is the Dowager Countess. Who wouldn’t want to see her address a joint session of Congress and give those knuckleheads a dose of what-for, Dowager Countess-style?

Downton Abbey is the hottest show of the season: Everyone and their brother is touting connections to it, and just about every network has some new show that their publicity departments claim as being The New Downton Abbey. Ovation described their new mini-series, Cloud Street, as ‘The Australian Downton Abbey’. Silly me, I thought The Thorn Birds was the Australian Downton Abbey. But despite that, I watched Cloud Street just to see how like Downton it really is, and I can report that it is nothing like Downton Abbey at all. Try Twin Peaks meets Lost meets Babe. There’s a vaguely haunted house, squirrely neighbors, and a talking pig. I can’t recall any of Mrs. Patmore’s roasts giving their opinion, can you? And actually, if any animal at Downton were to talk, I’d want it to be Isis. A talking Isis would really have some tales to tell. Of course, the first words out of her mouth would be, ‘what is with these crazy, fercoct people?’

Fortunately, PBS understands this beast that they have created (and it’s not like they’re running test patterns in the interim). To help ease Downton withdrawal symptoms for us tea-sipping Anglophiles, THIRTEEN has offered up some fabulous, original British programming. Already, in the Downtonless wilderness, a new star has risen: A tossel-haired and dishy Sherlock Holmes, also known as Benedict Cumberbatch, (distant cousin of Englebert Humperdink?). In the short time we have known him, we have learned two things about him: He doesn’t like people shaking Emmy statues at him (understandable since one of those pointy wings could take someone’s eye out), and he uses words like ‘begone’ (as in ‘begone woman!’). And I have it on good authority that at a recent live PBS appearance in NYC, he turned grown women into a quivering mass of Beliebers.

And talk about burying the lede: Season 2 of Downton Abbey re-airs on THIRTEEN Thursdays at 9pm starting May 17, and it will be LOTS of fun to watch again. Personally, I always love to watch something great another time or two. Knowing how it all turns out, you always end up seeing all kinds of little details and throwaway lines you missed the first time around. And on two of those Thursday nights, THIRTEEN will have pledge breaks during Downton Abbey. If Downtonians go to the phones, THIRTEEN will be quids in for sure!

One of the fun side-effects of a great drama is, it fires our imaginations, and the finely crafted characters it creates keep on living there. Because of that, The End isn’t really the end – you always wonder what happened to the characters after that. So I know that what all you Downtonians will be doing, while watching the Season 2 encore; the same thing we’ve been doing since Season 2 ended: Thinking about what’s going to happen in Season 3. The only hint we have of Season 3 is from Begone Woman, who told the press that ‘Someone is born and someone dies.’ Hmmm… That’s not really a giveaway. It sounds like the story line of any soap season. So let’s break it down and think about what that could mean. And by the way, none of what I’m saying here is a spoiler: It can’t be because I don’t have the slightest idea what happens in season 3. I’m just speculating for fun – so join me!

‘Someone is born and someone dies’: At the end of season two Sybil was pregnant, so it’s not a stretch for it to be her who gives birth. Then again, that’s way too easy. So what if it’s Lady Grantham who falls pregnant again, and what if this time O’Brien keeps her hands off the soap, and Cora gives birth and then dies? Talk about a twofer! And of course, using the British term ‘fall pregnant’ sounds like… well never mind what it sounds like. But if anyone were to fall accidentally anything, it would have to be Edith, wouldn’t it? And when last seen, Edith was dancing with Thomas. But he wouldn’t… would he?

Online there have been message board rumors (for what those are worth) that Dowager Grantham is going to be killed off, but I can’t believe that Lord Fellowes would do anything so dumb as to yank Violet out of the garden show in Season 3 when he’s already said he expects there to be a Season 4. Who would he replace her with, Cousin Oliver? If they ever did kill off the ever-popular Dowager, Downtonians from far and wide would certainly descend upon his house with pitchforks and torches. But say for just a second that it were true, how would she go? What would be an appropriate exit for our Violet? Might she come to a Pamuk-style end? When Lord Hepworth visited, there were hints that, in her youth, she had a wild streak. Who’s to say she doesn’t want another highland fling? But who would be in the role of Lady Mary in this Pamukian scenario? Mosley? (I can just see your faces at that thought!) Then again, given the Dowager’s battles with modernity she could just as easily meet her maker by getting caught in a revolving door.

So many others to speculate about… Will Matthew and Mary get to the alter? Will there be more repercussions over Mrs. Bates’ death? Have we seen the last of Sir Rupert? Will Mr. Bates get out of prison? Will Anna change her name to Tammy Wynette? Come to think of it, is she the one who gives birth? And what kind of hell is going to break loose when Aurora Greenway (AKA Shirley MacLaine) turns up at Downton? So many questions.

It’s elementary my dear Downtonians: The countdown to Season 3 begins! Keep checking back here, Downtonians, as we periodically survey the latest news from Downton Abbey and beyond.


Meet Lidia Bastianich at Fairway in Red Hook, Brooklyn

May 10th, 2012

Lidia Bastianich

Join us on Saturday, May 12 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. as Fairway Market in Red Hook, Brooklyn teams up with PBS host and renowned chef Lidia Bastianich to support WNET. Lidia will be on hand to sign copies of her bestselling cookbook, Lidia’s Italy in America (Knopf), and share samples of mouthwatering pastas and sauces.

While you’re enjoying the fun, you can show us your support — Fairway Market Red Hook will donate 10% of all sales from noon to 2 p.m. to WNET. And don’t miss your chance to win a prize pack, including Lidia’s new book, Lidia’s Italy in America, a gift card from Fairway, and a THIRTEEN/WLIW21 tote bag! Enter online now or text “LIDIA” to 30644.

Lidia’s new series, based on the book of the same title, Lidia’s Italy in America, airs on Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN, Mondays at 8 p.m. on WLIW21 and Saturdays at 3 p.m. on NJTV.

Live from New York: Watch Tonight's Sherlock Season Two Q&A Panel

May 2nd, 2012

Photo courtesy of BBC/Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE

Tonight, PBS and WNET will host a special Sherlock: Season Two screening in New York City. Following the screening will be a Q&A panel with actor Benedict Cumberbatch, co-creator Steven Moffat, producer Sue Vertue and series executive producer Rebecca Eaton, with opening remarks by Stephen Segaller, WNET’s Vice President of Programming.

Season Two of Sherlock premieres May 6 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

Watch the Q&A here, live at approximately 8:15 p.m. ET*:

Watch live streaming video from pbslivestreamchannel at livestream.com

*Schedule is subject to minor change, please stay tuned if the panel begins a few moments late.

Celebrating the Stories of Our Community: Wellington Z. Chen

April 26th, 2012

This month, our Community Stories campaign highlights Chinese American, Wellington Z. Chen. Here, Chen discusses how he started studying architecture and the diversity of New York City.

Learn more about the campaign and view previous videos here.

MetroFocus Partners with Columbia School of Journalism

April 11th, 2012

THIRTEEN is excited to announce a new partnership between its local multi-platform property MetroFocus and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Students in the master’s program will contribute fully produced content for MetroFocus, both on-air and online.

To kick off the partnership with Columbia University, MetroFocus featured an online video segment and article about the personalized plaques found on some 3,000 Central Park benches and the effort to catalog the backstories of the dedications.

“For nearly 50 years, THIRTEEN  has been committed to education—from the programs we air to the schools and educators in our region that we serve”, said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO.  “We look forward to more journalism school partnerships in the coming months and are pleased to be partnering with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism to showcase students’ inspired stories and content on MetroFocus. It’s another way we’re serving the tri-state community.”

The first student journalist piece featured on MetroFocus was produced by current Columbia students Monica Alba and Angela Reese under the direction of Columbia Associate Professor Betsy West, a former senior vice president for CBS News, where she oversaw “60 Minutes,” “60 Minutes II” and “48 Hours.”

“This is an exciting partnership for the Columbia Journalism School students in my class,” said Columbia Journalism Associate Professor Betsy West. “Here they are, gathered from around the world, to find and report stories in New York City and now they have an outlet at the city’s premier public television station. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them as well as for MetroFocus viewers to see some fascinating stories.”

This partnership is the first of several journalism school partnerships in the planning. Student journalists from other journalism schools in the Tri-State area will also produce and submit content regularly to MetroFocus for use online, on mobile and on-air in the upcoming MetroFocus specials this spring and summer.

WNET and PBS Receive Five Webby Nominations

April 10th, 2012

This year, WNET and PBS producers are finalists for five Webby Awards – the most prestigious award in interactive media, honoring outstanding websites, interactive advertising, online film & video, and mobile & apps.

The nominees, announced today by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, were chosen from nearly 10,000 entries from over 60 countries and all 50 states.

Have a favorite web site or app that you think is deserving of a Webby? Place your vote with The Webby People’s Voice Awards!

WNET received nominations for:

PBS Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly:  Best Websites – Religion & Spirituality Category

Women, War and Peace Documentary Shorts: Online Film & Video – Documentary Series Category

Beyond WNET, PBS also received nominations for:

pbskids.org: Best Youth web site; other nominees include Sesame Street, Muppets and National Geographic.

pbs.tv: Best Television web site; other nominees include Hulu and HBO Connect.

PBS for iPad: Best tablet (Entertainment category); other nominees include HBO GO and The Onion.

In addition to Webby nominations, the PBS Kids Video App and PBS Arts: Off Book were each designated as an Official Honoree of the Webby Awards.

Congratulations to all of our nominees for their outstanding work!

Celebrating the Stories of Our Community

February 8th, 2012

WNET has partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to develop the Community Stories campaign, which highlights the rich cultural heritage and contributions of ordinary New Yorkers. Each month, a new video will be featured on air and on the Web highlighting individual New Yorkers’ immigrant stories. Learn more about the campaign and check out this month’s spotlight below, featuring Pastor Mullery Jean-Pierre of Beraca Baptist Church.

Pastor Mullery Jean-Pierre of Beraca Baptist Church discusses emigrating from Haiti to the U.S. as a child and his parents’ involvement with the first Haitian church in New York City:

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