Q&A with History Detectives' Tukufu Zuberi

August 23rd, 2010

Tukufu Zuberi

On Friday, Inside Thirteen spoke with History Detectives host Tukufu Zuberi, who explained the significance of the Jackie Robinson scorecard featured in tonight’s episode, and the role it played in the integration of major league baseball.

Mr. Zuberi is a regular host on History Detectives, which explores historical mysteries to gain new insight into our national history.  A Professor of Sociology and an author, he specializes in African American history and American history.

WNET.ORG Partners with Brooklyn NAACP to Kick Off Annual Back-to-School/Stay-in-School Event

August 19th, 2010

Yesterday, the Brooklyn NAACP continued their 26-year tradition of hosting the annual Back-School/Stay-in-School event.  For the second year, WNET.ORG has partnered with the NAACP to help promote this effort, which was collectively organized by the Brooklyn NAACP, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, the New York City Department of Education, and WNET.ORG.

GP at the Met: Q&A with Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera

August 17th, 2010

Peter Gelb

Yesterday, Inside Thirteen had the opportunity to speak with Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, who gave us behind-the-scenes insight as to how Great Performances at the Met is produced.

Now in its 37th season on PBS, Great Performances at the Met gives viewers a front row seat at the Met’s premiere operas, and has long been a THIRTEEN viewer favorite.  This Thursday, the 2009-2010 season of the series concludes on THIRTEEN with Gioachino Rossini’s Armida, starring Renée Fleming and directed by Mary Zimmerman.  Tune in to this performance on Thursday, August 19 at 8 p.m., followed by an encore performance on Sunday, August 29 at 12:30 p.m.

Mr. Gelb answered our questions via email.

IT: Can you explain what season planning for Great Performances at the Met entails?

PG: The performances shown on PBS were all originally presented in movie theaters around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD series. We treat these live transmissions as the first step in a Hollywood-style, multi-step movie release. First they’re shown live in movie theaters in 45 countries, then on Great Performances. They also end up on Met Player, our online streaming service at metplayer.org, which now has more than 30 HD productions that you can watch on your computer whenever you want. And many titles later end up on DVD. As with our longstanding radio broadcasts, it’s important for us to offer these performances on PBS, where audiences can enjoy them for free.

IT: How are the featured operas selected? What has been your favorite thus far?

PG: We present more than 25 different operas at the Met in a given season, so when we’re planning the HD series (and, in turn, Great Performances) we look to capture the wide range of repertory you can experience at the opera house. We try to select a good mix of operatic styles, the greatest stars, and a mix of new productions and revivals. Of course, the Met’s complicated scheduling inevitably enters the equation. There are really lots of factors. My favorite? Each production presents unique challenges and becomes my favorite — or at least the focus of all my attention — at the time I am working on it.

IT: Aside from hosting the performances, how has the Metropolitan Opera been involved in the production of this series?

PG: We produce each program from start to finish, including all the planning, production and post-production. By controlling all aspects of the productions we are able to ensure the most integrated and satisfying results for the public.

Independent Lens Fall 2010 Season Preview

August 12th, 2010

Dirt! The Movie

The Fall 2010 Season of Independent Lens begins on Tuesday, October 19 at 10 p.m. with a new series of films.  Shot by independent filmmakers, films featured on the show find untold stories in unexpected places – and this season is no different.

The line up will feature:

October 19: The Parking Lot Movie, directed by Meghan Eckman

October 26: Art & Copy, directed by Doug Pray

November 2: Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian, directed by Neil Diamond

November 9: The Longoria Affair, directed by John J. Valadez

November 16: Lost Sparrow, directed by Chris Billing

November 23: Deep Down, directed by Sally Rubin and Jen Gilomen

November 30: Copyright Criminals, directed by Kembrew McCloud and Benjamin Franzen

December 7: Dirt! The Movie, directed by Eugene Rosow and Bill Benenson

December 14: 45365, directed by Bill Ross and Turner Ross

December 20: The Calling – Part 1, directed by Daniel Alpert

December 21: The Calling – Part II, directed by Daniel Alpert

December 28: The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, directed by Judy Irving

Watch a preview here:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcE3_Y34sQs&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Preview Ken Burns's The Tenth Inning, coming September 28-29 to THIRTEEN

August 10th, 2010

This fall, Ken Burns’s two-part documentary, The Tenth Inning, will premiere on THIRTEEN.  The film will pick up where the landmark 1994 series BASEBALL left off, and will include baseball history from the 1990s through the present day.

Now, you can preview a clip from the film, which is set to air on THIRTEEN on September 28-29, 2010.  In this excerpt, writer Mike Barnicle talks about the baseball gloves he has been holding onto since 1954:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Q1wUW-14Q&hl=en_US&fs=1]

Check back on Inside Thirteen for more clips and behind-the-scenes looks at The Tenth Inning and the local NY version, Baseball: A New York Love Story, through September.

Official promos:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzWPbP3aeLw&hl=en_US&fs=1]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzma0K7qUfU&hl=en_US&fs=1]

Other Islands of New York to air on August 11

August 5th, 2010

North Brother Island

On Wednesday, August 11 at 8 p.m., THIRTEEN will broadcast Other Islands of New York, which highlights NYC’s lesser known islands. Beyond the five boroughs lie an array of nearly three dozen smaller islets, each with a unique history.  From the notorious Rikers Island (best known for housing the city’s main jail complex) to little-noticed North Brother Island, to the eerie smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island, the program provides an informative look at our big island’s diminutive neighbors.

For additional resources on New York’s other islands, and more hidden locations in the city, check out our online programs:

The City Concealed, Thirteen.org’s online video series exploring the many unseen corners of the city, visited North Brother Island, a protected heron habitat owned by the Department of Parks and Recreation.  The island lies in the East River, between The Bronx and Queens, and was formerly the site of Riverside Hospital, a tuberculosis facility later converted to GI housing after WWII.  Watch the full North Brother Island episode .

City of Parks, a joint production by WNET.ORG and Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, follows six students as they explore the city’s parks.  From the well known to the obscure, the program scours the boroughs and demonstrates how New York City, despite its urban exterior, is one of the greenest and most efficient cities around.

Forgotten Ellis Island, a PBS documentary about the immigrant hospital on Ellis Island.  The hospital opened in 1902 and was America’s first line of defense against contagious diseases coming from abroad.

For more NYC-centric documentaries, check out Thirteen.org’s Documentary page.

NYU Press Releases Faces of America Widget

July 29th, 2010

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Faces of America (and Stephen Colbert) fans, take note: NYU Press has created a new widget that will allow readers to preview a full chapter of Henry Louis Gates’ new book, Faces of America: How 12 Extraordinary People Discovered Their Past, based on the popular PBS series.  Gates traces the genealogies of twelve diverse famous figures, including Queen Noor, actress Meryl Streep, chef Mario Batali, and Olympic Gold Medalist and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

The new widget will grant readers access to the complete chapter on comedian Stephen Colbert (who discovers that he is “more Irish than Joyce,” among other things).  Check out the widget below, and watch full episodes of Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

On the Set of 'New York Baseball Memories'

July 22nd, 2010

Jackie Robinson slides into home plate

Yesterday, Inside Thirteen was a fly on the wall during the taping of the upcoming THIRTEEN documentary, New York Baseball Memories. Before filming began, we also had the opportunity to sit down with the film’s producer, Marc Rosenwasser, for a brief Q&A.

Inside Thirteen: When will New York Baseball Memories be airing?

Marc Rosenwasser: We don’t have an air date yet, but it will be in late September, shortly before the Ken Burns series [Baseball and The Tenth Inning].  I should say, late September, probably before the Ken Burns series.

IT: How many story submissions have you received?

MR: I don’t have an exact number, but it’s dozens and dozens.

IT: How do you choose stories for the piece?

MR: We’re looking to choose the best stories, the richest stories, but also the stories that cover all different aspects of NY Baseball history.  So, we’re hoping not to have any glaring omissions in our piece.

IT: Are there any stories that stand out to you?

MR: There are many stories we’ve heard that stand out. There truly are just very emotional stories.  People have remarkably vivid memories of baseball games that they went to 50, 60 years ago.  It has a lot to do with family memories, and how family memories and baseball memories are interwoven.

IT: What led you to produce the film now?  What makes it relevant?

MR: We wanted to produce a New York version in conjunction with the Ken Burns national version, so it’s really something of a companion piece.


The New York Baseball Memories crew was on their second day of filming, and Inside Thirteen had the chance to observe two of today’s interviewees: each with a unique, vivid take on the world of NY Baseball –  just a sample of what’s to come in the film.

“Just like an apple tree creates apples, New York created baseball,” opened Peter Laskowich, an urban historian and professor.  Laskowich elaborated on the significance of Jackie Robinson joining the Brooklyn Dodgers (including the chain of reactions it set off for race relations in the U.S.), and emphasized that such a ground-breaking move could have only happened in Brooklyn, which he considered the most progressive of the boroughs at the time.  He also broke down the fan makeup of NY’s top teams during the 1940s and 1950s:  the Giants (baseball aficionados), the Dodgers (the underdogs), and the Yankees (the well-to-do).

In direct contrast with Laskowich’s  historical perspective was Steve Handelman, a retired IT manager, who offered his own unique bit of baseball nostalgia.  In 1961, Handelman witnessed NY Yankee Roger Maris hit his record-breaking 61st home run of the season, from the first row behind the dugout.  He eagerly waited to catch himself on camera during the evening news, but with no luck.  Thirty years later, in Cooperstown, NY, Handelman finally stumbled upon a photo of the historic day, with himself clearly visible in the front row.  In 1981, Handelman also managed to catch a ball from Reggie Jackson, only to give it away to a young boy before the end of the game.  “It seemed like the right thing to do at the time,” he said.

For more stories like these, and to submit your own, visit New York Baseball Memories, and check back in September for air dates on THIRTEEN.

THIRTEEN Programs Receive Eight News and Documentary Emmy Nominations

July 21st, 2010

Worldfocus anchor Daljit Dhaliwal

Yesterday, it was announced that four THIRTEEN-produced programs have been nominated for a total of eight News and Documentary Emmy Awards. Among the nominees: Worldfocus (three nominations), Wide Angle (two nominations), Secrets of the Dead ( two nominations), and Nature.

Congratulations to all the nominees! Find out the results on the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony on August 29, 2010.


Vietnam: Legacy of War
Mark Litke
Ara Ayer
Executive Producer
Marc Rosenwasser


Haiti: Mud Cookies
Benno Schmidt
Ara Ayer
Executive Producer
Marc Rosenwasser
Editorial Producer
Peter Eisner


Vietnam: Legacy of War
Mark Litke
Ara Ayer
Executive Producer
Marc Rosenwasser


Wide Angle
Crossing Heaven’s Border
Executive Producer
Tom Casciato
Senior Producer
Nina Chaudry
Jung In Tack
Lee Hark Joon
Aaron Brown


Wide Angle
Heart of Jenin
Executive Producer
Tom Casciato
Senior Producer
Nina Chaudry
Leo Geller, Marcus Vetter
Ernst Ludwig Ganzert, Ulli Pfan
Aaron Brown


Secrets of the Dead
Mumbai Massacre
Victoria Midwinter Pitt
Andrea Quesnelle
Executive Producer/Producer
Andrew Ogilvie
Executive Producers
Phil Craig, Jared Lipworth


Secrets of the Dead
Mumbai Massacre
Sandra Fonseca, Victoria Midwinter Pitt


Victoria Falls
James Charlie Hamilton, Jamie McPherson
Aerial DP
Simon Werry

Watch the full episode. See more Secrets of the Dead.

Watch the full episode. See more Wide Angle.

Q&A with 'Need to Know' Executive Producer, Shelley Lewis

July 14th, 2010
Shelley Lewis

Shelley Lewis

This week, Inside Thirteen had the chance to speak with Need to Know‘s Executive Producer, Shelley Lewis, to go behind-the-scenes of the new cross-media show and find out what makes Need to Know unique.

Need to Know debuted on May 7, 2010 and is filmed at the new WNET.ORG Studios at Lincoln Center. The show airs Fridays at 8:30p.m on THIRTEEN.

Ms. Lewis answered our questions via email.

Inside Thirteen: What differentiates Need to Know from other news programs?

Shelley Lewis: First of all, Need to Know is both a website and a broadcast, one entity. We cover five basic “beats” — National Security, Economy, Health, Energy/Environment, Culture and Arts. On the broadcast we have the luxury, and audience demand, for in-depth, nuanced stories that provide some historical perspective and context. We’re not a news program…we’re a news magazine, and as such, we have the freedom to cover a wide range of topics in any given week, from hard hitting investigations, to profiles of artists and bloggers and musicians. But the biggest differentiator is our multi-platform structure.

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