2009 Year End Slideshow

The Ascent of Money


Buddy, can you spare a dime? How about 100 billion? In The Ascent of Money, visionary historian Niall Ferguson led viewers on a global trek through the history of money. As the world struggled to find its footing after the financial meltdown, Ferguson explored how the system of global finance evolved over the centuries, how money has shaped the course of human affairs, and how the mechanics of this economic system work to create seemingly unlimited wealth -- or catastrophic loss.
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Dutch New York


In September, THIRTEEN went Dutch. On the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's historic voyage, Dutch New York traced the origins of New Amsterdam from Hudson's arrival in 1609 through the rule of Peter Stuyvesant to the "Act of Surrender" to England in 1664. On a walking tour through time, historian Barry Lewis led viewers around the city to reveal how Dutch ideals in politics, religion and trade shaped what would become one of the most influential and thriving cities in the New World.
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Ken Burns' The National Parks: America's Best Idea


As we shaped the parks . . . the parks shaped us. In his latest epic - The National Parks: America's Best Idea - legendary documentarian Ken Burns traveled across the nation and through time to explore the history and significance of America's natural wonders. It was a television event of staggering beauty whose ultimate goal seemed nothing short of compelling Americans to turn off their televisions and go discover these national treasures for themselves.
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Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America


Did you hear the one about the comedian who taught history? Melding performance, biography and interviews with over 90 comedians, writers, producers, and historians (including Carol Burnett, pictured), Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America showcased the most hilarious men, women, and moments in American entertainment and why they made us laugh. Hosted by Billy Crystal, the landmark six-hour series plumbed the currents of American comedy throughout a century of social and political change.
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The Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama


"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States . . ." In January, a young Senator from Illinois became the first African-American to rise to the Oval Office. The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer brought its in-depth coverage to the event, with expert commentary that went beyond the pomp and circumstance to explore the true significance of this historic moment.
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Great Performances: Gustavo Dudamel and The LA Philharmonic


When the Dude waves his wand, magic things happen. After wowing audiences with his American television debut on Great Performances in 2008, Gustavo Dudamel returned in October 2009 in his inaugural concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The most dynamic young conductor to arrive on the classical music scene since the legendary Leonard Bernstein, the 28-year-old virtuoso set the Disney Concert Hall alight with his infectious energy and exceptional artistry - and public television viewers enjoyed it all from "front row center."
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Looking for Lincoln


Two centuries later a certain rail-splitter's life and legend captures the modern American imagination. In Looking for Lincoln, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. went in search of the man widely considered one of our best and most enigmatic presidents. Enlisting a cadre of Lincoln scholars, relic hunters, and re-enactors the documentary delved into the mystique of America's 16th president and the many controversies surrounding his legacy -- race, equality, religion, politics, and depression.
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How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin


Back in the U.S.S.R. On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, How The Beatles Rocked the Kremlin brought a unique twist to the historical documentary, revealing how a clandestine Beatlemania spread like wildfire through the Soviet Union, causing musical fissures in the bedrock of the repressive regime behind the Iron Curtain. A special online companion contest at Thirteen.org drew thousands of eloquent nominations for the most influential musical artist in history.
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Blueprint America: Road to the Future


You can get there from here. As Americans turn their attention to the nation's decaying and neglected infrastructure, Blueprint America has been harnessing the power of public broadcasting's programs, websites and outreach to spotlight an issue that has been sorely under-reported by the traditional media. From America's living rooms to the halls of Congress, this unique, ongoing multi-platform project has launched a national conversation about our infrastructure crisis, one of our nation's greatest challenges, and how to go forward into the future.
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PBS NewsHour


"What will not change is our commitment to serious journalism." Jim Lehrer's promise to uphold the 35-year tradition of quality headlined the announcement that American television's most trusted source of news was getting a makeover for the digital age. With its new name -- PBS NewsHour -- the esteemed nightly newscast introduced a two-anchor format, more original reporting and interviews, and a full merger with the Online PBS NewsHour to make content available whenever, wherever and however audiences choose to look for it.
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American Masters: Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound


A musical force of nature. In the first comprehensive documentary to chronicle the private life and public career of Joan Baez, American Masters examined her history as a recording artist and performer as well as her remarkable journey as the conscience of a generation. Baez's power as a musician, her strength as a performer and the influence she has brought to bear on successive generations of artists all came together in the searing portrait, Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound.
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Worldfocus's First Anniversary


Diverse voices for a diverse world. As it launched its second season on public television, public television's own international newscast, Worldfocus, welcomed veteran journalist Daljit Dhaliwal to the anchor chair. With its global network of partners, expert analysis, and a dynamic website, Worldfocus continues to bring Americans an in-depth understanding of the events and issues shaping the world today.
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Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary


This moment is brought to you by the number 40. After more than 21 million minutes aired and 122 Emmy Awards, Sesame Street, America's most beloved -- and furriest -- educational series for children, continues to delight young minds and earn the trust of parents. Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, and all the rest put on their party hats - and public television viewers of all ages joined in the celebration of the one and only street where you can always count on a Sunny Day.
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Share Your Favorite Programs from 2009

It's been an unforgettable year -- for our community, for America, and for THIRTEEN. We shared our favorite programs of the year. Now you tell us -- what was your favorite program on THIRTEEN in 2009?
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1  OF  14
  • BenInBrooklyn

    My favorite program of the year was Frontline’s – The Madoff Affair back in the spring. We’ve all heard so much about this bad guy – Bernie Madoff, but I didn’t really know the details behind what he actually did. Now I have the facts. Thanks THIRTEEN!

  • Kellie

    My favorite program was “Harlem in Montmartre”. I thought I’d heard the story, but this program was a combination of history and music that really brought the subject to life. Especially loved the archival film of Django Reinhardt…and the recreation of 1920’s jazz sessions by contemporary musicians. Knocked me out!

  • JC

    My favorite was Nature’s Kilauea: Mountain of Fire. Watching the hi-def footage of lava exploding underwater was some of the most spectacular footage I’ve ever seen.

  • Brian and Peggy Dunleavy

    We saw most of the programs listed and agree with your choices. Channel 13 and PBS continue to stand out as a source of light, intelligence, interest and beauty in the world of broadcasting.Our personal favorites: National Parks and Joan Baez.Three cheers.

  • Robert Schmidt

    There are many good pograms, but my day-in day-out favorite is Charlie Rose. Occasionally there is a clunker, but quite rarely.

  • Maureen Kelly

    When if ever witll the Ascent of Money be aired.

    Thans so much.


  • Tee

    My favorite was President Obama’s inauguration-truly original and history making event by the people and for the people!
    My second favorite is the one and only Bill Moyers. He and his guest are so enlightening, I read every book he discusses. I love his objectivity and honest presentations. He is simply the best!!

  • Wayne@THIRTEEN

    Maureen, “The Ascent of Money” won’t be returning to air in the near future, but you can watch the series in its entirety online at http://watch.thirteen.org/program/1155680272/

  • Iris V. Metzger

    Those channel 13’s classic films shown on Sat. nights. I especially enjoy the “the mini stories” before & after viewing the film. Would LOVE to see
    vintage cartoons and foreign. Thanks sooo much.

  • Mark Leach

    Above all, week after week, the prophetic voice of Bill Moyers!


    There are a lot of good programs & shows. My all time favorite is MY CHRISTMAS with Andrea Bocelli.
    I love all his shows!

  • Richard Slack

    NewsHour,Now,Bill Moyers,Classical Music Concerts,Recitals, Plays,and Opera

  • Kathy Francolini

    The inauguration of President Barack Obama was my favorite program of the year and the decade.

    Bill Moyers and Charlie Rose are favorites too…consistently informative and thought provoking.

  • Rosamond Tota

    I like Bill Moyers, Charlie Rose and Dutch NY but I missed Harlem in Montmartre. I hope you show it again.
    Bill Moyers Journal focuses on aspects of current issues that are so often barely discussed.

  • Dan Tuohy

    “Religion and Ethics” often has inspiring stories of people who really respond to a spiritual calling; people who “walk the walk”. “R+E” gives us the “good news”.

  • Thomas Taccetta

    I never miss the News Hour or PBS News it’s the only indepth news program. As for programs I always enjoy Frontline especially Deck of cards which I sent the url to my sons to watch.

  • Phyllis

    Holes in My Shoes was my most recent favorite.

  • Judy

    Bill Moyers Journal and the Lehrer Newshour tie for first place on my TC remote.

  • IPG

    Charlie Rose – all the time and forever, responsive and insightful interviews.

  • Elaine

    On a daily viewing basis, my favorite is Charlie Rose–the ultimate interviewer. I love the fact that he draws his guests from broad, diverse areas. I also love and appreciate the Great Performances that are aired. Keep up the good work.

  • howardsjohnson

    Charlie Rose and Moyers are tops on my list of brain tickling shows. And please more documentaries. Howard S. Johnson, Norwalk, CT

  • Laura

    All is great- all is good. VIVA THIRTEEN!

  • Carol Geisler

    I love PBS Newshour and catch it whenever I can. I also love Washington Week in Review. I just saw Tosca for the first time. What a marvelous opera. And so many more. Keep up the good work.

  • Erica Doctorow

    It’s a rare event when I don’t watch Thirteen! I find the programs and the presentation superb. Keep up the good work!
    My favorites are Charlie Rose,The Newshour, and Worldfocus.

  • Bob Herbert

    Thirteen is the only channel I watch – the News Hour,Masterpiece Theater, Nova, Frontline, to name a few,are the best. Moyers Journal, I never miss. Keep up the great work you do.

  • Rizwan Hameed

    All is good.Keep it up the good work.
    Thirteen must be proud of having so many good and
    dedicated staff members.

  • Erica Doctorow

    It’s a rare event when I don’t watch Thirteen. This happens when I go galavanting to the Big Apple or I am on a trip to Timbuktu!Also, The New York Times is an escape at times!I try not to miss Charlie Rose and The Newshour and I very much appreciate the transmissions from the Metropolitan Opera. Keep up the good work!

  • mark waldo

    moyers to me is the best (informative) program, frontline a close second, i can not get my conservative friends to watch, they are quick to say its liberal, with out ever vewing, hard to open closed minds,pity they are so young. ps. took in my riding friend robin w. on charlie rose,fantastic check it out.

  • Rob Reddy

    I really like the nature programs on PBS so I was excited about the Ken Burns documentary. My public library has a copy that I will take out often. Your christmas programs like Trans-Siberian are awesome. Most of the time I really enjoy the classical music programs also.

  • Anita Thompson

    i would like to know how i can purchase the SOUL show on DVD , do you have them availible

  • C.C.

    My favorits are News Hour, Charlie Rose, and Tavis Smiley. And also the fact that most of them are accessible later on if I missed watching it on time.

  • Liliana Gancev

    The President Barack Obama inauguration was my favorite because make the history of United State of America ,and for me, was solemn and unique !

  • Harlan L. Taylor

    Bill Moyers Journal is consistently enlightening, however the “Faith & Social Justice” segment still resonates strongly more than six months after it’s original airdate – UNALDUTERATED TRUTH, straight, no chaser. “How funky is your faith?”

  • Gladys Feigenbaum

    It’s difficult to pick one program as better than another, but I loved Joan Baez, The National Parks, The Beatles. I can only say, I put Channel 13 on at 6 PM daily and watch it almost exzclusively for the rest of evening and if I missed something I may watch 21.Thanks

  • MTS

    The Halloween-a-thon!!!

  • Madeline Katz

    This week’s performance of “Tosca” was one of my favorites. The incredibe voices, acting and stage sets still continue to amaze me. Bravo to 13 again for putting “the opera of operas” back on TV.

  • Maribelle Vazquez

    My favorite program is Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. Thank you for airing it.

  • cyndi sopenoff

    American Experience has been my favorite show for a couple years.

  • Charles Parker

    Reruns of “As Time Goes By” no matter how many times I’ve seen them. The World Focus, PBS Newshour, Washington Week, Now, Bill Moyers are must viewing for me.

  • Joan Baron

    From PBS Newshour to Charlie Rose, Channel 13 has a lock on the most worthwhile viewing on TV, on Fridays especially with Washington Week and Bill Moyers Journal. Among the specials Joan Baez was a special treat.

  • Nancy Little

    Far and away bill Moyers is my favorite and I hear he will be retiring at the end of May? We also enjoy the marvelous Parks programs and Nature programs. My TV channel is stuck on THIRTEEN!

  • Jelsey

    The News Hour is a must for me, followed by Washington Week in Review on Friday night. The broadcast of Live in HD from the Met is a very special event that I look forward to. Thank you for the fantastic job you do.

  • RD

    My favorite story of the year was the Tea Party Movement (not “tea baggers”~ a vulgar term used by a “comedian”) which was totally ignored by 13 and other PBS outlets.

  • michele

    Well, I came onto this website after you already started this series, I’m sure I missed a ton but I loved Sita Sings The Blues, and In The Mood For Love, of which I actually posted a comment. Thank you so much, I have been watching Thirteen for decades.

  • Virginia

    Masterpiece and Mystery — my favorite this year was Kenneth Branagh as Wallander.

  • Dave Kallman

    The PBS NewsHour. Not only are the interviewers first rate, but the people being interviewed are phenomenal.

  • Peggy and Bob

    Aside from the daily PBS news hour,our favorite other show is Lawrence Welk – and we also love all the musical shows on both ch13 and ch21.

  • Geri Moretti

    Bill Moyers is, by far, my favorite. I save almost all his shows. They really are prophetic. “Warning” was enlightening. Can we discourage him from retiring?



  • Diana T

    The Newshour and the National Parks series were terrific! Washington Week in Review also is a great favorite. And Nova — a great show!

  • Caroline V C

    I love a lot of the shows on channel 13 PBS. The Newshour with Bill Moyers was a great show. He is my favorite news anchor. I’m going to miss him.

  • terry r

    I have three favorites-The National Park series,
    Dutch New York, and How the Beatles rocked the kremlin. Keep up the good work!!!

  • diane

    saw many of the shows –
    but no masterpiece theater

  • Adrienne Judith L.

    When I turn on the TV it only goes to CH 13, unless I watch a DVD,
    I would never watch TV if CH 13 wasn’t there.
    Materpiece Theater for 25 years can’t be compared anywhere, I loved all the Jane Austen, Little Dorritt, etc. Mystery is so much fun. CHarlie Rose still & always brilliant, he covers so much ground & seems knowledgeable in all the fields. His round table fof casts of films has been outstanding. World Focus is really important, we need it’s objectivity, & so necessary now. Your coverage of the Ignauguration plus the the commentaries.Live Opera- what could be better? I love everything you do.*. The American Experience. are the best.*The Reunion Music Programs.- ANd how do I get the Joan Baez special as I was out of the country.? See how I miss you?
    Don’t change a thing. Keep truckin’.Oh I forgot the SAt night movie classics & independent films. (I better leave room for someone else.)Blessings & deep gratitude. Moyers & more!

  • Katia

    I especially like the fundraising! It is the time when I am really nurtured by music, lectures, and learning something new. I became brain injured and was so grateful to learn about Daniel Amen, Wayne Dwyer, Brain Fitness. Thanks for being there.