Monday @ 7:30PM -- "Fosselman's"
Huell indulges in a summer treat at Fosselman's Ice Cream in Alhambra, a family-owned business that's more than 80 years old and where the founder's grandsons still use the family recipe.
Tuesday @ 7:30PM -- "Vincent Price Art Museum"
Huell visits the Vincent Price Art Museum in East Los Angeles. Price and his wife, Mary Grant Price, donated a total of 9,000 pieces of art from their collection to create this museum featuring Mesoamerican, African, Native American, and European works.
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This is another in a series of posts in which Cathy Bower, KCET's Broadcast Operations Coordinator, looks back at some interesting moments and events during the station's 50 years on the air. Read more posts here.
I worked as a production assistant for a news show back in 1982. It was called "KCET Newsbeat with Clete Roberts," and the show would end up being Clete's last one before his death. The man was an "old school" journalist, and he was fascinating to work with. If you are a fan of the show "M*A*S*H," you may remember an episode called "The Interview" in which Clete played the reporter who comes to the 4077 and interviews the different cast members about what their life in Korea was like. In that show he basically played himself, and his career as a war journalist was not a fake.
I would be sitting at my desk at work and he would be sitting in the chair in front of it, waiting for a call from the sound stage that they were ready to tape the next show. He would tell us about his days as a war correspondent during WWII. It was fascinating stuff.
One of the things he did in the late 70's was interview Jack Northrup, shortly before Northrup's death. The show was called "The Flying Wing: What Happened To It?" Back in 1949, Northrup built a plane that was wing-shaped and could fly undetected by radar. But instead of commissioning the plane, the government made the thing "disappear." Northrup had never understood why his plane was not allowed to be produced, and in this show, his final interview, he and Clete discussed this. Watching the show, you could tell that Clete, an airplane enthusiast, was equally baffled about how the Northrup's plane had been relegated to obscurity.
Jack and Clete both passed away within a few years of the taping of this show, and the mystery remained... that is until the B2 Stealth Bomber showed up in the United States' military arsenal. It was wing shaped, could not be seen by radar, and it was a totally new idea.
... Well, not quite.
This is another in a series of posts where Cathy Bower, KCET's Broadcast Operations Coordinator, looks back at some interesting moments and events during the station's 50 years on the air. Read more here.
I am here to set the record straight on piece of "Star Wars" trivia: If you want to destroy Alderaan, Princess Leia's home planet, the person you would want to call was our longtime KCET engineer, the late Cal Slater.
Cal was one of two technical directors that we had in the 70s, 80s and 90s, so he worked on many KCET productions over the years, including "Hollywood Television Theater," "Visions," "Cosmos," "The Merry Widow," and even "Penn and Teller Go Public." (Of course, countless pledge drives and news shows were shot throughout the decades, too.) Not a single one of those shows ended up being the thing he was most famous for, however. As much as he worked all those productions, his biggest claim to fame came from the fact that he was in the right place at the right time.
Monday @ 7:30PM -- "Low Riders"
Huell spends the day at the Los Angeles Super Show, one of the largest low rider car shows in the world. We see some amazing cars and speak with the artists who created them as well as with their owne
Tuesday @ 7:30PM -- "Amir's Garden"
Once barren, but now planted with trees and shrubs, Amir's Garden in Griffith Park is an oasis. Huell visits and learns about the garden and the devotion of its creator.
This is another in a series of posts where Cathy Bower, KCET's Broadcast Operations Coordinator, looks back at some interesting moments and events during the station's 50 years on the air. Up today, a look back at Carl Sagan and "Cosmos." Read more here.
"Cosmos," the new Fox TV series, is in the news these days. Neil DeGrasse Tyson will be hosting it, and it will be airing on Fox starting Sunday, March 9. It is a remake of the Carl Sagan show that was made by KCET back in 1980.
Made back in the late '70s and aired on PBS in September 1980, it was the most watched public television show when it aired nationally, until the Ken Burns documentary series "The Civil War" eclipsed it when it aired in 1990.
The original "Cosmos" was shot in a hybrid style: The remote segments were captured on film at locations around the world. That film was then transferred at KCET to one-inch tape, via a Rank Cintel. The interiors were mastered on one-inch tape.
The most dramatic of these studio segments was the incredible "Spaceship of the Imagination" (pictured above), in which scientist and host Carl Sagan showed us places and things that we would never have seen any other way. The set for the segment was built on Stage B, our largest sound-stage in our former East Hollywood studio. It reached from floor to ceiling and with dramatic lighting and the spaceship's "window," cutting edge at the time of its airing.
Yes, people made fun of Carl with his "billions and billions" quote, (which he never said), but they stayed and they watched and they learned.
This is the second in a series of posts where Cathy Bower, KCET's Broadcast Operations Coordinator, looks back at some interesting moments and events during the station's 50 years on the air. Up today, a look back at the late Huell Howser's long time cameraman, Luis Fuerte. Read more here.
Looking back at our past brings not only memories of the late Huell Howser, but of his cameraman, Luis Fuerte.
Huell and Luis began working together back in 1987, shooting little short fillers called Videologs. A few years later, Huell Howser decided to create a show of his own and he asked Luis, a KCET cameraman at the time, if he wanted to take a year off from work at the station and follow Huell around the state. They would be making shows and telling stories. Luis, being a lover of history, agreed to do it and so Huell began the process by bringing publicity photos to PBS stations around the state. The photo above, was one of them.
This is the first post in a series where Cathy Bower, KCET's Broadcast Operations Coordinator, looks back at some interesting moments and events during the station's 50 years on the air. Today, she reminisces about her introduction to the station through pledge drives, the backbone of fundraising in public television's early years. Read more here.
When I came to Los Angeles, I moved in with someone who was working for KCET at the time. I had just missed the March pledge drive and she suggested I volunteer when the next one came around. You answer phones and get free food, she said. So when the August drive was on the horizon, I signed up.
The Director of Volunteers was a wonderful woman named Dottie Kemps. She had worked for the station for many years and by the time I came into her life, she had the pledge drives running like a smooth sailing ship. Everything was handled and accounted for. If you needed more volunteers for a day on the phones, she could call an extensive list of volunteers and get them up on stage at a moment's notice.
Monday @ 7:30PM -- "Fake Food"
Have you ever spotted some plastic food and been shocked by how realistic it looks? Have you ever wondered how it's made? In this episode, Huell visits Iwasaki Images of America and gets a firsthand look at this fascinating process.
Tuesday @ 7:30PM -- "Koi Farm"
Huell visits a koi farm and is amazed to see everything that goes into raising these beautiful fish.
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Monday @ 7:30PM -- "Halal Food"
Huell learns about the Muslim food tradition of halal. First stop is Payless Produce -- a Halal market known for its Halal meats. Then its off to China Islamic, a restaurant, to sample some very tasty food that proves that this ancient Muslim tradition is alive and well here in Southern California and gives us insight into a very rich and important part of everyday life for our large Muslim community.
Tuesday @ 7:30PM -- "Press Photographers"
Huell meets the photographers behind some of the most memorable and historical images of the 20th century as he attends the opening of the 75th Anniversary Historical Photo Exhibit onboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach.
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Ask almost anyone about 'House of Cards" and the first thing you're bound to hear is how devilish Kevin Spacey is in the role of manipulative congressman Francis "Frank" Underwood. (I have binge watched the Netflix season one and I agree). Spacey's performance is without question masterful. The rest of the actors, including Robin Wright as the cold-as-ice wife who is a willing participant in her husband's schemes, are perfectly cast. The contemporary Netflix series has worked so well that just as the second season is about to premier, the online content behemoth has already announced there will be a third season of the show. Great for the cast, great for the viewers. And I look forward to it all.
In spite of the hoopla surrounding the series, it's the original 1990 BBC production starring Ian Richardson that handily trumps the 2013 American version. I invite you to tune to KCET and Link TV on Sunday, February 9 for a four-episode marathon of the first season of BBC's original "House of Cards," starting at 7 p.m.
Viewers were shocked and thrilled by what they saw because what happened on screen (the downfall of the Conservative Party's Prime Minister) mirrored what happened when Margaret Thatcher resigned in-between the first two episodes of the political thriller. There's good reason the show captured the backroom drama of British politics: "House of Cards" was based on a novel written by Michael Dobbs, who had served as the former Chief of Staff of the Conservative Party.
The late Ian Richardson is sublime as the Chief Whip of the Conservative Party. While Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood as a vicious schemer in the Netflix model, Richardson portrays Francis Urquhart as a man who relishes the mayhem he stealthily unleashes. (Richardson was a famous Shakespearean stage actor and his into-camera asides -- sometimes spoken, sometimes announced with the arch of his eyebrow -- are startling. There's plenty of dialogue that stands out: "You might well think that. I couldn't possibly comment" is one. When pressed by fellow politicians about the possibility Urquhart could be a candidate for the position of Prime Minister, Richardson demures. Lying through his teeth but coming off as absolutely sincere, Urquhart says "Me? Well, I'm just a backroom boy".
Enjoy the first four episodes of "House of Cards" this Sunday on KCET and on Link TV starting at 7:00 PM. Get in on the binge-watching. And then, let us know what you think.