RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD – Part 2 – Exclusive Interview

Pat Vegas and members of the Native American rock group are featured in RUMBLE | Photo Credit: Joseph Dominguez

In part two of our exclusive interview with Stevie Salas and the Black Eyed Peas’ Taboo, both discuss what they learned during their work on the documentary RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD, making its PBS debut Monday, January 21. ASSIGNMENT X: Has anything you’ve learned in the course of making this film affected your own music, the way you make music, your attitude toward your music, what you want to do with the music? TABOO: It has. It inspired me to be, I say, like the P. Diddy of Native artists. Because I have such a huge platform, […]Read On »

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RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD – Part 1 – Exclusive Interview

Rock guitar legend Link Wray (Shawnee), one of the Native American musicians profiled in RUMBLE. Circa 1970s | Photo by Bruce Steinberg, courtesy of LinkWray.com

RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD is a documentary chronicling the influence of Native Americans on rock ‘n’ roll and other musical forms throughout history. The film has shown at festivals and special engagements throughout the world. On Monday, January 21, it will make its PBS debut. Famed guitarist Stevie Salas is one of RUMBLE’s executive producers who got the project in motion. Taboo (birth name Jaime Gomez), of the Black Eyed Peas is partially of Native American descent and one of the musicians interviewed in the film. The two men have known each other a long time, and […]Read On »

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THE GREAT AMERICAN READ: Actor/writer Wil Wheaton talks favorite books – Exclusive Interview

THE GREAT AMERICAN READ logo | ©2018 Nutopia/PBS

PBS brings back THE GREAT AMERICAN READ on Tuesday, September 11. Hosted by Meredith Viera, THE GREAT AMERICAN READ premiered back in May. The series aims to discover “America’s best-loved novel” by means of viewer opinion. To date, two million people have voted, narrowing the list down to one hundred titles. With eight episodes rolling out on successive Tuesday nights, the season finale on October 23 will reveal the top vote getter. (Those interested in voting can do so via pbs.org/greatamericanread, hashtag voting on Twitter and Facebook, an SMS app, and by phone. Actor/author Wil Wheaton is one of the […]Read On »

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L.M. MONTGOMERY’S ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: THE GOOD STARS actress Ella Ballentine on the literary heroine – Exclusive Interview

Ella Ballentine in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: ANNE OF GREEN GABLES - THE GOOD STARS | © 2017 Gables 23 Productions Inc / Courtesy of Breakthrough Entertainment

L.M. Montgomery’s novel ANNE OF GREEN GABLES has been a literary staple for all ages since it was first published in 1903. The book tells of 11-year-old orphan Anne Shirley and how her life opens up when she goes to live with the aging siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert on their rural Canadian farm. The original ANNE and its sequels have been adapted for the screen many times. Last year, PBS aired the latest version of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, the first of a trilogy starring Ella Ballentine as Anne, Martin Sheen as Matthew and Sara Botsford as Marilla. The […]Read On »

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EDGAR ALLAN POE: BURIED ALIVE: Filmmaker Eric Stange on the tortured author – Exclusive Interview

Denis O'Hare stars as Edgar Allan Poe in AMERICAN MASTERS - EDGAR ALLAN POE: BURIED ALIVE | © 2017 PBS

Eric Stange (pronounced STANG-ee) created EDGAR ALLAN POE: BURIED ALIVE, which premieres on PBS as part of the network’s AMERICAN MASTERS series on Monday, October 30, appropriately the day before Halloween. EDGAR ALLAN POE: BURIED ALIVE has an unconventional format, with Denis O’Hare (a Tony-winning actor who is also a veteran of AMERICAN HORROR STORY and TRUE BLOOD) portraying the tortured author. O’Hare gives a solo performance that is interspersed with interviews with Poe scholars. Stange, a documentary filmmaker whose work includes programs for PBS’ NOVA and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, talks about BURIED ALIVE, which examines Poe’s role as one of […]Read On »

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THE VIETNAM WAR: Director/producer Lynn Novick – Exclusive Interview

outh Vietnamese troops fly over the Mekong Delta in 1963 from the Ken Burns documentary THE VIETNAM WAR |photo Courtesy of Rene Burri/Magnum Photos

Lynn Novick is, with Ken Burns, the director and producer of the ten-episode, eighteen-hour documentary THE VIETNAM WAR airing on PBS through September 28. The duo worked on the project for ten years, with Novick making multiple trips to Vietnam. In a phone interview, she discusses her work on the historical epic. ASSIGNMENT X: How did you initially come to work with Ken Burns? LYNN NOVICK: Ken and I have been working together since 1989. So I worked with him when he and Ric Burns were finishing up THE CIVIL WAR series, and they hired me to help finish up […]Read On »

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THE VIETNAM WAR: Ken Burns chats about his new documentary – Exclusive Interview – Part 2

College students march against the war in Boston. October 16, 1965 from the Ken Burns documentary THE VIETNAM WAR | photo Courtesy of AP/Frank C. Curtin

In Part 2 of our exclusive interview, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns reveals more about his ten-part, eighteen-hour series THE VIETNAM WAR, co-directed and co-produced with Lynn Novick. THE VIETNAM WAR airs over two weeks on PBS, Sundays through Thursdays Sept. 17-28. ASSIGNMENT X: Was there some footage you were surprised existed at all, like the North Vietnamese combat footage? There are times when it seems odd that someone kept a camera rolling. KEN BURNS: Some of it is for the propaganda purposes, and some of it might be restaged, and we put a disclaimer in the credits on all of […]Read On »

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THE VIETNAM WAR: Filmmaker Ken Burns – Exclusive Interview – Part 1

THE VIETNAM WAR | ©2017 PBS

THE VIETNAM WAR is a ten-episode, eighteen-hour documentary, running Sunday-Thursday on PBS for two weeks, beginning September 17. The project by filmmakers Ken Burns (THE CIVIL WAR, THE WEST, THE WAR, BASEBALL, etc.) and Lynn Novick has a scope that is at once historical and intimate, featuring interviews with war veterans, their families, politicians and experts on all sides: American, South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese. In Part 1 of an exclusive phone interview, Burns discusses the making of THE VIETNAM WAR. ASSIGNMENT X: How long were you and Lynn Novick working on this project? KEN BURNS: About ten and a […]Read On »

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THE FARTHEST – VOYAGER IN SPACE: Scientists Linda Spilker and Tom Spilker on the new PBS NOVA program – Exclusive Interview

Voyager 2 at Cape Kennedy in SAEF.10/19/1977 from THE FARTHEST - VOYAGER IN SPACE | ©2017 PBS

Planetary scientist Dr. Linda Spilker and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) scientist Dr. Tom Spilker both worked on the Voyager space exploration project, sending two unmanned spacecraft beyond the boundaries of our solar system, which is examined in PBS NOVA’s THE FARTHEST – VOYAGER IN SPACE. Linda Spilker continues to work on the Cassini mission, exploring Saturn, its moons and its rings, documented in PBS NOVA’s DEATH DIVE TO SATURN. Both programs air on PBS Wednesday, September 13 (check local listings for times). As their surnames suggest, the Doctors Spilker are married to one another. Linda Spilker wears a ring, […]Read On »

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KING CHARLES III: The late actor Tim Pigott-Smith on his final roles – Exclusive Interview

Tim Pigott-Smith in KING CHARLES III | Photo Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Drama Republic for BBC and MASTERPIECE

Actor Tim Pigott-Smith, the subject of this interview, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 70 on April 7, 2017, a little under three months after this interview was conducted. He was at the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour in Pasadena, California, to talk about the film version of KING CHARLES III. KING CHARLES III began life as a stage play. It seems Shakespearean, dealing with the English throne and written by Mike Bartlett entirely in iambic pentameter, but in fact it deals with issues of present and future. The premise of KING CHARLES III is that Queen […]Read On »

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