PBS (America) shown in the UK

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PBS (America) shown in the UK

#1  Postby mrjonno » May 25, 2014 3:01 pm

Is it my imagination that these programmes seem to be of a far higher quality (as in genuinely educational) than say the Discovery channel or National Geographic?

They have only just started showing this in the UK and it seems quite striking the difference in their quality. I know someone is going to say they are made by the same people now :(
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#2  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » May 25, 2014 3:06 pm

I'm under the impression PBS is equivalent in some respects to the BBC. Hence the quality:crap ratio is higher than that of the privately owned stations (like discovery).
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#3  Postby Weaver » May 25, 2014 3:14 pm

Ihavenofingerprints wrote:I'm under the impression PBS is equivalent in some respects to the BBC. Hence the quality:crap ratio is higher than that of the privately owned stations (like discovery).

This is basically correct, though the US Government doesn't have the control over PBS that I understand the UK Government has over BBC.
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#4  Postby DougC » May 25, 2014 4:02 pm

I do like PBS. I dont think we see what America does (Primarily British Shows), but rather get the US made output. Good stuff.
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#5  Postby mrjonno » May 25, 2014 7:16 pm

Weaver wrote:
Ihavenofingerprints wrote:I'm under the impression PBS is equivalent in some respects to the BBC. Hence the quality:crap ratio is higher than that of the privately owned stations (like discovery).

This is basically correct, though the US Government doesn't have the control over PBS that I understand the UK Government has over BBC.


But who makes (or at least chooses who goes on them?), it could be the same people who do the other educational channels but at least what is shown in the UK seems generally pretty good.

There was a very in depth programme about antibiotic resistance including going quite deep into the politics and economics of antibiotic development
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#6  Postby Weaver » May 25, 2014 7:29 pm

The show you reference (antibiotic resistance) was made by Frontline, a headline series for PBS.

PBS makes most of their own content, though they fill many gaps with BBC programs, especially weekend evenings.

Their children's educational programs are without peer. Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood in particular stood the test of time (though the latter ended a bit before Fred Rogers died). Sesame Street is the first pre-school educational program based on educational research, and has been running continuously since 1969, with well over 4K episodes.

Nova, Frontline, and Nature are all outstanding self-produced programs, and PBS Newshour is likely the least biased TV news show in the nation.
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#7  Postby The_Metatron » May 25, 2014 7:34 pm

They do have a trademark style:

I AM Skepdickus!

Check out Hack's blog, too. He writes good.
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#8  Postby Weaver » May 25, 2014 7:36 pm

That's NPR - the radio version of PBS, separately owned but with a similar feel.
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#9  Postby mrjonno » May 25, 2014 8:18 pm

Well PBS and the BBC show that if you want to make quality educational programmes (that will never chase ratings) don't get commercialism involved
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#10  Postby Weaver » May 25, 2014 8:20 pm

Absolutely agree.
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#11  Postby Macdoc » May 25, 2014 9:29 pm

PBS and NPR are along with US national parks one of the few redeeming virtues of place.

Of course they are intense targets of the lunatics on the right ( as is CBC in Canada which has a similar sane bent ).
The lies spread about the cost of PBS are hilarious.

They have some superb programs....Frontline for one and they bring some welcome British, Australian and Canadian public programs as well in to the fold.

and then of course there is....

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who does't get a thrill when that music starts....

and many are on youtube



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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#12  Postby Onyx8 » May 25, 2014 10:21 pm

Always listened to NPR when I worked in the states, as I listen to CBC radio here. Except with the gutting of CBC by the conservative govt it is getting harder and harder to do so.
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#13  Postby Macdoc » May 25, 2014 10:42 pm

Vinyl Tap survives....alll is well :D
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#14  Postby Onyx8 » May 25, 2014 11:04 pm

Dispatches doesn't, that was a great show. Among many others. Never mind the internet and podcasts, if you miss a CBC show wait for 1/2 a day and they will repeat it.

They've even started the sometimes interesting but the point is, CHEAP, Rewind show that costs them basically zero as they already own the content. (And Michael)
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#15  Postby Macdoc » May 25, 2014 11:23 pm

Yup Rick McInnis Ray was terrific. I think he still does special assignments.

Some shows repeat live in the evening if you miss the morning version which I think is okay.
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#16  Postby Onyx8 » May 26, 2014 12:21 am

Me too, but CBC has become this repeat-fest of everything they produce.

Anyway, sorry for the derail, I should move this to rant.
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#17  Postby DougC » May 26, 2014 12:26 am

Onyx8 wrote:Me too, but CBC has become this repeat-fest of everything they produce.

Anyway, sorry for the derail, I should move this to rant.

Same in the UK. If you miss something, or catch it half way through, just tune in latter.

I think I have seen Ken Burns The Civil War more times than Star Wars. And thats a LOT. :grin:
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#18  Postby mrjonno » May 26, 2014 3:39 pm

Just saw some PBS programme I've seen on discovery channel before about the sinking of the Yamato. Apparently they were investigating the 'secret' of why it sunk. I'm not an expert on naval engineering but I'm pretty sure dozens of torpedo's and bombs from hundreds of aircraft might have had something to do with it
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#19  Postby Weaver » May 26, 2014 3:44 pm

mrjonno wrote:Just saw some PBS programme I've seen on discovery channel before about the sinking of the Yamato. Apparently they were investigating the 'secret' of why it sunk. I'm not an expert on naval engineering but I'm pretty sure dozens of torpedo's and bombs from hundreds of aircraft might have had something to do with it

Yeah, pretty much.
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Re: PBS (America) shown in the UK

#20  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » May 26, 2014 3:50 pm

The UK program that reminds me of Frontline on PBS is Panorama. I like investigative journalism and those are two quality programs. In Australia we have one called "Four Corners", if you ever see an investigation by them shown in the UK you might find it interesting.
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