Looks like PBS is finally coming out of its self-help and mouldy oldies phase:
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — This fall, if PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger has her way, PBS will by synonymous with ARTS. Kerger announced a major initiative at the semi-annual gathering of the
TV Critics Association to boost PBS’s emphasis on the performing arts.
Conventional broadcasters and the specialty channels [i.e. PBS!] have overlooked the performing arts in recent years, Kerger said, and PBS sees an opportunity to fill the void. “My goal is to bring opera, dance and live theatre back to PBS,” Kerger said. “There is a great appetite and interest in the arts that is not being served by the rest of the media.
Being able to bring arts to a much broader audience, particularly those people who don’t have either the resources or the geography to access the arts on their own, is what public television was envisioned as doing when it was first created. I feel very strongly about that.”
As part of its new arts initiative, PBS will broadcast the full Royal Shakespeare Company performance of Shakespeare’s King Lear, directed by Trevor Nunn and featuring Sir Ian McKellen, in the fall. The performance marks McKellen’s return to the RSC after a 17-year hiatus.
Kerger said PBS’s new arts emphasis will encompass ballet, modern dance, opera, regional theatre, performance art and jazz, folk, rhythm & blues, classical and Latin music recitals.
I can’t wait. I’ll know the reconquista is complete when they put the “theatre” back in “Masterpiece Theatre.” Go Paula!