Wednesday, 17 April 2013
TVweek: Saturday 20th - Friday 26th April 2013
10.15pm The United States of Television: America in Primetime BBC2 - Alan Yentob presents a series documenting the history of primetime television in America, from the age of mass television in the 1950s to the present. This opening episode traces the trajectory of the archetypal American dad from the breadwinning patriarch of the 1950s to the angst-ridden multitasker of the 21st century. From the cast iron certainties and benign omniscience of Jim X and Andy Griffith, to the crippling anxieties and bad choices Tony Soprano and Homer Simpson, the programme takes an in-depth view of American masculinity over six decades. Featuring interviews with creators, stars, writers and producers including Ron Howard, David Lynch, Rob Reiner, David Chase, John Hamm and James L. Brooks among others.
8.00pm Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero BBC2 - Comedian Bill Bailey heads to the jungles of Indonesia in the footsteps of his hero, Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, to understand how he came up with the theory of evolution independently of Darwin.
9.00pm: Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild Five - Documentary series in which adventurer Ben Fogle meets people who have given up the daily grind in favour of a new life in the wilderness. Ben travels to a remote island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef to live with former Sydney businessman David Glasheen. Since losing a fortune in the 1987 stock market crash, which also cost him his marriage, David has led a Robinson Crusoe-like existence. Ben learns how to pick oysters, brew beer, trade fish and dance with the locals, finding out how it feels to truly live alone.
9.00pm Unsafe Sex in the City BBC3 - Four-part documentary series about life at a Manchester STI clinic, following the ups and downs of the sex lives of the residents of one of Britain's biggest party cities in a frank and revealing look at the consequences of unsafe sex.
8.00pm Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic Channel 4 - In a purpose-built studio in Britain's largest single site hospital, the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham, the series starts with a live smear test and a chance to see how the results are analysed in a lab. There's also the unique opportunity to have a consultation with one of the UK's top specialists, urologist and penis expert Mr Paul Anderson.
9.00pm Edward VIII's Murderous Mistress Channel 4 - A new investigation into Edward VIII's first love affair and the extraordinary story behind it, involving a high-society murder trial, a secret cache of vanished letters, and a shameful establishment cover-up to save the reputation of the future king.
9.00pm Survivor Stories BBC4 - The dark heart of the Nazi holocaust, Treblinka was an extermination camp where over 800,000 Polish Jews perished from 1942. Only two men can bear final witness to its terrible crimes. Samuel Willenberg and Kalman Taigman were slave labourers who escaped in a dramatic revolt in August 1943. One would seek vengeance in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, while the other would appear in the sensational trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961. This film documents their amazing survivor stories and the tragic fate of their families, and offers new insights into a forgotten death camp.
10.35pm The Wright Way BBC1 - New sitcom from Ben Elton. Gerald and his health and safety team identify an irregular speed bump on the streets of Baselricky. At home, meanwhile, he contends with bathroom hoggers
9.00pm Great Bear Stakeout BBC1 - Documentary following the lives of grizzly bears. In this episode the cameras follow Parsnip, a first-time grizzly mum, and her young cub, Pushki. Only half of new bear cubs make it through the season, and they are both struggling to survive in this vast Alaskan wilderness. Concludes Tomorrow.
9.00pm South Africa: The Massacre that Changed a Nation BBC2 - In August 2012, 34 miners were shot dead by police as they protested outside a mine in Marikana, just outside Johannesburg. Nearly 50 years after he left South Africa as a teenager, Peter Hain MP returns to ask how the country of his childhood, once such a beacon of hope, is now the scene of such tragedy. In this documentary, Hain speaks to the families of some of the men killed at Marikana and uncovers a day of shocking brutality with many disturbing allegations.
9.00pm Licence to Kill BBC3 - After her own accident left her unable to walk, Sophie Morgan presents a documentary looking at why traffic collisions are the single biggest killer of young people and how that can be stopped. With access into a number of high profile cases from the moment of the crash through to resolution in the courts, she meets people who have seen their lives changed forever in an instant - whether they were injured or they were driving.
10.00pm 10 O'Clock Live Channel 4 - Channel 4's flagship satirical current affairs show returns for a new eight-part series. David Mitchell, Charlie Brooker, Lauren Laverne and Jimmy Carr reunite to shine an uncomfortably bright light on the week's events and give an alternative take on the news.
9.00pm The Politician's Husband BBC2 - Three-part drama starring David Tennant and Emily Watson. Aiden and Freya Hoynes are the golden couple of British politics, but when Aiden resigns from cabinet in a failed leadership bid, Freya is appointed to cabinet whilst Aiden returns to the back benches and obscurity. Finally out of her husband's shadow, Freya is forced to choose between her own career ambitions and publicly supporting her husband.
9.00pm Joined for Life: Abby and Brittany BBC3 - Documentary series following conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel, two vivacious, funny and outgoing girls on the brink of their 22nd birthday. As they graduate from college, travel through Europe and find their first teaching job, there is rarely a dull moment. Abby and Brittany are halfway through their last semester at college. They are planning a party with their closest friends to celebrate their final birthday as college students. After all this they need a break - spring break. But between all the sunshine and fun they must also prepare for their first job interview.
10.00pm Watson & Oliver BBC2 - Series 2 of the sketch show.
9.00pm Ben Earl: Trick Artist Channel 4 - Ben Earl is a master of sleight of hand and deception - he is the ultimate trick artist. Ben has spent the last few months in an old warehouse in London devising four special programmes based on themes that fuse deception and mind-blowing stunts. This first show is all about crime. Ben invites a select group of people to join him as he attempts to catch a speeding bullet, goes to prison to perform astonishing sleight-of-hand tricks with ex-convicts, teaches an audience member how to pickpocket, and finds himself leaping from the top of a moving car.
Cold Feet:Oh it's good to have you back!
Contributed by Matt Donnelly It seems to be the in-thing at the moment for big shows from the last couple of decades to make a comeback. ...
In the Flesh: Why we should be shouting about this more
Amid the tremendous bevy of high quality programmes delivered over the past few months – Prey , Happy Valley , From There to Here ...
BBC Landmark Sitcom Season: The Pilots
Contributed by Matt Donnelly In my last post I looked at three of the sitcom revivals that the BBC have produced but alongside these p...
We chat to Cold Feet creator Mike Bullen
After thirteen years away ITV asked creator and writer Mike Bullen to resurrect his series Cold Feet in 2016. After five hugely popular...
BBC Landmark Sitcom Season: The Revivals
Contributed by Matt Donnelly Last week whilst at Edinburgh I was lucky enough to attend a preview screening of Dick Clement and Ian L...
ITV's Paranoid: littered with irritating characters
The crime drama is a genre everyone is familiar with. There are good ones that keep you guessing and they are bad ones. The bad ones take th...
Our Girl: Michelle Keegan takes a commanding lead.
Contributed by Matt Donnelly It must be hard when a central cast member decides to leave a popular TV drama and even harder for those ...
What to Expect from The Lady Vanishes
Sunday night has long been the home of period drama on BBC One with recent examples being Upstairs Downstairs and Call the Midwife. Thi...