Shout! Factory Announces Release Date For NYPD Blue: Season Six

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory will release the sixth season of the hit crime drama NYPD Blue this Summer.

NYPD Blue Season Six will be released on June 24th, 2014. Season Six of the Emmy® and Peabody award-winning series will be released in a six-disc DVD set containing all twenty-two episodes from the series’ sixth season. The series’ sixth season sees the addition of actor Rick Schroder to the show’s cast. Schroder plays the part of detective Danny Sorenson. Sorenson is Sipowicz’s (Dennis Franz) new partner this season. But he isn’t fully trusted by everybody in the department. That is thanks to his questionable methods. His arrival is just one of a number of major events that arise in Season Six.

The arrival of a new detective on the force and the major events that flush out Season Six are just part of what makes it one of the show’s more talked about seasons. This season also sees a who’s who of guest stars throughout its episodes. Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow, Iron Man, Crash), Daniel Benzali (General Hospital), Mos Def (The Italian Job, Dexter, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Kevin Dillon (Entourage), and Emile Hirsch (Twice Born, Into The Wild, Milk) all make appearances.

NYPD Blue Season Six can be pre-ordered now via Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/nypd-blue-season-six. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

30 For 30: Soccer Stories Kicks Off April 15th

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

April 15th is perhaps the single most hated day of the year every year. It is the deadline to file taxes on time. This year however, ESPN and ESPN Films are giving everyone reason to be happy on April 15th. That’s because ESPN Films will present the latest addition to its award-winning 30 for 30 film series as a reward for enduring tax day.

ESPN Films will present Hillsborough, the first in the 30 for 30: Soccer Stories series, on April 15th at 8pm ET on ESPN.  Hillsborough examines what is the single worst sporting disaster in the history of the United Kingdom. The film examines the events in the years, months, weeks, and days leading up to the tragedy, which left ninety-six people dead and hundreds more injured at an FA Cup Semifinal matchup between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England.

Hillsborough tells the story of the tragedy through first-hand accounts of fans in attendance and from police officers. Many of those that appeared on camera to share their stories did so for the first time since the horrific events of that day a quarter of a century ago. Many of those interviewed for Hillsborough are still seeking justice for their loved ones to this day.

ESPN Films’ 30 for 30: Soccer Stories is a mix of feature-length films and 30-minute long documentary films promoting ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The series of films is presented by an award-winning group of filmmakers. It tells stories from around the world of soccer both from the United States and around the world. The complete schedule of films in ESPN Films’ is available online at http://es.pn/1aOGWre. More information on ESPN Films’ 30 for 30: Soccer Stories is available online at http://espn.go.com/30for30/soccer.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Ireland’s Wild River Is An Example Of A Wildlife Documentary Done Right

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Ireland’s Wild River is one of the most enjoyable episodes of PBS’ beloved wildlife series Nature to come along in quite a while. This episode of Nature is such a joy first and foremost because of its approach. There is quite a bit to note on that matter alone. Another reason that audiences will enjoy this episode of Nature thanks to the beautiful cinematography. That plays directly into the episode’s approach. One more reason that viewers will enjoy this episode of Nature is its editing. Much like the cinematography, the editing plays directly in to the episode’s overall approach. All three factors together make this episode of Nature one that any viewer should see at least once.

PBS’ Nature has been a hit with viewers for years. That is because of its general approach. It has typically stayed as far as possible from all of the wildlife shows that are based more on personalities (whether on camera or off) than on the animals. Because they focus more on personalities, those same shows take more of an intrusive approach than Nature for lack of better wording. While this episode of Nature actually does have a host of sorts in Colin Stafford-Johnson, he is not the center of attention. Nor does he show any interest in taking center stage. The only time that he is shown is occasionally as he paddles (yes, paddles) along the Shannon. Even his own narration is apart from that of hosts of other wildlife program. That makes this episode even more enjoyable for true nature lovers. His narration isn’t the same high energy approach of so many nature show hosts. Much like the cinematography and companion editing of this episode, Stafford-Johnson’s own narration is low-key and non-intrusive. He takes the angle more of a full-on observer than the standard host that goes in and grabs everything in sight, trying to stay in the camera. It’s one part of the episode’s approach that makes the episode such a joy.

Host Colin Stafford-Johnson’s hands off, observer style approach to Ireland’s Wild River is just one part of what makes this episode of Nature so enjoyable for lovers of any wildlife programming on television. Another, more subtle aspect of the episode’s approach that makes it so enjoyable is in how Stafford-Johnson made his way along the Shannon River. Whereas shows like River Monsters and others are so quick to use motorized boats because they make the show more “sexy” for viewers, Stafford-Johnson gently paddles along in a canoe. It’s a nice change of pace. It shows that Stafford-Johnson isn’t trying to present that same spit-shined, “sexy” appearance of those other shows. And it shows a true reverence for the wildlife along the river, too. He is showing that he doesn’t want to do anything to disturb the wildlife. This is such a welcome alternative to what audiences are accustomed to seeing from nature shows. It makes the episode’s overall approach all the more entertaining for audiences.

The approach taken by Stafford-Johnson and those responsible for the final product here resulted in what is one of the series’ best episodes so far in 2014. That work is not all that makes this episode so enjoyable. Just as important to the overall enjoyment factor is the combined cinematography and editing used for the final product. The shots of Stafford-Johnson paddling gently along the river, and sitting in his canoe among the reeds create such a sense of serenity. There are no overdone pans setting him against the backdrop of the river or other unnecessary flourishes. It’s just straight forward camera work. In terms of flourishes, audiences will like the high speed photography capturing in flight, the many birds that populate the Shannon. Even here, it isn’t overdone. This effect is used just enough to add a little extra “oomph” to the program. And the editing used to transition from one bird to the next adds even more of that feeling.   Just as worth noting is one specific moment in which a shot of a bird on a reed fades to a show of Stafford-Johnson’s silhouette against the setting sun in the sky. Given, it’s a standard edit effect. But it’s the only time that audiences see this effect used, too. Simply put the editing and cinematography are minimized just as much as Stafford-Johnson’s time on camera. There’s no over the top anything here. Everything is balanced just right throughout the course of the program. In the end it’s that balance makes Ireland’s Wild River one of the best episodes of PBS’ Nature yet.

Ireland’s Wild River is available now on DVD. It can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=31134566&cp=&sr=1&kw=irelands+wild+river&origkw=Ireland%27s+Wild+River&parentPage=search. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online at http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature and http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Marks 50th Anniversary Of Freedom Summer With New Episode Of American Experience

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS announced this week, the upcoming home release of another episode of its series American Experience.

PBS will release American Experience: Freedom Summer June 24th on DVD. The documentary takes viewers back to the Summer of 1964, recalling the events that would change America forever over a mere ten weeks. It was over those ten weeks that the civil rights movement took a big turn. Over seven hundred student volunteers joined forces with organizers and local members of the African American community in Mississippi to establish the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and Freedom Schools throughout the state. The goal of the movement was to challenge the state’s already established Democratic Party at the DNC in Atlantic City that year.

The efforts of Freedom Summer organizers and student volunteers were met with a lot of resistance. Three civil rights workers were killed that year. There were also numerous beatings. And some thirty-five churches were burned. A total of seventy homes and community centers were bombed in the process, too. Acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders, the Murder of Emmitt Till) directed this documentary. Till takes viewers through the dramatic events of the Freedom Summer, from the violence to the efforts to get African Americans registered to vote and everything in between. It shows the sheer complexity of the movement to end segregation in America.

American Experience: Freedom Summer retails for $24.99. It can be pre-ordered via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=34894696&cp=&sr=1&kw=american+experience+freedom+summer&origkw=American+Experience+Freedom+Summer&parentPage=search. More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online at http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperience, http://www.pbs.org/americanexperience, and http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Kids’ Latest Pound Puppies Compilation Is Another Great Watch For The Whole Family

Courtesy;  Shout! Factory/Shout! Kids/Hub/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy; Shout! Factory/Shout! Kids/Hub/Hasbro Studios

Shout! Kids released the latest collection of episodes from Hub’s award-winning series Pound Puppies this week.  The latest collection of episodes from this update on the original 1980s series is just as much a jewel as the series’ previous compilation DVDs.  The episodes included in this compilation make it so enjoyable first and foremost because of the episodes’ writing.  By connection, audiences will appreciate the subtle lessons taught through some of the episodes.  Intentional or not, there are some subtle lessons taught through some of this set’s episodes.  It makes the set all the richer.  And last but not least, viewers (especially parents) will appreciate this latest compilation is the list of guest appearances.  Some very big names lend their talents to Pound Puppies in this collection.  Whether it be the guest talent, the lessons, the writing or all three factors together, Pound Puppies: A Perfect Match proves to be another wonderful set of episodes for the whole family.

The writing behind this collection of episodes is the central point of impact for this DVD.  Those that are familiar with this incarnation of Pound Puppies and with the original series from the 1980s know that both series emulate the classic WWII-themed sitcom Hogan’s Heroes in their theme songs.  The new Pound Puppies has taken things to a higher level, actually giving Ace and his canine friends an underground base just like Col. Hogan and his Allied forces friends in Hogan’s Heroes.  As viewers will see in this set’s opening episode, the writers even emulate Hogan’s Heroes in terms of the writing, too.  In “The Yipper Caper”, viewers see McLeash bring in a giant dog feeding machine just to impress his superiors much like Col. Klink would do in Hogan’s Heroes.  Klink was always taking on some wild, hair-brained scheme to impress his higher-ups.  On the other side of things, audiences hear Ace tell Yipper that the Pound Puppies have homes outside the shelter, but they stay there to help others.  Audiences familiar with Hogan’s Heroes will again recognize quite the similarity there.  This writing is a wonderful homage to the golden era of television and takes things one step farther than the original Pound Puppies series.  That homage is just the tip of the iceberg in what makes the writing so fun in these episodes.  Just as impressive to note is the fact that the show’s writers are able to time and again find ways for the Pound Puppies to complete their missions without McLeash ever knowing.  This is the case throughout all five episodes, not just the opener.  Again, this is an homage to Hogan’s Heroes.  It’s one more way to potentially get young viewers started on the road to an appreciation for television’s Golden Era.  And for that, the show’s writers are more than deserving of their applause.

As one should be able to tell by now, the writing behind the episodes included in the latest Pound Puppies compilation DVD is key to the collection’s overall enjoyment.  Even older viewers will appreciate the writing thanks to its throwback to what is one of television’s greatest ever sitcoms.  Just as important to these episodes are the lessons taught through the episodes.  “Hello Kitten” teaches a not so subtle lesson about the ability of people to get along and be friends despite opposing backgrounds.  It does this by having the youngest of the pound puppies help a kitten find his perfect person.  There’s just one problem.  The Pound Puppies’ feline counterparts, led by a feline mirror image of Ace is set out to keep the young kitten from becoming friends with dogs and finding a person for the kitten themselves.  In the end, the cats learn that it’s okay to be friends with dogs.  The secondary lesson taught here is that one must let go of things from the past.  All holding onto the past does is make a person bitter.  “Beauty is only Fur Deep” teaches a lesson about being one’s self when a much talked about dog comes to Kennel 17.  The Pound Puppies have their hands…*ahem*…paws full when the seemingly humble dog turns quite self-centered on getting a new coat of fur.  It creates lots of problems for the Pound Puppies especially when he shoots down the little girl they said was his perfect person. He of course learns a rather valuable lesson from this experience that viewers of all ages will appreciate.

The lessons taught through the episodes culled for Pound Puppies: A Perfect Match and the general writing that pays homage to Hogan’s Heroes both make this latest compilation of episodes just as enjoyable as previous Pound Puppies DVDs. There is one more factor to consider in this DVD that makes its episodes so fun. That final factor is the list of guest stars that lent its talents to each episode. J.K. Simmons (Spiderman 1 3) and Tress MacNeille both share their talents in the episodes included in this DVD. Go figure, Simmons voices a character in “Working K-9 To 5” that is a newspaper man. Hmmmmm, now where have we seen that before? His character is even presented much in the same vein as J. Jonah Jameson from director Sam Raimi’s Spiderman Trilogy. MacNeille (The Simpsons, Futurama) voices a fellow canine in another episode. It’s only a bit part. But parents that know McNeille’s voice will love hearing her voice here, too. And of course, the true queen of comedy herself, Betty White, returns once more as the voice of McLeash’s not so nice mother. These are just some of the guests that appear in the episodes collected for this DVD. Also on board on these episodes are: Tara Strong (Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, The Fairly Odd Parents), E.G. Daily (Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, Chalk Zone), Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave & The Bold, Napoleon Dynamite, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy), Danny Cooksey (Salute Your Shorts, Diff’rent Strokes, Tiny Toon Adventures) and so many others. The fact that so many well-known actors and actresses would lend their talents to these episodes shows just how respected a series it proves to be. Parents will recognize most (if not all) of the names mentioned here. And that alone is enough to give the DVD just one watch if not more. And it is most definitely deserving of far more than just one watch.

Pound Puppies: A Perfect Match is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/pound-puppies-perfect-match. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory and Shout! Kids is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN2 To Air 2014 WNBA Draft Live April 14th

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN2 will present the 2014WNBA Draft Presented by State Farm Live next Monday, April 14th, 2014.

Monday’s WNBA Draft will be held at the Mohegan Sun Arena , home of the Connecticut Sun. Round will be broadcast live at 8pm ET on ESPN2. The second and third rounds of the WNBA Draft Presented by State Farm will be broadcast online via ESPN3 from 9 – 10:30pm ET. Kevin Negandhi will anchor ESPN2’s coverage of the draft. Analysts Rebecca Lobo and Carolyn Peck will join him to add their own insight on the draft, as will reporter Holly Rowe.

Additional content will be offered across the ESPN platforms including SportsCenter and espnW.com.

The Connecticut Sun will have the top pick in the draft for the second consecutive year. The Sun will have a big crop of players from which to choose this year as top picks Chelsea Gray (Duke), Bria Hartley (Connecticut), Kayla McBride (Notre Dame), Shoni Schimmel (Louisville), Meighan Simmons (Tennessee) and Odyssey Sims (Baylor) have all been named as top picks in this year’s draft. Also named among the most talked about names in this year’s draft are forwards Natalie Achonwa (Notre Dame), Natasha Howard (Florida State), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Alyssa Thomas (Maryland), and centers Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut) and Markeisha Gatling (NC State). The draft order in the WNBA Draft is chosen through the WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm.

Tulsa holds the second pick in this year’s WNBA Draft, followed by the San Antonio Stars, New York Liberty, and Indiana Fever.

More information on this year’s WNBA Draft presented by State Farm is available online at http://espnW.com, http://www.facebook.com/espnW, http://www.facebook.com/wnba, and http://www.wnba.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

UConn/Notre Dame Ratings Best For Any ESPN Women’s College Basketball Broadcast In A Decade

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Tuesday night’s broadcast of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship has given ESPN its best ratings for a broadcast of women’s college basketball in a decade. This announcement came Wednesday.

Tuesday night’s broadcast of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship between the UConn Huskies and Notre Dame Fighting Irish gave ESPN a 2.8 US Rating. That is the highest rating for any women’s college basketball broadcast in a decade. It is the highest for women’s college basketball since the Huskies defeated Tennessee for the women’s NCAA Division I title in 2004. That game pulled in a 3.5 US Rating.

In terms of total numbers, Tuesday night’s broadcast averaged 3.21 million households and 4.27 viewers (P2+). That is fourth and sixth respectively since ESPN started broadcasting the NCAA Division I Women’s College Basketball Championship in1996. This year’s 2.8 rating represents an increase in viewership of forty percent over last year’s 2.0 for UConn’s championship matchup against Louisville.

ESPN made big marks both on television and online thanks to its broadcast of the UConn/Notre Dame matchup Tuesday night. Over 100,000 people watched the game on WatchESPN and ESPN3’s special Surround production of the game. This generated 3,800,000 minutes on the game. Both the 100,000 viewers and the total minutes are all-time highs for a women’s college basketball game. Even better for ESPN, Tuesday’s game generated the most minutes viewed for an ESPN3 Surround production to date.

The Hartford/New Haven market led the way among metered markets with a 29.3 rating. That is the highest overnight for any cable broadcast so far this year. Nashville, the site of the championship, came in second overnight with a 6.8. Knoxville came in third with a 6.0, followed by Louisville (5.5), Indianapolis (4.8), Raleigh-Durham (4.7), Providence (4.6), new York (4.6), Memphis (4.5), and Greenville (4.5).

More information on Tuesday’s broadcast and all ESPN coverage of NCAA Women’s Basketball is available online at http://espnW.com, http://www.facebook.com/espnW, http://www.facebook.com/ESPNCollegebasketball, and http://espn.go.com/womens-basketball. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Releases 2014 Preseason NFL Coverage Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced this week that it will broadcast two NFL preseason games as part of the network’s 2014 Monday Night Football schedule. The first of the two games will see the Jacksonville Jaguars taking on Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears. That game is scheduled to take place Thursday, August 14th, 2014. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET. The Browns will be on the road the following Monday, August 18th, visiting RG3 and the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Despite being a preseason game, it will be a pivotal matchup as it will be a battle of first-year head coaches. Jay Gruden, who left Cincinnati to take the helm in Washington, will lead the Redskins against Mike Pettine in his first ever game as a head coach in this game.

Mike Tirico and Gruden’s brother Jon will have the call for both games. They will be joined by reporter Lisa Salters. Both games will be preceded by a one-hour edition of ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown pregame show.

ESPN Deportes will carry both preseason games as well as regular season games. All games broadcast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes will also be available online via tablets and computers via WatchESPN.

More information on ESPN’s NFL coverage is available online at http://espn.go.com/nfl. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news reviews, go online to htt://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Documentary Proves Truth Is Sometimes Stranger (And Better) Than Fiction

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

American Experience: The Last outlaws – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is another wonderful addition to PBS’ hit series.  The documentary on the famed outlaw cowboy and his cohort (Sundance was not his sidekick despite how he was presented in various movies and TV shows) is so impressive first and foremost in that it presents the real history of the two infamous figures.  It doesn’t try to over glamorize the lives of the two men.  Viewers will enjoy this episode of American Experience because of its minimalistic use of actors and dramatization in telling the story of Butch and his friend.  This plays directly into the episode’s general presentation and refusal to over-glamorize their history.  And last but not least, the use of cinematography and vintage pictures help to illustrate the story.  That combined with the minimalist dramatization and the straight forward history makes this episode of American Experience more proof of just how interesting history can be.  And it makes the newly released DVD one that any history buffs or teacher will want to purchase and add to their own home library.

The first and most obvious reason that audiences will appreciate American Experience: The Last Outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is that it is a straight forward history of the two infamous outlaws.  So many movies and television programs through the decades have been crafted presenting depicting the men in one fashion or another.  In many of those depictions, The Sundance Kid (a.k.a. Harry Alonzo Longabaugh) is presented as Butch Cassidy’s sidekick.  But as audiences will learn through this episode of American Experience, the relationship between the men was more an equal friendship than one of a leader and sidekick.  What’s more, audiences not so familiar with the life and times of these infamous outlaws will appreciate learning that they were far more average than the noted movies and TV dramas have made them out to be.  It’s interesting just to learn that Cassidy (a.k.a. Robert Leroy Parker) actually started out in a very strict religious family from Utah before eventually leaving and making his way to Colorado where his life of crime truly began.  There is so much more to learn throughout this program.  The best summary of what is presented is that sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction.  And in this case, that’s definitely a good thing (bad pun fully intended).

The true history of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid presented in this episode of American Experience is the central reason that audiences will enjoy the newly released DVD.  Another reason that audiences will appreciate this DVD is its minimalist use of actors and dramatization. In most cases of historical pieces, dramatizations are necessary in order to help tell the story of the subject presented. In the case of this episode of American Experience, the use of actors and dramatization actually would have been overkill. That’s because the story itself is interesting enough without those extra elements. Audiences will find themselves fully engaged as they learn how two seemingly ordinary men became the virtual Robin Hood and Little John of the old west, stealing from major organizations, yet through it all, leaving only one person dead in their wake. Those behind the program perfectly balanced the minimalist dramatization approach with just enough history to make this episode even all the more enjoyable.

The balance of story and minimalist dramatization used throughout American Experience: The Last Outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid make this program one that any history buff and any history teacher will definitely want to add to their own home library. The last piece of the program that audiences will appreciate is the combination of the use of vintage photos and stunning cinematography. As narrator Michael Murphy discusses the “Outlaw Trail”, audiences are presented with stunning views of the areas where Cassidy and other outlaws would hide in order to evade law enforcement. The aerial shots of the canyons—some split by rivers, others lined by craggy overhangs—are incredible. The vintage photos of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid help to illustrate just how average the two legendary outlaws looked. It is a direct contradiction to how they are portrayed in movies and on television. The two elements are expertly balanced throughout the program, thus helping to pull viewers even more into the story of two of history’s most talked about figures. Those final two elements work in tandem with the aforementioned factors to make this new documentary from PBS’ American Experience so much more worth watching. It ends up proving to be one more excellent documentary that is just as useful and enjoyable in the living room as it is in the classroom.

American Experience: The Last OutlawsButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is available now on DVD. It can be ordered direct from the PBS online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=32476546&cp=&sr=1&kw=butch+cassidy&origkw=Butch+Cassidy&parentPage=search. More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperience and http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

NHRA Going Four Wide This Weekend

Courtesy:  NHRA

Courtesy: NHRA

The NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series is going four-wide this weekend.

Drag Racing’s top series will be at the famed ZMax Dragway near Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend for the NHRA 4Wide Nationals. The annual 4Wide Nationals is the one time each season that the NHRA sends four cars down the track at one time.  John Force Racing driver Robert Hight comes in to this weekend’s atop the Funny Car standings with his car owner John Force nine points back in second. Doug Kalitta leads the Top Fuel standings. Antron Brown, Kalitta’s closest competition right now, is a staggering seventy-three points back in second in that division. Erica Enders-Stevens leads the Pro-Stock division fifteen points ahead of Jason Line. And in the Pro-Stock Motorcycle division, Steve Johnson comes into this weekend’s event twenty-one points ahead of Scott Pollacheck.

ESPN2 and ESPN3 will have all of the weekend’s coverage beginning with live qualifying Friday afternoon at 4:15pm on ESPN3. Qualifying will be re-broadcast Saturday night on ESPN2at 9pm ET. Final eliminations will be broadcast live online on ESPN3 Sunday, April 13th at 12pm ET. ESPN2 will carry the television re-broadcast of Final Eliminations Sunday night at 8pm ET. Dave Rieff will anchor the broadcast. He will be joined by analyst Mike Dunn for all of the weekend’s action.

More information on this weekend’s events is available online at http://espn.go.com/racing and http://www.nhra.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.