PBS Announces Date For U.S. Release Of Mr. Selfridge Season Three

Courtesy:  itv/PBS

Courtesy: itv/PBS

Americans’ long wait for the third season of Mr. Selfridge is almost over.

PBS Distribution announced this week that it will release the third season of Mr. Selfridge on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, May 5th. In what has been revealed to likely be the penultimate season of the hit British import, World War I is over and the men that survived the war have returned from to reclaim their jobs—that is jobs not already taken by their female counterparts. While they may be back from the war, many of the men at Selfridge & Co. are still haunted by the horrors of the war. Audiences also see a funeral this season. Returning for Season Three are: Amanda Abbington (Sherlock, Season 3) as Josie Mardle, Aisling Loftus (Page Eight) as Agnes Towler, Gregory Fitoussi (World War Z) as Henri LeClair, Amy Beth Hayes (The Syndicate) as Kitty Hawkins, and Samuel West (Any Human Heart) as Frank Edwards.

Those that have followed Mr. Selfridge since its first season will recognize also the return of the villainous Lord Loxley, played by Aidan McArdle (Jane Eyre) this season. Loxley was handled soundly in the series’ second season. But as audiences will see in Season 3, he doesn’t go down so easily. Selfrdige’s CFO Mr. Crabb returns this season, too. And he will be played again by Ron Cook (Little Dorrit). He is joined by fellow returning star Tom Goodman-Hill (Case Histories) who fills the role of Selridge’s personnel director, Mr. Grove. And Trystan Gravelle (Anonymous) returns, too as businessman Victor Colleano, who dreams of opening his own night club.

Real-life twin sisters Kara Tointon (Eastenders) and Hannah Tointon (The Lost Future) are newcomers in Season Three, playing Harry Selfridge’s daughters Rosalie and Violette.

The show’s list of guest stars this season includes Zoe Wanamaker (Poirot) as Princess Marie De Bolotoff, the mother of Harry’s new son-in-law and Kelly Adams (Endeavour) as Nancy Webb. Princess Marie De Bolotoff proves to be quite the thorn in Harry’s side whereas Nancy Webb plays an equally integral role in Harry’s life just in a different way than Princess Marie De Bolotoff or Lord Loxley.

Mr. Selfridge: Season Three will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, May 5th. Season Three will be spread across three discs in both the DVD and Blu-ray box set. Both sets will also include a bonus half-hour-long behind-the-scenes feature. The DVD box set will retail for MSRP of $39.99 and the Blu-ray box set for MSRP of $44.99. It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/family/index.jsp?categoryId=20384186&sr=1&origkw=mr.%20selfridge. All of the latest news and updates on Mr. Selfridge is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/series/mr-selfridge/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs

Twitter: https://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

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PBS Kids’ New DTN DVD Is A Welcome New Addition To Any Family’s Home Library

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Twelve years ago, the world lost one of its most important figures when Fred Rogers passed away.  Rodgers was one of those very rare figures that was the same in front of the camera as he was away from the set of his beloved series Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood.  That is evident in the 2012 documentary Mr. Rodgers & Me.  The same year that Mr. Rodgers & Me made its debut, The Fred Rogers Company launched the family friendly series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  The CG-based series focuses on one of Mr. Rodgers’ most beloved figures and has gone on since its inception to be one of PBS’ and PBS Kids’ best series.  The series has spawned no fewer than six DVDs since the series’ inception, the latest of which was released last month in the form of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel.  If Mr. Rodgers were alive today, he would be just as proud of this collection of episodes as the series’ previous compilations.  That is because just as with the noted collections, it carries on his legacy with pride.  That is evident primarily through the work of the series’ writers.  The writers have crafted a multi-part series of episodes that follows the growth of the Tiger family.  It is a story to which every family will relate and that in turn that every family will appreciate and enjoy from start to finish.  The separation of the story into seven episodes—one of which is a two-part episode, thus making the collection actually eight episodes—makes the DVD even more enjoyable for audiences of all ages.  It is that separation that makes the story easier to follow and more enjoyable to follow, too.  The coloring pages and activities included with the disc as bonus material rounds out the reasons that audiences will enjoy this disc.  The bonus material in question is the same as that found on PBS Kids’ previous Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs.  That means that even if a family doesn’t have the previously released DVDs, no family will feel left out at least to that extent.  The combination of that positive with the DVD’s other noted elements shows clearly why Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is another must have for any family that is expecting a new member of the family.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is not the first in the show’s series of DVDs.  And it likely isn’t the last.  Regardless, it is another piece that any family will enjoy.  Those families expecting a new member will especially enjoy it.  That is primarily because of the work of the show’s writers.  While the writers have tackled important issues for young viewers such as emotional development, general social skills (E.g. sharing, patience, etc.) and for much younger audiences, the importance of dental hygiene and even potty training.  Now with this DVD, the show’s writers have taken on a pretty lofty topic in the upcoming expansion of Daniel’s family.  Daniel learns in the episodes presented here that he’s not going to be the baby of the family anymore.  It’s a topic to which so many families will happily relate.  That is especially the case being that the writers made the story like something right out of any everyday family’s growth.  There are no outrageous additions to the story.  Though, it is shortened up somewhat.  That is obviously for the sake of time.  But from the announcement of his parents expecting a new addition to the family to his various emotional stages before, during, and after his sister’s birth, audiences will see just how easily the story reaches audiences.  It especially makes discussions for families that are themselves expecting to expand all the easier.  That the writing behind the episodes can entertain and reach such a broad spectrum of viewers shows exactly why the writing is so pivotal in to the DVD’s enjoyment.  It’s just one part of the whole that makes Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel a must have for any family.

The work of the writers in the episodes collected for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brothers Daniel shows by itself one obvious reason that any family will welcome this DVD just as much as its own new addition.  On a related note, the fact that the story was separated out into seven stand-alone stories makes the presentation overall even better.  The separation of the story into seven stand-alone episodes keeps them just long (or short) enough to keep younger viewers engaged.  This is nothing new for episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  Anyone familiar with the series and its DVDs will attest to that.  It’s also very smart.  Keeping the attention of its target viewers also means an increased chance of getting the key concepts of each episode and of the story in whole through to said viewers.  Each episode runs about fifteen minutes, putting the DVD’s total run time at approximately two hours.  So not only will young viewers get (and hopefully retina) the presented important life lessons in a short time, they will also be kept entertained for two hours.  That is a win-win for any family regardless of whether or not said family is expecting its own new addition.  It’s yet another way that this new DVD shines and proves to be its own welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

Both the writing that went into Big Brother Daniel’s episodes and the separation of the episodes that make up the DVD’s body are important to the enjoyment of the presentation in whole. Both elements work together to keep audiences of all ages fully engaged from beginning to end. They also work in tandem to serve as a wonderful starting point for any family that may be expecting its own new addition. As important as all of this is to the DVD’s overall presentation, there is still one more element to note that every family will appreciate about it. That final element is the disc’s collective bonus material. Yet again, PBS Kids and The Fred Rodgers Company have included the same bonus material that was included in the series’ previous DVDs. That material in question includes an activity that teaches both healthy eating and healthy expressions of feelings, another activity that teaches children to use their imaginations as they go on a make-believe train ride. There are even a number of printable coloring pages, too. And of course, there is a music video included that can be viewed without having to dig into the DVD. It can be accessed simply by playing the DVD versus having to dig into the DVD’s other bonuses which have to be accessed separately. Whether as part of the DVD itself or a separate .pdf file, the bonus material included with this DVD rounds out the elements that make it so enjoyable and a must have for any family regardless of whether or not said family is expecting its own new addition. The bonus material may be old hat for some. But for others it could be just as new as new baby. And for those audiences, it proves to be a welcome addition to the DVD’s overall presentation. Combined with the work of the show’s writers and the separation of the story into its own stand-alone episodes, all three elements show clearly why Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library regardless of whether or not it is expecting its own new addition.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel proves in the end to have plenty of positives, as has been noted here. Whether for the writing incorporated into each episode, the separation of the story in to seven stand-alone episodes, or for the inclusion of its bonus material included in each previously released Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD, the is plenty to like about this latest DVD. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=51196856&cp=&sr=1&kw=daniel+tigers+neighborhood&origkw=daniel+tiger%27s+neighborhood&parentPage=search. Families can also enjoy more episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and play Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood games online at http://pbskids.org/daniel. Fans can also go there or the official Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv for all of the latest updates on the show and more. 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Examines The Plight Of The Orangutan In New Episode Of Nature

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS announced today that it will release a special episode of its hit wildlife series Nature next month when it releases Nature: The Last Orangutan Eden.

Nature: The Last Orangutan will be released on DVD on Tuesday, April 21st. It follows ecologist Chris Morgan as Morgan takes a trip to an orangutan quarantine center that cares for no fewer than forty-eight orangutans. The orangutans that make up the center’s population have either been rescued from land destroyed by logging or from those that aim to sell them as pets. Along the way, Morgan joins a group of researchers into a protected peat swamp forest in order to observe orangutans in the wild and learn about their culture and behavior.

Nature: The Last Orangutan will retail for MSRP of $19.99. It can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at a reduced price of $17.99 at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58235396&cp=&kw=nature+last+orangutan+eden&origkw=nature+last+orangutan+eden&sr=1. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

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Ben Franklin’s Bones Proves Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction (And More Entertaining)

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

People love drama.  A quick look through the shows dominating both the broadcast and cable networks today proves that.  The same can be said of offerings filling America’s theaters both past and present with dramas even dominating the Oscars ever since the very first Academy Awards celebration nearly ninety years ago in 1927.  Given comedies, musicals, and rom-coms have picked up their own share of Oscars for the “Best Picture” since that year.  But their wins have been extremely sparse.  So what is wrong with this seemingly never-ending fascination with drama?  The issue is that the dramas and medical procedurals that dominate television are entirely fictional.  The dramas that have won so many Oscars over the past eight decades plus have been either fictional or fictional in part.  The problem is that with so much fictional drama dominating television and movie theaters for so many decades, the importance of real life drama seems to have been decreased.  Thankfully though, PBS’s hit history-based series Secrets of the Dead continues to prove that real life drama is just as important as all the made up material on both the small screen and the silver screen.  Its new episode Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones proves that. It proves that primarily through its story of bones found in Franklin’s home in England upon renovations done on the residence back in the late 1990s. The story plays out like something right out of a Sherlock Holmes novel. The twist revealed as the story progresses will throw everyone unfamiliar with the story for a loop. The story’s pacing set against its material adds to the overall presentation. The juxtaposition of the story’s pacing to its included material will keep audiences fully engaged from start to finish. Rounding out the whole thing are the collective re-enactments, interviews, and actual footage that are used to help illustrate and advance the story. The re-enactments are kept to a minimum instead of being made the star of the show. Coupled with the video of the actual excavations and the included interviews, all three elements work in tandem to fill out the presentation and prove yet again that real life crime and medical drama can be just as gripping as the fictional material broadcast to thousands of households every week and sent to thousands of theaters every month. And together with the episode’s actual story and its pacing, everything together shows why the drama of Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones makes it a piece that every drama lover will appreciate.

Anyone that is a fan of all the fictional dramas that dominate American television and theaters will appreciate the real life drama contained in Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones. The drama comes from the story of skeletal remains found in the one-time home of Benjamin Franklin and the resultant search for clues and answers as to where the bones came from and how they got there. The bones were discovered in the late 1990s when a group of individuals was working on the house in order to turn it into a museum honoring Franklin and his legacy. The identity of the bones has never been revealed. And for those that have not yet seen this episode of Secrets of the Dead, the discovery as to the remains themselves will be left for those viewers to find out for themselves. Even more shocking to learn is the semi-criminal link to how the bodies got to the home and the purpose for which the bodies were used. It’s wild to think that as dark as everything presented in the story seems, if not for the revelations made in this episode of Secrets of the Dead, the advances made in the medical field today might never have happened. As the old adage states: truth is stranger than fiction. And because it is so much stranger than fiction, any lover of drama on television and in movies will be just as entertained by this episode of Secrets of the Dead as they would by those fictional dramas.

The story presented in Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones is just as gripping a drama as anything that could ever be written for an episode of Law & Order, CSI, Grey’s Anatomy or any other crime drama and medical procedural. The difference between this episode and those of the noted shows is that the story presented in Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones is real. It proves the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction. And because of that it makes this episode just as entertaining as anything on television and in theaters today. As enthralling as the story in this episode proves to be in the end, the information in the story is only part of what makes it work. The story’s pacing works in tandem with its in-depth information to keep the program moving forward and interesting at the same time. No time is wasted ruminating on one aspect of the story or another more than others. Rather, equal time is offered to every part of the presentation from the discussions on the excavation and resultant research to the re-enactments to the interviews, every part of this episode receives just enough time to keep audiences engaged from start to finish, waiting on the edge of their seats to find out the next revelation.   Along with the story at the center of this episode, it and its pacing combine to strengthen the episode even more and prove even more clearly why any fan of television and theatrical dramas should watch this episode of Secrets of the Dead just as much as those fictional presentations.

The story presented in Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones and its pacing are both key to the enjoyment of this program. Both elements work together to make the story just as entertaining and as gripping as anything ever churned out by the writers at CSI, Grey’s Anatomy, or Law & Order: SVU. While both elements are equally important to the whole of Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones, there is still one more element to note that makes the episode complete. That element in question is the episode’s collective interviews, re-enactments, and actual excavation footage. These three parts make up the body of this episode’s story. And thanks to the work of those behind the episode, all three elements are given just enough time to keep things interesting. It goes right back to the show’s pacing and in turn the work of the show’s writers to keep the pacing just enough that none of the noted elements dominates the program. Had one of them dominated, it might have hindered the show and in turn made it far less interesting and enjoyable than it is. Luckily that didn’t prove to be the case. And the end result of that is an episode of Secrets of the Dead that proves again to be just as interesting and engaging as any of the major dramas on television and in theaters today. It proves to be a piece that any drama fan will appreciate just as much as those offerings.

Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones is one of the best episodes that the hit PBS series has produced to date. Whether for the in-depth information shared throughout the program, its pacing, the surprise twist revealed through the program’s in-depth information or for another reason, it proves to be just as entertaining as any crime drama and medical procedural on television and in theaters today. Some might even argue that being a real life crime drama and medical procedural in one, it is even more entertaining than said offerings on television and in theaters Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones will be available on DVD on Tuesday, March 17th. It can be pre-ordered direct from PBS’ online store now at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=57131096&cp=&sr=1&kw=secrets+of+the+dead&origkw=Secrets+of+the+Dead&parentPage=search. Audiences can check out a clip from this episode of Secrets of the Dead online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pkQeQJU9eU. More information on this and other episodes of Secrets of the Dead is available online now at:

 

Website: https://pbs.org/secrets

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SecretsOfTheDead

 

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Lucky Diaz & The Family Jam Band Looking To Its Fans For Its Next LP

Courtesy:  Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Courtesy: Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band is looking to fans to help fund its next album.

The band has released six albums, all of which were released independently. It has its own show on PBS called Lishy Lou and Lucky Too. The show in question is produced by the band’s own production company, meaning it puts its own money into the show. It has even won a Latin Grammy for its 2013 album fantastico. That album was the band’s first US release to win a Latin Grammy. As if these accolades aren’t enough, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band has been featured by no less than NPR’s All Things Considered, USA Today, CNN, Sprout TV, American Airlines, Univision, and many more outlets.

For all of the success that Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band has had over the years, it should be noted again that said success has come from the pockets of the band members’ own pockets. Now Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band is looking to its fans to help fund its next album Adelante. The band is looking to its fans for help in part because while working on Adelante it suffered a heartbreaking setback. Someone broke into the band’s storage locker, stealing its instruments and destroying the set that it uses for its show on PBS. Sadly the band’s insurance apparently only covers a very minute portion of its damages and losses. So now it is asking its fans to be part of its new bi-lingual record’s creation. The money donated by fans will go toward purchasing new instruments and replace the set for its show. And what’s in it for fans that help make Adelante a reality? Fans can pick up autographed copies of the band’s albums, props from its show, private concerts, skype time with the band and pretty much anything else that fans could probably think up. Donation levels start as cheap as $15 and run as high as $15,000. Here’s how it breaks down:

For $15, fans will get an advance digital download of Adelante and monthly behind-the-scenes video journals. Also at this level, fans will get a digital download code for the album a month ahead of its release as well as monthly behind-the-scenes video journals from the band. Only forty of these offers are left.

At the $25 level, fans can get a physical autographed copy of Adelante from the band as well as a secret download code for the album and monthly behind-the-scenes video journals. Fans that donate at the $25 level will even get their name in the album’s liner notes along with that downloadable copy of the album. Supplies of both rewards at this level are limited.

From the $25, the level jumps to $40. At this level, fans can get a two-fer. Fans at this level can get one personalized copy of Adelante for a family member and a signed copy to give as a gift. The band will send out the gift copy personally with a card letting the recipient know who had it sent to them. Or both copies can be sent to donors for donors to send out themselves. Less than 20 of these are left.

The rewards increase at each donation level from here. Fans can find out what they can get for donating at each level at the band’s indiegogo website at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-album-adelante-lucky-diaz-the-fjb. And for all of the latest news on the album’s progress, fans can follow the band online at:

 

Website: https://www.luckydiazmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucky-Diaz-and-the-Family-Jam-Band/182600891967

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PBS’ Nature Will Keep Things Cool Next Month With A New Episode Of Nature On DVD

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Typically when one thinks of Antarctica, one thinks of snow, ice, and penguins. Thoughts turn to what is one of the harshest environments on the planet. However, those harsh conditions exist during the continent’s coldest months. During its summer months, things change, allowing for tourists to make their way to the Antarctic. Along the way, said tourists make it a point to stop at the Antarctic peninsula at Port Lockroy. It is there that a colony of approximately 3,000 gentoo penguins find their mates, build nests, and raise the next generation of gentoo penguins. It just so happens that along with the penguins, there is also a British post office at Port Lockroy where tourists can purchase post cards to send back to their friends and family and visit the post office’s on-site museum. Now thanks to PBS, audiences can get a glimpse into the lives of the gentoo penguins and how they are being protected in the new DVD Nature: Penguin Post Office.

Nature: Penguin Post Office will be released Tuesday, March 17th. The DVD examines the lives of the gentoo penguins at Port Lockroy and the efforts to protect the penguins as visitors make their way to the port through each year. The hour-long program includes interviews with volunteers from the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust who run the post office and museum at Port Lockroy. The DVD will retail for $19.99 but can be pre-ordered online via PBS’ online store at a reduced price of $17.99 at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=57130986&cp=&kw=penguin+post+office&origkw=penguin+post+office&sr=1#Details. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online along with the latest Nature news at:

Website: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

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PBS Announces Release Date, Specs For New NOVA DVD

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has been one of the world’s most polarizing points ever since it was first started up in 2008. While the concerns that so many people had have been allayed since then, the LHC still has not revealed the long-speculated Higgs-Boson Particle, or “God Particle” to researchers. Though, researchers have found a particle in their efforts that is a starkly close match to the Higgs-Boson Particle. Now this spring, scientists with CERN are set to restart the LHC and restart their research. As they prepare to start what is the world’s largest atom smasher, PBS will release NOVA: Big Bang Machine.

NOVA: Big Bang Machine will be released on DVD Tuesday, March 17th. The hour-long episode of PBS’ hit science-based series looks at the LHC, its history including what made it such a hot button topic, and expectations for its next startup. Audiences can check out a clip from this episode of NOVA online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfJBUJMywPs. The DVD will retail for $24.99. It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store fora reduced price of $19.99 at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=nova%20big%20bang%20machine&origkw=NOVA+Big+Bang+Machine&sr=1. It can also be ordered in a combo pack that also includes a wristwatch for $49.99. The combo pack will retail in stores for $68.94.

More information on NOVA: Big Bang Machine and other episodes of NOVA is available online now along with all of the latest NOVA news at:

Website: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NOVAonline

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