4 reasons why TV viewers should defend PBS

By Ellen Gray

Philadelphia Daily News

Published: Monday, March 7 2011 5:00 p.m. MST

Streaming online at PBS.org or through its free apps for iPhone and iPad are most of the network's recent prime-time shows, along with a selection of "Julia Child" episodes in a form she likely never anticipated.

PBS won't think of me as dead until I am. Maybe not even then. (See "Julia Child.")

If you're one of the people who fled the History Channel for the Military Channel, it may be that you're, ahem, of a certain age, one fewer and fewer programmers are interested in.

For most, the dead zone begins at 50 (though you may still count to CBS till you hit 55).

If you're watching the CW or MTV, expect to become invisible by 35.

Like HBO and Showtime and other cable services that depend on subscribers, not advertisers, PBS can afford to consider the tastes of "viewers like you," not just your kids.

But in the case of PBS, that doesn't mean a larger cable bill: We're getting what we've already helped pay for.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Today on TV

College basketball: Sun Belt Tournament finals (5 p.m., ESPN2); Horizon League Tournament finals (7 p.m., ESPN); Summit League Tournament finals (7 p.m., ESPN2)

NCIS (7 p.m., Ch. 2): The team must protect Ziva's father when his attendance at a convention leads to surprises.

No Ordinary Family (7 p.m., Ch. 4): Jim's secret is put at risk when the police station is taken hostage.

Glee (7 p.m., Ch. 13): Substitute Holly Holliday returns, and Emma and Dr. Carl address some issues in their personal life.

NCIS: Los Angeles (8 p.m., Ch. 2): The team tracks a mysterious hit squad after a special agent is taken out.

V (8 p.m., Ch. 4): The Fifth Column tries to figure out Anna's plans for the Blue Energy reactor; Diana tells Lisa that the time to fulfill her destiny is upon her.

The Biggest Loser (8 p.m., Ch. 5): Each team is allowed to have only two players work with a trainer; the teams face off in a challenge where they must cross a mud pit without touching the mud; several contestants open up to their trainers.

Raising Hope (8 p.m., Ch. 13): Cousin Mike visits with his new wife and three brother-husbands; Burt tries to fix his brother's relationship with Mike.

Traffic Light (8:30 p.m., Ch. 13): An elderly woman is excessively appreciative when Adam returns her puppy; Mike confronts a noisy neighbor; Ethan's girlfriend wants to meet his next-door neighbor.

The Good Wife (9 p.m., Ch. 2): An Army reservist is accused of murdering his wife.

Detroit 1-8-7 (9 p.m., Ch. 4): As the detectives embark on emotional shifts in their lives, a young graffiti artist is murdered; Fitch receives shocking news from his ex-wife.

Parenthood (9 p.m., Ch. 5): Adam comes to Max's defense.

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