One of the mysteries of television is why PBS' Tavis Smiley continues to fly below the radar. He has an easy charm and a keen curiosity, and deserves to be better known.
Smiley follows Charlie Rose's respected talk show, which has a much bigger reputation. But Smiley shouldn't be regarded as second-string to Rose.
In fact, you could say that Smiley has emerged on TV as a populist version of Rose. While Rose tends to attract ambassadors and Nobel Prize winners by the bushel, Smiley probes less formal -- though no less compelling -- subjects. And he does so every bit as thoughtfully as his more famous PBS colleague.