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It Turns Out A Laugh Doesn't Mean Something's Funny

The Huffington Post | Ron Dicker | Posted 07.28.2015 | Science

No joke: Most laughter isn't generated by what we think is funny. So says a new installment of the PBS Digital Studios series "It's Okay To ...

True Detective Star Colin Farrell on the Pitfalls of 'Purge Acting'

Tavis Smiley | Posted 07.27.2015 | Entertainment
Tavis Smiley

Farrell shares how he has learned to resist forcing too much of his own life experiences into a performance, so as not to make it an exercise in what he calls "purge acting."

The Best Is Yet to Come: Maite Alberdi's Tea Time Screens on PBS's POV

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.28.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

It made me realize that death is something one can also laugh at, approach it with wonder and not only dread. It gave me the courage to think that perhaps our best years are ahead, instead of always behind.

Songwriting Icon JD Souther on the First Time He Met 'Muse' Linda Ronstadt

Tavis Smiley | Posted 07.21.2015 | Entertainment
Tavis Smiley

The recent inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame has penned numerous hits for some of music's most celebrated acts, including The Eagles, The Dixie Chicks, and his dear friend Linda Ronstadt. A talented recording artist in his own right, he's out now with his eighth solo album, entitled Tenderness.

The Existential Longing of Wishbone the Dog

Emma Tattenbaum-Fine | Posted 07.17.2015 | Comedy
Emma Tattenbaum-Fine

Hey, I'm Wishbone, the eponymous Jack Russell Terrier from the show, "Wishbone." I'm famous, but, just like you, I poop in the grass. I bark at strange objects. Just like you if you're a dog, I mean, because that's what I am.

Season 3 of 'Finding Your Roots' Green-Lighted for January 2016 Return on PBS

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 07.14.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Season 3 of the popular show, hosted and produced by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was put on hold until certain measures were implemented.

Tavis Smiley: My Conversation With Andrew Cohen on Whether JFK Gets Too Much Credit on Civil Rights

Tavis Smiley | Posted 07.14.2015 | Books
Tavis Smiley

Kennedy's June 11th report to the American people on race is often credited with setting the stage for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the clip below, Andrew and I debate whether President Kennedy deserves the praise that historians give him on civil rights.

The Tennesseans to Premiere July 4

Ed Hooper | Posted 07.03.2015 | Impact
Ed Hooper

The Tennesseans: A Volunteer Legacy will premiere July 4 and 5 on the state's public television stations. The hour-long film is the first to highlight the events, men and women that earned the state its nickname from the Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain to the modern battlefields of today.

Rwanda Again Faces Lunacy and the "Rubbish of Injustice"

Georgianne Nienaber | Posted 07.03.2015 | Politics
Georgianne Nienaber

Americans are fiercely proud of this heritage, and so is Rwanda. Americans are fiercely proud of this heritage, and so is Rwanda. The difference in Africa is that "independence" is an ongoing struggle against a backdrop of powerful foreign interests.

My Conversation With Robert Glasper On the Diversity of Black Music

Tavis Smiley | Posted 07.03.2015 | Entertainment
Tavis Smiley

Tonight I'm joined by two-time Grammy-winner Robert Glasper. The talented and innovative pianist has reunited with his jazz trio on the hit new album, Covered, which was recorded in front of a live audience at Capitol Studios.

Tavis Smiley: Killer Mike on Why Blacks Should Stop Forgiving and Start Demanding Action

Tavis Smiley | Posted 06.30.2015 | Entertainment
Tavis Smiley

Tonight, I'm joined by Michael Render, a.k.a. "Killer Mike." The prolific rapper and influential activist is one half of the popular hip-hop duo, Run the Jewels, whose critically acclaimed album, Run the Jewels 2, was hailed by Rolling Stone as the "best rap album of 2014."

Celebrity Genealogy on TV: Who and When?

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.28.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

We can probably expect an interlude between the next seasons of Who Do You Think You Are? and Finding Your Roots, and the duration of that lull will hinge largely on how PBS chooses to balance and accommodate the sometimes competing goals of content accuracy and viewer demand.

My Conversation With Kathy Bates on Ageism in Hollywood

Tavis Smiley | Posted 06.27.2015 | Entertainment
Tavis Smiley

One of Hollywood's most respected character actors, Bates has been able to achieve success in an industry that is notoriously biased against certain age groups and image types. In this clip, she shares when she learned to develop tough skin in order to deal with what can often be an insensitive business.

Sen. Ted Cruz Attempts to Explain Post-Charleston Gun Joke and Why He Wants Urban Communities Armed

Tavis Smiley | Posted 06.23.2015 | Politics
Tavis Smiley

Two days after the tragic church shooting in South Carolina, Senator Cruz made some comments about gun control that many felt was in poor taste. In the clip below, I ask him to explain. His answer might surprise you.

Public, Not-For-Profit Media Is More Important Than Ever

Abigail E. Disney | Posted 06.23.2015 | Media
Abigail E. Disney

Today, channels cater to the least individual viewer, producing vanilla content designed only to echo the ideas already being circulated in popular culture. Public, independent programs are the last bulwark of integrity in the battle against the monotone emanating from our televisions.

5 Lessons Charleston Can Teach Us About Race, Guns and Healing

Tavis Smiley | Posted 06.23.2015 | Media
Tavis Smiley

To quote King about the "beloved community" and not get serious about gun violence in America is, at best, empty rhetoric, and at worst, a malignant mangling of his message. If you're going to quote King, then vote King: Get serious about gun control.

The Media Is Failing Women, But One Network Is Leading The Fight To Change Things

The Huffington Post | Catherine Taibi | Posted 06.18.2015 | Media

Each morning at PBS, the entire staff of "NewsHour" gathers in a conference room for the daily morning meeting. The network is structured very much li...

Humans Star William Hurt on the Potential Dangers of Artificial Intelligence

Tavis Smiley | Posted 06.18.2015 | Entertainment
Tavis Smiley

The show, which premieres June 28th, takes place in a parallel present where the newest must-have gadget is an artificially intelligent servant, known as a "Synth."

Tavis Smiley: Tim Robbins on How His 'Prison Project' Gives Inmates Essential Tools for Post-Prison Life

Tavis Smiley | Posted 06.16.2015 | Entertainment
Tavis Smiley

Widely respected for his advocacy work, Robbins is the Founding Artistic Director of The Actors' Gang, a theater group which has spearheaded a project that provides rehabilitative acting workshops for incarcerated men and women in California.

Liz Garbus on What Sets Her 'Nina Simone' Doc Apart From Upcoming Biopic

Tavis Smiley | Posted 06.11.2015 | Entertainment
Tavis Smiley

The Academy Award-nominated documentarian has directed a new film that uses rare archival footage and never-before-heard recordings to paint a remarkable portrait of legendary singer Nina Simone.

Tavis Smiley: Why Chris Hedges Feels the American Media's Inability to Do Its Job Has Weakened Our Democracy

Tavis Smiley | Posted 06.09.2015 | Media
Tavis Smiley

In his near two decades' worth of experience as a foreign correspondent for prominent news outlets like the New York Times and NPR, Hedges has covered critical issues from all around the world, including his groundbreaking reporting on global terrorism.

WATCH: Lyn Shaye and Leigh Whannell On Insidious: Chapter 3

Zorianna Kit | Posted 06.04.2015 | Entertainment
Zorianna Kit

The horror franchise Insidious: Chapter 3 opens in theaters today. The film is a prequel to the 2010 and 2013 films and focuses on paranormal investigator Elise Reiner (Lyn Shaye) and her personal and professional history.

Can TM Help Make a Dream Come True?

Giada Valenti | Posted 06.02.2015 | Good News
Giada Valenti

That experience changed my life. I had now a new prospective of life. I knew I needed to listen to my body and take care of my mind.

Why Pat Boone Believes He Helped Black Artists by Covering Their Songs

Tavis Smiley | Posted 06.09.2015 | Entertainment
Tavis Smiley

Pat Boone was among the many white artists of the 1950s and '60s who built their careers recording songs originally performed by black Rhythm & Blues artists. Tonight, he responds to criticisms that he and other white singers profited much more than the African American musicians whose songs they covered.

Tavis Smiley: My Conversation With Sonia Sanchez on How the Black Arts Movement Changed the Fabric of America

Tavis Smiley | Posted 05.28.2015 | Entertainment
Tavis Smiley

The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power Movement, the Black Arts Movement burst onto the scene during the '60s and '70s in the form of artists' circles, writers' workshops, drama groups, dance troupes, new publishing ventures, bookstores and cultural centers.