July 13, 2005

PBS finds its holy grail with Python shows

By Barry Garron

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - PBS will be the home for
six new Monty Python specials this spring. Each special will
focus on a member of the British comedy troupe, mixing new
footage with clips from Python movies and the group's
television series.

American audiences first discovered Monty Python on public
television after PBS obtained the rights to the sketch comedy
series "Monty Python's Flying Circus" from the BBC in the
1970s, said John Wilson, PBS' senior vp and co-chief
programming executive.

The new series, spotlighting Graham Chapman, John Cleese,
Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, will
be called "Monty Python's Personal Best" and is being produced
by Python (Monty) Pictures Ltd.

Other new programs announced during PBS' portion of the
summer Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills

= "African-American Lives," a four-hour documentary series
that traces black history through genealogy and DNA science.
Set to premiere in February, the series profiles successful
black Americans and traces their roots.

= "Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Adventures," six new
hourlong programs from the son of the late Jacques Cousteau.
Following the underwater trail blazed by his father 30 years
ago, the new programs focus on exploration and conservation.
Pierce Brosnan will narrate.

= "Texas Ranch House," the latest in the series of
historical reality programs in which families live and work as
people did at some point in the past. This eight-part series is
set in 1867 Texas.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter