TBS Destination: The Documentary Factual Films to Dominate TBS Sunday Nights

By Patton, Charlie | The Florida Times Union, August 25, 1996 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

TBS Destination: The Documentary Factual Films to Dominate TBS Sunday Nights

Patton, Charlie, The Florida Times Union

It takes more than Atlanta Braves games and Andy Griffith

reruns to remain the most-watched cable network in a crowded and

competitive cable environment.

Increasingly TBS, which is the most-watched cable network, has

relied on original documentary films, broadcasting seven of the

10 highest-rated cable documentaries during 1995.

The most visible and popular source of those documentaries has

been National Geographic Explorer , cable's highest-rated

magazine series, as well as its most honored (29 Emmys, 11 Cable

ACE awards and two Academy Award nominations).

Now, in an effort to highlight its documentary programming, TBS

is reserving Sunday nights for a four-hour block of original

documentaries, with National Geographic Explorer occupying the

first two hours and a documentary anthology TOPX occupying the

last two.

The new approach, dubbed Destination Sunday by TBS, gets off to

an impressive start at 7 tonight with a 10th anniversary special

titled National Geographic Explorer: Ten Incredible Years ,

followed by a new one-hour documentary film, Biker Women , and

then a repeat of Harley-Davidson: The American Motorcycle , the

highest-rated original program in TBS history.

To put together Ten Incredible Years, executive producer

Michael Rosenfeld and his staff sifted through more than 342

hours of programming. The result is a swiftly paced collection

of highlights that remind us that while nature can be

fascinating and breathtakingly beautiful, it is often not

benign. In the course of a few minutes, we watch as predators

kill a rabbit, three wildebeests, an impala, two penguins, at

least four seal pups and eight other sea creatures.

The most stunning moment occurs during a segment from a

documentary on sharks. As photographer Nick Calyanis, alone in

the water, follows a shark, it is provoked by a fisherman who

doesn't see Calyanis. The angry shark then turns on the

cameraman. While the viewer can't see what is happening to

Calyanis, the way the camera spins out of control and then

drifts down to the ocean floor makes it clear that what's

happening isn't good.

Fortunately, Calyanis, while badly mauled, survived. In fact,

he returned to shark-infested waters to pursue his job.

Rather matter-of-factly, he explains that he enjoys the

challenge of existing in a world filled with predators. "It

would be boring if all there were were trout," he quips.

Not all of the special deals with nature, however. Undersea

explorer/photographer Michael Ballard takes Explorer along on

expeditions to find the Titanic, the Bismarck, the Lusitania and

the numerous ships that went down in the straights off

Guadalcanal called Ironbottom Sound.

There are clips from a special on nurses who served in Vietnam,

on a couple who spent their lives exploring volcanos (eventually

dying, though not on camera, as a result) and on a pair of

daredevils -- one an expert climber, the other an expert

parachutist -- who scale and then leap from a sheer cliff more

than 20,000 feet high.

One of the most moving segments comes from a special on Norman

Vaughan, who, in his late 20s, had been part of an expedition to

Antarctica led by Admiral Byrd. Byrd named an Antarctic mountain

after Vaughan and almost 70 years later, Vaughan, at the age of

88, finally got to go back and climb the mountain that bore his


The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

TBS Destination: The Documentary Factual Films to Dominate TBS Sunday Nights


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?