By Kevin Roderick
September 24, 2015
Peter Jones worked in TV news, including a stint as an assignment editor for Channel 2, before getting into documentary films and making episodes for the A&E series "Biography." He made "Johnny Carson: King of Late-Night" for PBS, and a few years ago he produced "Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times," the 2009 documentary about the Los Angeles Times and the Chandler family that aired on PBS and won a Peabody. Jones tells me that ever since the Chandler doc, "I wanted to do a series for local public television that defines LA through the stories of people who live here. I was inspired by local legends Ralph Story and Huell Howser, who taught me the best quality to have as a journalist: listening."
The new series he is producing, called "Angeleno," sounds like the first interesting move into Los Angeles programming I've seen by PBS SoCal. You know, the Orange County public TV station that inherited the local PBS flag when KCET went rogue. The first episode airs Saturday, Oct. 3. From the flackage:
In the spirit of National Public Radio’s THIS AMERICAN LIFE and STORYCORPS, each 30-minute episode profiles two residents of Los Angeles, linked together by a common theme and told exclusively in their own words. ANGELENO is a character-driven exploration of multi-cultural Los Angeles through the unique individual experience. Each episode will address larger issues and raise questions for the viewer. But the underlying premise remains steadfast – Who we are defines where we live….
PBS SoCal is reaching out to the community to raise the funds necessary to create an annual 12-episode season. In addition to the October 3 premiere, two more episodes of ANGELENO will air back-to-back on October 21, beginning at 7 p.m. Following its broadcast, each episode will be available for streaming at pbssocal.org. PBS SoCaL is inviting Angelenos everywhere to help tell their stories via social media using “I am #Angeleno.” Photos and stories will be shared at pbssocal.org/angeleno.
The first episode focuses on pop culture performance artist (and more) Charles Phoenix and Rick Morton, who "rescued the LAPD’s historical crime scene photo archive from destruction." The second will spend time with Levi Ponce, the East San Fernando Valley muralist, and artist Peter Shire. Episode three will have Sonsheeray Quisumbing, a woman who got help with her bipolar disorder at Daniel’s Place in Santa Monica, and Kimberly Fowler, "a former triathlete, lawyer and model who did not listen to doctors and overcame stage four cancer through yoga and spinning."
Above: Charles Phoenix screen grab.