29 July 2004 | critic-2
Still one of the best shows on television
If you remember to set your VCR, or if you get up at a little before 9 AM on Sunday mornings, you can tune in to what has now become one of the last commercial network television shows in which you can still see at least one feature story about the arts per week. In fact, no other commercial television program I know of covers the arts AND politics as well as this one does, not even "60 Minutes".
"CBS Sunday Morning" is one of the very few shows on the air that devotes equal time to news, politics, historical events of past years, famous people from all walks of life, show business, and the arts, and it does so in a highly entertaining manner. Despite recent efforts to gimmick it up with high-tech graphics in what has come to be known as the MTV style, plus an unfortunate new tendency to include commentary about rock musicians and rock music releases at the expense of stories about classical musicians (in a misguided effort to pander to the under-30 crowd) the show remains one of the best on television. It is most likely the only commercial network program that would have had the guts to broadcast the "Horowitz in Moscow" concert live.
The producers of this show should take pride in what they have accomplished over the last twenty-five years, instead of trying to be trendy and buying into targeting their audience. "Sunday Morning" does not need to apologize for appealing to a more intelligent segment of the television public, nor does it need dumbing down. Flautist Eugenia Zuckerman, who usually covers the program's classical stories, may be unable to still do this, but surely CBS could bring some other classical luminary as a regular correspondent and put more emphasis on classical music than they recently have.
Still, that is no reason to write this program off as unwatchable. On the contrary, it is highly watchable, and it is the ONLY commercial television program, aside from, perhaps, "60 Minutes", on which one can see and hear the work of some of the world's greatest artists. No one should miss it, even if they have to set their VCR's to catch it.