I did a phoner yesterday morning with John Scheinfeld, director of the PBS-produced Dick Cavett’s Watergate. The show aired last Friday on KOCE, and there’s a possibility it might re-air on some PBS station this week. (It’s very hard to figure out PBS programming.) Either way it’s watchable online. As I said last Saturday, the show shoots “those old Watergate junkie highs right back into your system.” And yet I complained to John that 55 minutes isn’t long enough to re-explore this delicious if appalling chapter in American history. The material could easily allow the doc to run two hours or at the very least 90 minutes, but PBS wasn’t interested. Cavett’s ratings were always below Johnny Carson‘s back in the day, which eventually led to ABC cancelling his show in ’75. And yet Cavett’s percentage of the viewing audience was much higher than what Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson or Conan O’Brien are attracting today for the simple reason that he and Carson were the only two talk shows back then. Again, the mp3.
The director of Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? and co-director of The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Scheinfeld is about to start work on a documentary about jazz legend John Coltrane.