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Schama vs Fry

By David Herman  

Two big new TV series about America kicked off last weekend. First, was Simon Schama’s four-part historical series, ‘The American Future: A History’ (BBC 2, Fridays at 9, reapeated on Sundays at 7) and then Stephen Fry’s 6-part travelogue, ‘Stephen Fry in America’ (BBC 1, Sundays at 9, repeated on Saturdays on BBC 2).

The day of the big 13-part blockbuster is evidently over. There are several reasons for this. First, cost. A TV crew traveling around America for months doesn’t come cheap. Second, risk. What if it bombs? Even sure-fire bets like Schama and Fry are not, well, sure-fire…

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