Best of PBS SoCal 2019

There's still time to catch some of this year's great programming highlights on PBS SoCal. Here's what to watch.

There’s still time to catch some of this year’s great programming highlights on PBS SoCal. Here’s what to watch.

Variety Actors on Actors

“Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” take us into the minds of today’s most celebrated thespians. This season, we learned how playing strong characters can have a psychological and economic effect; how clothing helps build backstories and why death and mortality are still provocative areas to explore in entertainment. Watch “Variety Actors on Actors.”


Latino Americans make up 18.3% of the country’s population, making them one of the largest demographics in the country. Produced by Latino Public Broadcasting, this PBS documentary series sheds a light on the issues and art and culture stories that impact Latin Americans. We saw Raúl Juliá’s journey from his native Puerto Rico to his prominence in Broadway and Hollywood,  discovered Maria Moreno, a migrant mother who spoke out for farmworker rights; learned how the Texas Rangers influenced tactics employed by the Border Patrol and the Minutemen; and saw how youth don’t necessarily drop out, but are pushed out by circumstances beyond their control. Watch this documentary series here.

Summer of Space (featuring Blue Sky Metropolis)

This year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon with a slate of programs that explored our history here on Earth and our extraplanetary ambitions, all under the “Summer of Space” umbrella. We learned about the surprisingly explosive beginnings of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the echoes of the aerospace industry in many California neighborhoods and saw how the nascent aviation industry in California laid the ground for the aerospace industry, an economic driver for the region. Let your imaginations take flight with our space-related documentaries, illustrations and articles. Find more galactic programming on our “Summer of Space” page. Learn more about the pivotal role of Southern California in the aerospace industry on “Blue Sky Metropolis.” Watch with PBS Passport.

NASA research pilot Bill Dana takes a moment to watch NASA's NB-52B cruise overhead after a research flight in the HL-10. | NASA

Country Music

Country music may not seem to be within the purview of Southern California, but look a bit closer and you’ll find that country music transcends boundaries. Last year, we found some great watering holes with live country music in the region, learned the origins of the mythological singing cowboy and got to know the dressmakers that made glitzy getups a trademark of country music stardomWatch with PBS Passport.