or


[04/30/12 - 08:18 AM]
"The Grammar of Happiness" Premieres May 12 on Smithsonian Channel
The one-hour special follows Daniel Everett, a red-bearded American who "decamped with his family to the Amazon rainforest to save souls."

[via press release from Smithsonian Channel]

FROM DEEP IN THE AMAZON, A MYSTERIOUS TRIBE SPARKS CONTROVERSY OVER ORIGINS OF HUMAN LANGUAGE AND A MISSIONARY RETURNS A CHANGED MAN

"THE GRAMMAR OF HAPPINESS" PREMIERES SUNDAY, MAY 12 AT 9PM ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL

New York, NY - April 30, 2012 - As a young, ambitious missionary three decades ago, Daniel Everett, a red-bearded American, decamped with his family to the Amazon rainforest to save souls. His assignment: convert the Pirahã to Christianity; an especially challenging task as he didn't speak their language and their puzzling speech seemed unrelated to any other on Earth. The Pirahã have no words for colors, no numbers, and no past or future tenses. Yet they would change Everett's life far more than he did theirs - and what he learned from them could forever transform our understanding of human language.

THE GRAMMAR OF HAPPINESS, a one-hour special premiering Sunday, May 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel, traces the epic story of Everett's journey and the profound effect it had on him personally and professionally. He lost his faith and his family, but gained an insight that overturns decades of conventional wisdom. It has also pushed him into conflict with perhaps the world's most esteemed academic, Noam Chomsky.

In the world of linguistics, Everett's argument is akin to saying that Einstein got it wrong on relativity. He makes the case in his new book, "Language: A Cultural Tool," which The New York Times called "full of intellectually omnivorous insights" and "that rare thing: a warm linguistics book."

Convinced by the Pirahã's steadfast beliefs that life should be lived in the present, that the past is behind us and thus irrelevant and that spiritual claims must be proven to be correct, Everett threw off the religious cloth to become a crusading and controversial academic. He re-invented himself as a linguist, grabbing headlines by challenging Chomsky's theory of universal grammar - the idea that there's a genetic foundation for all human language. In THE GRAMMAR OF HAPPINESS scientists from MIT design a computer analysis program to test Everett's theory in hopes of proving once and for all who is right: the legend or the maverick.

Everett's most controversial claim is that the Pirahã language lacks "recursion" - the ability to build an infinite number of sentences within sentences, regarded by Chomsky-ists as perhaps the most fundamental characteristic of human language. It is our ability to use recursion, or so the orthodoxy goes, that sets human language aside from animal communication.

Today, Dr. Everett is the dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, oblivious to the academic arguments raging around their language, the Pirahã continue to live in the moment, deep in the Brazilian Amazon, with few concessions to modern life. They call themselves "the Straight Ones," while outsiders are considered to have "Crooked Heads."

As Everett's longtime teacher, Kohai, puts it in the THE GRAMMAR OF HAPPINESS: "Dan came here. He wanted to learn Pirahã. He wanted to have a 'straight head." Or as another put it in the film: "We love Dan. Dan speaks our language."

ABOUT SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL

Smithsonian Channel is owned by Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution. Its programs are largely inspired by the assets of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America's historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.





  [april 2012]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)











[08/29/14 - 09:03 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: Another Week, Another "Big Brother" Victory
CBS leads the night once again among adults 18-49 and total viewers.

[08/29/14 - 08:10 AM]
Cast of FOX Sports 1's All-Female "The Ultimate Fighter(R)" Overcame Childhood Tragedies to Help Troubled Youth
The franchise's latest installment premieres Wednesday, September 10 at 10:00/9:00c.

[08/29/14 - 07:35 AM]
BBC America's "Intruders" Pulls 1.223 Million Viewers
BBC America further spins the numbers for Saturday, August 23.

[08/29/14 - 07:07 AM]
HBO Confirms Nov. 2 and 3 Debut for Miniseries "Olive Kitteridge"
Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Bill Murray, John Gallagher, Jr., Peter Mullan, Rosemarie DeWitt and Zoe Kazan star in the project.

[08/29/14 - 06:41 AM]
FOX Sports 1 to Air Tony Stewart/Mike Helton Press Conferences Live
Coverage of the press conferences is also available through FOX Sports GO, the app that delivers streaming video of FOX Sports content.

[08/28/14 - 10:27 PM]
"Party Down South" Returns for Season 3 - Announced on the Reunion Special
Look for the new season in Winter 2015 on the cable channel.

[08/28/14 - 05:31 PM]
"Jay Leno's Garage: The Ultimate Car Week" Premieres Sunday, August 31 at 10PM ET/PT on CNBC
Based on his Emmy-winning web series "Jay Leno's Garage," this special takes viewers into the heart of Monterey Week, America's ultimate automotive event.

[08/28/14 - 02:21 PM]
"Live with Kelly and Michael" Enters Its 27th Season in National Syndication September 1, 2014
The show finished the 2013-14 season as the No. 2 syndicated talker in Households, posting an 8% gain over the prior year, and its highest Household rating in 6 years.

[08/28/14 - 01:40 PM]
Lori Loughlin Stars in "Garage Sale Mystery: All That Glitters," A Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Original World Premiere October 26
Steve Bacic, Sarah Strange and Brendan Meyer also star in the second installment of the "Garage Sale Mystery" movie series.

[08/28/14 - 12:12 PM]
HGTV's Newest Series "Sold on the Spot" Taps Into the Ultimate Buying and Selling Fantasy
In his new series, Josh teams up with house hunters to knock on every door in their ideal location and convince one homeowner to sell their house within 24 hours.

[08/28/14 - 12:08 PM]
FXX Paints Labor Day Weekend Yellow - Five Days Left in Record 12-Day "The Simpsons" Marathon Ends Monday, September 1 at Midnight ET
Following the conclusion of the 12-day marathon on Monday night, "The Simpsons" moves to its regular weekly schedule beginning on Tuesday, September 2.

[08/28/14 - 12:03 PM]
Emmy and Tony Award-Winning Actor David Hyde Pierce Joins "The Good Wife" in Recurring Role for Season Six
The role will mark Pierce's first appearance in a television series since "Frasier" ended its run in 2004.

[08/28/14 - 11:40 AM]
HBO's Banksy Does New York a User-Generated Chronicle of the Street Artist's One-Month Residency in New York City, To Debut Nov. 17
"From the moment Banksy took over the streets, New Yorkers became obsessed. The film captures this month of madness created by user-generated footage," says Sheila Nevins.

[08/28/14 - 11:31 AM]
The Reinvention of "The View" Continues as ABC Recruits a Powerful New Senior Team
Bill Wolff, Brian Balthazar, Ashley S. Gorman and Kathleen Rajsp are among those overseeing the new season.

[08/28/14 - 11:13 AM]
Get Ready for the Hottest Night of the Summer on the Season Finale of "So You Think You Can Dance" Wednesday, September 3 on FOX
Guest judges include Jenna Dewan Tatum, Debbie Allen, Tara Lipinski and Adam Shankman.