"SoCal Connected" season preview. Photos: KCET.
KCET's flagship and award-winning news program "SoCal Connected" will return next month for a ninth season — with a new format focusing on long-form investigative documentary pieces. The station also is bringing back "Lost LA," the innovative half-hour show hosted by Nathan Masters that ties the city we live in now to past events and trends that shaped the place.
The latest refresh of the SoCal Connected form will devote each half hour to long-form dives into single topics, documentary style. The executive producer is investigative reporting veteran Karen Foshay.
The first episode, airing for the first time on Tuesday Oct. 9 at 8 p.m., will go inside local newsrooms to explore the past year of intense disruption in local journalism. The Los Angeles Times is a main focus, and it looks as if they interviewed new Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong for the piece. (I was interviewed as well — not sure if my little part is included in the piece.)
To stay on the local media topic, KCET will also re-air the award-winning Peter Jones documentary, "Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times," later the same night, at 9 p.m.
The season's second SoCal Connected episode, scheduled for Oct. 16, will tell the story of a Dorsey High School athlete, Antonio Carrion, who the show's materials say "was on a path to the NFL but instead became the poster child for what’s wrong with L.A.’s mental health system." Later shows in the season will look at how gerrymandering by local politicians has been used to dilute minority voting power, at profiteering on diseases, and the new California normal of more frequent and severe wildfires, among other topics. View the trailer above.
The SoCal Connected team this season also includes Vince Beiser, Robert McDonnell, Katie Cooper, Gina Pollack, Stuart Sender, Tori Edgar, David Egen, Michael Ray, and Peggy Holter.
Lost LA will follow SCC at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. The show is hands down the best local history program on LA television (not that there's much competition in that space.) Masters, who works for the USC Libraries, is able to draw on the library's photos and document archives to bring stories to life.
It looks as if the first episode is about Yosemite National Park and its conflicts between nature and people.
Previous episodes are airing in the 8:30 Tuesday slot until the new season begins. They also are on the web at KCET.org.