UNC-TV devotes week to Helms

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

“No American politician is more controversial, beloved in some quarters and hated in others, than Jesse Helms,” wrote the Almanac of American Politics. This week, UNC-TV pre-empts regular programming to explore the life and legacy of Senator Jesse Helms, who died Friday at the age of 86.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., UNC-TVís public affairs program “North Carolina Now” offers extended coverage of Senator Helmsí life and career. Segments include encore broadcasts of a career retrospective, that initially aired when Helms retired from the U.S. Senate, and an interview with independent filmmaker John Wilson (“Senator No: Jesse Helms”).

Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., “North Carolina Now” devotes its entire program to coverage of Tuesday afternoonís funeral and memorial service for Jesse Helms, along with insights into Helms and his mark on society.

At 8 p.m., UNC-TV presents a one-hour edited version of its production “Biographical Conversations withÖJesse Helms.” Culled from the three-hour documentary, this version presents highlightsócelebrated and controversialófrom the senatorís storied life and career in public service in his own words.

UNC-TV also offers uninterrupted coverage of Senator Helmsí funeral Tuesday, at 2 p.m., on its UNC-NC broadcast service. The memorial service for former N.C. Sen. Jesse Helms will air again that night at 9, on UNC-NC.

Thursday at 10 p.m., UNC-TV brings back the critically acclaimed documentary “Senator No: Jesse Helms.” Hailed by Helmsí supporters and opponents for its objectivity, “Senator No: Jesse Helms” studies the politicianís personality and politics and examines his impact on policy throughout North Carolina, the United States and the world. Independent filmmaker John Wilson explores the origins of Helmsí politics, from his Jim Crow South roots to his political baptism in NCís racially charged 1950 U.S. Senate race. Trumpeting Old South values as an editorialist and politician, Helms crashed headlong into virtually every major issue of his time. Wilson augmented his unique access to Helms with vast archives spanning the senatorís six decades in media and politics, along with observations from a diverse group, from Jerry Falwell to Bono.

For more information, visit UNC-TV online at www.unctv.org. UNC-TV airs on Time Warner Cable channel 5.