Why It's Finally Showtime for Ira

The precedents tend to involve either topless women or dreary, behind-the-mike camera shots. "When beloved radio personalities make the jump to TV," says IRA GLASS, the beloved-by-the-bookish host of public radio's This American Life, "it's a nightmare." Yet after rejecting two offers from broadcast networks, Glass is finally attempting a televised version of his program for Showtime. Won over, he says, by the cable channel's yearlong courtship, Glass is two-thirds finished with a pilot presentation due in June. The trickiest task, he says, is translating the radio stories into a visual medium without creating "that smell of documentary." Oh, yes, and...

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