The Intelligent Channel Launches (with Colum McCann Interview)

In a new effort to establish another home for intelligent conversation on the web, the Intelligent Channel went live on YouTube this week. Launched as part of YouTube’s new original channels initiative, the Intelligent Channel presents luminaries from the educational, arts, and cultural worlds in intense conversations.

The channel will kick off with three strands of original video programming produced by the channel’s parent company Intelligent Television in New York:

On “The Paul Holdengräber Show,” the renowned founder, director, and host of “Live from the New York Public Library” interviews award-winning writers and artists about their work and other passions. Holdengräber’s first guest – the show premieres today – is Colum McCann, author of the National Book Award-winning novel Let the Great World Spin. (You can watch the conversation above.) Holdengräber’s next guest is Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love.

In “Richard Belzer’s Conversation,” the star of “Law & Order SVU” and “Homicide” interviews actors, comedians, directors, musicians, and writers. Belzer’s opening guest is comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who discusses the implications of comedy after September 11th and in the face of tragedy more generally. His next guests will include Dick Cavett and Emmy-award winning writer-producer Tom Fontana.

In “Enlightenment Minutes,” the famous and the even more famous speak to the audience about their moments of enlightenment, personal transcendence, and growth.

The Intelligent Channel also features the new “Ed Archive” — video, film, and oral histories from universities, museums, libraries, and archives that have yet to hit the web.  “Enlightenment Minutes” and the “Ed Archive” will premiere in February 2012.

The Learning Channel has disappeared, the Discovery Channel gives us less to discover than it did, and the History Channel has hardly any history any more!  The Intelligent Channel’s guests come on because they love enlightenment.

The Intelligent Channel – here’s to the conversation!

Peter B. Kaufman is founder of the Intelligent Channel and Intelligent Television ( in New York.

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