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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