WGBH to debut ‘Point Taken,’ a new late-night debate TV show taped in Boston

This undated image released by PBS shows Carlos Watson, host of the new series, "Point Taken," half-hour episodes focusing on a single topic, with guests including reporters, artists and experts exploring it from different sides. The series will air at 11 p.m. EDT beginning April 5. (Meredith Nierman/WGBH via AP)
PBS shows Carlos Watson, host of the new WGBH series, Point Taken, to debut April 5.
Meredith Nierman / WGBH via AP

Suffering from withdrawals (or headaches) from the recent presidential debates? WGBH may soon have the remedy for both of those ailments—live and in-person for Boston-area residents.

The public TV station announced Thursday it will debut Point Taken, a half-hour debate program airing Tuesdays at 11 p.m. and focusing on a different, single topic each week. The first of 10 currently slated Point Taken episodes will premiere April 5 on WGBH-2.

The late-night debate show will look to supplement the country’s appetite for debate, while also championing a more civil tone.

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“Enough shouting,” says Point Taken’s website. “Let’s use our inside voices.”

According to a WGBH spokesperson, shows will taped be in front of a live studio audience evenings ahead of the show at the WGBH studios in Brighton and will be open to the public to attend.

Carlos Watson—a former MSNBC anchor and reporter who left cable news to co-found OZY Media—will moderate a panel of journalists, artists, academics, and experts, as they debate a particular issue each week.

“From this year’s surprising presidential campaign to the Oscars controversy to evolving church and state boundaries, there could not be a better time to create a wide-open arena for curious people to come together and debate the critical issues facing this country,” Watson said in a statement.

Topics will be announced on the Thursdays the week before each new show, but the show’s website provides a sampling of potential issues in the near future: “Is College Worth the Price Tag?” “Is Technology Making Us Stupid?” and “Does the U.S. Still Rule the World?”

Point Taken will also emphasize audience participation through pre-show polling and voting online and in-studio. According to WGBH’s announcement, the Marist Institute of Public Opinion will conduct a national survey before each week’s episode to “frame and inform” the conversation.

“Americans trust public media to explore issues that matter,” Denise DiIanni, series creator and senior executive-in-charge for WGBH, said in a statement. “By tapping into social media we will involve citizens across the country in these important conversations.”