LOS ANGELES - Minnesotans unable to snag those impossible seats to see "King Lear" at the Guthrie more than a year ago will finally get a chance to see the entire production. Well, not quite all of it. When PBS airs a filmed production on March 25, Ian McKellen's "full monty" scene will be altered to make certain that his, um, manhood, doesn't make an appearance. That's just fine with McKellen.
"Inevitably if a man or woman takes his clothes off on stage, the eyes are going to go to those parts that are normally hidden and at that moment there may be something of import which the scene is about that gets lost," said McKellen, who spoke addressed scribes on the inaugural day of the TV Critics Association's January press tour.
McKellen said he had one regret about his nude smoment -- but it might not be what you think.
"Every night, when I took my clothes off, you know what I used to do? Pull in my stomach," he said. "That's pathetic. I was playing an old man. I should have let it all hang out, and I couldn't do that."
In other, more PG-rated news from PBS, Ken Burns will present a "10th inning" addition to his beloved documentary series, "Baseball," in spring 2010, following an ambitious project on the history of America's national parks.
Other top names promoting PBS projects: Kenneth Branagh, who is producing and starring in a new detective mini-series, "Wallander," Richard Belzer and Lewis Black, who paid tribute to the late George Carlin and Tony winner Idina Menzel who performed numbers from the musical, "Chess."