Wednesday, November 21, 2018

60 Minutes 11/25 on CBS

With Great Expectations, “To Kill a Mockingbird” Takes to the Stage
Jeff Daniels, the award-winning actor chosen to play the lead role in the stage version of America’s most-loved novel, tells audiences to buckle up for his performance as Atticus Finch. Steve Kroft visits the set of “To Kill a Mockingbird” to talk with the actors and the playwright about what audiences can expect in the stage version of a story held dearly in the hearts of generations. Kroft’s report on “To Kill a Mockingbird” on Broadway will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday, Nov. 25 (7:30-8:30 PM, ET/7:00-8:00 PM, PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The novel, written by Harper Lee and recently voted America’s most-loved book, was made into a 1962 classic film, starring Gregory Peck in the Oscar-winning role of small town lawyer Finch. The new play is not based on the film, says Daniels, who calls this the “highest-profile role” of his career. He is not Peck, he says, but he will be Atticus. “So all these people who love this book, all these people who loved Gregory Peck – delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete,” Daniels says for effect. “I’m originating the role as far as I am concerned. There is no movie. There’s a book that we’re basing it on,” he tells Kroft.
Part of our job is to say, ‘Welcome. Put the book down. Put the movie away. We’re going to do the same thing. You’re going to recognize it. But we’re going to take you on a ride,’” says Daniels. “‘You think we’re supposed to go over here? Well, we’re going over here,’” he says, pointing in the other direction.
The play is written by award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin and his partners, including director Bartlett Sher and producer Scott Rudin, had to contend with a lawsuit brought by the manager of Lee’s estate, who accused the production of not being faithful to the “spirit of the novel.” The parties settled out of court earlier this year.
The play is written for today’s audience, Sorkin tells Kroft, but says everyone will recognize it. “There is no event in the play that does not occur in the book. I have not added new things. It’s going to be a new look at familiar material. It’s going to be an exhilarating night in the theater,” says Sorkin.
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“60 MINUTES” LISTINGS FOR SUNDAY, NOV. 25, 7:30-8:30PM, ET/7:00-8:00PM, PT ON CBS
CHAOS ON THE BORDER – Last spring, U.S. authorities separated thousands of migrant children from families seeking asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico, in what became a major crisis for the Trump administration. Many are still without their parents. Scott Pelley reports on how it happened. Michael Rey and Oriana Zill de Granados are the producers.
ROBOTS TO THE RESCUE – The world’s worst nuclear disaster to clean up is in Fukushima, Japan. Seven years after a massive meltdown in the Daiichi Power Plant, Lesley Stahl reports on efforts that will depend on state-of-the-art robots. Richard Bonin and Ayesha Siddiqi are the producers.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD – What will the Broadway version of Harper Lee’s beloved novel be like? Steve Kroft visits the set and talks with the actors and playwright to find out. Michael Karzis is the producer.
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Engineer Calls Cleanup a Bigger Project than Putting a Man on the Moon
Chernobyl remains the world’s worst nuclear disaster in terms of lives lost, but the worst radioactive mess the world has ever had to clean up is in Fukushima, Japan. Seven years after the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan led to a massive meltdown in the Daiichi Power Plant, Lesley Stahl reports on a cleanup effort that looks like a science fiction film. Her story on how one-of-a-kind robots are being designed for the decades-long task will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday, Nov. 25 (7:30-8:30 PM, ET/7:00-8:00 PM, PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The earthquake struck on March 11, 2011, causing several huge tsunami waves that swamped Daiichi, cutting power to the seaside facility’s cooling pumps. Three reactors melted down, creating up to 3,000 tons of deadly radioactive fuel and debris that lay in the plant’s ruins. Finding it and containing it safely will be an historic task says nuclear engineer Lake Barrett. “This is a unique situation here. It’s never happened in human history. It’s a challenge we’ve never had before,” he tells Stahl. Barrett oversaw the cleanup of the Three Mile Island partial meltdown in 1979, the worst nuclear accident at a power plant in the U.S. He is also a consultant on the Daiichi project.
Daiichi can’t be encased in concrete, like Chernobyl, says Barrett, because the potential for another earthquake or tsunami that could compromise the structure is too high. Humans can’t get near the material; it will remain deadly for thousands of years. Authorities hope specially designed robots will find, remove and secure the toxic material in special containment vessels. But it could take 50 years and cost an estimated $200 billion.
There are four-legged robots, some that climb stairs and even robots that can swim into reactors flooded with water. They’re equipped with 3-D scanners, sensors and cameras that map the terrain, measure radiation levels and look for the deadly material.
The Japanese government set up a research facility nearby to develop and test the robots. Some have been deployed in what amounts to experimentation at this early stage, says Barrett. One robot is called the Scorpion for its ability to raise its camera-carrying tail. It struck debris and became stuck only ten feet into its $100 million mission. Says Barrett, “You learn more from failure sometimes than you do from success.”
Other early versions of robots died quick deaths, too, their cameras and operating systems fried by the intense radiation. It’s a slow and steady project, says Barrett, that he is confident will get done, but not in his lifetime, nor those of many others involved. The task has been compared to putting a man on the Moon. “It’s even a bigger project in my view. But there’s a will here to clean this up as there was a will to put a man on the moon,” says Barrett.
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