About Jonna Mayberry

I’m the editor of Wisconsin Public Television’s program guide, Airwaves, as well as a publicist. In my free time, you’ll find me thrift shopping, reading the latest memoir or history book, and watching Independent Lens. I run on coffee and puns. Follow me @JonnaMayberry or email me at jonnatha.mayberry@wpt.org.

 

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Director Stanley Nelson Visits Madison

Director Stanley Nelson’s work — which includes impactful American Experience documentaries Freedom Summer and Freedom Riders, and the unprecedented upcoming documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — is important, unrivaled and prolific.

In advance of the Feb. 16 nationwide premiere of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party in detail, Nelson is taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Madison this week.

While in Madison, Nelson will attend a free screening  at the Madison Central Library, sit down with Wisconsin Public Television Director’s Cut host Pete Schwaba for an exclusive interview about his film, and appear Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 3:15 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time.

Needless to say, everyone at WPT is excited to welcome Nelson to the studios, and we hope that you can take advantage of the opportunity to meet this prolific director while he’s here or tune in to one of his interviews. Check out the details of Nelson’s screening and appearances below, and mark your calendars for the premieres of Director’s Cut: Stanley Nelson and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution Feb. 16 on WPT.

Continue reading Director Stanley Nelson Visits Madison

It’s the First Day of Winter: Celebrate With Virtual Snow!

Today marks the official first day of winter, a harbinger of more chilly, snow-filled weeks, which will eventually melt into slushy days as we prepare for spring. As I write this, the ground is currently devoid of snow here in Madison, which is a boon to holiday travels, but unfortunate for those fond of a white Christmas.

via GIPHY

While we wish we could deliver actual snow to those who want it, virtual snow will have to do. For your daily dose of winter, check out this clip from Wisconsin Life, featuring Eau Claire’s super-talented snow carvers, Jason Anhorn and Steve Bateman.

Each year when Wisconsin winters are at their harshest, the professional artists set out to brighten the barren landscape, spending eight weeks carving blocks of compacted snow into larger-than-life sculptures in Eau Claire’s Boyd Park. I’m left feeling that my feeble attempts at snowmen don’t quite compare …

Celebrate International Tea Day With Violet Crawley

Violet Crawley, avid tea drinker and Dowager Countess of Grantham.

Today is International Tea Day, and what better way to celebrate than with some of Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham’s most witty quips and comebacks? Check out some of my favorites below, and post your own to add to the mix!

Downton Abbey: The Final Season premieres 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 3 on Wisconsin Public Television. Continue reading Celebrate International Tea Day With Violet Crawley

2015 Holiday Program Schedule

As we prepare for the first snowflakes to fall, we wanted to share the special holiday-themed programs coming up on Wisconsin Public Television. From Thanksgiving, through New Year’s Day, look to WPT for classic favorites and fresh new holiday treats. Here is a complete list of every holiday program on Wisconsin Public Television.

Tuesday, Nov. 24
6:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Wild Kratts “Happy Turkey Day”
5 p.m. – Martha Speaks “Martha’s Thanksgiving, Parts 1 & 2”
7 p.m. – American Experience “The Pilgrims”

Wednesday, Nov. 25
1 a.m. and 9 p.m. – American Experience “The Pilgrims”
6 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.– Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
5 p.m. – Martha Speaks “Martha’s Thanksgiving, Parts 1 & 2”

Thursday, Nov. 26 – Thanksgiving
3 a.m. – American Experience “The Pilgrims”
5 a.m. – Sara’s Weeknight Meals “Thanksgiving 101” (Create)
5:30 a.m. – Katie Brown Workshop “Home for the Holidays” (Create)
6 a.m. and noon – Cooking With Julie Taboulie “Thanksgiving Traditions Take a Twist” (Create)
6 a.m. – Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
6:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – The Jazzy Vegetarian “Giving Thanks” (Create)
7 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Heirloom Meals Thanksgiving (Create)
8 a.m. and 2 p.m. – America’s Test Kitchen “Revisiting Julia Child’s Roast Turkey” (Create)
8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. – A Home for Chrisy Rost: Thanksgiving (Create)
9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. –  Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke “Thanksgiving Comes Early” (Create)
10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Katie Brown Workshop “Best of the Holidays” (Create)
10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. – The Farm Holiday Special With Ian Knauer (Create)
11 a.m. – Sara’s Weeknight Meals “Thanksgiving 101” (Create)
11:30 a.m. Katie Brown Workshop – “Home for the Holidays” (Create)

Friday, Nov. 27
Midnight – Cooking With Julie Taboulie “Thanksgiving Traditions Take a Twist” (Create)
6 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
9:30 a.m. and noon – Peg + Cat “The Christmas Problem”
11:30 a.m. – Thomas & Friends “Christmas Cheer!”

Saturday, Nov. 28
7 a.m. – Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
3 p.m. – Rick Steves’ European Christmas

Sunday, Nov. 29
7 a.m. – Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
8:30 a.m. – Wild Kratts “Happy Turkey Day”
4:30 p.m. – Libera: Angels Sing Christmas in Ireland

Tuesday, Dec. 1
11:30 a.m. – Thomas & Friends “Coming Home for Christmas”
3:30 p.m. – Odd Squad “Reindeer Games”

Thursday, Dec. 3
7 p.m. – The Three Tenors Christmas

Friday, Dec. 4
9:30 a.m. and noon – Peg + Cat “The Flat Woman Problem/The Hanukkah Problem
9:20 p.m. – Craft in America Holiday (TWC)

Saturday, Dec. 5
1 a.m. – Craft in America “Holiday”
2 a.m. – Silent Night (TWC)
5 a.m. – Thomas & Friends “Tinsel & Trains”
11:30 a.m. – Rick Steves’ European Christmas

Sunday, Dec. 6
9 a.m. – Libera: Angels Sing Christmas in Ireland
1:30 p.m.– Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Specials “1991”

Monday, Dec. 7
5 a.m. – Arthur’s Perfect Christmas
5 a.m. – Sewing With Nancy “Sew Gifts, Make Memories, Part 1” (TWC)
6 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
9 a.m. and noon – Peg + Cat + Holidays
11 a.m. – Super WHY! “Judith’s Happy Chanukah”
11:30 a.m. – Thomas & Friends “Winter Delights”
3:30 p.m. – Odd Squad “Reindeer Games”
5 p.m. – Martha Speaks “Martha’s Holiday Surprise/We’re Powerless”

Tuesday, Dec. 8
5 a.m. – Sewing With Nancy “Sew Gifts, Make Memories, Part 2” (TWC)
Noon – The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!

Wednesday, Dec. 9
11 a.m. – Super WHY! “Judith’s Happy Chanukah”
Noon – Peg + Cat “The Flat Woman Problem/The Hanukkah Problem”

Thursday, Dec. 10
4:30 a.m. – Craft in America “Holiday” (TWC)

Friday, Dec. 11
11:30 a.m. – Thomas & Friends “Let it Snow”
8 p.m. and 11 p.m. – Lidia Celebrates America “Home for the Holidays” (TWC)
9 p.m. – Craft in America “Celebration”

Saturday, Dec. 12
Midnight – A Southern Celtic Christmas Concert
Midnight – Craft in America “Celebration” (TWC)
7 a.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
10 a.m. – Rick Steves’ European Christmas (Create)
11:30 p.m. – Vicious “Holiday Special” (TWC)

Sunday, Dec. 13
1:30 p.m. – Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Specials “1993”

Monday, Dec. 14
11 a.m. Super WHY! “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”
8 p.m. – The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2015

Sunday, Dec. 15
10 p.m. – Craft in America “Celebration”

Wednesday, Dec. 16
9:30 a.m. and noon – Peg + Cat “The Christmas Problem”
10 a.m. – Dinosaur Train “Dinosaurs in the Snow/Cretaceous Conifers”
11:30 a.m. – Thomas & Friends “Tinsel & Trains”
12:30 p.m. – The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!

Thursday, Dec. 17
3:30 a.m. – Lidia Celebrates America “Home for the Holidays” (TWC)
4:30 a.m. – Craft in America “Celebration” (TWC)
1 p.m. – O Christmas Tree (TWC)

Friday, Dec. 18
6 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
11:30 a.m. – Thomas & Friends “Winter Delights”
5 p.m. – Martha Speaks “Martha’s Holiday Surprise/We’re Powerless”

Saturday, Dec. 19
6 a.m. – Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri 2015
10:30 a.m. – A Chef’s Life Holiday Special
11:30 a.m. – Lidia Celebrates America “Home for the Holidays”
5 p.m. – Green Bay Holiday Pops! (TWC)

Sunday, Dec. 20
5 a.m. – Sid the Science Kid “Sid’s Holiday Adventure”
7 a.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
1:30 p.m. – Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Specials “1994” (TWC)
4 p.m. – The Lawrence Welk Show “Christmas” (TWC)
11 p.m. – Silent Night (TWC)

Monday, Dec. 21
5:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. – Odd Squad “Reindeer Games”
8 p.m. – Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Santino Fontana & the Sesame Street Muppets

Tuesday, Dec. 22
2 a.m. – Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Santino Fontana & the Sesame Street Muppets
1 p.m. – Rick Steves Special “European Christmas” (TWC)

Wednesday, Dec. 23
3 a.m. – Rick Steves Special “European Christmas” (TWC)
12:30 p.m. – The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! “Reindeer Games/Along Came a Spider”
11 p.m. – Green Bay Holiday Pops!

Thursday, Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve
6 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
7 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
9 a.m. – Peg + Cat “The Christmas Problem”
10:30 a.m. – Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri 2015
11:30 a.m. – Peg + Cat + Holidays
Noon – Mr. Stink (TWC)
12:30 p.m. – The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!
1 p.m. – The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2015 (TWC)
1:30 p.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
3 p.m. – Odd Squad “Reindeer Games”
5 p.m. – Martha Speaks “Martha’s Holiday Surprise/We’re Powerless”

Friday, Dec. 25 – Christmas Day
5 a.m. – Arthur’s Perfect Christmas
5 a.m. and 11 a.m. – A Chef’s Life Holiday Special (Create)
6 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
6:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – Healthy Heritage Kitchen: Kwanzaa Edition (Create)
7 a.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
7 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope “A San Antonio Christmas” (Create)
7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – The Farm Holiday Special With Ian Knauer (Create)
8 a.m. – The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!
8 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Alsatian Christmas Table With Chef Hubert Keller “Alsatian Christmas Dinner” (Create)
8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. – Alsatian Christmas Table With Chef Hubert Keller “Alsatian Christmas Treats” (Create)
9 a.m. Rick Steves Special “European Christmas” (TWC)
9 a.m. and 5 p.m. – Family Travel With Colleen Kelly “Chicago: My Kind of Town for the Holidays” (Create)
9:30 a.m. – Peg + Cat “The Christmas Problem”
9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Katie Brown Workshop “Christmas” (Create)
10 a.m. and  7 p.m. – Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Santino Fontana & the Sesame Street Muppets
10 a.m. – Craft in America “Holiday” (TWC)
10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Heirloom Meals Christmas (Create)
11 a.m. – Christmas at Belmont
11 a.m. – Lidia Celebrates America “Home for the Holidays” (TWC)
Noon – St. Thomas Christmas: Jubilant Light
Noon – Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri 2015 (TWC)
Noon – Paint This With Jerry Yarnell “Greeting/Christmas Card” (Create)
1 p.m. – Green Bay Holiday Pops!
2 p.m. – Mr. Stink
3 p.m. – Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri 2015
4 p.m. – Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
8 p.m. – Call the Midwife Holiday Special
9:30 p.m. – Vicious Holiday Special

Saturday, Dec. 26
Midnight – Paint This With Jerry Yarnell “Greeting/Christmas Card” (Create)
1 a.m. – Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Santino Fontana and the Sesame Street Muppets (TWC)
2 a.m. – Christmas at Belmont (TWC)
2 a.m. – Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke “Thanksgiving Comes Early” (Create)
3 a.m. – Tonic Sol-fa Christmas (TWC)
5 p.m. – Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri 2015 (TWC)
5 p.m. – Katie Brown Workshop “New Year’s” (Create)

Sunday, Dec. 27
9 a.m. – Rick Steves Special “European Christmas” (TWC)
11 a.m. – A Chef’s Life “Holiday Special” (TWC)
11 a.m. – Katie Brown Workshop “New Year’s” (Create)
1:30 p.m. – Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Specials “1995” (TWC)

Thursday, Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve
11 a.m. – Katie Brown Workshop “New Year’s” (Create)
10 p.m. – Live From Lincoln Center “New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve: La Vie Parisienne”

Your Pets’ Secret Lives

Nature "Pets: Wild at Heart" premieres 7 p.m. tonight.
Nature “Pets: Wild at Heart” premieres 7 p.m. tonight.

I share my apartment with two pets: a longhaired gray tabby named Donna and a shorthaired orange tabby named Harvey. They’re full of personality, fond of food and usually tolerant of my presence. Donna likes to curl up on my lap when she feels like it, and on the rare occasion that Harvey’s not sleeping, he loves to play with his catnip mouse. Continue reading Your Pets’ Secret Lives

Gather “Around the Farm Table” for a Brand-New Season

Join fourth-generation organic dairy farmer Witscher for a new season of "Around the Farm Table" beginning tonight, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1.
Join host Inga Witscher for a new season of “Around the Farm Table” beginning tonight, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1.

Around the Farm Table is back! Join fourth-generation organic dairy farmer Inga Witscher and her friends at her organic dairy farm near Osseo, St. Isidore’s Mead, and other locations across Wisconsin for new outings designed to uplift our understanding of sustainable farming practices. It all begins tonight, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 (or you can watch the season premiere online now).

From a delightful, locally sourced “thank you” lunch for her farmer friends to a visit to an herb farm to brew a fresh cup of tea, the third season of the Wisconsin-produced series follows Witscher as she seeks out the best ingredients the region has to offer and produces fresh meals that celebrate Wisconsin’s landscapes and appetites.

Watch the season premiere episode, which features a Downton-Abbey inspired “shooting breakfast,” below, or tune in tonight! Want more Around the Farm Table? You can find more new episodes, as well as episodes from past seasons, online, anytime here.

A New Season of “Wisconsin Life” Premieres Thursday

Image from the "Wisconsin Life" segment "Nature Photographer." Season 3 of "Wisconsin Life" premieres 7 p.m. Thursday.
Image from the “Wisconsin Life” segment “Nature Photographer.” Season 3 of “Wisconsin Life” premieres 7 p.m. Thursday.

How many professions let you watch television while on the job? Mine occasionally does, and I definitely don’t take the luxury for granted. This month, I’ve had the opportunity to preview the upcoming season of Wisconsin Life, premiering 7 p.m. this Thursday, Oct. 1. (Insider’s secret: You too can watch clips from the new season online, anytime here.)

The third season of the Wisconsin Public Television original series brings more notable Wisconsinites and rare state treasures into the spotlight, giving viewers even more reasons to be proud to call Wisconsin home. Get ready to travel all over the state to meet artists, daredevils, collectors, athletes, nature enthusiasts, authors, preservationists and even Wienermobile drivers.

What I love about Wisconsin Life is its scope. In a single episode, you’ll meet the first female brewmaster in Wisconsin, take a trip on the Badger Ferry and hop on a flying trapeze with an aerial dancer. You’ll meet a variety of people and visit places that, while often dissimilar, are all held together by one common thread: Wisconsin!

Preview season 3 of Wisconsin Life below. Then, tune in 7 p.m. Thursday – or set your DVRs now! – for the television premiere.

Get Ready for More of ‘The Great British Baking Show’!

Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins coax the bakers through their challenges — and provide comic relief. Season 2 premieres tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.
Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins coax the bakers through their challenges — and provide comic relief. Season 2 premieres tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.

Love The Great British Baking Show or eager to learn what all the fuss is about? Tomorrow’s your day! Get ready for a brand-new season following the trials and tribulations of passionate amateur bakers competing to be named the U.K.’s best when season 2 premieres tomorrow, 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6 on Wisconsin Public Television.

This season, full of good old-fashioned competition, a hearty helping of humor and plenty of delicious treats that we (unfortunately) cannot sample, will welcome a baker’s dozen — with contestants ranging from space engineer to student, teacher to dentist, psychologist to carpenter.

Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins will coax the competitors through their Signature, Technical and Showstopper challenges, under the scrutiny of judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. After 10 weeks of whisking, crimping and piping, only one can emerge victorious … who’s it going to be? Begin the baking journey 6 p.m. tomorrow!

‘Big Blue Live’: A Celebration of Marine Wildlife

“Big Blue Live” is a three-night event that premieres 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31.

I must admit that I have a soft spot for reality television. I also enjoy nature-centric television. Perhaps I just like television in general, which means I definitely work at the right place. The point is, I’m super excited for Big Blue Live, a new kind of reality television that combines all of my favorite things into one show.

Big Blue Live is a three-night live TV event airing 7 p.m. Aug. 31-Sept. 2 that will celebrate some of the world’s most amazing marine creatures converging off California’s coast. It’s a success story filled with beauty, cuteness and some breathtaking moments.

The live event set in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a celebration of the bay’s environmental rebirth, featuring humpback whales, sea lions, elephant seals, sea otters, great white sharks and much more as they visit the bay for a once-a-year marine animal phenomenon.

The phenomenon will be captured with state-of-the-art filming technologies and live reports from air, sea and below the waves. Big Blue Live will also bring together scientists, animal behaviorists and other experts, and will be anchored live from hubs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and from a national marine sanctuary research vessel. Needless to say, the team has their bases covered.

You can tune in beginning 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, but while you’re waiting for the premiere, PBS offers a number of activities to keep you busy:

Take their quiz to find your Big Blue Live animal counterpart (For the record, I’m a sea otter).

Sea OtterCheck out live cams for a live look at what sharks, whales, sea lions and more are up to right now. 

Learn about the animals that will be featured in the show.

… and more! Check out the full website now.