Show Previews

Mexico: One Plate at a Time – An Interview With Chef Rick Bayless

Chef Rick Bayless takes WPT viewers inside the culinary wonders of Mexico on each episode of Mexico: One Plate at a Time, introducing us to the people creating marvelous traditional, rustic and modern dishes, sharing the delicious essence of the country’s cuisine and introducing techniques for home cooks to enjoy the fresh, bold flavors in their own kitchen.

We caught up with the James Beard Award-winning Chicago chef in advance of his show’s 11th season premiere 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 on WPT.

Read our full Q&A about the places he visited in the new season, his favorite culinary discoveries, new techniques we can all use in our home kitchens, how social media is helping take viewers inside Bayless’ kitchen in new ways and some of the Wisconsin farmers who are helping provide fresh ingredients for his Chicago restaurants. Continue reading Mexico: One Plate at a Time – An Interview With Chef Rick Bayless

A New Season of “Sewing With Nancy”

September is an exciting time at Wisconsin Public Television! A new season of Sewing With Nancy premieres 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 on WPT, and the three-day Quilt Expo, co-presented by WPT and Nancy Zieman, takes place Sept. 8-10.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait until September to enjoy Sewing With Nancy or start planning your Quilt Expo adventure. The first episodes from the 34th season of Sewing With Nancy are now available on wpt.org. Click here to watch Best Sweatshirt Makeovers, Favorite Scarves to Sew and more (just in time to get cozy for fall).

Planning ahead for Quilt Expo is almost as much fun as attending … almost. On her blog, Nancy talks about what she’s most looking forward to at this year’s expo — from must-see lectures to shopping for the latest notions to the Kids Quilt Challenge and everything in between. As Nancy says “It’s a big deal!”

There’s another benefit of planning for Quilt Expo in advance: Discounted prices are available for Quilt Expo advance tickets and class registration purchased through Sept. 5.

Watch the premiere episode of Sewing With Nancy below, and mark your calendars to join Nancy at the 2016 Quilt Expo.

Director’s Cut: Roger Rapoport, Richard Riehle and “Pilot Error”

On this week’s Director’s Cut, it is my pleasure to welcome two very esteemed guests to discuss the film Pilot Error. The film’s producer, Roger Rapoport and renowned character actor, Richard Riehle, join me in studio. Rapoport is one of the most innovative producers I’ve met in the indie game when it comes to getting films made, from lining up financing all the way through post production. Riehle has appeared in over three hundred films and made countless television appearances. Two of his most notable credits include Office Space and Casino. Riehle is a native Wisconsinite, born and raised in Menomonee Falls.

Pilot Error is an ambitious project for an indie producer but Rapoport and his team were up for the challenge. When a film involves a plane crash, it’s hard not to think “big studio budget.” The film has a nice narrative about an investigative reporter who loses a friend in a plane crash in the Atlantic Ocean, and loses her job to uncover the truth. The production value is excellent for an indie film. Emmy Award-winning composer Garth Neustadter scored the film.

Pilot Error has not only played in hundreds of theaters thanks to an ambitious self-distribution campaign, it has also helped change regulations in the airline industry and bring awareness to issues such as faulty equipment. Rapoport is as proud of the whistle blowing aspect of his film as he is of the film itself. Continue reading Director’s Cut: Roger Rapoport, Richard Riehle and “Pilot Error”

Remembering Ojibwe Author and Vietnam Veteran Jim Northrup

“I realized then that surviving the peace was up to me.”

We are sad to share the news that Jim Northrup, a talented Ojibwe author, Vietnam veteran and a good friend who was an important part of the LZ Lambeau: Welcoming Home Wisconsin’s Vietnam Veterans project has passed away.

To honor his memory, here is his powerful presentation and recitation from the May 2010 LZ Lambeau event in Green Bay.

Our friends at Indian Country Media have more details of Jim’s life and legacy.

POV Brings a “Rare Bird” to Television

Think about the most stylish people you know. How many of them have had the contents of their closets on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or inspired a line of MAC makeup? Have they been a visiting professor at a major university, admired by Alexander Wang and Kanye West or sold a shoe and jewelry collection on the Home Shopping Network – all after age 90?

That’s Iris Apfel, the subject of this week’s POV – simply titled Iris. You may not know the name, but once you see her, she’s hard to forget.

Known as a quintessential New Yorker, Apfel has a Wisconsin connection: She attended art school (naturally) at the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1943, and received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association in 2013.

Iris is the final opus of the great documentarian Albert Maysles, best known for Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter. When he died last year, just before the film’s release, he was 88 – five years younger than Apfel herself.

For a person of any age – let alone one who turns 95 later this month – Apfel has already had an astounding 2016. She’s appeared in a French car ad, and she is the face of Australian fashion and housewares brand Blue Illusion.

Even for those of us who prefer a Steve Jobs-esque uniform of jeans and a black tee (it’s comfy, okay??), one look at Apfel can make you long for a splashy caftan and “bracelets the size of tricycle tires,” as New York Times critic Manohla Dargis describes them.

“You can’t take your eyes off Iris Apfel,” says Dargis, who named the film a Critics’ Pick, “but, then, why would you want to?”

POV: Iris airs tonight at 9 p.m.

First look at Sherlock Season 4… and some extra tidbits

Flip up your coat collars, Cumberbunnies and… Watseekers? The First Look trailer for Season 4 of Sherlock went live yesterday, as Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) and Amanda Abbington (Mary Watson) joined executive producers Mark Gatiss (also Mycroft Holmes) and Steven Moffat on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con. Let’s watch.

We last saw our friends when the deliciously gaslit Sherlock: The Abominable Bride aired on Masterpiece on New Year’s Day. As of July 24, the team was two weeks from finishing filming for Season 4.

So … what do we see?

Toby Jones as the villain!
Oooh, yes. Jones is my favorite kind of character actor: so distinctive, yet so able to melt into vastly different stories. To wit: he’s an alumnus of several Masterpiece favorites.

A Nerdist post on the casting suggested five possibilities, including the delectable names James Windibank, Baron Adelbert Gruner and Heinrich von Bork.

It’s dark. Really, really dark. 
“It’s the darkest that Steven and Mark have written,” said Abbington, on the panel. “When we read [the scripts], we were kind of overwhelmed by them . . . If we can pull this off, then it’s amazing.”

In the most recent episodes, Mary forced her husband to admit that he is addicted to drama and danger. How will this realization play out — especially since his role in the action-packed First Look teaser reveals nearly nothing?

But it’ll still be funny!
“We never cut jokes,” said Moffat. “Both Mark and I are comedy writers at heart. If there isn’t a major plot development, if there isn’t a major moment of drama or a fright, well put some jokes in it.”

“I think it’s such a false distinction between comedy and drama,” added Gatiss. “As in life, your release from a terrible dramatic situation is often humor, and that’s the way it should be.”

What else can we look forward to?

  • A dog! A rather ornery bloodhound —  “a bit of slathering concrete,” as Cumberbatch describes — but a dog nonetheless.
  • A baby! Mary is pregnant as the season opens. “The baby… features,” she says.

(“Do you want to know how little you’re learning about Series 4?” said Moffat. “We are actually talking about working with children and animals.”)

Given the 90-minute episodes — essentially, a film every week —  “You’ve got to put the characters through an emotional wringer. You can’t just have the story of the week,” said Gatiss. “You can’t have John Watson being constantly astonished by Sherlock’s deductions, because he would have got used to them. As Doyle did, the Sherlock Holmes at the end of the stories is not the same man we met at the beginning. He has changed. Otherwise, it’s just not interesting.”

“If you’re going to do a show about a genius, you can’t do a show about a genius who doesn’t learn,” added Moffat. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

Sherlock returns on Masterpiece in 2017, and we know our patience will be rewarded. As Mycroft says in the teaser, “The roads we walk have demons beneath, and yours have been waiting for a very long time.”

Sherlock Holmes winking

Watch Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Door County Online Now!

We are excited for the premiere of Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Door County at 8 Monday night on Wisconsin Public Television.

We are even more excited that you can watch the full program early right now online below or on the PBS channel of your Roku or other digital device!

Door County Cana Island Lighthouse Moonrise

Here’s a moment of beautiful serenity.

Wisconsin Public Television producers captured this gorgeous full moonrise behind the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County during filming last year.

Enjoy this rare moment of natural wonder and then watch our all-new history documentary, Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Door County Monday night, June 27 at 8 on WPT.

Director’s Cut: Rob Cohen & “Being Canadian”

This week on Director’s Cut,  it is my pleasure to welcome accomplished writer/director Rob Cohen to discuss his very funny documentary Being Canadian. Rob’s body of work as a comedy writer is impressive. His writing credits include The Simpsons – he wrote the ‘Flaming Moe’ episode –The Ben Stiller Show & The Big Bang Theory. Most recently he was working on podcast phenomenon Marc Maron’s show as both writer and director.

Being Canadian is Rob’s love letter to his homeland but was educational for him as well. It is an extremely well-directed and well-produced film, and as with most of Rob’s creations, it’s very funny and very dry. Rob interviewed tons of celebrities, most from Canada and a few from here in the States. The interviews are interesting, funny and set in some crazy locales. As a comedy writer and self proclaimed student of the craft myself for many years, even I was surprised at how many great comedians and writers are from Canada. Their ratio of great comedy writers to actual residents probably far outweighs what we have here and it hurts at little. Well, okay a lot. But at least it’s a little warmer here? 

As great an interview as Rob is, he was a great sport too, hanging out to riff and do some improv with me as we delved into his mysterious Hollywood legend that he always downplays. We explored the ‘myths’ of his career like – Is the Milhouse character from the Simpsons really based on you? Did Aimee Mann really write a song that was inspired by you? Is there an action figure from Austin Powers 2 based on your character? And of course Did you really have a classmate named, Peter Poontip? Be sure to check out the web extras for the answers. Continue reading Director’s Cut: Rob Cohen & “Being Canadian”

Premiere: “Veterans Coming Home”

This post was written by guest contributor and deputy director for “Veterans Coming Home,” Cristina Hanson.

Today I’m excited for the launch of the first episode of Veterans Coming Home, an innovative digital-first series exploring the military–civilian divide from various perspectives of both veterans and civilians across the country.

This is a collaboration between Wisconsin Public Television and our national producing partners, Kindling Group, to produce digital shorts and a 10-part series in partnership with PBS Stories of Service. Veterans Coming Home aims to help veterans and communities understand the opportunities and challenges faced during the transition to civilian life and bridge the military-civilian divide. Veterans Coming Home is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), with additional funding from Got Your Six.

The series explores themes common to veterans reintegrating to civilian life, including how veterans continue to seek the close bonds of a military unit after transitioning, the value of sharing and expressing their stories through art and comedy, and the notion of public and community service in civilian life. We’ve already previewed some stories from Wisconsinites:

In De Pere, Susan and Isaiah shared their experiences in healing and caring for one another more than a decade after Isaiah was injured by an improvised explosive device on a road in Iraq in 2003.

Or in Sussex, Katie – a seventh grader at Templeton Middle School – shared a profound perspective on the impact of war.

These are just a few of the many stories from the Veterans Coming Home team and communities across the country.

We invite you to join the conversation online through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and keep up with the stories on wpt.org.