Show Previews

Q&A: Behind the scenes with Wisconsin Water From the Air’s Laurie Gorman

Wisconsin Public Television’s Laurie Gorman has led production for all three of WPT’s aerial documentaries: Wisconsin From the Air in 2014; Wisconsin Winter From the Air in 2016 (both viewable with WPT Passport); and the latest installment in the series, premiering this week.

Wisconsin Water From the Air premieres 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26.

Read on for an exclusive look into these groundbreaking productions, and see what’s in store!  Continue reading Q&A: Behind the scenes with Wisconsin Water From the Air’s Laurie Gorman

That’s a (Rough Puff Pastry) Wrap! The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

The labor of the fall harvest — which in Wisconsin Public Television terms means the successful production of Quilt Expo 2018 in early September, the launch of brand new seasons (!) of Wisconsin Life and Around the Farm Table, and the premiere of our new documentary Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars (loaded with digital extras) — means we regrettably left our buns in the oven way too long! We’re now circling back to our beloved Wisconsin bakers to celebrate their time, labor, creativity and achievements baking along all summer with Season 5 of the Great British Baking Show! Their patience and understanding call for a thousand thanks and pithiviers. . . say wah? Speaking of. . .

We rewind the egg timer to the Sept. 9 WPT broadcast of The Final across the Atlantic when Brendan, John and James entered Paul and Mary’s tent one last time to compete for the winning crown. All three gentlemen brought singular talents: Brendan a remarkable consistency in baking beauty and precision; John an unbending passion to learn new techniques and one day attend Le Cordon Bleu; and James an edge pushing him to innovate and take last-minute risks.

Our wonderful Wisconsin bakers were asked to deliver their final Wisconsin Twist — with an oomph —  adding to their bakes at least three local ingredients and turning the Wisconsin-ness up to 11!

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Wisconsin Week challenges: 1) a Savory Pithivier, 2) at least a dozen Fondant Fancies, or 3) a Chiffon Cake based on their favorite things about Wisconsin!

Don’t forget to read to the end to find out who our Wisconsin Week six featured bakers are. In addition, read about and give a Great Wisconsin Baking hand to our 33 stouthearted Star Bakers who baked along with us all ten weeks. You inspire us, friends, and we thank you from the bottoms of our ovens to the toppers of our cakes!

C’mon baby, let’s do the (Wisconsin) twist one last time!

All Season 5 contestants pose in front of the tent

Continue reading That’s a (Rough Puff Pastry) Wrap! The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Around the Farm Table returns!

A Note From Inga…Inga Witscher, host of Around the Farm Table

Has it really been six years since we started this quirky little show we call Around the Farm Table? My father Rick (producer, director, and the guy that irons my shirt) and I are absolutely humbled to help tell the stories of the hard working and inspiring farmers here in the great state of Wisconsin.

Read more to find out where we’re headed this season on Around the Farm Table – and join us for our new episodes airing Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television!

Continue reading Around the Farm Table returns!

American Experience producer Sharon Grimberg discusses “The Circus”

Aerialist La NormaStep right up! American Experience: The Circus is a four-hour, two-part documentary airing 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8-9 on WPT. Exploring the colorful history of this distinctly American entertainment, this fascinating film includes extensive historical material from and about Wisconsin, the home of the famed Ringling Bros. and other major acts.

In our exclusive Q&A, writer/producer/director Sharon Grimberg shares her thoughts on the film’s production, as well as the circus itself.

Continue reading American Experience producer Sharon Grimberg discusses “The Circus”

The Great American Read: Kathleen Ernst shares her picks

The Great American Read is back, with weekly explorations each Tuesday night of why America’s best-loved books and characters make such lasting impressions in our lives.

Kathleen Ernst headshot, by Geri GerroldWe’ve enjoyed hearing about Wisconsin authors’ own picks, both on and off TGAR‘s list. Next in our series is Kathleen Ernst, a multitalented author who describes her work as “writing at the intersection of people, places and the past.”

If you enjoy history, mystery or any combination thereof, read on for some of Ernst’s inspiring picks!

Continue reading The Great American Read: Kathleen Ernst shares her picks

The Great American Read: Michael Perry shares his picks

It’s here! Tune in 7 p.m. tonight for the fall kickoff episode of The Great American ReadThere’s plenty of action to come, both on TV and in our continuing series of Wisconsin authors.

Author Michael Perry smiles and wears a plaid shirt.Today we present WPT/WPR favorite and The New York Times bestselling essayist Michael Perry, of New Auburn. The paperback of his latest book, Montaigne in Barn Boots, will be released by HarperPerennial in November while he is on tour with his band the Long Beds.

Read more to find out which books have encouraged Perry to question his assumptions about writing and life.

Continue reading The Great American Read: Michael Perry shares his picks

Week 8 Biscuits Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Snap, Crack(le). . . Bake! 
English Digestive Crackers by Jean from Madison

The poet Carl Sandburg’s Good Morning, America begins with 38 definitions of poetry. His memorable line, “poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits,”  is as scrumptious to speak as the 62 snappy crackers, stout tea cakes, and sturdy gingerbread structures submitted to our Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge: Biscuits Week (and by “week” we mean 20 days — thanks for your patience and support of the WPT August pledge drive, bakers)!

Biscuits — or crackers and cookies to Americans — took center stage in Paul and Mary’s tent, along with our five remaining British bakers this week. Cathryn, Brendan, James, Danny and John faced the quarterfinals with three demanding challenges testing their skills of precision, dough handling and even their architectural acumen.

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Biscuit challenges. Let’s get cracking with our review! 

Continue reading Week 8 Biscuits Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Quilt Expo celebrates Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

We’re less than two weeks away from the start of the 14th annual Quilt Expo, held at the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall in Madison. (Get your discount advance tickets here – or consider volunteering!)

Natalie Sewell and Nancy Zieman pose together at Quilt ExpoThis year, as every year, attendees will enjoy several special exhibits beyond the 10-category Quilt Contest. One of these exhibits honors the legacy of two women who have been central to quilting in Wisconsin and beyond: Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell. 

Read on for more examples of their beautiful landscape quilt collaborations!

Continue reading Quilt Expo celebrates Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

What We Watch: Garry Denny

Bringing Wisconsin Public Television’s delightful mix of programming together takes a lot more work than most of us realize. Beyond PBS itself, WPT previews and purchases programs from American Public Television, the BBC, our own local production teams and multiple other independent sources.

Garry Denny

In our latest installment of What We Watch, we chat with Garry Denny, WPT’s director of programming. A member of our staff since 1986, he’s the one who brings it all together: acquisition, scheduling and delivery of programming services on WPT’s six-station network.

Read more to find out what Garry is most looking forward to in WPT’s fall schedule!
Continue reading What We Watch: Garry Denny