Watch Masterpiece Classic “Downton Abbey” at 8:00 p.m. Sundays, starting Jan. 9 on Wisconsin Public Television. Encore of each episode Mondays at 10:00 p.m.
The series that took the UK by storm is coming to Wisconsin Public Television. Created by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey is a fascinating production that brings the past to life with an amazing cast of actors. On top of an already wonderful set and costumes, the story of this interesting family is told from multiple different perspectives with a bit of modern humor. To truly appreciate this series staring Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern, you need to catch each of the four parts, the first of which is this Sunday. Don’t miss out on this amazing program from Masterpiece about a family who lost so many on the Titanic! I’ve added a preview of the first episode below, you can view more clips here.
My personal favorite – “What is a week end?”
Watch In Wisconsin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on Wisconsin Public Television.
After a December hiatus, In Wisconsin returns this week with a new program that covers the state and the stories impacting Wisconsin citizens.
This week, join host Patty Loew as In Wisconsin features reports on Manitowoc photographers who are reviving the art of studio-portrait postcards, how the current economic downturn has resulted in record enrollment at colleges in the state, a Chinese business etiquette program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business and the advantage of value-added agriculture to a Waterloo farm.
Visit the In Wisconsin web page to watch all of the program’s archived reports.
Don’t forget to check out the WPT News and Public Affairs Producer’s Journal blog for behind-the-scenes insight and stories about upcoming reports.
Watch American Experience: Robert E. Lee at 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4 on Wisconsin Public Television.
Some hated him, others considered him a god. Even a century and a half after his death, his life has continued to amaze people. Find out why a military general serving during the bloodiest years in American history is celebrated with statues in countless cities and featured on two postage stamps. American Experience covers the life and reputation of Robert E. Lee in this can’t-miss documentary. I’ve attached a brief preview below, note this is not for WPT and you should ignore the January 3rd air date.
Climatewisconsin.org is your one-stop shop for information on climate change in Wisconsin. The site features several stories from around the state as well as a few interactive tools like the one pictured above. They are very helpful if you would like to see years of data and projections compiled into an attractive layout that is easy to understand. The stories themselves provide a variety of different ways to look at how climate change will affect Wisconsin and the people who live here. I think you’ll find it interesting to see how our hobbies, health and the economy can all be affected by the rising temperatures we have seen over the years. Visit Climate Wisconsin and explore some of these amazing stories presented through videos and slideshows.
Watch a marathon of Rick Sebak’s documentaries starting at noon Jan. 1 on Wisconsin Public Television.
His voice is probably familiar as the narrator to favorite public television documentaries that explore America’s fascination with hot dogs, roadside oddities, sandwiches and ice cream. But, you might not now that Rick Sebak is the producer responsible for traveling the country in search of the people, places and stories that make shows like Great Old Amusement Parks and Sandwiches You Will Like so much fun.
I had the chance to interview Sebak for a WPT podcast awhile back. Click the link below to listen in and hear how he was inspired to become a documentary filmmaker and how he finds the stories that make up his programs.
WPT Podcast – Rick Sebak
Then, this New Years Day, enjoy seven of Rick Sebak’s great American documentaries on Wisconsin Public Television.
The year is coming to an end, and I for one am anxious to see what the new year will bring. This year, sit back and celebrate with Wisconsin Public Television for a night of amazing music. Starting off the night is the New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve concert featuring pianist Lang Lang. Live from the Lincoln Center in New York and straight to your TV, watch Alan Gilbert conduct Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and The Nutcracker.
The night continues with a look back at some of the most treasured soul hits from the 60’s and 70’s with Soul Rewind. A large amount of music was recovered from Europe to put this collection together featuring artists like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Otis Reading, Lou Rawls, Gladys Knight and many more.
To keep the music going, don’t miss an encore presentation of Stevie Wonder’s special concert in London to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Motown Records. To top it all off, we wrap up the night with an episode of our locally produced show, The 30-Minute Music Hour. While I haven’t seen every episode, I have yet to be disappointed and look forward to this episode featuring Les Breastfeeders.
Friday, December 31
8:00 p.m. – New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve with Lang Lang
10:00 p.m. – Aretha Franklin: Soul Rewind
11:30 p.m. – Great Performances “Stevie Wonder: Live at Last”
12:30 a.m. – 30-Minute Music Hour
Watch Great Performances “Celebracion: Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic With Juan Diego Florez at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29 on Wisconsin Public Television.
On a recent trip to Los Angeles, I was struck by just how much the city has caught Gustavo Dudamel fever. I knew that the classical music world had great hopes for the energetic conductor to be a catalyst for drawing new audiences to the genre, but I didn’t realize how far that spread into the community until I started seeing Dudamel’s face on street signs, billboards, buses and throughout the corridors of Los Angeles International Airport. I haven’t had the chance to see Dudamel in person, but even through television, his energy, passion and excitement are readily apparent. See a bit of it in the preview video below. Then, watch the full performance with tenor Juan Diego Florez on WPT.
Watch American Masters: Genius Within, The Inner Life of Glenn Gould at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 27 on Wisconsin Public Television.
There are some artists who seem to appear from nowhere and are obviously ahead of their time. In the case of the talented Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, he arrived in the public consciousness just as quickly as he left this world too soon. An enigmatic performer with a unique style that threw a wrench in the classical music world, Gould was a force of nature who gave up live performance in favor of capturing his work in recordings. When he died at the age of 50, he left a lifetime of work that is still appreciated by musicians all over the world. Enjoy the trailer for this interesting film of Gould’s life story and then watch the documentary on Wisconsin Public Television.
We’re just days away from this year’s Christmas holiday, and WPT has a great lineup of special programs to help your family celebrate the season. Enjoy some afternoon Christmas chemistry with Dr. Bassam Shakhashiri. Then, in the evening, venture to a white Christmas in Yellowstone and enjoy the sounds and sights of the season with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the San Fransisco Ballet. Find the whole schedule below, but first, enjoy this classic Sesame Street Christmas memory.
Friday, Dec. 24 Schedule
1 p.m. Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri
4:30 p.m. Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri
7:30 p.m. Nature “Christmas in Yellowstone”
8:30 p.m. Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Natalie Cole
9:30 p.m. Great Performances “Dance in America: San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker”
11:30 p.m. Burt Wolf: Travels & Traditions “Celebrating Christmas at Biltmore Estate”
Watch Independent Lens “The Calling” part 1 at 8:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20 on Wisconsin Public Television. Watch part 2 at the same time on Tuesday.
Everyone has a calling. For some it manifests itself as something simple like hobby, for others it can become a profession. This film looks at the select few whose calling brings them to a life changing journey to become the future leaders of their religions. Go behind the scenes and watch as young Americans of the Christian, Jewish, Catholic and Muslim faiths begin their journey as eager students and eventually become ordained religious professionals. Enjoy the preview below and don’t miss your chance to be part of this amazing journey.