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.
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.
The past two Sundays have seen the first all-new episodes of Poldark on Masterpiece. If summer activities kept you away from the TV and you missed the re-boot of the insanely popular Poldark, we understand. Luckily, you can watch both episodes on your own time online now.
Poldark is available on-demand at video.wpt.org or on your Roku, Apple TV, Xbox or Amazon Fire TV. Watch the fast-paced saga now, and catch the next episode in this seven-part series next Sunday at 8 p.m. or on-demand the following day.
Poldark on Masterpiece – Episode 1
Poldark on Masterpiece – Episode 2
WPT also has lots of other all-new historical drama to go around. If you like Poldark, here are two other shows that are worth your time.
The Crimson Field
In a tented field hospital on the coast of France, a team of doctors, nurses and women volunteers work together to heal the bodies and souls of men wounded in the trenches. Watch Episode 1 Now.
Tales From the Royal Wardrobe
The world has a well-documented obsession with contemporary royal fashion. Peel back the layers of monarch’s outfits past and present to reveal the power of fashion. Watch Now.
“My job is not to put great programming on television; My job is to keep really bad programming off television. There’s far more bad television than there is good television to consider.” – Garry Denny, Director of Programming
Each year, WPT Director of Programming Garry Denny sifts through a mind-boggling amount of content. Denny may have started his career entering logs by typewriter at Howard University’s WHMM (now WHUT), but for the past 17 years he’s ensured that WPT brings you – our viewers – the highest quality programming available on public television. With the New Year fast approaching, Denny sat down and told me about some of his upcoming favorites for 2015:
The Story of Cancer
In the short term, I think we’re all excited about the new production from Ken Burns Florentine Films. Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies is directed by Barak Goodman and based off of the book, which did really well. The six-hour series is heartbreaking, but to some degree it’s also hopeful. The film will be broadcast in the early springtime, and it’s full of personal stories from cancer patients. Some of them do well and some of them don’t, but it gives you an overview of how cancer has really become this – as it says in the book – emperor of all maladies. It’s difficult to treat and it’s difficult to cure even 30 or 40 years after the Nixon administration launched a so-called war on cancer.
Bigger Than Vegas Frontline has a new documentary which has been delayed and won’t broadcast until next fall because of continued reporting. They’re featuring Macau, a small region of China that’s become the gambling capital of the world. It not only rivals but outdoes Vegas in terms of the number of casinos and the amount of money that’s exchanged. The upcoming program talks about how corruption is prevalent because of all of the gambling.
I’m looking forward to seeing this episode, as I am with all new episodes of Frontline. I sit down to watch certain episodes thinking, “Well, I might be interested in this,” and then I get sucked in. They do a fantastic job. People can argue with me if they want, but I still think it’s the best journalistic documentary series on television anywhere. Continue reading A Look Ahead with WPT's Director of Programming: Spring 2015→