Thinking Inside the Box

Highlights of the New Fall Season on MPTV!

by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV

Hi, Ellis Bromberg with another video "Thinking Inside the Box."

Since the start of television network scheduling going back, really, to the `50s, the fall has been the season when broadcasting stations roll out their new, big programming. So as the summer fades to autumn, I thought I'd give you an overview of some key shows you can look forward to over the next few months on Milwaukee Public Television, Channels 10&36.

In September, we're going to take you from your living room out to the ballgame with THE TENTH INNING. This is a compelling four-hour mini-series about the last 15 years of baseball in America. It's Ken Burns' follow-up to his landmark 1994 series on the national pastime.

Statewide campaigns will be the hot topic in late September and October -- we have closely-watched elections for governor and U.S. senator in Wisconsin -- and we've scheduled two prime-time debates for both races, working with our partners at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, WISN-TV, and That's in addition to ongoing coverage on our weekly series INTERCHANGE and HERE & NOW.

Also in October, P.O.V. offers the Oscar-nominated film "The Most Dangerous Man in America," about Daniel Ellsberg and his leaking of the top-secret Pentagon Papers. That was an act that led, as you recall, to Watergate, to President Nixon's resignation, and the end of the Vietnam War.

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN'S AMERICAN SONGBOOK also premieres in October. This new three-part series is a performance and documentary road trip through the glorious history of American popular song -- it's got the stories of Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Rosemary Clooney, the big bands, and much more.

Then AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE team up for the three-part series GOD IN AMERICA, which examines the interaction between religion and democracy, the origins of the American concept of religious liberty, and how that has evolved over time in the courts and in politics.

Our own OUTDOOR WISCONSIN team has a special report for us in October, as well: HABITAT DESTRUCTION ON THE GULF COAST, about the significant effects the BP oil spill and the related loss of wetland habitat are having on waterfowl that summer in Wisconsin and neighboring states.

On a lighter note, everyone's favorite series, MASTERPIECE: MYSTERY is back with a new, fast-paced, witty take on the legendary Sherlock Holmes crime novels, now set in present-day London and starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Should be a lot of fun!

November brings us two programs that take a very different look at artists and creative talent than we're used to:

First there's CIRCUS -- it's a fascinating three-part series on the backstage workings of the legendary Big Apple Circus. We'll get to meet all the performers and see what their lives and experiences are really like outside the big tent.

Then, our monthly ARTS DIGEST series takes a special look at the impact the arts have on our region's economy. Should be interesting.

Also in November, we'll be welcoming to town Ray Suarez of the PBS NEWSHOUR for several special events. Mike Gousha will sit down with him for a conversation on national and international topics which you will see on a special edition of ON THE ISSUES.

And in December, be looking for a new THINGS THAT AREN'T HERE ANYMORE -- a nostalgic look at things we remember around town from growing up in southeastern Wisconsin that -- aren't here anymore. That should be a lot of fun!

We wrap up the year with a variety of music specials, including a new holiday concert from the Wisconsin Lutheran College choir, and the New York Philharmonic's fabulous New Year's Eve gala, a public television tradition.

Where can you find the dates and times for all these terrific shows? Well, right here on, of course. And members of the station get advance notice through Fine Tuning magazine and our special e-mail blasts, as well.

So enjoy the season -- MPTV's fall season -- and I'll be back soon with more "Thinking Inside the Box."