Thinking Inside the Box

What's New for 2012

by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV

Hi, Ellis Bromberg with more "Thinking Inside the Box" on

We are very excited about 2012 here at Milwaukee Public Television: we're entering the year with several new and returning series that viewers have been eagerly awaiting -- and I also want to tell you about a change in our fundraising organization.

But first, we are delighted to bring back two of our favorite local personalities in one new series. Humorist John McGivern and historian John Gurda are well-known in our area, McGivern for his numerous stage performances, Gurda for his books and lectures about local history. Both have been featured a number of times on MPTV productions over the years, but they haven't worked together on television -- until now. Until AROUND THE CORNER. The program is hosted by McGivern who introduces us to neighborhoods and cities throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Gurda drops by every week with historical background. You're going to love this fun weekly series about how people live, work, and play in 13 different communities. AROUND THE CORNER airs Thursday nights at 7:30 on Channel 10.1, and Friday nights at 8:00 on Channel 36.1.

Then, back with 13 new programs is one of our favorite chefs, Whitefish Bay's own Alamelu Vairavan, with a second season of HEALTHFUL INDIAN FLAVORS. Alamelu uses readily available spices and fresh ingredients in easy-to-prepare vegetable, meat, and rice dishes that are flavorful and, as the title says, healthful. The series airs Saturday afternoons at 12:30 on Channel 10.1, Sunday afternoons at 2 o'clock on Channel 36.1, and again Friday evenings at 6:00 on Channel 10.1.

Now, Bill Moyers just couldn't stay retired from public TV, and our viewers are going to be happy that he is back with his new series, MOYERS & COMPANY, introducing us to some of our country's best minds in lively dialogue. MOYERS & COMPANY is on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 on Channel 10.1 and Saturday evenings at 6:00 on Channel 36.1.

And yes, the highly anticipated second season of the multi-award-winning DOWNTON ABBEY is here, too: Sunday nights at 8:00 on MASTERPIECE CLASSIC -- seven new episodes!

With this new year we're also making an important internal change. For decades, our fundraising activities -- membership, the GREAT TV AUCTION, program underwriting, volunteer coordination, special events, and the like -- have been handled for the station by a separate, sister organization, the MPTV Friends, Inc. At the end of last year, the station and the Friends signed an agreement that effectively transfers these fundraising responsibilities to the station. Many of the Friends staff members will continue to organize these events and deal with the public, but now as members of the station staff itself. We don't anticipate any significant changes in our fundraising events or services. In fact, we hope that having one organization, rather than two, responding to the public will strengthen and streamline our service to you, our viewers and our donors.

I want to thank all the Friends staff, board members, and volunteers who've helped raise money and donate their time to the station over these many years. You've done a yeoman's job, and we intend to carry forward on the commitment to maintain and grow this quality public television service in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Thank you for your support, and we'll see you again soon with more "Thinking Inside the Box."