Thinking Inside the Box

A Great Fall Season on MPTV!

by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV

Hi, Ellis Bromberg with more Thinking Inside the Box on

You know, to many the fall means the start of the school year, the pennant race, turning up the thermostat, watching the changing colors -- and then raking up those leaves. And, of course, the return of Lambeau leaps!

Those of us who've been in television awhile also associate this time with the start of the new fall season. In the old days I remember eagerly thumbing through my copy of TV Guide to see what new shows would be premiering, the return of popular stars, new timeslots for my favorite series.

You know, probably the question I get asked most often now is: "So what's new at 10&36?" Well, if I answered truthfully, I might bore folks to tears because there's always so much great programming I want to talk about!

But today I'm going to try to keep focused, and tell you about a few things coming to Milwaukee Public Television that you're not going to want to miss this fall. The scheduling details are all right around me here on

Now of course, this is an important election year, and we will be here with the broadcasts and analysis of all the presidential and vice-presidential debates, election night, FRONTLINE's incisive look at both President Obama and Governor Romney on THE CHOICE 2012; we'll have coverage on THE PBS NEWSHOUR, on WASHINGTON WEEK, on NEED TO KNOW, and other public affairs series and specials.

Closer to home, the race for U.S. Senator will be a regular topic on our weekly series HERE AND NOW and INTERCHANGE, and the very first statewide broadcast debate between candidates Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson will be produced with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, September 28, right here in the MPTV studios in Milwaukee.

Then, on Sunday, September 30, the runaway British hit CALL THE MIDWIFE, comes to American TV. It's a new drama that depicts midwifery in 1950s London, and it kicks-off with a six-part weekly run. Sunday evenings will also be the place for the season two return of UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS on MASTERPIECE CLASSIC.

High profile series and specials will fill the schedule, led by the star-studded four-hour documentary HALF THE SKY, based on the book by New York Times correspondent Nicholas Kristof and Pulitzer Prize-winner Sheryl WuDunn about courageous individuals fighting oppression of women and girls around the world.

The widely-anticipated documentary AS GOES JANESVILLE, by Milwaukee filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein -- about the controversial closing of the General Motors plant in Janesville -- comes to MPTV in October. So does a lighter program about something else close to home: it's BOTTOMS UP: A TOAST TO WISCONSIN'S HISTORIC BARS & BREWERIES, based on the new book from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Then be looking for Ken Burns' new two-part film THE DUST BOWL, which chronicles the environmental catastrophe that destroyed the farmlands of the Great Plains, unleashing a pattern of massive, deadly dust storms in 1930s America. It's an amazing story!

Mark Siegrist hosts the new documentary RETURN TO PEARL, which chronicles the visit by a group of Wisconsin veterans to Pearl Harbor -- that's the very place they were stationed in 1941 when the Japanese attack led to America's entrance into World War II. That's in December, and so is an MPTV production of seasonal music by the Bel Canto Chorus at the gorgeous Basilica of St. Josephat on Milwaukee's south side. Don't miss that one!

Finally, we're working on a new weekly series about the arts, culture, and creativity. The series doesn't have a title yet, or a host, but we're confident it will be an important addition to our schedule. I'll have more to say about that later in the year.

So, we are excited -- and I know you will be, too -- for great entertainment and information, for you and your family, this fall on MPTV: Opening Your World.

Let us know what you think: drop us a line through this website, give us a call on our new REACTION LINE, friend us on FaceBook, tweet us -- lots of ways to share your thoughts about our programs and related services.

And I'll be back soon with more Thinking Inside the Box.