Thinking Inside the Box

Gun Violence, Black History, and Women 'Makers' on MPTV

by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV

Hi, Ellis Bromberg with more "Thinking Inside the Box" on We have several significant programming themes in our February schedules on Channels 10&36 that I'd like you to know about.

First, in response to the tragic shootings in recent months, we will broadcast a series of special programs, thoughtful and thought-provoking documentaries, magazine and news pieces meant to add context to the national conversation about gun violence here in America. MPTV's 4th STREET FORUM will kick it off on February 8 with A CONVERSATION: VIOLENCE, GUNS AND OUR CULTURE. And later in the month, FRONTLINE reports on the battle over gun control as well as a psychological profile of Newtown shooter Adam Lanza; and NOVA will offer a program on violence and the brain. There'll be several special primetime documentaries as well, along with reports on THE PBS NEWSHOUR, NEED TO KNOW, and a WASHINGTON WEEK discussion on pending legislation dealing with access to guns. I do hope you'll be able to join us for this important and timely coverage throughout the month.

February is also Black History Month, and we've got a number of programs that celebrate important events in African American history, and profile some of America's well-known and some less well-known individuals. Look through the stations' schedules to see the programs that we have about dancer Josephine Baker; about "Roots," the groundbreaking TV mini-series about slavery; about the Abolitionist movement; William Still and the Underground Railroad; Civil Rights leader Whitney Young; the woman known as "the Godmother of Rock & Roll" -- that's Sister Rosetta Tharpe; renowned harpist Ann Hobson Pilot; and a wonderful documentary, JAZZ ICONS, about Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and much more. Finally, the MPTV special FREEDOM WALKERS FOR MILWAUKEE, about the significant Civil Rights activities in our area in the 1960s -- that will be aired on February 27.

The day before, February 26, is the premiere date for an important new documentary on women leaders called MAKERS: WOMEN WHO MAKE AMERICA. It's the first film to tell the comprehensive story of how women have really transformed America over the last half-century. Meryl Streep narrates, and the program boasts an impressive list of impressive interviewees including Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, and others. The previous Friday, February 21, MPTV's 4TH STREET FORUM looks at Wisconsin's women leaders.

Two other notes: our next MPTV NEXT AVENUE Community Conversation, on Work and Purpose, will be held Monday afternoon, February 25 at 5 o'clock, at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee. Please join us there, or watch the event streamed live, and then archived, right here on

And, yes -- Season 3 of DOWNTON ABBEY wraps up, parts 6 and 7, on February 24.

So we've got a lot of "must see TV" in February, and I hope you'll join us for as much of it as you can. And if you miss the initial broadcast, most of the programs are repeated some time during the month on Channels 10&36 or available for later viewing right here on

Enjoy the fine programming, and I'll be back again soon with more "Thinking Inside the Box."