Thinking Inside the Box

The Season to Be Grateful -- and to Celebrate!

by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV


Happy holidays, everyone. Ellis Bromberg, Thinking Inside the Box, on mptv.org and MPTV MOBILE. It is the season to be grateful for the good things that have happened during the past year -- and, of course, to celebrate!

So let me start off with three pieces of great news we've received in the past couple of months, and tell you how we'll help you enjoy the holidays all December and into the New Year.

Firstly, we were delighted that two of our regular series took top honors in the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards. ¡ADELANTE! won the award for Outstanding Achievement for Public Affairs Programming; and AROUND THE CORNER WITH JOHN McGIVERN won for Outstanding Achievement for Magazine Programming (the photo shows AROUND THE CORNER producer Lois Maurer and ¡ADELANTE! producer Patricia Gomez with their Emmys). We're very proud of our staff for their wonderful work on these outstanding series, and grateful for the support we have for them from generous underwriters and our members.

Secondly, our annual holiday community service project, MITTENS & MORE, was the most successful it's ever been: over 6,000 pairs of new mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves were donated by the station to agencies and schools for families in need. That was an incredible 45% increase over last year's donations. I want to thank all who participated in that.

Thirdly, we received confirmation that the MPTV production of PETER PAN BY MILWAUKEE BALLET will be broadcast on the PBS national primetime schedule on April 18, 2014. It is a wonderful program and we're so pleased that folks around the country will get to see what a gem we have in the exceptional Milwaukee Ballet company.

So let's celebrate with some wonderful holiday shows. In December, MPTV is the largest stage in southeastern Wisconsin, and you'll have front row seats to performances by the Italian trio Il Volo, Elvis Presley, the Celtic Thunder's Paul Byrom, violinist David Garrett, Celtic Woman, Brit Floyd, Carole King and James Taylor, Barbra Streisand, Luciano Pavarotti, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir featuring Alfie Boe, the St. Olaf Choir, Marvin Hamlisch, Lawrence Welk, and many more.

And we'll be bringing back two popular MPTV holiday specials, JOHN McGIVERN'S HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS and CHRISTMAS IN THE BASILICA WITH THE BEL CANTO CHORUS.

Now just about everyone knows that the fourth season of DOWNTON ABBEY premieres January 5 at 8 o'clock on Channel 10. To get you in the mood, December's schedule includes a review of the past and a preview of the new episodes on RETURN TO DOWNTON ABBEY. Also this month, a new CALL THE MIDWIFE HOLIDAY SPECIAL and a new family special, MR. STINK, starring DOWNTON's Hugh Bonneville.

On New Year's Eve, take your pick: Channel 10 features THE NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC GALA WITH YO-YO MA and GUY LOMBARDO AND THE ROYAL CANADIANS; while on Channel 36, you can rock in the New Year with concerts by the Hollies, the Doobie Brothers, and Sir Paul McCartney! So please join us!

I'll see you in 2014 with more Thinking Inside the Box. And on behalf of the entire MPTV family, happy holidays and a safe and healthy New Year!