MPTV Premieres & Highlights: September 2009

Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk

September 1st / 10:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

River advocate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and author/anthropologist Wade Davis go rafting along the Colorado River, one of the most environmentally threatened rivers in the world. Accompanied by their daughters, Tara Davis and Kick Kennedy, the journey is both a rite of passage for the young women and a dramatic commentary on the most pressing environmental story of our time--the world's growing shortage of fresh water. (45 min) Repeats 9/4 9pm 36.1

Masterpiece Mystery! Inspector Lewis Series II

Music to Die For

September 6th / 8:00 / MPTV 10.1 HD

The worlds of no-rules boxing, Oxford dons and Cold War intrigue surround the death of a prominent don. Consequences of the investigation hit Lewis surprisingly close to home, revealing a little more about the loss he suffered since the death of his wife. (87 min)

Secret Family of Jesus

September 6th / 11:00 pm / MPTV 36.1

Professor Robert Beckford investigates the "conspiracy" that author Dan Brown missed in THE DA VINCI CODE. The program traces back to the beginnings of Christianity and uncovers a conspiracy that challenges the religion's foundations. It's the story of the people closest to Jesus: those who shared his bloodline. Jesus' real human family--brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles and nephews--was a powerful force in shaping the early and vital Christian story, and his bloodline survived for at least 300 years after Jesus' death. Dr. Beckford visits Rome to confront today's Vatican experts with his findings concerning Jesus' family. Even after 2000 years, the Church still finds it difficult to accept the importance and strategic significance of Jesus' family. (52 min)

Great Lodges of the National Parks

September 6th / 7:00 pm / MPTV 36.1

A fascinating tour of the surreal desert landscape of Death Valley and the Furnace Creek Inn, a historic four-diamond hotel that rises from the red rock like a shimmering oasis. In the lush Pacific Northwest, Lake Quinault Lodge nestles in the heart of the Olympic National Forest, delighting guests with such old-fashioned pleasures as a hike in the woods or a game of chess by the fire. It's a step back in time at Wallowa Lake Lodge, where every item has been lovingly restored to its 1920s condition. Finally, visitors pay their respects to Pele the goddess of fire at the historic Volcano House in Hawaii's thrilling Volcanoes National Park. (1 of 2) Continues 9/13. (57 min)

PBS KIDS Dinosaur Train

September 7th / 8:00 am / MPTV 10.1 HD

The all-new CGI-animated series, DINOSAUR TRAIN, embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains while encouraging basic scientific thinking and skills as the audience learns about natural science, natural history and paleontology. The series will join other top-ranked PBS KIDS preschool series including The Jim Henson Company's series SID THE SCIENCE KID, which premiered in fall 2008. DINOSAUR TRAIN is seen through the eyes of Buddy, a preschool-aged Tyrannosaurus Rex. Buddy and his adoptive family of Pteranodons go for adventures on the Dinosaur Train to meet all kinds of dinosaurs in different eras and learn fascinating new facts about these incredible creatures. Continues weekdays at 9:30 am AND 1:30 pm (30 min each) (150 min)

Great Circus Parade 2009

September 7th / 1:00 pm / MPTV 36.1

The Great Circus Parade rolls into downtown Milwaukee after a six year hiatus. A glorious display of circus history and pageantry, with 50 authentic circus wagons, 350 exquisite horses, 30 bands, 150 clowns and over 450 riding and walking performers dressed in lavish circus wardrobe. Live and in HD. Commentary by I REMEMBER host Jim Peck and circus historian Fred Pfening, along with comedian John McGivern and radio personality Sandy Maxx. (106 min)

Wild River: The Colorado

September 7th / 9:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

The Colorado River is followed, from its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park, through Utah's Westwater Canyon; the national parks of Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef and Zion; the fragile beauty and rapids of the Grand Canyon; and into Mexico. The program is set to classical music by some of the world's greatest composers and is narrated by Joseph Campanella. (57 min) Repeats 9/11 9 pm 36.1

Yellowstone: Land to Life

September 8th / 8:00 / MPTV 10.1 HD

Yellowstone is one of the world's largest active volcanoes. Filmed over two years in all four seasons, the program delves deep into the significance behind the scenery. It also explores the bonds between the landscape and biology--how Yellowstone's geology influences where life exists and how it evolves. (27 min) Repeats 9/19 9 pm 36.1

Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times

September 9th / 7:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

Families share their stories of coping with the ups and downs of economic uncertainty. Elmo and his friends offer help, hope and strategies to families--encouraging children to express their feelings and ideas as their families adjust to a new life. Al Roker and Deborah Roberts host. (57 min)

Your Life, Your Money

September 9th / 8:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

Families share their stories of coping with the ups and downs of economic uncertainty. Elmo and his friends offer help, hope and strategies to families--encouraging children to express their feelings and ideas as their families adjust to a new life. Al Roker and Deborah Roberts host. (57 min)

Murdoch Mysteries


September 10th / 9:00 pm / MPTV 36.1

gone wrong, it's determined that the switch handle she pulled had been purposely booby-trapped. In a case that's further complicated by bribery, scandal and dirty backroom dealings, Murdoch must find out who killed her--and why. Based on the critically acclaimed mysteries of novelist Maureen Jennings, MURDOCH MYSTERIES follows the adventures of a young detective, William Murdoch, in Toronto, Canada in the 1890's. (1 of 13) Continues on Thursdays (47 min)

When Learning Comes Naturally

September 12th / 10:30 am / MPTV 36.1

Innovative outdoor-education programs around the country are highlighted. Created to help children understand and experience the wonders and joys of nature, this film explores the immediate and lasting benefits of introducing young children to "green" experiences. (27 min)Repeats 9/12 9 pm

Movie: Malcolm X (1992)

September 12th / 10:30 pm / MPTV 36.1

The civil-rights leader (Denzel Washington) rises from criminal to crusader, undergoing a religious conversion while jailed. Also stars Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Spike Lee, Delroy Lindo and Al Freeman, Jr. (184 min)

Jonathan Bird's Blue World

Blue Shark Adventure/Underwater Cavern/Giants of the Depths

September 12th / 6:00 pm / MPTV 36.1

Jonathan joins Charlie Donilon on his shark charter boat in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and learns about how shark tagging has shed light on the biology and behavior of Blue sharks. In a quiet forest in central Florida, a mysterious pond filled with warm clear water hides a secret at the bottom. (1 of 5) Continues on Saturdays. (27 min)

Movie: Stand and Deliver (1988)

September 12th / 7:00 pm / MPTV 36.1

Los Angeles high-school teacher Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos) leads a street punk (Lou Diamond Phillips) and his classmates into calculus. Also stars Andy Garcia and Rosanna DeSoto. (104 min) Repeats 9/13 10:00 am 36.1

Note By Note (The Making of Steinway L1037)

September 14th / 9:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

Steinway pianos are the most thoroughly handcrafted musical instruments in the world; however, their makers are a dying breed: skilled cabinetmakers, gifted tuners, experienced wood workers and hand-crafters. The creation of a Steinway concert grand, #L1037 is followed from the Alaska forest to the concert hall. The journey spans 12 months, 12,000 parts, 450 craftsmen and countless hours of fine-tuned labor.
(57 min)

Forever Wild

September 18th / 9:00 pm / MPTV 36.1

America's commitment to wilderness preservation is celebrated. The glory of undeveloped, wild places is captured through stunning images and the passionate tales of America's modern wilderness heroes--volunteers who have spent countless hours and immeasurable energy working to ensure that the public lands they love remain forever wild. Robert Redford hosts. (57 min) Repeats 9/20 7:00 pm 36.1

Living with Fragile X

September 20th / 9:00 am / MPTV 36.1

A rare and intimate look is taken at the lives of several families who live with a member affected by fragile X syndrome. Fragile X is the leading cause of inherited mental disability and the leading known cause of autism. (57 min)

Wallace Stegner

September 23rd / 9:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

Conservationist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner was many things: teacher, historian and environmentalist but, above all, a writer. Considered by many to be the "Dean" of western writers, he wrote more than 30 full-length works and countless essays addressing the landscape, humankind's footprint and the evolution of a region and nation. Producer John Howe captures the tremendous influence Stegner has had on the lives of generations of readers and students. (57 min)

PBS Special Report On Health Care Reform

September 24th / 8:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

Correspondents from THE NEWSHOUR, NOW ON PBS and TAVIS SMILEY analyze the critical topic of health care reform, including the economics of reform, lifestyle changes and, childhood obesity. (87 min)

Health Care: The Wisconsin Prescription

September 24th / 9:30 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

MPTV Producer Everett Marshburn explores how the lack of affordable healthcare impacts real people facing serious health issues. A man with multiple sclerosis, and a young cancer survivor--both without health insurance share their stories. Karen Timberlake, Secretary of Health Services for Wisconsin explains how BadgerCarePlus and other state programs are available to help citizens. State Senators Karen Vinehout and Glenn Grothman are also interviewed. (Encore presentation) (27 min)

Eternal Cuba with Enrique Chia

September 26th / 8:30 pm / MPTV 36.1

Cuban sounds and rhythms, performed by renowned pianist Enrique Chia, provide the backdrop for an exploration of Cuban music, dance, art, poetry and architecture. The beauty and character of Cuba reveal the rich cultural heritage of the island. (57 min)

American Masters

Walter Cronkite: Witness to History

September 27th / 10:00 pm / MPTV 36.1

During his 19 years anchoring the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite steadfastly adhered to a credo of fast, accurate, and unbiased news reporting, helping him earn the distinction as "The Most Trusted Man in America." Throughout his award-wining career, Cronkite covered such historic events as the first trip to the moon, the Vietnam War, the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Senator Robert Kennedy, and the Watergate scandal. Although stepping down as anchor nearly 25 years ago, his legacy continues. (Cronkite passed away July 17, 2009)

Texas Monthly Talks

Walter Cronkite, Broadcast Journalist

September 27th / 11:30 pm / MPTV 36.1

What's it like to be the most trusted man--and Texan in America? Walter Cronkite knows. In an era when polls show widespread public distrust of journalists, Cronkite joins Evan Smith to talk about the way it was, and the way it is. (Recorded 2006) (28 min)

Kennedys: American Experience

September 27th / 7:00 pm / MPTV 36.1

The Kennedy story is unlike any other, full of ambition, wealth, family loyalty and personal tragedy. Through a wealth of still photographs, archival footage, home movies, and extensive interviews with family members, friends, and first-hand witnesses, the many chapters of the Kennedy story are explored. (Encore presentation)

National Parks: America's Best Idea

The Scripture of Nature (1851-1890)

September 27th / 7:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

Filmmaker Ken Burns chronicles the history and splendor of America's national parks, including the development of the first national park--Yellowstone, and the influence of park advocate John Muir. Filmed over the course of more than six years in some of nature's most spectacular locales, this documentary is a story of people from every conceivable background who devoted themselves to saving precious land they loved. (1 of 6)

National Parks: Wisconsin

September 28th / 6:30 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

Patty Loew, host of Wisconsin Public Television's IN WISCONSIN, and Dan Small, host of Milwaukee Public Television's OUTDOOR WISCONSIN, explore Wisconsin's National Park System, including the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and the North Country National Scenic Trail. Co-produced by Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) and Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV), beautiful footage of natural wonders are interwoven with profiles of park administrators, volunteers; a trail designer, and those that make their livelihood off the land.

National Parks: America's Best Idea

Last Refuge (1890-1915)

September 28th / 7:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

A young president, Theodore Roosevelt, becomes one of the national parks' greatest champions; in Yellowstone, a magnificent species is rescued from extinction; and in Yosemite, John Muir fights the battle of his life to save a beautiful valley. Ken Burns' series continues, as he chronicles the evolution of the national parks during a time of widespread industrialization. (2 of 6) Repeats tonight at 9:30 pm 10.1

National Parks: America's Best Idea

Empire of Grandeur (1915-1919)

September 29th / 7:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

In 1916, the government established the National Parks Service, with Stephen Mather becoming its first director. A passionate park advocate, he protected the Grand Canyon from encroaching commercial interests and established it as a national park, rather than a national monument. Ken Burns explores how the development of an energetic campaign expanded the national parks system and increased the number of visitors. (3 of 6) Repeats tonight 9:00 pm 10.1

National Parks: America's Best Idea

Going Home (1920-1933)

September 30th / 7:00 pm / MPTV 10.1 HD

Ken Burns explores how the advent of the automobile and expansion of roads allowed more people to visit parks; profiles early park enthusiasts; and examines how the efforts of Horace Kephart, a reclusive writer, and George Masa, a Japanese immigrant, launched a campaign to protect the last strands of virgin forest in the Smoky Mountains by establishing it as a park. (4 of 6) Repeats tonight 9:00 pm 10.1