MPTV Premieres & Highlights: February 2012

Michael Feinstein's American Songbook

Time Machines

February 3rd / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Performer and historian Michael Feinstein learns how technology has preserved and altered the way we think about the great songs and singers of the past. He introduces soundies (the original music videos), the historic building where "jam sessions" were born, and an eclectic array of performers and collectors who help keep the music alive, including avid collector and music-lover Hugh Hefner and the British crooner Al Bowlly. (1 of 3)

Lincoln: Prelude to the Presidency

February 4th / 9:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

To commemorate Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009, this documentary pieces together a critical 23-year period (1837-1860) through interviews with noted historians, researchers and experts, and re-enactments filmed at historic sites in central Illinois. Prominent scholars Doris Kearns Goodwin and Orville Vernon Burton (The Age of Lincoln) describe how Lincoln's formative experiences as a young lawyer on Illinois' Eighth Judicial Circuit formed his views on the issues he would eventually face as president, including several cases involving slavery.

3 Steps to Incredible Health! with Joel Fuhrman, MD

February 5th / 11:30 am / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Dr. Joel Fuhrman offers a healthy, effective, and scientifically proven plan for shedding weight quickly and reclaiming vitality and good health. His revolutionary health plan is not about will power, it is about knowledge.

Edward & Wallis - A Story of Love and Destiny

February 5th / 9:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

In a thousand years of the British monarchy only one has dared to resign his crown for a woman's love. This is the real history of a man born to be king (Edward) who refused to behave like one. Instead, he believed he could use the power and majesty of the throne to pursue his obsession with his twice-divorced American mistress, Wallis Simpson.

Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2

February 5th / 1:30 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Over 300 actors and musicians celebrate the legendary musical's 25th Anniversary at London's O2 Arena. Based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel and set in early 19th-century France, Les Miserables features the stories of individuals struggling for redemption and revolution. Heading the cast is Alfie Boe (Jean Valjean), one of Britain's leading tenors and best-selling recording artists, Matt Lucas (Thénardier), one of Britain's most successful comic actors and writers, Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga (Fantine), and Nick Jonas (Marius), one third of the phenomenally successful pop music artists the Jonas Brothers.

Independent Lens

Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock

February 5th / 10:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Daisy Bates was an unconventional revolutionary who paid dearly for her instant fame. As a black woman who was a feminist before the term was invented, Bates supported nine black students who registered to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The event culminated in a constitutional crisis--pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself.

Freedom Walkers for Milwaukee

February 5th / 11:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

This documentary traces Milwaukee's most turbulent events during the Civil Rights struggle of the mid 1900's. Using archival footage, photographs, and interviews with Milwaukeeans, the film sheds light on the fight for equal employment, open housing, and equitable educational opportunities, and reveals how Milwaukee earned the nickname, "The Selma Of the North".

A Black Nouveau Special

Harry Kemp, The Photography Man

February 5th / 11:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

For more than forty years Harry Kemp was the eyes of Milwaukee's African-American community, documenting people, places and events. If it happened and was important, Harry photographed it. Harry Kemp is remembered through his pictures and interviews with family, friends, and co-workers.

Secrets of the Dead

"Slave Ship Mutiny"

February 5th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The slave ship Meermin set sail from Madagascar for South Africa in 1766, but the ship would never make it to Cape Town, the slaves mutinied and managed to overpower the Dutch crew, ordering the ship be sailed back to Madagascar and freedom. This film tracks the efforts of archaeologists, historians and slave descendents to discover the full story of this dramatic historical event.

Dickens' Secret Lover

February 5th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

When Charles Dickens was 45 years old and married with nine children, he met Nelly Ternan, an 18 year old actress with whom he began an ongoing clandestine relationship that he kept secret for the rest of his life. A look is taken at how this very public figure kept his private life secret via financial arrangements, planned railway journeys, safe-houses and private letters.

Alaska Far Away: The New Deal Pioneers of Matanuska Colony

February 6th / 8:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The Matanuska Colonization Project of 1935 was among the most unusual and controversial of the many New Deal programs designed to help ordinary citizens crushed by the Great Depression. The story is told of this bold government experiment, and the families who found themselves thrust into the national spotlight along the way.

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story

February 6th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

William Still was one of the most important yet unheralded individuals of the Underground Railroad. The film details the accounts of black abolitionists, who had everything at stake as they helped fugitives follow the North Star to Canada.

Freedom Riders: American Experience

February 7th / 7:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

In 1961, segregation had an overwhelming grip on American society, until a courageous band of civil-rights activists traveled together into the Deep South. They called themselves Freedom Riders, and they managed to bring the President and the entire American public face-to-face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation. Veteran filmmaker Stanley Nelson's inspirational documentary chronicles the inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever.

Freedom Walkers for Milwaukee

February 7th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

This documentary traces Milwaukee's most turbulent events during the Civil Rights struggle of the mid 1900's. Using archival footage, photographs, and interviews with Milwaukeeans, the film sheds light on the fight for equal employment, open housing, and equitable educational opportunities, and reveals how Milwaukee earned the nickname, "The Selma Of the North".

A Black Nouveau Special

Harry Kemp, The Photography Man

February 7th / 9:30 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

For more than forty years Harry Kemp was the eyes of Milwaukee's African-American community, documenting people, places and events. If it happened and was important, Harry photographed it. Harry Kemp is remembered through his pictures and interviews with family, friends, and co-workers.

Masterpiece Classic

Little Dorrit-Part One

February 9th / 8:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

One of Charles Dickens' greatest love stories also has the timely theme of chronic debt and financial collapse. Adapted by screenwriter extraordinaire Andrew Davies (Bleak House, Pride and Prejudice), the five-part miniseries stars Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice) as hero Arthur Clennam, newcomer Claire Foy as Amy "Little" Dorrit and Tom Courtenay (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner) as her father, who has been incarcerated for 25 years for insolvency. Scores of other great actors appear in this moving tale that was particularly close to Dickens' heart, since his own father did time in debtor's prison. (1 of 5)

Bill Cosby: The Mark Twain Prize

February 10th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

A star-studded cast of comedians and colleagues, including Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Carl Reiner salute Bill Cosby as the 12th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. The life and achievements of the beloved comedian are celebrated, including an assortment of classic film clips from his career spanning more than four decades.

Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom

Valentine's Day

February 11th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

February 14th is designated as St. Valentine's Day, and, on that day, America turns to thoughts of love--thoughts that are expressed by giving heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, red roses, and greeting cards with messages of love. Burt Wolf finds out if there really was a St. Valentine, how the Egyptians felt about love, the best spots for finding a Valentine, and why tortellini is the noodle of love.

Independent Lens "The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975"

February 12th / 10:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Combining candid 16mm footage that had lain undiscovered in the cellar of Swedish Television for the past 30 years, with contemporary audio interviews from leading African-American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, "Mixtape" looks at the people, society, culture and style that fuelled an era of convulsive change, 1967-1975.

Proclamation of Hope

February 12th / 11:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

This original symphonic concert by Grammy Award-winning pianist, composer and Jazz legend Ramsey Lewis, celebrates the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Ramsey's musical style is captured, which combines his deep knowledge of jazz along with his passion for gospel and classical music.

Slavery by Another Name

February 13th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Laurence Fishburne narrates the little-known story of the labor practices and laws that created a new form of slavery in the South that persisted into the 20th century. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas A. Blackmon, the concept of "neoslavery," is examined. It sentenced African-Americans to forced labor for violating an array of laws that criminalized their everyday behavior.

Not In Our Town: Class Actions

February 13th / 9:30 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

In a suburban California school district, a mid-western college town and a college campus in the heart of the South, people are working together to stop hate and intolerance, and activating their communities to create safer, more accepting environments for everyone.

Cave People of the Himalaya

February 15th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Dr. Mark Aldenerfer and seven-time Everest climber, Pete Athans, go on a mission, set within the world's highest mountains, to find ancient mummies and uncover secrets that have been hidden in these cliff-top graves for thousands of years.

Tony Robinson - Down Under

Race to the End of the World

February 15th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

British actor/comedian Tony Robinson (Blackadder) hosts a lively and quirky travelogue through Australia. Tony examines the beginnings of white settlement in Australia; gets an aboriginal perspective of what it was like to witness boatloads of ghost-like creatures arriving from over the horizon; and, he finds a man with an incredible theory about who really got to Australia first after the aborigines. (1 of 6)

Les Paul: Live in New York City

February 17th / 10:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

This special captures a raucous and unadorned Les Paul in 2005 at the Iridium Jazz Club, performing with Steve Miller, Keith Richards, Jose Feliciano, Dave Grisman, Sonya Hensley, and others.

Judy Garland Duets

February 17th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Culled from her 1963-64 TV show, Judy Garland collaborates with the likes of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Lena Horne, Bobby Darin, Mel Torme, Jack Jones, Ethel Merman, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee and Liza Minelli.

The Unforgettable Hampton Family

February 18th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Learn how Deacon Clark Hampton, a son of slaves, lifted his twelve children out of poverty by making them into successful musicians.

President's Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office

February 19th / 9:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

National Geographic follows Photographer Pete Souza inside the Obama White House--aboard Air Force One, backstage at the State of the Union, and into the heart of the West Wing. It's a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday grit of the American presidency and a chance to see what it's like to cover America's most powerful man.

Independent Lens

More Than a Month

February 19th / 10:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Shukree Hassan Tilghman, a 29-year-old African-American filmmaker, is on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. Through this tongue-in-cheek journey, he investigates what the treatment of history tells us about race and equality in a "post-racial" America.

Independent Lens

When I Rise

February 19th / 11:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Barbara Smith Conrad, a gifted University of Texas music student, finds herself at the epicenter of racial controversy, struggling against the odds and ultimately ascending to the heights of international opera.

Clinton: American Experience

Part I

February 20th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Bill Clinton came from a broken childhood in Arkansas and became one of the most successful politicians in modern American history. This film recounts a career full of accomplishment and rife with scandal, a marriage that would make history and create controversy, and a presidency that would define the crucial and transformative period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11. (1 of 2)

U.S. Health Care: The Good News

February 20th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

T.R. Reid interviews health policy experts at the Dartmouth Institute before heading to Colorado and other places in the U.S. where doctors and hospitals are working hard to provide excellent health care at reasonable cost.

Punching In

February 21st / 10:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

In the 1980s, major manufacturers began decreasing operations in Milwaukee, eliminating many of the best-paying blue collar jobs for African Americans at a time of rapid economic change. The devastating impact from the loss of manufacturing jobs is examined, including unemployment rate increases and a waning black middle class. The documentary was created by Patricia Diggs and produced by MPTV's Liddie Collins.

Clinton: American Experience

Part II

February 21st / 7:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The presidency of William Jefferson Clinton veered between sordid scandal and grand achievement. Clinton's two terms are examined, as he confronted some of the key forces that would shape the future, including partisan political warfare and domestic and international terrorism. Clinton features unprecedented access to scores of Clinton insiders including White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta (current Secretary of Defense), former Senator Trent Lott, as well as interviews with dozens of journalists, members of the Republican opposition, childhood friends, staffers from Clinton's years as Governor of Arkansas, and biographers. (2 of 2)

Great Performances

Memphis

February 24th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

"Memphis" turns back the dial to the 1950s, as an interracial couple whose love for music, and each other, is put to the test. A white DJ, named Huey Calhoun (Chad Kimball), is interested is Felicia Farrell (Montego Glover), a young black singer. When the two collaborate, her soulful music reaches radio audiences everywhere. But as things heat up, their love is put to a test. Original story by Joe DiPietro and a new score with music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan.

Pizza Night with Father Dom

February 25th / 8:35 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Father Dominic Garramone, the Benedictine monk best known for his series Breaking Bread, trades in his loaf pans for a wooden peel! Father Dom debunks myths, demonstrates technique and shares hard-earned culinary insights on pizza-making. He introduces Italian-style crusts, non-tomato-based sauces and a variety of unexpected toppings. Recipes include: Philly cheesesteak pizza with provolone, muffaletta pizza, Italian-style pizza with spinach pesto and Italian-style pizza with asparagus and Mornay sauce.

POV

Racing Dreams

February 26th / 10:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Three young racers are followed, as they compete in the World Karting Association's National Pavement Series. Clocking speeds of up to 70 mph, these kids chase the National Championship title and take one step closer toward their dream of someday racing in NASCAR.

Colored Frames

February 27th / 11:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The last 50 years in African-American art explores the influences, inspirations and experiences of black artists. Beginning at the height of the Civil Rights Era and leading up to the present, it provides a truthful, unflinching look at often-ignored artists and their progeny. It also chronicles the black artist's struggle for visibility and acceptance in mainstream art society.

In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues

February 27th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

President and Mrs. Obama host an all-star celebration of the Blues, as popular artists pay homage to the great figures of the genre and the songs they made famous--from Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters. The Blues sprang from the Mississippi Delta, up Highway 61 to the West Side of Chicago, with deep roots in Africa and slavery; the Blues have influenced modern American music from soul to rock and roll.

Hockey: More Than a Game

February 27th / 8:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The spirit, traditions and compelling stories behind one of the fastest and most challenging sports in the world are celebrated. Significant events in hockey's 200-year history are profiled, including its much-disputed origins, the first slap shot, the Stanley Cup and its patron namesake, the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the former Soviet Union.

American Masters

Cab Calloway: Sketches

February 27th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

"Minnie the Moocher," with its popular refrain "Hi de hi de hi de ho," was Cab Calloway's signature song. A singer, dancer and band leader, he was an exceptional figure in the history of jazz, and was at the top of his game in the Jazz and Swing eras of the 30s and 40s. His career flagged until he was rediscovered in 1980's The Blues Brothers. A look is taken at how this consummate musician, charmed audiences around the world with boundless energy, bravado and elegant showmanship.

Aviators

Aviation 101

February 28th / 6:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Experts explain the very basics of aviation. A closer look is taken at some of the hosts of "The Aviators" including Sara, Kurtis, Anthony, and new host, country music singer George Canyon.

Amish: American Experience

February 28th / 7:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The beliefs, lifestyle and history of the Amish are explored. A look is taken at how this closed and communal culture has thrived within one of the most open societies on earth.