MPTV Premieres & Highlights: May 2012

Movie: Bullitt (1968)

May 5th / 7:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

A San Francisco police detective (Steve McQueen) gets hold of a mob-witness/corruption case and won't let go. Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset also star. Based on the 1963 novel "Mute Witness" by Robert L. Fish. (113 min)

Titanic Belfast: Birthplace of a Legend

May 6th / 8:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

Belfast's emergence as a shipbuilding powerhouse in the early 19th Century is traced. In 1907, the White Star Line awarded Harland and Wolff a contract to construct three superb steam liners that would hit new heights in terms of passenger safety, comfort, style and sheer size. The first two to be commissioned were the sister ships Olympic and the Titanic, with the construction of the Titanic beginning in March of 1909. Descendants of ship-workers and historians explore the role the building of the massive Titanic played in the lives of the inhabitants of Belfast. (55 min)

Pacific Heartbeat

"Waimea 'ukulele & Slack Key Guitar"`

May 6th / 3:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Some of the world's finest 'ukulele and slack key guitar artists gather to share their passion for music with aspiring musicians, fans and one another through one-of-a-kind workshops and rousing concert performances. Filmed at the Waimea 'Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar Institute, held annually in the quaint cowboy town of Waimea on Hawai'i Island. (56 min)

Great Flood of 1936

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

In March of 1936, one of the most devastating floods in over 300 years roared down the Connecticut River, inundating towns, destroying homes and bridges, and leaving thousands homeless. Using actual flood footage, archival photography, newspaper accounts and eyewitness interviews, this program reveals the story behind the disaster, and its impact on residents of western Massachusetts. (56 min)

Wisconsin Supper Clubs - Old Fashioned Experience

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

Producer Ron Faiola captures the charming detail of 15 Wisconsin supper clubs from all corners of Wisconsin. Faiola reveals how supper clubs are defined and their impact on Wisconsin's food culture. (55 min)

Garrow's Law

May 7th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Garrow (Andrew Buchan) risks his reputation to defend the indefensible, and changes British law forever. (1 of 4) (59 min)

Clinton: American Experience

May 8th / 7:00 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) (116 min)

Richard Bangs' Adventures with Purpose Pearl River Delta: Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong: Quest for Harmony

May 9th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Richard Bangs explores the Pearl River Delta of South China in search of the roots of harmony. He explores Macau and Guangdong Province in China, and revisits Hong Kong. In each location, he witnesses traditional customs and religion meshing with the new and modern. He also explores the integration of Western sensibility with Eastern aesthetic, and meets people who continue to seek a civilized harmony with the natural world. (56 min)

Wisconsin Foodie

"Coffee Culture"

May 10th / 7:30 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The story behind a cup of coffee is told, as coffee roasters from around the state talk about their philosophies on roasting, fair trade and the importance of community. Wisconsin Foodie travels to Antigua, Guatemala with Alterra Coffee to visit farmers and see firsthand how coffee is grown and selected. Award winning barista Scott Lucey offers a lesson on making the perfect Espresso. (1 of 13) (26 min)

Nazi Hunters

"The 'Good' Nazi?"

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

Albert Speer used and organized slave labor in death camps and prolonged the war by his fanatical work to develop the Nazi war machine. The U.S. eventually tracked him down, but was justice really served? (50 min)

Craft In America


May 11th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Woven textiles and story quilts by artists are explored. Featured artists: Faith Ringgold of Harlem, Randall Darwall of Cape Cod, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood of California, and Terese Agnew from Wisconsin. (1 of 2) (56 min)

Krakatoa: The Last Days

May 11th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The eruption of Krakatoa near Indonesia in 1883 was one of the most catastrophic in history. It is also one of the best documented. Drawing on this wealth of eyewitness accounts, photographs, newspaper articles and the latest scientific research, this big budget docu-drama by the BBC offers a devastatingly authentic portrayal of what happened in the build-up, event and aftermath of the explosion. (87 min)

Student Operations Day

May 12th / 9:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

Productions by Milwaukee Area Technical College students are broadcast, with new pieces aired on the half hour all day long.


Kitchen Conversations

May 13th / 8:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

Women who have lived at least half a century prepare a recipe that reminds them of their family. While rolling out noodles, frying tempura, or assembling tamale pie, they reflected upon food, lives lived and lessons learned. (57 min)

Great Performances at the Met


May 13th / 9:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

Richard Croft portrays Gandhi in Philip Glass' unforgettable opera, "Satyagraha," (Sanskrit for "truth force"). The opera is based on Mahatma Gandhi's early life in South Africa, where he developed the revolutionary philosophy of non-violent resistance that continues to be used in protests around the world. Also starring: Constance DeJong, Rachelle Durkin, Alfred Walker, Kim Josephson. Dante Anzolini conducts. (175 min)

Independent Lens

"Summer Pasture"

May 13th / 10:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

A young nomadic couple living with their infant daughter in the high grasslands of eastern Tibet offers a rare window into a highly insular community seldom seen by outsiders. Nomads have traditionally occupied a dual role--romanticized as embodying the purest form of Tibetan identity--and mocked as being backwards, uncivilized and inferior. (86 min)

Microloan USA

May 13th / 11:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Microfinance is the supply of loans and financial services to those who do not have access to typical banking services. Kiva is a non-profit organization working to alleviate poverty by connecting people through microlending. In 2009, Kiva launched a pilot program to begin offering loans in the United States. Some of the first U.S. entrepreneurs who received those microloans are profiled. (26 min)

Masterpiece Mystery!

"Sherlock, Series II - The Hounds of Baskerville"

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

Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) pursue the trail of the Baskerville experiments--top-secret government research on genetically engineered gigantic animals for military use. (87 min)

American Road to Victory

"The Americans On D-Day"

May 13th / 8:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Battlefield historian Ellwood von Seibold tours the American D-Day landings in real time. Using re-enactments, special effects, animated maps and archival footage, he lands in Saint Mere Eglise with the 82nd Airborne, scales the cliffs at La Pointe du Hoc with the Rangers, wades through the surf on Omaha Beach with the Big Red One and the 29th Infantry Division, and takes the guns at Brecourt Manor with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. (1 of 3) (56 min)

Johnny Carson: American Masters

May 14th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The life and career of "The Tonight Show" host is traced through unprecedented access to Carson's personal and professional archives, including all existing episodes from 1962-1992. Interviews with family, colleagues and performers who appeared, or began on "The Tonight Show" illuminate his story: David Letterman, Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres, Conan O'Brien, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Joan Rivers, Mel Brooks, Angie Dickinson, David Steinberg, Don Rickles, Carl Reiner, Doc Severinsen and others. Kevin Spacey narrates. (116 min)

Bones of Turkana

May 16th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Famed paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey and his wife, Meave, daughter Louise and their colleagues are followed, as they work in the arid northern regions of Kenya's Turkana Basin to unravel the mysteries of human evolution. (56 min)

Richard Bangs' Adventures with Purpose Assam India: Quest for the One-Horned Rhinoceros

May 16th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Richard treks through the remote state of Assam in India--a region of rushing rivers, strapping monsoons, vast expanses of unspoiled land and a staggering array of wildlife, including the one-horned rhinoceros. What kept these rare rhinos from falling into extinction? What does their story reveal about the world and about saving precious wildlife? Richard sets off to discover what this elusive rhino represents to the people of Assam--and to the world. (56 min)

Great Performances at the Met

"The Enchanted Island"

May 18th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The world's best singers and the glorious music of the Baroque masters combine, as lovers from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are shipwrecked on the other-worldly island of The Tempest. Inspired by the 18th century tradition of operatic "pasticcios" (pastiches), librettos are combined with music from various compositions to create entirely new theatrical pieces. Arias and ensembles by Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau and others are showcased. Devised and written by the acclaimed British theater artist Jeremy Sams in his Met debut. Renowned Baroque specialist William Christie conducts. Starring: Danielle de Niese, Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels, Plácido Domingo and Luca Pisaroni. (206 min)

Pedal America

"Let's Keep It Weird - Austin, Texas"

May 19th / 5:30 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Co-hosts Ira David Levy and Kati Lightholde educate, inspire and encourage riders of all ages to rediscover the joys of cycling. They visit Austin, a bicycle-friendly city where they stop at a bicycle zoo and pedal in a bicycle parade. At Austin's Yellow Bike Project, they learn about the role bicycles can play in giving back to the community. (1 of 7) (26 min)

Movie: Papillon (1973)

May 19th / 7:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Safecracker Henri ''The Butterfly'' Charriere (Steve McQueen) tries to escape from Devil's Island with counterfeiter Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman). (147 min)

Shelter Me

May 20th / 8:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

A look is taken at how shelter pets are helping our returning war veterans cope with debilitating injuries and teaching inmates new life lessons. A shelter pet is followed as he is rescued from the streets, taken to shelters and eventually to a new home. (59 min)

Indepedent Lens

"Precious Knowledge"

May 20th / 10:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Tucson High School's Mexican American Studies Program has become a national model of educational success, with 100 percent of enrolled students graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to college. Filmmakers spent an entire year in the classroom filming this innovative social-justice curriculum, capturing an insider's perspective as student leaders fight to save their classes, mobilizing rapidly with texts, Facebook, optimism and a megaphone. (56 min)

Long Road Home

May 20th / 11:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The impact of wartime Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is examined. The film explores successful therapies and documents the promising research underway at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where doctors study the sleep and brain patterns of PTSD sufferers and examine the reasons why women are twice as likely as men to develop the disorder. (58 min)

Coronation Britain

May 20th / 7:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

June 2012 marks the official 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. This special takes a close, personal and detailed account of the events leading up to the coronation, beginning with the death of her father, King George VI. (56 min)

UW Varsity Band Spring Concert 2012

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

Under the direction of Michael Leckrone, this year's show celebrates Badger spirit favorites, energetic medleys, and Broadway retrospectives. Guest artists include Tom Wopat and David Jones. (Recorded April 19-21, 2012) (56 min)

Burt Bacharach & Hal David: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song In Performance At The White House

May 21st / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Luminaries from the songwriting and recording industry celebrate the songwriting team who penned such classic tunes as "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," "What the World Needs Now Is Love," "Walk on By" and "Alfie". Composer Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David's extraordinary collaboration has produced numerous hits and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, with songs featured in the Austin Powers films and on an episode of "Glee". This is the fourth Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. (56 min)

Civilization: The West and the Rest with Niall Ferguson

May 22nd / 7:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Historian Niall Ferguson examines the West's rise to global dominance based on six principles of prosperity: competition, science, modern medicine, democracy, consumerism and work ethic. (1 of 2) (116 min)

Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story

May 22nd / 8:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The connection between Jewish-Americans and baseball is explored. It is a story of immigration, assimilation, bigotry, heroism, the passing on of traditions and the shattering of stereotypes. Despite the hostility from fans and even violence from opposing players, there have been standout Jewish players in every decade from the 1860s to the present. Fans, writers, executives and players are interviewed, including Al Rosen, Kevin Youkilis, Shawn Green, Norm Sherry, Ron Blomberg, Bob Feller, Yogi Berra, and a rare interview with the legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. Dustin Hoffman narrates. (87 min)


"Killer Subs In Pearl Harbor"

May 23rd / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

NOVA joins an exclusive dive beneath the waters of Pearl Harbor to trace new clues to the historic sinking of the USS Arizona. 1,177 crew members perished in the dramatic 1941 sinking of the storied battleship-the greatest loss of life in United States naval history. For decades, it has been thought that the Arizona was brought down by fire from Japanese aircraft. But the discovery of a Japanese "midget sub" displaced from the scene of the battle raises new questions about the Arizona's final hours. (56 min)


"Missing In MiG Alley"

May 23rd / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Russian and American fighters clashed over Korea in one of the fastest dogfights ever seen. This was the world's first jet war, pitting the two most advanced planes of their day, the American F-86 Sabre and the Soviet MiG-15, in furious air battles that pushed their pilots' skills to the limit. The epicenter of the air campaign was MiG Alley, a strip of airspace between the Korean-Chinese border. NOVA follows the poignant and sometimes harrowing efforts of family members to trace what happened to pilots who went missing over half a century ago. (56 min)

Richard Bangs' Adventures with Purpose Hong Kong: Quest for the Dragon

May 23rd / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Adventurer Richard Bangs ventures into the heart of Hong Kong to discover what forces drive a city in which the spiritual concept of chi and the worldly concept of wealth coexist. Bangs begins by taking in one of the most dazzling festivals on earth, Chinese New Year. Then, he wanders beneath the skyscrapers of Central District, meanders down the alleys of Western District and ferries across the harbor to Kowloon. Later, he sails the "dragon-infested" waters to the Geopark, an ecological preserve, before making his way to Lantau Island, and finally north, to the villages of the New Territories. (56 min)

WBA Gubernatorial Debate 2012

May 25th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The candidates vying to be the next governor of Wisconsin debate the issues. June 5 is the election day for Governor and Lt. Governor facing recall. (56 min)

PBS Arts from the Blue Ridge Mountains: Give Me The Banjo

May 25th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Steve Martin narrates a musical odyssey through 300 years of American history and culture by way of the banjo--from its African roots to the 21st century. Guided by modern banjo masters such as Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Taj Mahal, Mike Seeger and Abigail Washburn, American music is explored from minstrelsy, ragtime and early jazz to blues, folk and bluegrass. (86 min)

Milwaukee's Forest Home Cemetery

May 25th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Host Dan Jones takes a look at the history of one of the oldest and largest cemeteries in Milwaukee, WI. Celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding in the year 2000, the 200-acre Forest Home Cemetery is a final resting place to more than 100,000 former Milwaukee-area residents--including some nationally known names like Pabst, Blatz, Schlitz, and war hero Billy Mitchell. (54 min)

Jewish Soldiers In Blue & Gray

May 27th / 8:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

The sacrifices American Jews made during the Civil War are explored. Recently unearthed personal narratives shed new light on this fascinating chapter in American history and powerfully illustrate the unique role Jews played on the battlefields and the home front. The documentary chronicles Major General Ulysses S. Grant's infamous 1862 mandate to expel Jewish residents from Union-controlled land and shares the story of President Lincoln's doctor-turned-Union spy. (56 min)

Bonsai People - The Vision of Muhammad Yunus

May 27th / 9:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

A compelling look is taken at Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus' attempt to harness the power of the free market to solve the problems of poverty, hunger and inequality. Yunus, one of only seven people in the world to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, pioneered the innovative banking program known as microcredit. The program provides poor people with small loans they can use to launch businesses. It has since spread to every continent and has benefited more than 100 million families. (57 min)

Independent Lens

"Left by the Ship"

May 27th / 10:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Three young adults born to Filipino mothers by U.S. servicemen battle against racial discrimination and questions about their own identities 20 years after Subic Bay Naval Base closed and their fathers left them behind. (56 min)

Kung Fu Master - Zhao Jianyang

May 27th / 11:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

There are two schools of Kung Fu in China, the quick fight Kung Fu known to the West as Shaolin Style, and Wudang Kung Fu which is much slower, but can be more powerful. Zhao Jianying, an 86-year-old Kung Fu Master is the first female disciple of Five Elements Fist, a form of Wudang Kung Fu. She talks about suffering with a severe illness as a child, until one day a soldier noticed how sick she was and offered to teach her Kung Fu, an art form that literally saved her life. (27 min)

National Memorial Day Concert

May 27th / 7:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Co-hosts Gary Sinise (CSI: New York) and Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) honor the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, their families and all those who have given their lives for our country. An all-star line-up of dignitaries, actors and musical artists perform with the National Symphony Orchestra. The 23rd annual broadcast of this concert airs from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. (86 min)

Honor Flight

May 27th / 9:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Ohio WWII veterans travel from Columbus to Washington D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial. With help from Honor Flight, these seniors are given an all-expenses paid trip of a lifetime. Veterans share their stories and thoughts on this exciting and very emotional journey. (26 min)

Independent Lens

"Hell and Back Again"

May 28th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

U.S. Marine Sergeant Nathan Harris, 25, leads his unit to fight a ghostlike enemy in Afghanistan. Wounded in battle, Harris returns to North Carolina and his devoted wife to fight pain, addiction and the terrifying normalcy of life at home. This Academy Award-nominated film reveals two overlapping narratives--the life of a Marine on the war-front and the life of the same Marine in recovery at home, offering a realistic depiction of how Marines experience war. (86 min)

World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements

May 29th / 10:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Teacher John Hunter's World Peace Game is a hands-on political simulation exercise in which students tackle real-world military, economic and environmental issues. The nine- and 10-year-olds divide into groups, including nation states, the World Bank, United Nations officials, indigenous peoples and even arms dealers. Then, they face daily challenges ranging from insurgencies and global warming to ethnic tensions and natural disasters. Working together, while also balancing the interests of their own "nations", they attempt to achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention. (56 min)

Yoo Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg

May 29th / 8:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The story is told of television pioneer Gertrude Berg, the creator, principal writer, and star of The Goldbergs. After a popular 17-year run on radio, The Goldbergs became television's very first character-driven domestic sitcom in 1949. The TV series ran until 1956, starring Berg in the central role as Molly, the big-hearted, stay-at-home mother of a Jewish family. Each episode captured their ordinary, daily life with all the ups and downs present in most families. Wonderful clips from the program are presented, along with archival footage from Berg's childhood, and revealing interviews with people who knew her best. (92 min)


May 30th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Using dramatic recreations and special effects, the program brings the May 20, 1883, volcanic eruption in Indonesia to life. The island of Krakatoa was reduced to a third of its former size, and sent waves, that reportedly topped 100 feet high, crashing onto Asian shores, killing 36,000. Portions of the program tie the resulting tsunami destruction to the December 26, 2004, tsunami. (86 min)

Richard Bangs' Adventures with Purpose Geneva and the Matterhorn: Quest for the Water Castle

May 30th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Renowned adventurer Richard Bangs explores the Rhone River, Lake Geneva and the Matterhorn regions of Switzerland--the country known since medieval times as the "water castle" of Europe. Richard uncovers how the Swiss harnessed the Rhone to light Switzerland and its neighbors, power some of the world's most efficient rail systems and quench the thirst of millions, while still managing to preserve this precious resource. (56 min)