MPTV Premieres & Highlights: November 2012

Navy Heroes of Normandy

November 1st / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

On June 6, 1944 (D-Day), more than 52,000 American sailors on board thousands of ships arrived off a quiet stretch of coast in Normandy, France. 1,068 Americans died in the initial assault on Hitler's fortressed coastline---no monument stood to honor their sacrifices. This special chronicles the building and dedication of the first-ever U.S. Navy monument in Normandy. In an emotional climax, a large gathering of dignitaries, French citizens and D-Day veterans witness the installation and dedication of the 12-foot-tall bronze sculpture on France's Utah Beach, a long-overdue official recognition for the crucial role they played on that fateful day.

Transplant: A Gift for Life

November 3rd / 8:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

Filmmaker Dennis Mahoney explores the powerful stories and the cutting-edge science behind organ donation. A daughter talks about sharing half of her liver to save her father's life; the recipient of a lung transplant reaches out to his deceased donor's family; and two mothers talk about nursing their sons through multiple transplants. Transplant surgeons and specialists from the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota are featured, along with Susan Gunderson, the executive director of LifeSource, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation.

Movie: Rocky I

November 3rd / 7:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

A dimwitted boxer (Sylvester Stallone) fights to prove he can go the distance against a glamorous champ (Carl Weathers). Burgess Meredith, Talia Shire and Burt Young also star. Rocky was awarded three Academy Awards in 1976 for Best Picture, Director and Film Editing.

Mighty Mississippi

November 3rd / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

British news anchorman Sir Trevor McDonald follows the course the Mississippi, revealing how the mighty river has influenced American culture and politics. In the Deep South, he discovers that the legacy of slavery still affects life there today; he witnesses a jazz funeral--unique to New Orleans; makes a poignant visit to some rare surviving plantation slave quarters; and, has a face-to-face encounter with an alligator in America's biggest swamp. (1 of 3)

Milwaukee Holy Orders, The Making of a Priest

November 4th / 8:30 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

What does it mean to become a priest in the Roman Catholic Church today? Mark Siegrist takes an academic and spiritual look at the formation of today's seminarians. He interviews seminarians at various levels of their priestly journey, and gains special insights from senior members of archdiocesan clergy, including Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

Racing The Rez

November 5th / 11:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

For the Navajo and Hopi, running is much more than a sport; it is woven into the cultural fabric of their lives. In the rugged canyon lands of Northern Arizona, Navajo and Hopi cross-country runners from two rival high schools vie for the state championship while striving to find their place among their native people and the larger American culture. This film reveals the surprising complexity and diversity of contemporary reservation life, from the point of view of five teenage boys on the cusp of adulthood.

Mark Russell's America

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

This retrospective pays tribute to humorist Mark Russell's talent and legacy of laughter. Clips from some of Russell's more than 100 public television specials (1975-2004) are featured. Presidential campaigns, congressional antics and defining moments from the Iran-Contra affair, the first Gulf War and the Monica Lewinski scandal provide ample comedic fodder for his poetic satire. Russell, in a present-day interview, provides context for his most memorable moments and offers humorous reminisces.

Field of Honor: A Salute to the Greatest Generation

November 8th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Thousands of World War II veterans from Wisconsin are honored at Miller Park in Milwaukee during the "Field of Honor: A Salute to the Greatest Generation" day-long celebration. Milwaukee Public Television covers this spectacular event both inside and outside the stadium. The program features veterans talking about the impact of the War on their lives, along with clips from a documentary featuring the honor flights to the WWII memorial in Washington D.C. that many of these veterans have experienced. WW II re-enactors, live music, the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Art Show, flyovers and fireworks are also featured. The model of the National WW II Memorial Model is also highlighted, before it goes into the Smithsonian. Co-hosts: Denise Callaway and Mark Siegrist. (Recorded: August 11, 2012)

Saving The Ocean

Shark Reef

November 10th / 8:30 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

Host Carl Safina travels to Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, a coral atoll in the central American country of Belize. Accompanied by a team of U.S. researchers, who've been studying the reserve for eight years, Carl catches, tags and releases a wide variety of sharks. (1 of 10)

ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2012

November 10th / 10:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Austin City Limits presents selected performances from the Americana Music Festival, the best in American roots music. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Richard Thompson, Patty Griffin, Alabama Shakes, Lifetime Achievement Honoree Bonnie Raitt and others perform. Jim Lauderdale hosts.

Movie: Hound of the Baskervilles

November 10th / 7:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

When a nobleman is threatened by a family curse on his newly inherited estate, Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing) is hired to investigate. Andre Morell and Christopher Lee also star. Based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

National Salute to Veterans

November 11th / 7:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise host this special honoring the service and sacrifice of our 22 million American veterans. The all-star line-up includes Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.), Forest Whitaker, Pia Toscano, Kris Allen, A.J. Cook, Jason Ritter and Yolanda Adams, accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra.

Only A Number

November 12th / 11:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Steven Besserman's mother, Aranka, was a Holocaust survivor who, in her later years, suffered from dementia. Before the disease, she documented her experiences as a young girl growing up in Hungary, and the horrors she personally witnessed and endured at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. This powerful documentary tells her story through Steven's journey of rediscovery as he retraces his mother's steps.

Sierra #3 Locomotive: A Star Is Reborn

November 17th / 11:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Over a 90-year span, the legendary Sierra #3 locomotive appeared in more than 100 movies and television productions, including the iconic Westerns The Virginian (1929), High Noon(1952) and Unforgiven (1992). In its heyday, the oil-burning locomotive crisscrossed the country delivering lumber, but it eventually fell into disrepair, gathering dust and rust in a California rail yard. The restoration of one of the oldest operating steam locomotives in the United States is chronicled, as experts detail the complexities of the restoration.

Sara's Weeknight Meals

Thanksgiving 101

November 17th / 2:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Sara covers the essentials of how to buy, defrost, brine, roast and time turkey. Later, she prepares a One-Size-Fits-All Stuffing (you pick the mix-ins!); how to prep delicious wine-infused Gravy in Advance; and, how to keep and re-heat tasty Mashed Potatoes.

America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated

A Slow and Easy Thanksgiving

November 17th / 4:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Becky uncovers the secrets to a slow and easy Thanksgiving with Braised Turkey; and, she makes Bread Stuffing for a crowd. Adam reviews oven thermometers.

Movie: A Walk in the Clouds

November 17th / 7:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Set in 1945, a married chocolate salesman (Keanu Reeves) agrees to pose for a day as the new husband of a pregnant vineyard heiress (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon). Anthony Quinn also stars. Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.

Power for the Parkinsons

November 18th / 11:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The documentary Power and The Land (1940) was one of the most influential government-produced films to emerge from the New Deal. Produced at a time when 75% of all farms in the United States lacked electricity, the film demonstrated the benefits of bringing power to rural America. Narrator Walter Cronkite compellingly portrays the family that appeared in Power for the Land, Bill and Hazel Parkinson on their dairy farm in rural eastern Ohio.

Seeking Water from the Sun

November 18th / 6:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Nearly forty percent of the Navajo Nation's residents in Rosie's community drive hundreds of miles every month to haul water back to their homes, where they ration what they have and use scant gallons for washing, bathing, cooking and drinking. Now, University of Arizona scientists are exploring how to use solar energy to make clean water. Their hope is to bring solar-based, "off the grid" water purification to the vast, 24,000-square-mile Navajo Nation and its residents.

Dust Bowl

November 18th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The farming boom in the early 20th century transformed the grassland of the southern plains into wheat fields. Once a drought hit in 1931, winds began picking up soil from the open fields and grew into dust storms of biblical proportions. Filmmaker Ken Burns chronicles the Dust Bowl using first person accounts, narration, comments by historians, and restored photographs, footage and music from the period. (1 of 2)

Conversation with Ken Burns

November 19th / 11:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Filmmaker Ken Burn goes into fascinating details of how he chose his career path, his relationship with PBS, his award-winning films, and his newest documentary "The Dust Bowl". Ellen Robertson Green hosts.

Martha Speaks

Martha's Thanksgiving, Part One & Two

November 19th / 5:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

When Martha learns that Helen's extended family will be coming for Thanksgiving, she decides to search for her own long-lost canine siblings. Still in search of her mother, Martha digs into her past to uncover the reason they were separated.

Bottoms Up:Wisconsin's Historic Bars and Breweries

November 19th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The rich architecture and history of Wisconsin breweries and bars are showcased. The film also explores the rise of breweries, the effects of temperance and Prohibition, and attitudes about gender, ethnicity, and morality. It traces the development of the mega breweries, dominance of the giants, and the emergence of microbreweries in Wisconsin. Seventy featured taverns and breweries represent diverse architectural styles, from the open-air Tom's Burned Down Cafe on Madeline Island to the Art Moderne Casino in La Crosse, and from Club 10, a 1930s roadhouse in Stevens Point, to the well-known Wolski's Tavern in Milwaukee.

I Remember Better When I Paint

November 20th / 11:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Olivia de Havilland, narrates the positive impact of art and other creative therapies on people with Alzheimer's and how these approaches can change the way we look at the disease. Among those who are featured are noted doctors and Yasmin Aga Khan, president of ALzheimer's Disease International and daughter of Rita Hayworth, who had Alzheimer's.

David Geffen: American Masters

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

David Geffen's far-reaching influence as agent, manager, record industry mogul, Hollywood and Broadway producer, and philanthropist has helped shape American popular culture for the past four decades. Geffen discusses his unorthodox rise from working-class Brooklyn boy to billionaire entertainment power broker in extensive interviews. The highs and the lows in Geffen's professional and personal life are told through more than 50 new interviews with his friends, colleagues and clients, including Jackson Browne, Cher, David Crosby, Clive Davis, Nora Ephron, Tom Hanks, Don Henley, Elton John, Slash, Steven Spielberg, Neil Young, and others.

Arthur's Perfect Christmas

November 21st / 6:00 am / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Plans are underway in Elwood City for the best holidays ever as Arthur, D.W., their family and friends make preparations for perfect gifts, perfect parties and perfect family traditions for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and even "Baxter Day" (Buster and his mom's special celebration). The only problem is, just like in real life, perfection is hard to attain, and things start to fall apart.

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

November 21st / 8:00 am / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat are having a wonderful time getting ready for Christmas. There's only one dilemma--neither of them can figure out what to give the other for a present! In the end, both gift-giving predicaments are simply and beautifully resolved, revealing the true spirit of the holiday season.

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas!

November 21st / 9:00 am / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

This adventure finds the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home in time for Christmas. They depend on a variety of animals--from African bush elephants to bottlenose dolphins to red crabs--and their remarkable abilities to help them make an amazing journey home.


My Life As a Turkey

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

Writer and naturalist Joe Hutto raised wild turkeys from chicks. Hutto spent each day out and about as a "wild turkey" with his family of chicks until the day came when he had to let his children grow up and go off on their own. Hutto's story eventually became a book, Illuminations in the Flatlands.

Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom


November 22nd / 11:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

The first nationwide Thanksgiving in the U.S. took place at the end of the Revolutionary War, when George Washington called for a Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 26th, 1789. But it was only a one-time event. Burt Wolf discovers why it took until 1941 for Thanksgiving to be a federal holiday, how the bald eagle won out over the turkey as a national bird, and what stuffing U.S. founding parents preferred. First program in a 13-part season.

James Stewart: A Wonderful Life

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

James Stewart started his career as a magician and accordionist. He rose to stardom portraying ordinary men who called on their interior strengths to accomplish extraordinary things. Produced and directed by David Heeley and hosted by Johnny Carson, this moving tribute to a truly unforgettable actor includes visits to the sets of Stewart's most popular films and interviews with Hollywood luminaries.

Great Romances of the 20th Century

James and Gloria Stewart

November 22nd / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

One of the legendary love matches in Hollywood history. Stewart was the all-American boy--movie star and war hero--whose marriage to Gloria Stewart reflected the title of one of his best-loved films, "It's a Wonderful Life".

Journey of Sacagawea

November 22nd / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The teenage Sacagawea, along with her infant son, accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, becoming one of the most honored heroines in American history. Her story is told, using the rich oral history, dramatic re-enactments and scenes of the wild areas in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Oregon.

Second Opinion


November 24th / 7:30 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

After a loss, grief is the natural process of recovery. From losing a job to the death of a loved one, it is important to learn how to process feelings in a healthy way. Experts join Terry Congdon, a father whose daughter was tragically killed, as he offers insights into working through the emotions of grief. (1 of 13)


Eating Well for Life

November 25th / 12:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

If you think it's a diet, you'll fail. But if you think of eating well for life, it becomes a part of how you live and who you are. Christina Pirello explains why eating well is required for your body to function at its best, and reveals why it's also a delicious culinary adventure. (1 of 26)