MPTV Premieres & Highlights: February 2013

The Black Kung Fu Experience

February 2nd / 10:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

Kung Fu's African-American pioneers are introduced. These men challenged convention and overturned preconceived notions while mastering the ancient art. Ron Van Clief, an ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran starred in more than 40 Kung Fu films and earned the nickname "Black Dragon" from Bruce Lee. Their compelling stories illustrate how Kung Fu began as, and remains, a unique crucible of the black experience.


Space Shuttle Disaster

February 2nd / 10:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas just 16 minutes before it was due to land. All seven astronauts aboard perished and the implications for the future of the space shuttle program were enormous. What caused the Columbia tragedy? An engineering flaw? A failure within NASA? A lack of financing? Could this catastrophe have been avoided? Through interviews with astronauts and their families, as well as with members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, "Space Shuttle Disaster" offers a new look at the Columbia tragedy--and at NASA itself. From the creation of NASA through decades of technical and financial compromises, the program gets to the heart of what went wrong--and how to make sure it never happens again.

Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope

February 2nd / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

From the depths of hell to the heights of space, this documentary tells the compelling, untold story of a crewmember's determination to fulfill his "mission within a mission" aboard the space shuttle Columbia. Learn how and why a small Torah scroll that survived the Holocaust was entrusted to Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon as he lifted into space on Columbia's ultimately ill-fated flight.

Extraordinary Women: Josephine Baker

February 4th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Born into poverty in America's Midwest, she witnessed first-hand the brutal violence of the East St. Louis Race Riots of 1917. Determined to escape a life of deprivation and racial prejudice, she danced her way to New York and then Paris. Famed for her "Banana Dance", she performed at the famous Folies-Bergere. By the end of the 1920s, Josephine was making more money than any other entertainer in Europe. In America, Josephine was not only rejected by critics, but also hotel staff that refused to let her enter their establishments except via the servants' entrance because she was black.

Pioneers of Television


February 5th / 7:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Miniseries still rank among the top-rated programs in television history. An intriguing behind-the-scenes look is taken at the stories and fascinating facts behind, "Roots," "Rich Man, Poor Man," and "The Thorn Birds". Legendary stars discuss their characters and the impact of their series. Ryan Seacrest narrates. (4 of 4)

Silicon Valley: American Experience

February 5th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Learn about the pioneering scientists and engineers who transformed rural Santa Clara County into the hub of technological ingenuity we now know as Silicon Valley. The film spotlights the creativity of the young men who founded Fairchild Semiconductor, in particular the brilliant, charismatic young physicist Robert Noyce. Their radical innovations would include the integrated circuit that helped make the United States a leader in both space exploration and the personal computer revolution.

4th Street Forum

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

"A Conversation: Violence, Guns, and Our Culture." There are over 30,000 firearm deaths per year, of which a third are homicides. Why? Is it easy access to guns? The violence we view as entertainment? Or the attention it receives from media? Host Marcus White moderates a discussion between experts and panelists, as they explore what must be done as a community to decrease violence.

Lincoln: Prelude to the Presidency

February 9th / 10:00 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.

Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom

Valentine's Day

February 9th / 10:30 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.

Movie: Hawaii (1966)

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

A New England missionary (Max von Sydow) and his bride (Julie Andrews) bring Christianity to 1820s Hawaii. Also starring Gene Hackman, Jocelyne LaGarde, Richard Harris and Carroll O'Connor. Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture (Jocelyne LaGarde). Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score - Motion Picture (Elmer Bernstein).

Odyssey of Captain Healy

February 10th / 11:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The life of one of the most famous men on the Pacific Coast during the 19th century is profiled. As captain of a U.S. Marine Revenue cutter, Captain Michael Healy stood for law and order along the treacherous 30,000-mile coast of the Alaska territory; he also kept a closely guarded secret: he was the son of an African-American slave. Using 19th century footage of old San Francisco, and interviews with longshoremen and historians, the program tells the dramatic tale of a fascinating man who was haunted by demons, and, in the end, charted a destructive life course that ended with a heart attack in 1905.

Chatsworth House

Part 1 of 3

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

A behind-the-scenes look is taken inside one of Britain's most majestic stately homes. This three-part series offers a fascinating look at class and tradition in a modern world that plays out like a real-life Downton Abbey.

The Reagan Presidency

February 13th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

This three-part series focuses on the critical domestic and foreign policy decisions President Ronald Reagan made during his two terms in office during the 1980's. The first segment features detailed discussion of domestic policy issues including the impact of the administration's tax decreases and tax increases, supply side economic initiatives, fiscal and federal policy especially regarding interest rates, the impact of and debate over an increasing federal deficit, bipartisan Social Security reform, AIDS crisis, farm mortgage crisis, Reagan's approach to homelessness, and immigration policy. It also covers Reagan's appointment of the first female Supreme Court Justice and the impact of the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan's life. (1 of 3)

Live from Lincoln Center

"Ring Them Bells! Rob Fisher Celebrates Kander & Ebb"

February 15th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

"All That Jazz and the incomparable "New York, New York" are some of the dozens of songs written by John Kander and Fred Ebb over the course of their creative collaboration. Some of musical theater's most cherished songs written by the duo are celebrated. Broadway stars Marin Mazzie (Kiss Me Kate, Next to Normal) and Jason Danieley (Curtains, Next to Normal) perform, along with Chita Rivera and Joel Grey, in a review conducted by Rob Fisher.

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story

February 16th / 10:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

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.

Last of the Summer Wine

Car and Garter

February 16th / 7:59 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Compo is roped in to test drive an old friend's latest car.

Movie: Once (2006)

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

Irish street musician Guy (Glen Hansard of the Irish folk rock band The Frames) and a Czech immigrant (Marketa Irglova) collaborate on a number of songs that reflect the story of their blossoming love.

Young Lincoln

February 17th / 12:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

A look is taken at how the joys and trials of Abraham Lincoln's boyhood years formed his personality, shaped his early political notions, and molded his character. The documentary features several notable historians, who share their insight on this little-known chapter in Lincoln's life and legacy. It focuses on Lincoln's close bonds with his family, and the numerous personal tragedies that he endured during his formative years. His childhood experiences would shape his attitudes, mold his character, and cast a dark shadow of depression that would remain deeply ingrained in him throughout his life.

Mark Russell's America

February 17th / 3:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

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.

Independent Lens

The Powerbroker: Whitney Young's Fight for Civil Rights

February 18th / 10:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Whitney M. Young Jr. was one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. His journey is traced from segregated Kentucky to head of the National Urban League. Unique among black leaders, he took the fight directly to the powerful white elite, gaining allies in business and government, including three presidents.

Guns in America

February 19th / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Gun technology has evolved a great deal since the Colonial era. So too has America's gun culture. With an estimated 300 million firearms in circulation, the nation is saturated with firearms and overwhelmed by the human toll they've taken. Over thirty people die every day from a gun-related injury. America's relationship with firearms is explored, from the first European settlements in the New World to frontier justice; from 19th Century immigrant riots to gangland violence in the Roaring Twenties; from the Civil War to Civil Rights, guns have been at center of our national narrative for four hundred years.


Raising Adam Lanza

February 19th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Frontline examines the life of Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter, and the battle over gun laws and gun culture. Also in the hour: In the aftermath of the tragedy, President Obama called for a national conversation about guns. Nowhere is that conversation more intense than in Newtown, where Frontline finds a town divided and explores how those closest to the tragedy are wrestling with our nation's gun culture and laws.


Mind of a Rampage Killer

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

Miles O'Brien investigates new theories that the most destructive rampage killers are driven most of all, not by the urge to kill, but the wish to die. Could suicide and the desire to go out in a media-fueled blaze of glory be the main motivation? How much can science tell us about a brain at risk for violence? Most importantly, can we recognize dangerous minds in time--and stop the next Newtown?

The Path to Violence

February 20th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

More than 120 school assaults have been thwarted in the past ten years. While security hardware and physical barriers can play a deterrent role, it's been psychologists working hand in hand with law enforcement officers who have come up with the most helpful tools to prevent violent attacks. A look is taken at how the Safe School Initiative has helped schools detect problem behavior in advance, and explores ways the program could be improved.

The Reagan Presidency

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

This three-part series focuses on the critical domestic and foreign policy decisions President Ronald Reagan made during his two terms in office during the 1980s. This second installment highlights the years between 1980 and 1984 and features in-depth discussion on foreign policy, including new strategies in the Cold War, superpower proxy wars in Central America and Afghanistan and insights into policies in the Middle East. The origins and escalation of America's Strategic Defense initiative (a.k.a. Star Wars) is presented, as well as the impact of the 8-year Iran-Iraq war. (2 of 3)

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill

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

Moderator and Managing Editor Gwen Ifill will feature a segment discussing how Washington lawmakers are addressing the issue of gun control.

Need To Know

February 22nd / 7:30 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Twenty years ago, an 18-year-old freshman and his professor were shot dead at a small Massachusetts college. The killer was apprehended, convicted and sent to prison. But the events that day continue to reverberate all these years later for the victim's family, the killer and his family, others wounded that day, school administrators accused of not doing enough to prevent the shooting and still others in the community.

Jazz Icons

February 22nd / 8:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Performances culled from the critically acclaimed Jazz Icons series, a significant collection of classic concerts and studio sessions that took place throughout Europe between 1957 and 1978 are highlighted. The numbers showcased in this vibrant special feature the greatest legends of jazz, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughan, Lionel Hampton, Wes Montgomery, Anita O'Day, Rhassan Roland Kirk, Buddy Rich and Thelonious Monk.

American Masters

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll

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

American Masters explores the life, music and influence of African-American gospel singer and guitar virtuoso Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973). Sister Rosetta introduced the spiritual passion of her gospel music into the secular world of rock 'n' roll, inspiring the male icons of the genre, including Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins.

Harpists's Legacy: Ann Hobson Pilot and the Sound of Change

February 23rd / 10:30 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

This compelling documentary follows Ann Hobson Pilot's trailblazing journey as the first black female principal player in a major symphony orchestra and also as an international soloist, teacher, mentor and driving force behind music-education programs for underserved minorities.

Slavery By Another Name

February 23rd / 9:00 am / MPTV Digital 36.1

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.

State Honors Concert

February 24th / 3:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

Wisconsin's finest young musicians unite for one of the most rewarding musical experiences of their lives--the Wisconsin School Music Association's (WSMA) High School State Honors Concerts. (Recorded Oct. 25, 2012 at the Capitol Theater in Madison's Overture Center for the Arts).

The Reagan Presidency

February 27th / 9:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

This three-part series focuses on the critical domestic and foreign policy decisions President Ronald Reagan made during his two terms in office during the 1980's. This third and final installment begins in 1985 with Mikhail Gorbachev's rise in the Soviet Union. Together, Gorbachev and Reagan orchestrate a major breakthrough in the long running Cold War. The hour includes Gorbachev's first visit to Washington D.C. and Reagan's first visit to Moscow. There are significant insights into the terrorist kidnappings of Americans in Lebanon and the administration's defiance of its own policy by bargaining with Iran to supply American weapons in exchange for the release of hostages. Also discussed is the Iran-Contra Affair, Iraq's missile attack on the USS Stark and the controversial speech at the Berlin Wall in 1987. (3 of 3)