MPTV Premieres & Highlights: February 2014

Movie: Gypsy

February 1st / 7:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

A domineering mother (Rosalind Russell) pushes her two daughters (Natalie Wood and Ann Jillian) to burlesque stardom. Based on the 1957 memoirs of famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee. In 1962, Rosalind Russell won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in this film.

Life Is A Banquet: The Rosalind Russell Story

February 1st / 9:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The star of Auntie Mame, His Girl Friday, Gypsy, and scores of other memorable films and Broadway shows, Rosalind Russell came into her own during Hollywood's Golden Era. Late in life, she was struck with severe rheumatoid arthritis, which derailed her career. Thereafter, Russell championed the needs of millions also suffering from the disease. Narrated by Kathleen Turner, this insightful and warm profile comes on the occasion of the approach of the 75th anniversary (2013) of her breakthrough role as Sylvia Fowler in The Women (1939) and the 55th anniversary of her most famous role as Mame Dennis in Auntie Mame (1958).

A Farm Story with Jerry Apps

February 2nd / 1:30 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

The portrait of a farm boy's childhood in Waushara County is told through his personal memories and photos from the community.

One Night In March

February 2nd / 11:30 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

In the late 1950s and early '60s, Mississippi State University's powerhouse basketball program earned several conference titles and national rankings. Despite their success, the Bulldogs could not play in the NCAA national championship due to an unwritten rule prohibiting all-white Mississippi collegiate athletic teams from competing against integrated teams. Mississippi State's president, its head basketball coach and their players ultimately risked their safety and their futures by defying this rule -- not to mention the governor and state legislature -- in pursuit of a national championship. This award-winning documentary recounts the 1962-1963 season and the events leading up to the team eventually playing in the tournament against the integrated Loyola University (Chicago) club.

The Best of the 60s

February 2nd / 5:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Favorite hits of the decade are performed by the New Rascals, the Fifth Dimension, Steppenwolf, Roger McGuinn, The Zombies, Blood, Sweat & Tears and many more.

Masterpiece Mystery!

Sherlock, Series III: His Last Vow

February 2nd / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

A case of stolen letters leads Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) into a long conflict with Charles Augustus Magnussen, the Napoleon of blackmail.


American Promise

February 3rd / 10:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

This film spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys' divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at Manhattan's Dalton School, this documentary presents complicated truths about America's struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity.

Wisconsin Life

Voyage of Discovery

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

Wisconsin Life explores the characters and introduces unexpected people and places throughout the state. In Green Bay, an intrepid tall ship crew is profiled. Later, a look is taken at a portrait of artists woven together; and the River Falls' Book Club in a Bar is visited. (1 of 4)

Around The Farm Table

A Picnic in the Pasture

February 3rd / 8:30 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Inga shares her passion for grazing dairy cows and delivers drinks to the haymakers using old-fashioned Austrian Scythes. (2 of 4)

Memorializing Kosciuszko

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

Cameras capture the sculpture of Polish patriot and military man Tadeusz Kosciuszko being removed from its perch at Kosciuszko Park and shipped to an art restoration facility in Ohio for a complete overhaul and cleaning. The Polish general's life and his involvement with George Washington and the American Revolution is traced, as is his role in designing defense fortifications at West Point, his return to Poland and his struggle on behalf of Polish independence, his capture by the Tsar's forces and his eventual return to the United States in 1796.

Education of Harvey Gantt

February 3rd / 9:30 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

On January 28, 1963 a young black man named Harvey Gantt enrolled at Clemson College, becoming the first African American accepted to a white school in South Carolina. This pivotal story of desegregation in the South is chronicled. The program features interviews with Mr. Gantt, distinguished scholars and civil rights veterans, archival footage and carefully designed reenactments.


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

Frankie is a British television drama starring Eve Myles as Frankie Maddox, a district nurse more emotionally involved with her job than her personal life. The series is both set and filmed in the English city of Bristol. In this first episode, Frankie's home life implodes when she goes beyond the call of duty for a patient. (1 of 6)

Super Skyscrapers

One World Trade Center

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

This series follows the building of four extraordinary skyscrapers showing how they will revolutionize where we live, work, how we protect ourselves from earthquakes and terrorist attacks--and even control the amount of energy we use. One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the western hemisphere and a famous modern landmark, is engineered to be the safest and strongest skyscraper ever built. This episode follows the final year of exterior construction, culminating with the milestone of reaching the symbolic height of 1,776 feet. (1 of 4)

Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom

Valentine's Day

February 6th / 9:30 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.

American Masters

Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth

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

Most famous for her seminal novel "The Color Purple," write/activist Alice Walker was born into a family of sharecroppers in rural Georgia in 1944. Her life unfolded during the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th century America. The first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Walker's dramatic life is told with poetry and lyricism, and includes interviews with Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, Howard Zinn, Gloria Steinem, Sapphire, and Walker herself.

Rocket Men

February 8th / 8:33 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

From the pioneering Mercury launches to the daring Gemini project, the program reveals the epic behind the scenes struggle that ultimately carried men to the moon. This is an inspirational portrayal of the triumphs and tragedies punctuating the first 50 years of NASA's manned missions.

The Best of Soul Train

February 9th / 3:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

This special celebrates more than 35 years of iconic performances from soul superstars and highlights classic musical and dance moments from the series. Featured songs include: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (Aretha Franklin), "Dance to the Music" (Sly and the Family Stone), "I Want You Back" (The Jackson Five), "Let's Get It On" (Marvin Gaye), and a medley of hits by Stevie Wonder.

Making of a Lady

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

Follow a penniless woman's path from pragmatic marriage to life-threatening peril. Emily (Lydia Wilson) is a lady's companion for Lady Maria (Joanna Lumley). She meets her employer's wealthy widower nephew, Lord James Walderhurst (Linus Roache), and accepts his practical if unromantic marriage proposal. Soon, Lord James leaves to rejoin his regiment, leaving Emily alone with the Osborns. She increasingly comes under their control and begins to fear for her life.

Independent Lens

Spies of Mississippi

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

This film tells the story of a secret spy agency formed by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation during the 1950s and '60s. Granted broad powers, this commission investigated citizens and organizations in attempts to derail the civil rights movement.

Frozen Chosen: Sturgeon Spearing In Wisconsin

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

Each winter a monstrous beast lures fisherman to the ice of Lake Winnebago. These men and women discuss waiting days, years--even decades to propel their spears to face the prize below.

Looking Over Jordan: African Americans and the War

February 11th / 11:33 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

As Northern armies swept south during the Civil War, self-emancipated slaves sought refuge behind Union lines. Determined to claim basic human rights, these former slaves-turned-soldiers fought valiantly for the Union and many sacrificed their lives for the cause. The black experience in the South is chronicled before, during and after the war. Civil War scholars, historical re- enactments, and primary readings from abolitionist are featured, including Frederick Douglass, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, Louis B. Hughes' autobiography "Thirty Years a Slave," and the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid: American Experience

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

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid captivated Americans from coast to coast, with their exploits robbing banks and trains in the West during the 1890s,-- and then seemingly vanishing into thin air. Separating fact from fiction, this program explores the last pair of outlaws to flee on horseback into a setting sun--Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh.

Doc Martin

Sickness and Health

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

Portwenn is buzzing with arrangements for the wedding of the Doc (Martin Clunes) and Louisa (Caroline Catz). Will they finally tie the knot, or will the villagers have to put the confetti back in the box again? (1 of 8)

Great Performances

National Theatre: 50 Years On Stage

February 14th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Founded in 1963, the Royal National Theatre has not simply provided lucky London residents and visitors with some the most thrilling productions in contemporary theater, but served as an influential wellspring of talent and creativity, breathing new life into theater classics as well as launching new plays, playwrights, directors and stars on an international stage. In November 2013, the theatre celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special gala performance, welcoming home an all-star cast of alumni to perform excerpts from landmark productions.

Mississippi Remixed

February 16th / 11:00 pm / MPTV Digital 36.1

The history and current state of race relations in Mississippi are explored.

Murder on the Home Front

February 16th / 9:15 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

When young women are found murdered amid the chaos of the London Blitz of World War II, Pathologist Dr. Lennox Collins (Patrick Kennedy), and his newly recruited assistant Molly Cooper (Tamzin Merchant) clash with the police over just who the main suspect is.

Extraordinary Women

Josephine Baker

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

Josephine Baker was a black entertainer who took the world by storm. Born into poverty in America's Midwest, she danced her way to New York and then Paris. By the end of the 1920s, Josephine was making more money than any other entertainer in Europe. She took French citizenship and even worked on her adopted country's behalf as an undercover agent during the Second World War, risking her life, smuggling secrets in her sheet music. A look is taken at her incredible journey, from rags to riches, her struggle for equality, major losses and her triumphant return. (5 of 7)

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

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

Jack Johnson's remarkable journey is followed, from his beginnings in Galveston, TX, as the son of former slaves, to his entry into the brutal world of professional boxing, where, in turn-of- the-century Jim Crow America, the heavyweight champion was an exclusively "white" title. Johnson lived his life out loud, wearing fancy clothes, driving fast cars, and openly flaunting the conventions of the time--by dating, and then marrying--white women. Despite the odds, Johnson was able to batter his way up through the professional ranks, and, in 1908, he became the first African American to earn the title Heavyweight Champion of the World. Johnson's victory set in motion a worldwide search for a "white hope" to restore the title to whites. On July 4, 1910, in Reno, NV, ex-champion Jim Jeffries, the new "Great White Hope," came out of retirement to challenge Johnson--billed as the Battle of Century. (1 of 2)

Great Performances

Sting: The Last Ship

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

For the last several years, rock & roll Renaissance man Sting has been working on a new musical play titled "The Last Ship." Featuring new and original music and lyrics by Sting, the project is a collaboration with Tony-winning book writer John Logan ("Red," "Skyfall" screenplay) and will be directed by Tony-winner Joe Mantello of "Wicked." "The Last Ship" will open in Chicago later this spring, with a fall 2014 Broadway debut. Exploring a range of universal themes including transgression, redemption and the complexity of relationships over the passage of time, "The Last Ship" tells the story of the demise of the ship building industry in 1980s Newcastle, England, which for so long had shaped and overshadowed the city's development and community.

Shelter Me

Second Chances

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

This inspiring series celebrates shelter pets and their uplifting stories. A look is taken at how pets improve people's lives when given the opportunity. Incarcerated juveniles explain how their lives were changed by their interaction and connection with shelter dogs. Renowned street poet, Steve Connell, performs an original piece about shelters being a place of hello, not a place of goodbye. (3 of 3)

Masterpiece Classic

Downton Abbey Season 4, Part 8

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

Lady Rose (Lily James) meets the Prince of Wales and faces a dilemma. Trouble plagues Cora's (Elizabeth McGovern) mother and brother. (8 of 8)

Extraordinary Women

Audrey Hepburn

February 24th / 9:00 pm / MPTV HD 10.1 and 36.2

Audrey Hepburn was one of the most stylish women the world has ever seen, and she took Hollywood by storm. Winning an Oscar for her first major film role in "Roman Holiday," she went on to star in the iconic "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and the huge box office hit, "My Fair Lady". But behind the glamour was a life marked by tragedy and loss. Audrey's early days are traced, from her father abandoning the family, to the horrors of the Nazi-occupation in wartime Holland, and the deportations of Jewish families to the death camps. (9 of 13)

Jazz and the Philharmonic

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

A superstar roster of award-winning jazz and classical musicians and ensembles, as well as emerging artists and rising stars, come together for an unprecedented concert at the Arsht Center in Miami, Florida.