Press Releases

December Highlights for MPTV Family of Programs

November 24, 2008


December Highlights 2008

Monday, December 1

YANNI: VOICES
Over the past two years, composer and pianist Yanni has been immersed in the creation of a new project in collaboration with renowned producer Ric Wake. They have discovered and mentored four of the most exciting new vocalists in the world, creating a new venture featuring Yanni's classic compositions. Tenor Nathan Pacheco has a voice that can move people to tears. Chloe is a classic music diva whose rich and versatile vocals allow her to capture the essence of the music she performs. Latin sensation Ender Thomas brings a fiery style of performance to the project. Leslie Mills possesses an intricate writing style and stunning vocal abilities. A behind-the-scenes look is taken at the evolution and debut of the new vocalists as they prepare for their concert special. (50 minutes)6
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 8:30pm

Tuesday, December 2

BRAIN FITNESS 2: SIGHT AND SOUND
Dr. Margaret Livingstone and Dr. Michael Merzenich explain how people can get the most from their vision and hearing as they age. They discuss how these senses change throughout life, and what people can do to keep them healthy and fully functional. (90 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 7pm

JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON
Based on Michael Steissguth's acclaimed book "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison: The Making of a Masterpiece," this program weaves together compelling interviews with archival photography of Johnny Cash's appearance on stage at Folsom Prison on Jan. 13, 1968. Rosanne Cash, band member Marty Stuart, former inmate Millard Dedman, and inmate/singer Glen Sherley, who famously wrote "Greystone Chapel" for Cash are featured. (90 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 10:30pm

Thursday, December 4

LES PAUL: PABST THEATER CONCERT

Guitar legend, music innovator, and Waukesha native Les Paul celebrates his 93rd birthday at Milwaukee's Pabst Theatre with an electrifying performance. Bassist Jay Leonhart, pianist John Colianni, and rhythm guitarist Lou Pallo play "I Can't Get Started With You," "Flying Home," "September Song,"
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "Tennessee Waltz," and other greats. Les' special guests also perform: tap dancer Andrew Nemi; vocalist Sonya Hensley; violinist Christian Howes; and, harmonica player/vocalist Jon Paris--a Milwaukee native. Recorded in Summer 2008. (90 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 7pm


JOHN MCGIVERN WINTER TALES
Milwaukee's own John McGivern presents a steady stream of entertaining holiday stories from his childhood. His unique storytelling about the most festive time of year includes hilarious tales of snow days and Thanksgiving dinners, hand-crafted Christmas presents and New Year's parties. Filmed at Milwaukee's Off-Broadway Theatre, 2008. (87 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 10:30pm

Friday, December 5

GREAT PERFORMANCES: #3404: HITMAN DAVID FOSTER AND FRIENDS
Legendary songwriter, producer, and maestro to the stars, David Foster has generated some of the world's best known popular music, and collaborated with a veritable "Who's Who" of superstars in a career that spans more than three decades. In celebration of his remarkable achievements including fourteen Grammy Awards and a host of other accolades, some of the biggest names in contemporary music gather for a one-night-only concert that brings down the house. From the stage of Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Kenny Babyface Edmonds, Boz Skaggs, Kenny G, Peter Cetera, Brian McKnight, Blake Shelton, Cheryl Lynn, Charice, Katharine McPhee, and Andre Agassi join in the celebration, along with a special performance by Celine Dion and some long-distance best wishes from Kevin Costner and Barbra Streisand. (120 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 9pm

Saturday, December 6

SMOTHERED: THE CENSORSHIP STRUGGLE OF
THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUSE
Filmmaker Maureen Muldaur's examination of the rise and fall of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour is both light-hearted and critical. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour brought an edgy new brand of political comedy to the airwaves for three seasons. When they were fired in 1969, brothers Tom and Dick Smothers took their network, CBS, to court--and won. This is the fascinating, true story as told by its key players, including the Smothers Brothers, show writers Rob Reiner and Mason William, performers Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte, and former CBS executives. (120 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 8pm

LOVE TRAIN: THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA #101
This two-part program chronicles the "sound" that put Philadelphia's music on the international map, and features many of the beloved original artists who created it. Performers include: The O'Jay's, Harold Melvin's Bluenotes, Russell Thompkins and the New Stylistics, Jerry Butler, The Intruders, The Soul Survivors, and others. Filmed (in HD) in July 2008 before a live audience in Atlantic City at the Borgata Casino. (90 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 11:30pm

Sunday, December 7

BERLIN CELEBRATION CONCERT
Leonard Bernstein conducts an historic Christmas day performance of Beethoven's ninth symphony in East Berlin. The Berlin Celebration Concert brings together musicians from East and West Germany, the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union to participate in this musical celebration of the opening of the Berlin wall. This performance of Beethoven's ninth, the final movement of which is based on Freidrich Schiller's "ode to joy" with its passionate plea for world brotherhood, features American soprano June Anderson among the vocal soloists, and a 100-voice chorus comprised of singers from East and West Germany. Recorded Christmas Day 1989. (120 Minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 9:30pm

TIMELESS: A NATIONAL PARKS ODYSSEY
By using special cameras and cinematography techniques, David Fortney has captured the beauty inside the National Parks of North America. Fluid, masterful camera work and aerial photography give the sensation of soaring over and through the landscapes. Complemented by an exquisitely lush soundtrack composed by new age musician Patrick O'Hearn, the film contains breathtaking natural beauty of 18 different National Parks, each with its own unique grace and splendor. (58 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 7pm

Monday, December 8

BILLY JOEL: THE STRANGER
In honor of the 30th anniversary of Billy Joel's breakthrough album "The Stranger," this U.S. broadcast premiere of his 1978 British concert debut features the legendary singer/songwriter playing a set
of now-classic hits, including "Only the Good Die Young," "Movin' Out, " "She's Always a Woman" and "Just the Way You Are," which earned 1978 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Joel and his band also perform "New York State of Mind" and other top hits. Now, 30 years later, the one-time UK broadcast finally premieres in the U.S. TVG (89 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 10pm

Tuesday, December 9

SECRETS OF ENLIGHTENMENT WITH DEEPAK CHOPRA
Based on the content of Deepak's New York Times' best-selling book "The Third Jesus," this special is a culmination of Chopra's unique insights and advice. Deepak leads his audience on a path towards self- awareness and spiritual growth by exploring the depths of consciousness. (90 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 7pm

Wednesday, December 10

GREAT PERFORMANCES: #3403V: DOMINGO, VETREBKO & VILLAZON:
THREE STARS IN VIENNA
The legendary Placido Domingo joins new superstars Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon one of the leading dream couples in contemporary opera for an open-air concert at the steps to Vienna's magnificent Schonbrunn Palace. Domingo, still a thrilling opera superstar after 45 years, remains a peerless master of suave lyricism. Netrebko, the fiery Russian soprano, has taken the opera world by storm in a triumphant international career. And Villazon the dashing Mexican tenor with the achingly expressive voice was discovered and mentored by Domingo himself. The concert's repertoire includes popular favorites by Lehar, Verdi, Strauss and many others. (87 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 8pm

Saturday, December 13

CLASSIC GOSPEL SPECIAL EDITION
This special hosted by gospel pioneer Bill Gaither features the harmony and spirit of gospel music as performed by the contemporary greats of this distinctly American musical genre. Some 20 gospel favorites are performed by artists, including George Beverly Shea, Larnelle Harris, CeCe Winans, Sandi Patty, Vestal Goodman, and the Gaither Vocal Band. (75 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 5pm

Monday, December 15

CHOSEN TOWNS: THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE IN WISCONSIN'S SMALL COMMUNITIES
This documentary tells the stories of Jewish families who made small towns across Wisconsin, from Rhinelander to Kenosha, their home. The story of Jews in rural Wisconsin is the story of the age-old tension between expressing religious and cultural identity while trying to assimilate into mainstream life and reap economic success. In every age, immigrant stories pass from generation to generation, but rarely do they travel beyond such intimate circles. "Chosen Towns" tells the Jewish small-town story in Wisconsin to those who know little or nothing about it. (57 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 9pm

Tuesday, December 16

BALLET SHOES
Emma Watson (Harry Potter) and Victoria Wood (Italian Housewife 49) star in this historical drama set in 1930s London. Three orphan girls adopted by an eccentric explorer are raised as sisters by his selfless niece. Each of the girls has a dream to fulfill--Pauline longs to be an actress, Petrova wants to be an aviator, while Posy seems born to be a ballerina. But when Gum goes away on an extended journey and the money runs out, the girls struggle to balance personal ambition with the need to survive physically, emotionally and financially. It is only when an unexpected opportunity arises to join the Children's Academy of Dance and Stage Training that the girls discover their special talents and start to realize their dreams. (85 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 8pm

SHELTER FROM THE STORM
Four single mothers attempt to escape poverty and find affordable, adequate housing. Everyday struggles with transportation and quality daycare hinders their attempts to locate and hold better paying jobs. Produced by NEWIST/CESA 7 in cooperation with Educational Television Productions of N.E. Wisconsin and Wisconsin Public Television, the program offers insight into the wide variety of social and personal issues that often lead to poverty, including divorce and illness. A number of possible solutions are highlighted in the program. (28 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 9:30pm

CONFLICT, UNITY & LOVE: THE TKF STORY
The tragic and inspirational story behind the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF) is told. On January 21, 1995, 20-year-old student Tariq Khamisa was shot and killed by a 14-year-old gang member while delivering pizzas. Ariq's father, Azim Khamisa established the foundation to honor his son's life. Since then, Azim reached out in forgiveness to Ples Felix, the grandfather and guardian of Tony Hicks, his son's assailant. Today, both men have dedicated their lives to ending the plague of youth violence in our country. TKF's powerful and proven school-based violence prevention education programs are highlighted. (27 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 9:30pm


WOLVES IN PARADISE
In the soaring mountains and majestic valleys of southwest Montana, a tale of survival is told, as ranchers face the challenge of living with Yellowstone's roaming wolf packs while encroaching development threatens their way of life. The film contrasts the experience of two ranchers with completely different backgrounds and resources, while it documents the growth of a surprising alliance between traditional enemies--livestock growers and conservationists-- who find common ground in the need to protect open space from developers. (57 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 10pm

Wednesday, December 17

ANUNA: CHRISTMAS MEMORIES
The internationally renowned Celtic Irish choral group Anuna--the original vocal group in Riverdance bridges the gap between classical and popular music with its pure, haunting, emotional, mystical and unusual sound. Taped in front of a live audience over the course of two nights, the songs and performances combine dramatic candle-lit sets, crystalline voices, ethereal costumes and ritualistic movements. (57 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 10pm

Friday, December 19

RENAISSANCE CHRISTMAS
Chicago's celebrated Music of the Baroque Chorus and Brass presents the soaring sounds of the holiday season. Joyful carols, solemn chants and vibrant works for brass create a pageant of sound as voices rise to the rafters and bells ring out in the exquisite Chapel of the Holy Spirit. The elegant concert includes both Renaissance and Baroque pieces for chorus and brass. (57 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 10pm

Monday, December 22

LIFE A HOUSE BUILT:
THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE JIMMY & ROSALYN CARTER WORK PROJECT
The extraordinary story of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carters' 25-year involvement with Habitat for Humanity is told. From its humble origins in New York City, today the program has a global reach, where it brings thousands of strangers together from across the globe and changes the lives of thousands more. (57 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 8pm


TEN CRUCIAL DAYS-THE ROAD TO LIBERTY
The significance of the Continental Army's 1776 Christmas-night crossing of the Delaware River is examined. The documentary recounts this dramatic escape--one immortalized in Emanuel Leutze's epic painting--along with the three American victories at the Battle of Trenton, and the lesser-known Second Battle of Trenton and Battle of Princeton. The events of these 10 days forever altered the course of history and marked a major turning point in America's battle for independence. The story of survival and triumph on the banks of the Delaware River are told through quotes from letters and diaries, illustrations, paintings, maps, artifacts, military re-enactments and location footage. Also, nationally recognized historians provide background information, critical analysis of the events and colorful anecdotes about the Revolutionary War figures. (27 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 9pm

Tuesday, December 23

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
An inspiring musical celebration brings the Christmas story to life as never before. Filmed August 2006 at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, this concert brings together a groundbreaking chorus made up of Catholic and Protestant singers who put aside their sectarian differences and raise their voices in unity and peace around the central mystery of their faith. The singers reveal the humanity and passion of the Nativity story's timeless characters, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and the Shepherds, in a moving Christmas cantata. Actor Liam Neeson narrates "Luke's Nativity" between songs. (55 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 9pm

Wednesday, December 24

APOLLO 8: CHRISTMAS AT THE MOON
Christmas Eve 2008 will mark the 40th anniversary of the first manned voyage to a celestial body. The Apollo 8 crew--Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders became the first humans to escape Earth's gravity and see the far side of the moon. This is the story of that historic journey and how that successful mission paved the way for Apollo 11 to fulfill U.S. President John F. Kennedy's goal of landing a man on the moon before the end of that decade. (51 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 8pm



Thursday, December 25

MYSTERY OF THE THREE KINGS
Celebrated in many parts of the world, the Three Wise Men have magical significance in the birth of Christ. Their mysterious identities and their devotion to Christ have bewitched popular imagination ever since the rise of Christianity. This special unearths the real-life places, people, festivities, and facts behind the exotic legend. From southern Arabia to Ethiopia and Babylon, this program searches for the true origins of the Three Wise Men, and the secrets of the gifts they brought for Jesus. Using stunning location footage, interviews with renowned biblical scholars, computer graphics, Christmas music, and carefully crafted dramatizations, the program brings to life the joy and enchanting mystery of one of the most famous events said to surround Christ's birth. (52 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 8pm

Monday, December 29

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET "DOCTOR ATOMIC" #301
John Adams' contemporary masterpiece explores a momentous episode in modern history: the creation of the atomic bomb. Movie director Penny Woolcock makes her Met debut with this production. Baritone Gerald Finley plays J. Robert Oppenheimer, the title character, in this gripping adaptation of a story that changed the course of world history. Alan Gilbert conducts the opera's Met premiere. (1777 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 8pm

Wednesday, December 31

ALISON KRAUSS: A HUNDRED MILES OR MORE
Alison Krauss, one of the purest and most original voices in American music performs with members of her acclaimed band, Union Station, and special guest musicians. It also features memorable duets with country superstar Brad Paisley, legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor and British rocker John Waite, along with an infectious take on "Sawing on the Strings" with one of Krauss's longtime idols, Tony Rice, and musicians Sam Bush and Stuart Duncan. (57 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 8pm


LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER: "New York Philharmonic New Year's Eve Gala Concert" #3306
Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham rings in the New Year with the New York Philharmonic and Music Director Lorin Maazel in Avery Fisher Hall with a glamorous evening of opera favorites. The Grammy-winner from Midland, Texas captivates audiences with her voice, graceful stature, and acting. Lorin Maazel has led more than 150 orchestras in more than 5,000 opera and concert performances. He became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in September 2002. (117 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-10 at 7pm

RAY CHARLES LIVE AT MONTREUX 1997
Ray Charles was a true pioneer of soul music. Born in Georgia in 1930 he was one of the first performers to mix gospel, R & B and jazz to create a new form of black pop music that would come to be known as soul. His voice and delivery were strikingly different and instantly recognizable. He had his first hits in the early '50s and was still hitting the charts into the 21st century. This classic concert showcases the high energy and virtuosity that made the legendary performer an icon in the world of music. (59 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 9pm

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