Press Releases

January Highlights/Premieres

December 16, 2008

Thursday, January 1

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) #3306Z
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 12:36am

The guys from Possum Lodge have mounted their own celebration of the New Year. When it comes time to make New Year's resolutions, the Possum Lodge guys have different approaches: Dalton Humphries' (Bob Bainborough) are about how others should change to accommodate him; the lazy marina owner, Dwight Cardiff, drops his pen in the middle of making his list, so that's that; and, Red (Steve Smith) decides not to make any resolutions, so he won't feel bad about himself when he can't keep them. The special also features an animated film from Ranger Gord called "A Forest New Year." All the regular cast is celebrating: Harold (Patrick McKenna), ex-con Mike Hammer, and animal control officer Ed Frid, as well as lonely psychotic Ranger Gord. (45 minutes)
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 2:33am

The Vienna Philharmonic returns to the stately splendor of Vienna's Musikverein for its 25th-annual New Year's Day celebration. Daniel Barenboim leads a rousing program of Strauss Family favorites, including the breathless Eljen a Magyar polka, the Radetsky March and the beloved Blue Danube Waltz, in addition to festive ballets danced by the Vienna State Opera Ballet. This 2009 celebration marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Franz Joseph Haydn, whose more than 100 symphonies and 68 string quartets laid the groundwork for the 18th-century classical style and served to inspire the countless musical minds who came after him, including Mozart and Beethoven. To honor "Papa Haydn," the Philharmonic performs the composer's masterful Symphony No. 45, the "Farewell," as a tribute to his enduring legacy. (87 minutes) #3406
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 7pm

Johnny Cash's deep, resonant baritone made his, the most widely recognized voice in country music. When he died in 2003, he left behind more than 1500 songs recorded over almost five decades. This 1994 concert features the country music legend playing 17 of his famous songs. Cash's beloved wife and longtime musical partner June Carter Cash, joins him for their enduring hit "Jackson." Their son, John, also makes an appearance on "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." (56 minutes)
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 9pm

Friday, January 2

MPTV Producer Everett Marshburn explores how the lack of affordable healthcare impacts real people facing serious healthcare challenges. A mother with brain cancer, a man with multiple sclerosis, and a young cancer survivor--all without health insurance share their stories. Karen Timberlake, Secretary of Health Services for Wisconsin, and State Senators Karen Vinehout and Glenn Grothman--who represent differing viewpoints on the Healthcare debate in the Wisconsin legislature are also interviewed. This film was featured at MPTV's free Community Cinema Series on 12/10/08, at the Discovery Center Innovation Theatre. (27 minutes)
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 6:30pm
Repeats 1/4 on MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 11am; on MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 3pm

Second Life is an online phenomenon--a virtual world that has millions of people around the globe living out their fantasy lives on the Internet. In Second Life, or "SL" as it is known, players create avatars--their "virtual world" characters--and do things they can only dream of in real life. However, there is more to Second Life than meets the eye. IDEAL WORLD follows the fascinating development of the Web site, from its humble origins to the global phenomenon it has become. The documentary illuminates this influential online community by utilizing video from the game and integrating interviews with players and developers. Philip Rosedale of Linden Labs, the creator of Second Life, plays a major role in the program, offering insight and perspective. (52 minutes)
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 10 pm
Repeats 1/3 on MPTV 36 & 36.1 at 11am

Friday, January 2 and Saturday, January 3

UW vs. Northern Michigan (147 minutes)
The Badgers also play against Colorado College and Minnesota-Duluth during January.
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 10:30pm

Sunday, January 4

People in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease describe their symptoms while family members explain the heartbreaking process of watching their spouses and parents slowly lose their memories and ability to function. The emotional and financial toll on caregivers is explored. Nationally recognized experts--including David Shenk, author of the national best-seller "The Forgetting, Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic," and William Thies, Ph.D., vice president of the Alzheimer's Association, discuss the disease's potential impact on the United States. (27 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 3:30pm
Repeats l/11 on MPTV 36 & 36.1 at 12:32pm

Sundays, January 4 & 11

Violated by one man, forsaken by another, Tess Durbeyfield is the magnificent and spirited heroine of Thomas Hardy's heartbreaking novel. The cast in this four-hour miniseries includes Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) as Tess, Hans Matheson (Dr. Zhivago) as her seducer, Alec, and Eddie Redmayne (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) as Angel, the man she loves. Part 2 airs the following Sunday with like repeats on Tuesday and Wednesday. (117 minutes) #3901
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 8pm
Repeats 1/6 on MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 2am
Repeats 1/7 on MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 10:00pm

Sundays, January 4, 11 & 18

From its discovery on an ancient Ethiopian hillside to its role as a contemporary elixir, coffee has dominated and molded the economies, politics and social structures of entire countries. In this first of three parts, coffee's origins in Ethiopia are traced. A look is taken at its triumphant spread over five continents, sparking revolution, controversy, creativity, business and slavery along the way. Coffee's role in historical events, including the French Revolution, the American Revolution and the Haitian slave rebellion are also examined. (58 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 9pm

Monday, January 5

Host Mark L. Walberg opens the show's lucky 13th season in Palm Springs, California, with a mix of great good fortune and an equally staggering loss. At one extreme, experts discover the most valuable object ever appraised on the series: a 1937 painting by noted American abstract expressionist Clyfford Still--received as a housewarming gift conservatively estimated to be worth $500,000. At the other, collector Jim McCarty invites viewers to join the hunt for stolen works from his private collection of California air paintings. (57 minutes) #1301
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 7pm
Repeats 1/5 on MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 11pm
Repeats 1/9 MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 9pm
Repeats 1/10 MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 3am

Mondays, January 5, 12, 19

Michael Wood's fascinating journey through the history of the Indian subcontinent chronicles the incredible richness and diversity of its peoples, cultures and landscapes; outlines the originality and continuing relevance of its ideas; and relates some of the most momentous and moving events in world history. Beginning with the first human migrations out of Africa, using DNA and climate science, ancient manuscripts and oral tales, Wood takes viewers from the tropical backwaters of South India to lost ancient cities in Pakistan--the scene of India's first civilization. He travels on to Turkmenistan in Central Asia, where dramatic new archaeological discoveries cast fresh light on India's deep past. Finally, Wood travels to the vibrant cities of the Ganges plain, where India's ancient myths and histories still intertwine. Continues the next two Mondays. (57 minutes) #101 MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 8pm & 9pm
Episodes repeat Fridays 1/16-1/30 on MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 8pm & 9pm

Tuesday, January 6

Six months after Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, producer June Cross came across 82-year-old Herbert Gettridge working alone on his home in the lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood devastated when the levees broke in August 2005. Over the next two years, Cross would document the story of the extended Gettridge clan--an African-American family with deep roots in New Orleans--as they struggled to rebuild their homes and their lives. Their efforts would be deeply impacted by larger decisions about urban planning, public health and the insurance industry, by the decisions of policymakers about federal funding for rebuilding the Gulf, and state and city plans for dispersing those monies. The moving personal story of Mr. Gettridge and his family reveals the human cost of this tragedy, the continued inadequacies of government's response in the aftermath of Katrina and how race, class, and politics have affected the attempts to rebuild this American city. (57 minutes) #2705
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 8pm
Repeats on 1/7 on MPTV-36.3 World at 9am, 3pm, 5pm, and 8pm
Repeats on 1/8 on MPTV-36.3 World at 1am; MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 3am

Andrea Bocelli is one of the world's most successful male solo recording artists, having sold more than 20 million records worldwide. Behind his success, however, lies a story of immense courage and personal triumph more dramatic than any opera. Musical and personal journeys are revealed, with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and never-before-broadcast interviews. Narrated by Jeremy Irons, this informative biography features stirring performance clips and home video footage. Stand-out moments include performances from the 2000 Statue of Liberty concert and the 9/11 Memorial concert, as well as a remarkable recording of Bocelli singing for his family at age 9. (54 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 8pm
Repeats 1/11 on MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 2:05am

Wednesday, January 7

When Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, one of his earliest actions was to ban Jews from working in that country's storied film industry, praised as the most creative cinema in the world. Men and women who had created landmarks of movie history fled their homeland in the ensuing months and years. More than 800 film professionals escaped to Hollywood in the years between 1933 and 1939. The list includes actors Hedy Lamarr and Peter Lorre; directors Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder; composers Frederick Hollander, and Franz Waxman; and cinematographer Rudy Mate. Film clips, rare footage, photographs and first-person accounts trace their impact on both German and American cinema. Sigourney Weaver narrates. (117 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 8pm On 1/2 on MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 1:30am

Thursday, January 8

In 1956, Elvis Presley was a 21-year-old singing sensation; and both he, and his new Rockabilly sound, were unknown outside of the South. Filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond (An American Family), open a time capsule to reveal the legendary performer at the very beginning of his meteoric career, a crucial turning point for him. Narrated by Levon Helm (The Band), this special captures the sights and sounds of that pivotal year, using photographs shot on tour, kinescopes of Presley's controversial TV appearances, plus newsreel clips and radio interviews. Among the vignettes are his appearances on the Steve Allen Show, with Milton Berle and The Dorsey Brothers; and on The Ed Sullivan Show; road performances, and at the Tennessee State Fair; and early recording stories from Sun Records. Songs include "Shake, Rattle and Roll," "Tutti Frutti," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," and "Love Me Tender." (59 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 8pm
Repeats 1/10 on MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 11am

Thursday, January 8-Monday, January 19

Biographies of American presidents, including FDR, Truman, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, and GHW Bush will each be rebroadcast four times at 7am, 1pm, 6pm and 11pm on MPTV--36.3 World.

FDR Pt. 1 on 1/8; FDR Pt. 2 on 1/9
Truman Pt. 1 on 1/10; Truman Pt. 2 on 1/11
LBJ Pt. 1 on 1/12; LBJ Pt.2 on 1/13
Nixon on 1/14
Carter on 1/15
Reagan Pt. 1 on 1/16; Reagan Pt. 2 on 1/17
GHW Bush Pt. 1 on 1/18; GHW Bush Pt. 2 on l/19

Friday, January 9

Soaring oil prices have created a huge threat to the world economy. Is this simply due to speculation or the weak dollar? There is a growing fear that global oil production is actually about to fall and that oil is beginning to run out. Shot over four years in 13 countries, the "Peak Oil" theory is explored. More than 30 of the most influential people on both sides of the argument examine whether the oil age is beginning to come to an end. (48 minutes)
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 10pm

Sunday, January 11

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and fatal brain disease that destroys one's memory and identity. It can easily deplete a lifetime of savings in long-term health care costs, and leave caregiving families emotionally, physically and often, financially exhausted. The personal and societal implications of the illness are examined, while reviewing the latest research as scientists search for a cure. Through profiles of families living with Alzheimer's, and interviews with doctors and researchers, the documentary studies how this overlooked disease threatens to bankrupt the American health system, economy and spirit. (57 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 3pm

Tuesday, January 13

This new special puts the current global financial crisis in the full context of financial history. Premiering just a week before the inauguration of a president who campaigned on a promise to tackle this crisis, THE ASCENT OF MONEY provides background on global finance's big picture. Presenter Niall Ferguson, author of the book on which the program is based, speaks with leading experts, including financier George Soros, Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker and more. (117 minutes)
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 8pm
Repeats 1/18 on MPTV-36.3 at 11am and 9pm; 1/19 at 2am

Wednesdays, January 14, 21, 28

"Would Ya Hit A Guy with Glasses?: Nerds, Jerks & Oddballs"
This episode looks back at the bespectacled wannabe (Harold Lloyd) and the vain coward (Bob Hope) as the outsiders of their day. Along with pioneering women in comedy like Phyllis Diller, truly zany characters who seem to have arrived from another planet (Jonathan Winters, Andy Kaufman and Robin Williams); counter-culture favorites Cheech & Chong, as well as superstar nerds like Woody Allen and "jerks" like Steve Martin--who ultimately became so popular that the idea of the outsider had to be re-cast. In the second half, the domestic farce, maybe the most American of comic concepts, reflects ongoing changes at home and in the workplace. Featured: "The Goldbergs," " I Love Lucy," "The Honeymooners," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "All in the Family," "The Cosby Show," "Roseanne," "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons." (1 & 2 of 6.) (117 minutes) #101
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 7pm and 9pm
Repeats on MPTV-36 & 36.1 Tuesdays, 1/20 & 1/27 at 8pm

Thursday, January 15

OUTDOOR WISCONSIN kicks off its 25th season with a half-hour special on Wisconsin black bears. This documentary looks at the black bear project based at The University of Wisconsin Steven's Point, in partnership with Ashland High School, volunteers and contributors. Judy Nugent and videographer Michael Garvin co-produced, and wrote this special that brings viewers face to face with Wisconsin brown bears in a den in northern Wisconsin (27 minutes)
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 8pm
Repeats 1/17 on MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 9am

Rick Steves journeys to the ancient country of Iran to better understand the 70 million people living there. Shot in Tehran, Shiraz, Esfahan, Persepolis and villages in between, Rick details the country's rich artistic and cultural heritage. He visits the splendid monuments from Iran's rich and glorious past, discusses the 20th-century story of this perplexing nation and explores Iran's bustling cities, historic capital and countryside villages. The special vividly captures today's Persian culture: from Friday prayer in a leading mosque to challenges confronting Iran's youth, from anti-American murals to the warmth and hospitality of a family dinner, and from the tranquility of rural life to the frenzied traffic of modern Tehran. (57 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 8pm
Repeats 1/17 on MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 11am
Repeats 1/25 on MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 9am

Sunday, January 18

Granddaughter of famed author Ernest Hemingway and Oscar-nominated actress Mariel Hemingway lends her voice to this special that explores the cultural history of Cuba through the museums and historic city of Havana. Museums abound in Havana amid 500 years of architectural history. Highlights include a stunning presentation of Cuban art through the centuries at the National Museum of Fine Arts, as well as museums devoted to cigars, cars, rum, and revolution. Also, a spellbinding exploration of Ernest Hemingway's life at the Hemingway House Museum, Finca Vigia, his home from 1940 to 1960; and, an insider's tour of the on-going restoration of the colonial district, Old Havana City, which is itself a "living museum without walls" and a UNESCO "World Heritage Site" since 1982. (57 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 9am
Repeats 1/24 on MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 11am
Repeats 1/25 MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 12am

Monday, January 19

A pivotal moment in the American civil rights movement occurred on August 27, 1956, when a dozen black teenagers walked into an all-white high school in Clinton, Tenn. and changed history. The events of that school year and the bombing of the high school in 1958 are brought to life, as James Earl Jones narrates the courage of the black students who were subjected to racially motivated violence, harassment and protests by white supremacists. The film also shows the determination of one small, predominately white, Southern town to uphold the law and confront bigotry and fear. (57 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 8pm

Tuesday, January 20

On the night of Barack Obama's historic inauguration, FRONTLINE examines the rich personal and political biography of the 44th president of the United States. Through interviews with insiders and observers who've tracked Obama from his days at Harvard Law School, through his rise in Chicago politics, to his emergence onto the national scene after the 2004 Democratic National Convention, FRONTLINE pushes beyond the headlines chronicling Obama's meteoric rise. (57 minutes)
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 8pm

Wednesdays, January 21 & 28

This 5-part visual history of Milwaukee traces the city from its beginnings of pristine waters, fertile lands, and home to Native Americans. Then, French explorers and settlers arrive. Soon, Milwaukee becomes a city, and its founders--Solomon Juneau, Byron Kilbourn, and George Walker--battle for supremacy. The series is based on the award-winning book, The Making of Milwaukee, written by historian John Gurda, who hosts each program. Re-enactments are included of historical events, such as the 1886 Bay View Riot, along with vintage photos and archival film, original music by Maurice Wininsky, and narration by James Pickering. This Milwaukee Public Television production follows Milwaukee's colorful and complex story to the present time. Continues next Wednesday.
(52 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 8pm

Saturdays, January 24 & 31

Based on the popular Makemagazine, this 10-part series celebrates "Makers"--the inventors, artists, and everyday folks who mix new and old technology to create new-fangled marvels. Cyclecide, an inventive band of performance artists is featured. They build peddle-powered amusement park rides and outrageous bicycle contraptions straight out of the dump. John Park shows how to hack a motor from an old VCR and use it to drive an automated cat feeder. William Gurstelle demonstrates the nibbler for cutting and shaping sheet metal. Kelly Dobson's wearable voice-activated scream machine is highlighted; Mitch Altman's secret remote control hat that can turn off any TV anywhere. Paul Ozello's small go-cart type cars shaped and decorated to resemble cupcakes. Stephen Hobley's amazing musical instrument produces different tones by interrupting various laser beams. (27 minutes)
Series begins on MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 5pm

Monday, January 26

The story is told of how Milwaukee built a tall ship--a Great Lakes schooner: The Denis Sullivan--the first schooner to be built on the lakes in over 100 years. A dedicated group of volunteers and experienced shipwrights--lovers of boats and the lake--tenaciously recreated the type of ship that once dominated the "sweetwater seas". The program includes historical segments about life on the lakes and in Wisconsin during the great age of sail, written by historian John Gurda. Original music composed by Maurice Wininsky. (81 minutes)
MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 8pm
Repeats 1/31 on MPTV-36 & 36.1 at 10:30am

Robert Oppenheimer's life and legacy are inextricably linked to America's most famous top-secret initiative--the Manhattan Project. But after World War II, this brilliant and intense scientist, tasked with the development of the atomic bomb, fell from the innermost circles of American scientific policy. At the height of the Red Scare, the veil of suspicion fell over J. Robert Oppenheimer. He was accused of having communist sympathies and was pressed to explain his relationships with known communists. This biography presents a complex and revealing portrait of one of the most influential American scientists. (117 minutes) #2101
MPTV-10 & 10.1 HD at 8pm
Repeats 1/27 on MPTV-36.3 at 7am, 1pm, 6pm and 11pm
Repeats 1/28 on MPTV-10 & 10.1 at 2am

For updates, changes, information on HD channels, and repeats of MPTV's Family of Channels, consult, MPTV Viewer Services at 414-297-7520.
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