On-Air Highlights

  • Women, War and Peace series continues with episodes 3 and 4

    Written by witf.org

    Women, War and Peace series continues with episodes 3 and 4

    Episodes 3 and 4 of the new 5-part Women, War & Peace will air on November 6. This series uncovers the untold stories of women’s strategic role in global conflict and peacemaking. Learn more about the two episodes below.

    Peace Unveiled – November 6 at 5 p.m. ET

    When the U.S. troop surge was announced in late 2009, women in Afghanistan knew that the ground was being laid for peace talks with the Taliban. Peace Unveiled follows three women who immediately began to organize to make sure that women have a seat at the negotiating table. One is a savvy parliamentarian who participated in writing the Afghan constitution that guarantees equality for women; another, a former midwife who is one of the last women’s rights advocates alive in Kandahar; and the third, a young activist who lives in a traditional family in Kabul. Convinced that the Taliban will have demands that jeopardize women’s hard-earned gains, they maneuver against formidable odds to have their voices heard in a peace jirga and high peace council. We go behind Kabul’s closed doors as the women’s case is made to U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, General David Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who promises the women that “peace and justice can’t come at the cost of women and women’s lives.” But will this promise be kept? Narrated by Tilda Swinton. Directed by Gini Reticker. Produced by Claudia Rizzi. Written by Abigail E. Disney.

    The War We Are Living – November 6 at 6 p.m. ET

    If you ask Colombia’s city-dwellers and governing political class, they’ll tell you the country’s forty-year-old civil war is over. But The War We Are Living reveals the “other” Colombia, in rural areas far away from the capitol, where the war is all too real – and now the battle is over gold. In Cauca, a mountainous region in Colombia’s Pacific southwest, two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women are fighting to hold onto the gold-rich land that has sustained their community through small-scale mining for centuries. Clemencia Carabali and Francia Marquez are part of a powerful network of female leaders, who found that in wartime women can organize more freely than men. As they defy paramilitary death threats and insist on staying on their land, Carabali and Marquez are standing up for a generation of Colombians who have been terrorized and forcibly displaced as a deliberate strategy of war. If they lose the battle, they and thousands of their neighbors will join Colombia’s four million people – most of them women and children – who have been uprooted from their homes and livelihoods. Narrated by Alfre Woodard. Produced by Oriana Zill de Granados. Written by Pamela Hogan and Oriana Zill de Granados.

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under TV

    Monday, 31 Oct 2011 12:10

  • Explore many of the controversies surrounding Lincoln in 'Looking for Lincoln'

    Written by witf.org

    Explore many of the controversies surrounding Lincoln in 'Looking for Lincoln'

    "Looking for Lincoln" explores the life and legacy of the man widely considered one of America’s best and most enigmatic presidents. The documentary, hosted by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., addresses many of the controversies surrounding Lincoln — race, equality, religion, politics, depression — by carefully interpreting evidence from those who knew him and those who study him today. "Looking for Lincoln" airs on November 7 at 10 p.m.

    In the film, Gates shows how the Lincoln legend grew out of controversy, greed, love, clashing political perspectives, power struggles and considerable disagreement over how the 16th president should be remembered. His quest to piece together Lincoln’s complex life takes him from Illinois to Gettysburg to Washington, DC, and face-to-face with people who live with Lincoln every day — relic hunters, re-enactors and others for whom the study of Lincoln is a passion.

    Among those weighing in: Pulitzer Prize-winners Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tony Kushner; former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; and Lincoln scholars, including Harold Holzer, vice chair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, Harvard University’s president Drew Faust and history professor David Hebert Donald, Yale University history professor David Blight and Allen Guelzo of Gettysburg College. Former Ebony magazine editor Lerone Bennett challenges Lincoln’s record on race; writer Joshua Shenk talks about Lincoln’s depression; and New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik illuminates how Lincoln’s words changed the course of history.

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    Tagged under TV

    Monday, 31 Oct 2011 11:25

  • Embark on an epic musical odyssey by way of the banjo

    Written by witf.org

    Embark on an epic musical odyssey by way of the banjo

    Embark on an epic musical odyssey through 300 years of American history and culture by way of the banjo — from its earliest use by enslaved Africans in colonial America to the 21st century. "Give Me the Banjo" premieres Friday, November 4, 2011, at 9:00 p.m. ET on witf. "Give Me the Banjo" is part of the first PBS Arts Fall Festival, a multi-platform event anchored by nine films that highlight artists and performances from around the country.

    Narrated by actor/comedian/banjoist Steve Martin, and guided by modern banjo masters such as Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Mike Seeger, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Abigail Washburn, "Give Me the Banjo" explores American music from minstrelsy, ragtime and blues, to folk and bluegrass. In addition to musicians, a mix of folklorists, historians, instrument makers and passionate amateurs tells stories of America’s instrument in all its richness and diversity. Rare stills, first-hand narratives, archival footage and recordings of historic banjo figures surround and expand on the expert commentary.

    Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and country music royalty Rosanne Cash, whose music spans many genres, from country and folk to blues, rock and pop, will host the program. Daughter of the late legend Johnny Cash, she has sung with banjo legend Earl Scruggs, who is featured prominently in the broadcast. In addition to introducing the show, Cash will talk with country music star Rodney Crowell about the influence of banjo music on their individual styles.

    "Give Me the Banjo" was directed by Emmy® Award-winning writer/producer Marc Fields. Banjo master Tony Trischka, one of the most acclaimed acoustic musicians of his generation, served as music director. Michael Kantor is executive producer. Nine years in the making, the production traveled to 14 states; more than 350 hours of interviews and performances were filmed.

    “What we found compelling, and what drove this project from the inception, is the fact that you can really get a new perspective on the story of American popular music with the banjo as the vehicle,” says Fields. “It truly cuts across all categories and boundaries of race, class, region or genre. The instrument is at the root of roots music and at the crossroads where folk tradition meets commercialism, yet it’s still struggling for the respect and serious attention it deserves.”

    Watch a a preview of this documentary below.

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under TV

    Friday, 28 Oct 2011 12:21

  • MASTERPIECE: MYSTERY! "Poirot XI: Hallowe'en Party"

    Written by witf.org


    To get you in the spirit of Halloween, witf is airing MASTERPIECE: MYSTERY! "Poirot XI: Hallowe'en Party" at 6 p.m. on October 30.

    In this episode, Ariadne Oliver (Zoë Wanamaker, Harry Potter) returns to join forces with suave Belgian super sleuth Hercule Poirot to investigate a drowning at a Hallowe’en Party. As they look further, they uncover a series of mysterious deaths in the village. Are they connected?

    Watch a preview for this episode below.

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Thursday, 27 Oct 2011 12:55

  • Poll: Which environmental issue is of the most concern to our Central PA community?

    Written by witf.org

    Poll: Which environmental issue is of the most concern to our Central PA community?

    In preparation for Green Action Day on November 5, we are polling our community on which environmental issue they think is of the most concern to Central PA. Please vote for one of the environmental issues listed in the poll below.

    If the issue that concerns you the most is missing from this poll, please share it in the comments below. Also, please share your tips for going green here.

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under Energy, Green Action Day

    Wednesday, 26 Oct 2011 18:12

  • Steve Jobs - One Last Thing

    Written by witf.org

    Steve Jobs - One Last Thing

    Gain unique insight into what made Steve Jobs tick. There has been near-universal agreement that the late Apple founder was a great innovator in business and technology, but why was he great? What were the influences that shaped his character and drove him to such success from humble beginnings? With colleagues who worked closely with him and those who have chronicled his life, take an unflinching look at the mercurial, brilliant man and review his many talents and achievements.

    In an exclusive, never-before-broadcast interview, Jobs expounds on his philosophy of life. Speaking shortly after coming face-to-face with his own mortality when he was diagnosed with cancer, he looked back over his astonishing career and explained the principles on which he built his success: "[Y]ou can poke life and if you push in, something will pop out the other side; you can change it, you can mold it, embrace it, make your mark upon it. Once you learn that - you'll never be the same again."

    witf will air this show at 10 p.m. on November 2, 2011.

    (Photo By Flickr Creative Commons User whatcounts.)

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under TV

    Wednesday, 26 Oct 2011 12:22

  • NOVA: The Fabric of the Cosmos "What Is Space?"

    Written by witf.org

    NOVA: The Fabric of the Cosmos

    Space. It separates you from me, one galaxy from the next, and atoms from each other. It is everywhere in the universe. But to most of us, space is nothing, an empty void. Well, it turns out space is not what it seems. Probe some of the deepest mysteries of our times: space as a dynamic fabric that can stretch, twist, warp and ripple under the influence of gravity.

    From the passenger seat of a New York cab driving near the speed of light to a pool hall where billiard tables do fantastical things, Brian Greene reveals space as a dynamic fabric that can stretch, twist, warp and ripple under the influence of gravity. Space, far from being empty, is filled with some of the deepest mysteries of our times.

    witf will air NOVA: The Fabric of the Cosmos "What Is Space?" at 9 p.m. on November 2.

    Watch a preview of the show below.

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under TV

    Wednesday, 26 Oct 2011 12:09

  • Will Ferrell celebrated in 'The Mark Twain Prize'

    Written by witf.org

    Will Ferrell celebrated in 'The Mark Twain Prize'

    The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize will be saluting Will Ferrell on Monday, October 31 at 9 p.m. Taped at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on October 23, the 90-minute special features a star-studded cast of Ferrell’s friends and colleagues including top entertainers Jack Black, the band Green Day, Larry King, Adam McKay, Lorne Michaels, Conan O’Brien, John C. Reilly, Paul Rudd, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon. The evening pays tribute to the humor and accomplishments of the television icon and motion picture star.

    Raised in Irvine, California, Ferrell attended USC and graduated with a degree in sports information. Upon graduation, he worked as a sportscaster on a weekly show broadcast over a local cable channel. Soon after, he enrolled in acting classes and stand-up comedy workshops at a nearby community college and was eventually asked to join the esteemed comedy/improv group The Groundlings after just one year of training. It was at The Groundlings that Ferrell was discovered for Saturday Night Live.

    Ferrell starred for seven seasons on Saturday Night Live. Some of his most memorable SNL characters include Craig the Spartan Cheerleader, musical middle school teacher Marty Culp, and President George W. Bush. Among his many impressions are Janet Reno, Alex Trebek, Neil Diamond and the late, great Chicago Cubs sportscaster Harry Caray. His work on SNL earned two Emmy nominations in 2001 (Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, and Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program).

    Ferrell’s film credits include The Other Guys, Megamind, Stranger Than Fiction (Golden Globe nomination), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Zoolander, Elf, the Woody Allen feature Melinda and Melinda, Old School, and the screen adaptation of The Producers, which earned Ferrell his first Golden Globe nomination in 2006 for Best Supporting Actor. For his latest project, Ferrell is set to star in the independent feature Everything Must Go, directed by Dan Rush and based on a Raymond Carver short story. Ferrell portrays an alcoholic who has relapsed and in turn loses his wife and job.

    In 2009, Ferrell debuted on Broadway by headlining the sold out, one-man comedy show You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush. Nominated for a Tony Award® in the “Best Special Event” category and directed by longtime collaborator, Adam McKay, Ferrell perfected his infamous Saturday Night Live character “President George W. Bush.” At the end of its Broadway run, Ferrell performed the show in its entirety live on HBO.

    In 2007, Ferrell and McKay founded the overwhelmingly popular and award-winning video website Funnyordie.com. With hundreds of exclusive celebrity videos and a steady stream of huge viral hits, Funny Or Die has become the “place to be seen” for comedic celebrities, and the obvious destination for a daily comedy fix. The site’s first video, “The Landlord,” has received over 73 million views and features Ferrell confronted by a swearing, beer-drinking two-year-old landlord. The site averages more than seven million unique viewers and more than 24 million video views per month.

    Will Ferrell is the 14th recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Past recipients of the prize have been Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009) and Tina Fey (2010).

    Will Ferrell: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize is a production of WETA Washington, DC; CoMedia; Mark Krantz Productions; Cappy Productions and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Executive producers are Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, Mark Krantz, Cappy McGarr and Michael Kaiser. WETA executive producers are Dalton Delan and David S. Thompson.

    Major funding for Will Ferrell: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Air travel is generously provided by American Airlines.

    The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was created in 1998 by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Mark Krantz, Peter Kaminsky and Bob Kaminsky and John Schreiber to recognize the art of humorists who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain*. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said, “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” Will Ferrell will be presented a copy of an 1884 bronze portrait bust of Mark Twain, sculpted by Karl Gerhardt (1853-1940). The bust and its images are courtesy of the Mark Twain House, Hartford, Connecticut.

    The Kennedy Center, as the nation’s center for the performing arts, recognizes and presents all of the performing arts including opera, jazz, musical theater, drama, ballet and dance, as well as symphony and all kinds of smaller musical ensembles performing every imaginable kind of music.

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under TV

    Tuesday, 25 Oct 2011 11:57

  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Birth of Rock Theater

    Written by witf.org

    Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Birth of Rock Theater

    Since its players first hit the stage 12 years ago, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) has grown into one of the largest touring acts in the world by doing something completely different from every other group out there. People can’t seem to explain what they do; they just tell you “you just have to see it to understand it.” TSO creator Paul O’Neill, who calls it “Rock Theater,” presents the past, present and future of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra through live video and interview segments taken over the last few years during its annual Winter Tour and from its debut of Beethoven’s Last Night, filmed in Dallas, Texas, on May 2, 2010. "Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Birth of Rock Theater" will air on witf on October 27 at 8 p.m.

    The creation of “Rock Theater” began when O’Neill and TSO set their sights on one of the most beloved and important composers the world has ever seen: Ludwig van Beethoven. “I was always fascinated by Beethoven,” said creator / writer / producer O’Neill. “He did not come from a rich family, made his way to Vienna — which at that time was the capital of the musical world — and by the time he was 21 was recognized as one of the greatest piano players in the world by the likes of Mozart. By the time he was 25, he realized he was going completely deaf and if he had just crawled into a corner and given up on life, nobody would have judged him harshly. Instead he went on to write some of the greatest music that has ever been created, music that would bring joy, happiness and peace to countless billions but that he himself would never hear.”

    O’Neill’s Beethoven’s Last Night combines 50% what actually happened with 50% what might have happened to create a fascinating tale of Beethoven’s final evening. To pay tribute to the great composer TSO fused together many of his most enduring melodies with new hard rocking instrumentals. They also wrote several original compositions to create a theatrical experience that, combined with arena rock, takes the art form to unprecedented levels.

    For O’Neill, this foray into Rock Theater is just the start. Projects in the works such as “Gutter Ballet and the New York City Blues Express” and “Romanov: When Kings Must Whisper,” based on the Russian Revolution, will ensure that this new genre is here to stay.

    O’Neill enthuses, “PBS is an indispensable part of the artistic world. Masterpieces of music, dance and cinema that normally would have been lost and forgotten are saved for future generations to enjoy and be inspired by.” Having already spent the past ten plus years partnering with PBS on the special “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” TSO is thrilled to share the opportunity to bring “Rock Theater” to the masses with PBS.

    During the show, we'll be offering special Trans-Siberian Orchestra themed thank you gifts for your donation to witf. For your gift of $50, you'll receive the CD Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Beethoven’s Last Night. For your gift of $75, you'll receive the 2-CD set Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Night Castle. For your gift of $250, you'll receive two tickets to Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Winter Tour live in concert at the Giant Center in Hershey on November 20, 2011.

    Contributing to witf helps everyone in your community benefit from award-winning news, programs and articles that open us up to exciting new ideas and worlds. Donate online now!

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under TV

    Monday, 24 Oct 2011 15:32

  • Things That Go Bump In the Night

    Written by witf.org

    Things That Go Bump In the Night

    Things That Go Bump In the Night details some of New England's most bone-chilling stories, myths and legends. Interviews with local authors and experts, along with personal accounts, reveal tales of the supernatural, the unexplained and the mysterious. The special features visits to the infamous Lizzie Borden home in Fall River, MA, the long-abandoned village of Dudleytown in northern Connecticut, the Hoosac Tunnel in the Berkshire Mountains, the New London Ledge Lighthouse, Bellcourt Castle in Newport, Rhode Island and a Union cemetery in Easton, CT — the sites of terrible tragedies, supposed curses and ghostly hauntings.

    witf will air this show on October 30 at 4:30 p.m. in honor of Halloween!

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under TV

    Monday, 24 Oct 2011 12:41