On-Air Highlights

witf TV Picks for the week of December 29

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Dec 27, 2013 10:17 AM

Sunday December 29 at 7:30pm - Call The Midwife Holiday Special - Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth and created for TV by Heidi Thomas, CALL THE MIDWIFE follows nurse Jenny Lee and the midwives and nuns from Nonnatus House convent, who visit the expectant mothers of Poplar, providing the poorest women with the best possible care. Chummy, PC Noakes and baby Freddy are back in the East End, Sister Bernadette, now known as Shelagh since leaving the convent, is preparing for her wedding to Dr. Turner and Jenny is facing huge challenges personally and professionally. At Christmas, when an unexploded World War II bomb is found under a warehouse close to Nonnatus House, the nuns and dozens of local families become homeless. Dr. Turner is in a race against time to immunize children against polio, but when the illness strikes closer to home, he finds there’s nothing he can do but hope. Chummy persuades a royal visitor to the East End to open the new Community Center. It’s a race against time as Chummy tries to get everything in place for the big day.

Monday December 30 at 10:00pm - Independent Lens: How to Survive the Plague - This acclaimed film tells the story of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), two groups whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these determined activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry to help identify promising new drugs and move them from experimental trials to patients. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage, the film reveals the controversial actions, heated meetings, heartbreaking failures and exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making. By David France.

Tuesday December 31 at 9:30pm - Great Performances: Stephen Sondheim's Company with the New York Philharmonic - Legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking musical Company centers on Bobby, a confirmed bachelor celebrating his 35th birthday with his 10 closest friends (five couples). This 2011 New York Philharmonic concert production starring Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby won rave reviews. Harris' co-stars include Patti LuPone, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks, Anika Noni Rose, Jon Cryer and Martha Plimpton performing the show's many Sondheim standards.

Wednesday January 1 at 8:00pm - Great Performances: From Vienna The New Year's Celebration 2014 - Always one of “our favorite things,” we continue the cherished tradition of ringing in the New Year with the Vienna Philharmonic at the opulent Musikverein, under the baton of guest conductor Daniel Barenboim and featuring everyone’s favorite Strauss Family waltzes accompanied by the beautiful dancing of the Vienna City Ballet. In addition to the Musikverein concert setting, the broadcast will feature a picturesque range of Vienna landmarks. Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews will return as host.

Thursday January 2 at 9:00pm - Death in Paradise - The owner of a sugar plantation is discovered in his mill with a machete in his back. Poole and his team have countless suspects: ex-wife Nicole Seymour, nephew Alex Seymour, new girlfiend Kim Neville, each with cast-iron alibis. Broken glass from a torch, letters JOH scrawled in blood by the victim, a disappearing small girl and a 200-year-old mystery of disappearing slaves are the only clues.

Friday January 3 at 9:00pm - Great Performances: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! - Still doing fine after 60 years, Rodgers & Hammerstein's landmark American musical Oklahoma! is reborn in this film version of the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain's award-winning production. Directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Susan Stroman, it set box office records during its run in London, and again on Broadway, with critics and audiences alike captivated by its fresh new take on a venerable classic. The magic of the original London cast was captured in this deluxe film adaptation, which includes a sensational, star-making performance by X-Man Hugh Jackman as Curly. Also featured are original cast members Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey, Maureen Lipman as Aunt Eller and Tony-winner Shuler Hensley as the menacing yet hauntingly sympathetic Jud Fry.

Saturday January 4 at 10:00pm - Masterpiece Classic Downton Abbey Season 3 - The Crawley family heads north, to Duneagle Castle in Scotland - the ancestral home of The MacClare family - to visit Lady Rose and her warring parents, Susan and Hugh ("Shrimpy"). Bates, Anna, Molesley, and O'Brien also make the trip. Edith is surprised to learn that Gregson, the man who hired her on at the newspaper, is in Scotland, while Mary and Matthew disagree about Gregson's motives. Branson remains at Downton with baby Sybil. The staff looks forward to the approaching country fair, and Carson struggles to keep them concentrating on work. A new housemaid, Edna, joins the staff and is quickly fired after Mrs Hughes discovers her getting too close to Branson. Mrs Patmore becomes involved in a romance, but it does not last as she realises he is only interested in her cooking. At the country fair the Downton staff win the tug of war. Jimmy is nearly robbed after winning money from betting, but is saved by Thomas. They later agree just to be friends. Lady Mary goes into labour early, rushing home to deliver her baby - a son. Matthew soon joins her to meet his heir. But on the way back to Downton, he is killed in an auto accident.

Next week:
Sunday January 5 at 9:00pm - The wait is finally over.  There is no turning back! Season 4 of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey arrives at witf. See how family and servants are coping six months after Matthew’s death.

back to top

Post a comment

Comments: 1

  • Jan img 2013-12-28 16:11

    Thanks for providing the additional details for the coming week special programming.