On-Air Highlights

witf TV Picks for the week of January 5

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Jan 2, 2014 2:15 PM

Sunday January 5 at 9:00pm - Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey - Six months after Matthew’s death, family and servants try to cure Mary and Isobel of their deep depression. Meanwhile, O’Brien causes a final crisis.
Monday January 6 at 10:00pm - Independent Lens: The Invisible War - The most shameful and best-kept secret in the U.S. military is the epidemic of rape and sexual assault within the ranks. An American female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. A culture of privilege and impunity has resulted in few prosecutions and the systematic isolation of women who dare to report the crimes.  
Tuesday January 7 at 8:00pm - Poisoner's Handbook - In the early 20th century, the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner’s treasure chest: radioactive radium in health tonics, thallium in depilatory creams, morphine in teething medicine and potassium cyanide in cleaning supplies. While the tools of the murderer’s trade multiplied as the pace of industrial innovation increased, the scientific knowledge (and political will) to detect and prevent the crimes lagged. This changed in 1918, when New York City hired its first scientifically trained medical examiner, Charles Norris. Over a decade and a half, Norris and his chief toxicologist, Alexander Gettler, turned forensic chemistry into a formidable science, sending many a murderer to the electric chair and setting the standards that the rest of the country would ultimately adopt. Based on the best-selling book by Deborah Blum.
Wednesday January 8 at 10:00pm - Chasing Shackleton - This new three-part series follows a modern expedition that re-creates Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition, which launched in 1914. The series joins a crew of five intrepid explorers, led by renowned adventurer, scientist and author Tim Jarvis, as they duplicate Shackleton’s epic sea-and-land voyage in a replica of the original explorers’ lifeboat, James Caird, using only the tools and supplies his team used. When the ship The Endurance was crushed by ice and sank, Shackleton’s heroic leadership in the face of almost certain death saved the lives of 27 men stranded in the Antarctic for more than 500 days. His exploits have inspired explorers across every continent over many generations.
Thursday January 9 at 9:00pm - Death in Paradise - What seems a tragic accident when a novice nun is discovered dead in her smoke-filled bedroom, seems like murder when  DI Poole believes the room was locked from the inside by the murderer. Suspects include Father John, the mother superior Sister Anne , other nuns, as well as a mysterious "phantom" nun nobody can identify. The convent has holy springs on the grounds, being promoted by an unscrupulous PR man. Poole's childhood experiences of nuns at his boarding school taint his views.
Friday January 10 at 9:00pm - Live from Lincoln Center - This year’s Richard Tucker Foundation Gala - a perennial highlight of the opera season - celebrates Richard Tucker’s centennial with performances by many of the world’s greatest voices and a salute to this year’s award winner, Isabel Leonard.
Saturday January 11 at 9:00pm - Doc Martin - Martin is shocked to find Louisa and Aunt Joan knocking at his door before his office has opened. Louisa has had a medical scare and wants Martin’s reassurance that everything is fine. P.C. Penhale, still officially the world’s worst policeman, has an unexpected visitor — his older brother Sam. Martin notices that Sam has some problems with his memory and co-ordination. It’s probably just a virus, but when Martin takes Sam’s family history, he decides there is a very small possibility that Sam has a rare genetic disease. It turns out that Martin diagnoses a different illness that will change Penhale’s opinion of his brother forever.

Next week:
Friday January 17 at 9:00pm - Independent Lens: At Berkeley - Legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman goes back to school for this intimate and sprawling film. 'At Berkeley' is a revealing four-hour documentary about the University of California at Berkeley, one of the finest research and teaching facilities in the world. Eschewing narration and standard interviews, Wiseman's film takes viewers from faculty meetings to classrooms, from financial aid seminars to research laboratories, to show the myriad aspects of university life. Filmed during the fall 2010 semester, the film reveals the administration's struggles to maintain the academic excellence, public role and diversity of the student body in the face of drastic budget cuts imposed by the State of California. Wiseman reveals the complex relationships among the school's various constituencies, students, faculty, administrators, alumni, the City of Berkeley, the State of California and the federal government. Independent Lens is airing at a special time. This episode is 4 hours long.

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