On-Air Highlights

witf TV Picks for the week of February 16

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Feb 14, 2014 9:51 AM

Sunday February 16 at 9:00pm - Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey - Robert and Thomas return from America. Bates disappears for a day, Edith prepares to go abroad, suitors flock to Mary and Rose makes her move.

Monday February 17 at 10:00pm -  Independent Lens  Las Marthas - The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas, lasts an entire month and coincides with George Washington’s birthday. For more than a century, the city’s coming-out celebrations have involved intricate paeans to America’s colonial past. In 1939, the Society of Martha Washington was founded to usher each year’s debutantes (called “Marthas”) into proper society. The centerpiece of the festivities is the Martha Washington Pageant and Ball, when the girls are presented. The festival resonates anew in a time of economic uncertainty and political tension over immigration. Still, the Washington celebration has managed to persevere and even flourish, thanks in large part to the Mexican-American girls who carry this gilded tradition on their young shoulders.

Tuesday February 18 at 9:00pm - American Experience - The Rise and Fall of Penn Station - One of the greatest architectural and engineering achievements of its time, New York’s Pennsylvania Station opened to the public in 1910. Designed by renowned architect Charles McKim, the station was a massive civil engineering project, covering nearly eight acres and requiring the construction of 16 miles of underground tunnels. Alexander Cassatt, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, gambled millions of dollars to link the nation’s biggest railroad to America’s greatest city, but died bringing the station to life. No one could imagine that this architectural marvel built for the ages would be torn down a few decades later to make way for Madison Square Garden. Yet its destruction galvanized New York to form the Landmarks Preservation Commission, saving Grand Central Station and countless other historic structures.

Wednesday February 19 at 8:00pm - Nature: Honey Badgers - “Honey badger is bad ass.” Those words and corresponding video became a YouTube sensation, with 51 million hits. This “thug of the savannah” is one the most fearless animals in the world, renowned for its ability to confront grown lions, castrate charging buffalo and shrug off the toxic defenses of stinging bees, scorpions and snakes. Little is known about its behavior in the wild or why it is so aggressive. This film follows badger specialists in South Africa who take on these masters of mayhem in ways that must be seen to be believed.

Thursday February 20 at 8:00pm - Death in Paradise - When a shot is fired at a charity fundraiser, the host Malcolm Powell is found dead. Malcolm's PA, Vicky Woodward, identifies the killer as mystery man named Jack Roberts who had an appointment with Powell and was seen fleeing the scene in a car. A background check on Powell reveals that he and his wife, Jen, defrauded investors, using a Ponzi scheme, out of millions of pounds back in England. After solving the crime, Poole must take the killer back to London and Camille fears that he will not return when the 4-degrees temperature and rain lure him away from paradise.

Friday February 21 at 9:00pm - Great Performances: Sting-The Last Ship - Rock ‘n’ roll Renaissance man Sting has embarked on a new venture, The Last Ship, a musical play for which he has written original music and lyrics. Exploring a range of universal themes, The Last Ship dramatizes the impact of the demise of the ship-building industry in Sting’s home town of Wallsend, England, which for so long had dominated and shaped the city’s community life. Having grown up in the shadow of the Swan Hunter Shipyard, Sting was deeply affected by the subject, which inspired him to emerge from a decade-long absence from songwriting to produce over a dozen new songs for the Broadway- bound show, a collaboration with the Tony-winning duo of writer John Logan (Red, Skyfall screenplay) and director Joe Mantello (Wicked, Other Desert Cities).  In an exclusive performance recorded at New York City’s Public Theater, Sting performs an intimate concert of highlights from the show, providing a narrative outline for the musical as well as revealing the autobiographical underpinnings for the songs.

Saturday February 22 at 9:00pm - Doc Martin  - Sleepless nights are taking their toll on Martin and Louisa. Tempers are frayed as they try to find ways to comfort their constantly wailing baby. Aunt Ruth has problems of her own: She is dealing with an intruder on the farm who has stolen the hub caps from her car. The thief is identified as Michael Dunwich (Andrew Lee Potts), who lives with his mother Shirley (Miriam Margolyes) on a neighboring farm. Shirley makes an appointment with Martin to discuss the crippling stomach pains she has been suffering. When her son is out of the room, Shirley tells the doc she thinks her son is trying to poison her. The results of the tests on Shirley Dunwich show a heavy concentration of arsenic in her system. The doc immediately calls P.C. Penhale (John Marquez) suspecting that Shirley is actually being poisoned by her son


Ahead next week: A new episode of witf's original production Health Smart Thursday at 8:00pm.

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