On-Air Highlights

witf TV Picks for the week of April 20

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Apr 18, 2014 12:48 PM

Sunday April 20 at 10:00pm - The Bletchley Circle - Alice Merren is in prison awaiting trial for the murder of her former Bletchley Park colleague. Jean, believing Alice is covering for someone, begins to reunite the circle to help establish the innocence of one of their own. The investigation leads to a young woman who seems to have had a relationship with the deceased and in whose home they find documents suggesting a military cover-up of a chemical spill. The women use the skills honed at Bletchley Park — and take dangerous chances — to try to exonerate Alice.

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Monday April 21 at 9:00pm - Independent Lens - Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America's most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the "Singing River," as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. At its heart is Rick Hall, who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Hall brought black and white together in Alabama's cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the "Muscle Shoals sound" and the Swampers, the house band at FAME that eventually left to start its own successful studio, Muscle Shoals Sound. In this joyful film, Greg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals' magnetism and mystery, and why it remains influential today.

Tuesday April 22 at 10:00pm - Frontline - An estimated 80,000 Americans are in solitary confinement - even people who haven't committed violent crimes - sometimes for years, or even decades.  Using extraordinary access to the segregation unit at the maximum security Maine State Prison, FRONTLINE examines America's use of solitary confinement - a practice U.S. prisons and jails resort to more than most other countries.  Some prison officials see it as necessary to keep order and safety, but critics say it is inhumane and counterproductive. "Solitary Nation" is an extraordinarily rare and intimate view of life in solitary, through the stories of inmates living in isolation, the prison officers who keep them locked in, and a new warden who is re-thinking the practice and trying to reduce the number of inmates in solitary.

Wednesday April 23 at 8:00pm - Nature - In the frigid valleys of Japan’s Shiga Highlands, a troop of snow monkeys functions in a complex society of rank and privilege where each knows his and her place. Their leader is still new to the job and something of a solitary grouch. One innocent little monkey, unaware of his own low status, reaches out to this lonely leader and they form a rare and remarkable bond that alters both their lives. Changing seasons bring new babies, family disagreements and tragedies. Mating season brings competition for females as the days grow shorter and colder in the rush to winter. With their now confident leader to guide them and their families to shelter and care for them, these snow monkeys are ready to face the world.


Thursday April 24 at 8:00pm - Healthsmart - Over half of the US population is currently taking at least one prescription drug and 75 percent of doctor’s visits involve drug therapy.  Pharmaceutical drug use among soldiers has tripled in the past five years.  Are we, as Americans, looking for a quick fix in the form of medication?  Are doctors, crunched for time, too quick to prescribe?  What role does advertising play in the situation?  How does our prescription drug use in America compare to other parts of the world and are we healthier as a result?  Do we know the long-term effects of prescription drug use?

Friday April 25 at 9:00pm - Great Performances - Choreographer Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty marks the choreographer’s return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete his acclaimed reinterpretations of the composer’s trio of masterworks that began in 1992 with Nutcracker! and followed in 1995 with Swan Lake. This timeless fairy tale about a princess cursed to sleep for a hundred years was adapted into a ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa in 1890. In a highly theatrical production, Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the story at the height of the fin de siècle epoch when fairies, vampires and decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination. As the heroine Aurora matures into a young woman, the period shifts to the confines of the Edwardian era. Decades later, awakening from her century-long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day — a world she finds more mysterious and wonderful than any fairy tale. Bourne’s haunting new scenario is a romance for all ages.

Saturday April 26 at 9:00pm - Death in Paradise - Richard Poole is sent to the tropical isle of Saint-Marie following the death of a fellow British detective in the locked panic room of a resident English aristocrat's house. Poole must try to solve the case, despite problems of sun, sand and lost luggage.

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