On-Air Highlights

witf TV Picks for the week of June 15

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Jun 12, 2014 11:16 AM

Sunday June 15 at 8:00pm - Secrets of Scotland Yard - From Dickens to Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie to James Bond, no police institution in the world has caught the public imagination in the same way as Scotland Yard. The name has become synonymous with London's police force, but actually comes from the location of the original police headquarters building. Its officers and 'Bobbies' are often seen as protectors of the Royal Family and British officials, but Scotland Yard is most often associated with police detectives. Some contemporary sleuths reveal the secrets of what it takes to become a modern-day Sherlock Holmes and the program uncovers some grim and grisly details of detectives who have gone before.

Monday June 16 at 10:00pm - American Pharaoh - This documentary about the Egyptian National Football Team, their American coach, Bob Bradley, and the team’s quest to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil follows the team on and off the pitch, and offers a unique window into events unfolding in Egypt following the historic revolution. Bradley arrived in Cairo in late 2011 and found a country and a team in chaos. The rebuilding of the team offers a powerful metaphor for the rebuilding of Egypt and the country’s journey toward democracy.

Tuesday June 17 at 9:00pm - Freedom Riders - In 1961, segregation seemed to have an overwhelming grip on American society. Many states violently enforced the policy, while the federal government, under the Kennedy administration, remained indifferent, preoccupied with matters abroad. That is, until an integrated band of college students — many of whom were the first in their families to attend a university — decided, en masse, to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South. They called themselves the Freedom Riders, and they managed to bring the president and the entire American public face-to-face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation.

Wednesday June 18 at 10:00pm - Hawking - This is the intimate and revealing story of Stephen Hawking’s life. Told for the first time in Hawking’s own words and with unique access to his home and public life, this is a personal journey through Hawking’s world. The audience joins him at home, under the care of his nursing team; in San Jose as he “wows” a packed theatre audience; in Silicon Valley as he meets a team of technicians who hope to speed up his communication system; and as he throws a party for family and friends. HAWKING also carefully tells Hawking’s life journey, from boyhood under-achiever to PhD genius, and from a healthy cox on the Oxford rowing team to diagnosis of motor neuron disease, given just two years to live — yet surviving several close brushes with death. The film also highlights his greatest scientific discoveries and plots his rise to fame and superstardom.

Thursday June 19 at 8:00pm - Constitution USA -  Sagal explores the Constitution's most striking and innovative feature: its resilient brand of federalism. The framers created a strong national government while preserving much of the power and independence of the states. This delicate balance of power, seemingly hard-wired for disagreement and conflict, has served America well for more than two centuries. But it has also led to tensions throughout American history and still sparks controversy today over medical marijuana, gun control and'Obamacare.'  (Part 2 airs at 9:00pm)

Friday June 20 at 10:00pm - American Masters - Tanaquil Le Clercq, known to all as "Tanny," was the inspiration and then the wife of one of the greatest geniuses in the history of dance, George Balanchine; she also sparked the creative imagination of Jerome Robbins. In 1954, at the height of her fame, she was paralyzed by polio. Nancy Buirski's film finds a tone to match Le Clercq's exquisite dancing and long, lovely physique, well represented in photos, home movies and kinescopes. In addition to being a rich and compelling story of a dancer who can no longer dance and a muse who can no longer inspire, Buirski's film is also a vivid portrayal of a world and a time gone by. In addition to the breathtaking photos and archival footage, "Afternoon of a Faun" also features interviews with those who knew her, including Jacques D'Amboise and Arthur Mitchell.

Saturday June 21 at 9:00pm - Death in Paradise - Solly, a musician, is murdered in a stage coffin during a band's comeback concert following a ten-year split. DI Poole's investigation of the band, victim's wife and a female photographer make them all suspects. Camille is amused at Poole's fear of snakes, whether real or rubber.

Next week -
June 24 at 9:00pm - Freedom Summer - During the summer of 1964, the nation’s eyes were riveted on Mississippi. Over 10 memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in the nation’s most segregated state. Working together, they canvassed for voter registration, created Freedom Schools and established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, with the goal of challenging the segregationist state Democratic Party at the national convention in Atlantic City. The campaign was marked by sustained and deadly violence, including the notorious murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of 35 churches and the bombing of 70 homes and Freedom Houses.

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