Look what's coming to Blue Ridge PBS!
Wednesday at 8:00pm
NATURE has been the benchmark of natural history programs on television, capturing the splendors of the natural world from the African plains to the Antarctic ice. The series has won more than 600 honors from the television industry, parent groups, the international wildlife film community and environmental organizations, including 10 Emmys, three Peabodys and the first award given to a television program by the Sierra Club. Find out more about NATURE at pbs.org/wnet/nature/
April 2 – White Falcon, White Wolf
Follow the perilous parenthood of two species — white gyrfalcons and Arctic wolves — on Canada’s remote Ellesmere Island.
April 9 – My Bionic Pet
The animals of the world may increasingly need our help with big issues like preserving habitat or species conservation. But sometimes individual animals need our help as well. Left disabled without fins, flippers, beaks or tails because of disease, accidents or even human cruelty, these unfortunate creatures need what amounts to a miracle if they are to survive. Amazing prosthetics made possible by the latest engineering and technology can provide just what they need, and scientists are finding that innovations created in the process are benefitting both animals and humans. Meet these inspiring animals and the remarkable individuals whose work has helped them live their lives again.
April 16 – Touching the Wild
Joe Hutto has dedicated seven years of his life to becoming a wild mule deer. Ordinarily, the deer herd would run from any human, but these keenly intelligent animals come to regard this stranger as one of their own. As he crosses the species divide, Hutto taps into a new understanding of these elusive animals. His joy in his new family is infectious, but this human predator also learns to see the world from the point of view of prey — and it’s an experience that will rock him to his core; sharing their world so personally takes a toll that sends him back to his own kind.
April 23 – Snow Monkeys
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.
April 30 – Love in the Animal Kingdom
Animals dance, sing, flirt and compete with everything they’ve got to find and secure a mate. For many, the all-important bonds they share as a couple are what enable the next generation to survive. Can we call these bonds love? In this delightful, provocative look at the love life of animals, watch the feminine wiles of a young gorilla, the search for Mr. Right among a thousand flamingos, the open “marriages” of blue-footed boobies, the soap opera arrangements of gibbons and all the subtle, outrageous, romantic antics that go into finding a partner.
Wednesdays AT 8:00PM
PBS' premier science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, NOVA programs demystify science and technology, and highlight the people involved in scientific pursuits. Check out the NOVA Next website at pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next.
April 2 – Wild Predator Invasion
A growing number of scientists are discovering that removing top predators from the wild has thrown ecosystems off-kilter, triggering domino effects that scientists are just beginning to understand. NOVA follows scientists who are trying out a simple but controversial solution: returning apex predators — like coyotes, bears and panthers — to their natural environments. Can these newly introduced predators restore the natural balance of their ecosystems without threatening the humans who live among them?
April 9 – Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius
Today, researchers are discovering that some creatures have mastered skills purportedly restricted to humans. Many are bird brains. Meet a cockatoo with a talent for picking locks; a wild crow on a mission to solve an eight-step puzzle; and a tame raven who can solve a puzzle box so quickly that his performance has to be captured with high-speed photography. Are these skills really evidence of high intelligence or just parlor tricks, the result of training and instinct? To find out, NOVA tests the limits of some of the planet’s brainiest animals, searching for the secrets of a problem-solving mind.
April 16 – Inside Animal Minds: Dogs and Super Senses
What is it like to be a dog, a shark or a bird? This question is now getting serious attention from scientists who study animal senses. Humans rely on smell, sight, taste, touch and sound; other animals have super-powered versions of these senses, and a few have extra senses we don’t have at all. From a dog that seems to use smell to tell time to a dolphin that can “see” with its ears, discover how animals use their senses in ways we humans can barely imagine. But it’s not just the senses that are remarkable — it’s the brains that process them. NOVA goes into the minds of animals to “see” the world in an entirely new way.
April 23 – Inside Animal Minds: Who’s the Smartest?
What makes an animal smart? Many scientists believe the secret lies in relationships. Throughout the animal kingdom, some of the cleverest creatures — including humans — seem to be those who live in complex social groups, like dolphins, elephants and apes. Could the skills required to keep track of friend and foe make animals smarter? To find out, NOVA goes inside the social lives of some of the smartest animals on the planet.
April 30 – The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies
Every year, 100 million Monarch butterflies set off on an incredible journey across North America. These beautiful creatures fly 2,000 miles to reach their remote destination: a tiny area high in the mountains of Mexico. Yet scientists are still puzzling over how the butterflies achieve this tremendous feat of endurance — and how, year after year, the Monarchs navigate with such hair's-breadth precision. NOVA flies along with the Monarchs, visiting the spectacular locations they call home and meeting the dangers they encounter along the way. As this program reveals, the Monarch is a scientific marvel locked in an inspiring struggle for survival.
Peter Pan from the Milwaukee Ballet
Friday, April 18 at 9:00pm
Michael Pink's adaptation of J.M. Barrie's most famous work is performed by the Milwaukee Ballet. This production, taped at the Marcus Center for the Arts in Milwaukee, brings to life Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and many of the notable characters, including a larger than life alligator that crawls along the orchestra pit.
Secrets of Selfridges
Sunday, April 6 at 10:00pm
Two words are synonymous with Selfridges: luxury and London. However, Selfridges was the brainchild of an American — Harry Gordon Selfridge — whose life was depicted in the MASTERPIECE series “Mr. Selfridge.” The real, flamboyant Mr. Selfridge brought about a complete revolution in the way Londoners shopped, introducing a new American retail model that made shopping less a practical pursuit and more a luxurious adventure. Keen to put the shopper’s experience above anything else, Selfridge coined the expression “The customer is always right,” which has become the mantra of shops all over the world. The program reveals the grandiose store’s hidden stories and delves deep into the mind of its ambitious creator.
The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama
Noted historian, author and critic Simon Schama explores the Jewish experience from ancient times to the present day in this new five-part series.
8:00pm – In The Beginning
Trace the Jewish experience from tribal beginnings to Romans’ destruction of the Jerusalem temple.
9:00pm – Among Believers
Witness the struggles of medieval Jews to preserve their identity under Christian and Islamic rule.
8:00pm – A Leap of Faith
Simon Schama explores the bright, hopeful moment when Enlightenment thinkers and revolutionary armies brought ghetto walls crashing down — allowing Jews to weave their wisdom, creativity and energies into the very fabric of modern life in Europe. One of the most of fruitful branches of this Jewish renaissance was in music, and the stellar careers of Giacomo Meyerbeer and Felix Mendelssohn established the enduring tradition for Jewish musical prodigies. However, the remarkably successful integration of Jewish talent into the mainstream of European culture and commerce stirred up the ghosts of ancient prejudice, decked out in the new clothes of romantic nationalism and the pseudo-science of anti-semitism. The road to the hell of the Holocaust was paved by the diatribes of Richard Wagner, while the trial of Alfred Dreyfus led Theodor Herzl to conclude that without a homeland of their own, Jews would never be free of the millennia-old persecution.
9:00pm – Over the Rainbow
Simon Schama plunges viewers into the lost world of the shtetl, the Jewish towns and villages sewn across the hinterlands of Eastern Europe, which became the seedbed of a uniquely Jewish culture. Shtetl culture would make its mark on the modern world, from the revolutionary politics of the Soviet Union to the mass culture of Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood. It was also the birthplaces of Hasidism, the most visible, iconic and, arguably, most misunderstood expression of Jewish faith and fervor. This episode travels from the forests of Lithuania, where Schama’s own family logged wood and fought wolves, to the boulevards of Odessa, where shtetl kids argued the merits of revolutionary socialism over Zionism. From the Ukrainian city of Uman, where today thousands of the Hasidim chant and sing over the tomb of the wonder-working Rabbi Nachman, to the streets of Manhattan’s lower east side, where the sons of shtetl immigrants wrote the American songbook. The program returns, with grim inevitability, to Eastern Europe in 1940, where the genocidal mechanisms of the “final solution” were beginning to grind the shtetl world into dust and ash.
10:00pm – Return
Simon Schama examines how the Holocaust and the creation of Israel have fundamentally changed what it means to be Jewish. Mixing personal recollection with epic history, Schama tells the story of the remarkable personalities and unprecedented events that turned the Zionist dream of creating a modern state of Israel into reality — and the consequences for the world. With contributions from writer David Grossman, photographer Micha Bar-Am, kibbutz founder Freddie Kahan, West Bank settler Zvi Cooper and Palestinian villager Yacoub Odeh, the film explores the tension between the high ideals and dire necessities that led to the creation of a Jewish homeland and the realities of conflict, dispossession and occupation that have followed in its wake.