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WETA Movie Night: Saturday April 12

This Saturday at 9:30pm, tune into WETA TV26 & HD for the 1958 classic The Big Country. Following the feature film, catch the documentary Brother's Hypnotic at 12:30am. Keep the movie excitement going on Monday at 10pm with The Trials of Muhammad Ali. Read on for more information on the movies.

WETA Movie: The Big Country (1958) airs Saturday April 12 at 9:30pm
A New Englander arrives in the Old West where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two powerful ranch families over a valuable patch of land, each looking for an easy supply of water. Starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston, and Burl Ives.

Independent Lens: Brother’s Hypnotic airs Sunday April 13 at 12:30am

The eight young men who make up the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are all sons of Phil Cohran, a legendary Chicago trumpeter who turned his back on commercial music to pursue astral jazz and a passionately Afrocentric lifestyle. Cohran’s sons make transcendent music that ties currents from jazz and funk to soul and hip-hop. This film follows the octet as far away as Ireland as they tour and work to carve out their own renown around the world.

Independent Lens: The Trials of Muhammad Ali airs Monday April 14 at 10pm
Explore the extraordinary and complex life of  legendary athlete Muhammad Ali outside the boxing ring. Some of Ali's life events in this documentary are joining the Nation of Islam, changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, refusing to serve in the Vietnam War, protesting racial inequality, and delving into global humanitarian work. Learn more about the legend Ali, an inspiring figure.


 

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WETA Movie Night: Saturday April 5

This weekend on WETA TV26 & HD, catch three fascinating films. First, Saturday at 9:30pm watch the 1956 thriller The Bad Seed. Following this classic film at 11:40pm is the documentary Revenge of the Electric Car. Set your DVR or stay up late for Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child at 1:10am. Read on for episode descriptions and trailers of these great movies.

The Bad Seed (1956) at 9:30pm
Rhoda is a good, grade-school girl who becomes vicious when she doesn’t get her way. Her mother finds out that Rhoda was responsible for a boy's death but is her mother’s dark past to blame? Starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones and Eileen Heckart. Click here to watch a trailer.


Independent Lens: Revenge of the Electric Car at 11:40pm
A follow up to Chris Paine's documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, this new documentary Revenge of the Electric Car goes behind the closed doors of Nissan, General Motors, Tesla Motors, and an independent car converter named Greg “Gadget” Abbott to find the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. Click here to watch a trailer.


Independent Lens: Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child at 1:10am
A rare interview with Jean-Michel Basquiat over 20 years ago chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of the young artist who achieves critical and commercial success, though he is constantly confronted by racism from his peers. Click here to watch a trailer.

 

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The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama

This new, five-hour series follows Simon Schama as he travels from Russia and the Ukraine to Egypt, Israel and Spain exploring the impact that Jewish culture has made across the world. The series is also a personal journey for host Simon Schama who has been engaged with Jewish history since his postwar childhood. The Story of the Jews draws on primary sources that include the Elephantine papyri, a collection of 5th-century BC manuscripts illuminating the life of a town of Jewish soldiers and their families in ancient Egypt; the astonishing trove of documents — the Cairo Geniza — recording the world of the medieval Jews of the Mediterranean and Near East; the records of disputations between Christians and Jews in Spain; correspondence between the leader of the Arab revolt during World War I, Emir Feisal, and the leader of the Zionist movement, Chaim Weizmann.  Schama brings together a multitude of emotions and questions to share a story that truly affects every human on Earth.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 8:00 pm WETA TV26 & HD
In the Beginning  (Part 1)

Historian Simon Schama's five-part history of the Jewish people opens 3000 years ago with the emergence of a tribal people in a contested land and their book, the Hebrew Bible.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 9:00 pm WETA TV26 & HD
Among Believers  (Part 2)

The medieval era, when Jews struggled to preserve their identity—and even their lives—under the rule of Christianity and Islam is recalled. Included: diaspora Jews who built new lives and invented new ways of being Jewish in the face of discrimination, blood-libels and persecution; the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 8:00 pm WETA TV26 & HD
A Leap of Faith  (Part 3)

The Enlightenment era, when Jews integrated into mainstream European life, is recalled. One area that proved fruitful: music, as exemplified by the careers of composers Giacomo Meyerbeer and Felix Mendelssohn. The integration stirred up ancient prejudices, however, which were often cloaked by romantic nationalism and pseudo-science. Included: the trial of Alfred Dreyfus, which led Theodor Herzl to conclude that Jews needed a homeland in order to be free of persecution.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 9:00 pm WETA TV26 & HD
Over the Rainbow  (Part 4)

Recalling the lost world of the shtetl, Jewish towns and villages in Eastern Europe that gave birth to a uniquely Jewish culture; and that made its mark in the revolutionary politics of the USSR and the pop culture of Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood. It was also the birthplace of Hasidism, one of the most misunderstood forms of Judaism. Included: Simon Schama visits the forests of Lithuania, where his family logged wood and fought wolves.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 10:00 pm WETA TV26 & HD
Return  (Part 5)

Simon Schama's history of the Jewish people concludes with the Holocaust and the creation of the modern Israel, both of which fundamentally changed what it means to be Jewish. Included: the tension between the ideals and necessities that led to founding the modern Israel; and the realities of conflict, dispossession and occupation that have followed in its wake.

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Special Pledge Programming in March

WETA TV26 airs special programming from February 27-March 23 for our pledge drive. This blog post highlights some of the great pledge shows you can watch throughout this month.  Read on to see what’s coming and when to watch! *Please note that these air dates and times are subject to change so please check weta.org for any schedule changes.*

Heartbeat of Home Saturday March 1 at 6pm

This show takes place in a dreamland of oceans and starlight, in neon-shining cities of the 21st century and in epic, open spaces. Irish dancers share the stage with Afro-Cuban and Latin dancers taking leave of their homelands — Ireland, Africa, Spain — as they journey over wild seas towards a new land of opportunity where music and dance, the only true international languages, join together in celebration, telling stories of survival, courage and passion.

Great Scenic Railway Journeys Celebrating: North America's Steam Railroads Sunday March 2 at 7pm
This program explorers the impact that the steam engine had in building our world. From the frozen tundra of Alaska to the vast high desert of Arizona, the rolling hills of New Hampshire to the Black Hills of South Dakota and through the prairies and mountains of Canada. We also visit Steamtown National Historic Site and get a first hand lesson on how a steam engine works and why millions of people each year are drawn to them.

Suze Orman: Financial Solutions for You Thursday March 6 at 8pm

Up-to-date advice on a broad set of financial issues from Suze Orman, America's most recognized expert in personal finance, include: how to invest; whether to buy or rent a home; saving for retirement; what kind of life insurance to buy; wills and trusts; student loans and more. Orman offers tangible information on managing money today and how to make smarter choices towards a more economically secure future.

American Masters: Pete Seeger: The Power of Song Sunday March 9 at 7:30pm
This first authorized film poetically documents Seeger's unique experience and contributions. He made a whole generation passionate about playing the guitar and picking the banjo, and got them singing together and using music as a force for social change. Largely misunderstood by his critics for his views on peace, civil rights and ecology, Seeger went from the top of the hit parade to the top of the blacklist -- banned from commercial television for more than 17 years.

My Music: Ed Sullivan’s Rock and Roll Classics: The 60s Monday March 10 at 8pm
From the late 1940s until the early 1970s, millions of viewers of all ages saw great musical acts each Sunday night on The Ed Sullivan Show. This special presents classic song performances from 1963 to 1968 that evoke the spirit of that decade's youth movement.

Studio WETA: Tom Paxton Wednesday March 12 at 8pm
Studio WETA talks to American folk singer and singer-songwriter Tom Paxton whose music career has spanned more than fifty years.

Midsomer Murders: Super Sleuths Thursday March 13 at 8pm

A  behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the cast and crew of Midsomer Murders as they reflect on their experiences in the deadliest "county" in all of England. The special investigates the much loved DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) and the mysterious mayhem of Midsomer.

House of Cards Marathon Sunday March 16 from 6-11pm
Watch the original House of Cards in full! With the resignation of Margaret Thatcher, the current head of the British Conservative Party, House of Cards antihero Francis Urquhart goes on an unethical and manipulative rampage to become the new leader of the governing party then, in turn, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The Washington Cherry Blossoms: A Gift of Friendship Thursday March 20 at 8pm
The history of the cherry trees in Washington, D.C., and the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

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New WETA TV26 Documentary | Arlington National Cemetery

As the Washington, DC flagship PBS station, WETA TV26 has a long tradition of celebrating the people and history of this region through local programming. The newest WETA TV26 production is Arlington National Cemetery, a one hour documentary exploring the history, mission, and daily operations of this final resting place for more than 400,000 Americans. To create this show, WETA interviewed more than a dozen cemetery staff, military personnel, and family members of the fallen, filmed 8 funeral services for Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy service members, and filmed the cemetery during four major National Holidays, amounting to about 60 hours of footage. This new program premieres Wednesday February 5, 2014 at 8pm and will show you Arlington National Cemetery as you’ve never seen it before. Click here for more air dates. Scroll down to watch a preview of the show.

 

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American Masters: Salinger

In its 200th episode, the acclaimed biography series American Masters highlights the life and work of influential author J.D. Salinger who stepped away from the spotlight following the success of his 1951 novel “The Catcher in the Rye”. The film is the product of director Shane Salerno’s 10-year investigation into the secrecy of the enigmatic American icon. Salerno’s investigation culminates in the first work to get beyond the author’s impenetrable wall of privacy and seclusion. The documentary features never-before-seen photographs, film footage, and moments from J.D. Salinger’s life and harrowing service in World War II, as well as interviews with Salinger’s friends, colleagues, and members of his inner circle who have never spoken before. While there have been over 100 academic books examining Salinger’s work in exhaustive detail, no one has ever uncovered Salinger’s personal life in such a way. The film is both an investigative thriller and character study of a complex man who walked away from the world at the height of his fame. Explore the mystery of J.D. Salinger’s clandestine life and unexplained disappearance from the public spotlight in the thrilling investigative documentary, American Masters: Salinger airing on WETA TV26 & HD Tuesday January 21, 2014 at 9pm!

 

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Free Movies in DC | WETA TV26 Movies January 4

This Saturday night, January 4, tune into WETA TV26 and WETA HD and relive a groundbreaking historical event, visit a world-class Japanese sushi restaurant, and journey to an alien planet…without leaving your couch!

Aliens (1986) at 9:30pm
Venture into an unknown world in James Cameron's Director's Cut of the sequel to 1979’s Alien! Fifty-seven years after the events of Alien, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) awakens from cryogenic sleep and returns to the foreign planet where she first had a deadly encounter with a terrifying alien. During her prolonged sleep, humans colonized the alien planet, but when transmissions from the colony suddenly stop, Ripley earns an opportunity to team up with a group of marines to descend on the planet and investigate the alien presence. As the hazardous mission unfolds, will Ripley have to relive her worst nightmare? Watch the trailer here!

Independent Lens: How to Survive a Plague at 12am
In 1987, America was six years into the dark days of the AIDS epidemic, a crisis that government officials and health organizations were still ignoring. The battle against the outbreak transformed with the emergence of the activist group ACT UP in Greenwich Village, New York. Largely made up of HIV-positive individuals, ACT UP joined forces with TAG (Treatment Action Group) to raise awareness of the disease through a series of dramatic protests. Through the personal stories of some of ACT UP and TAG’s leading participants and never-before-seen archival footage, How to Survive a Plague explores the joy and horror of the era and the heroic battles that finally made AIDS survival possible. Watch trailer here!

Independent Lens: Jiro Dreams of Sushi at 1:30am
Sushi aficionados around the globe consider 85 year-old Jiro Ono to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. A man who claims to literally dream of sushi, Jiro is the owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station. Sushi lovers make reservations months ahead of time, travel from across the globe, and spend top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. He has dedicated most of his life to mastering the art of sushi creation, but even at his age, Jiro still works from sunrise to beyond sunset tasting every piece of fish, meticulously training his employees, and finessing the presentation of each sushi creation. A chronicle of Jiro’s life as an unparalleled sushi master and a loving yet complicated father, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a graceful meditation on hard work, family, and the art of perfection. Watch the trailer here!
 

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This Week on WETA UK: December 30-January 5

This week is a huge one. The new year, 2014, begins and WETA UK unveils lots of new programming. We’re excited to begin new comedies and documentaries this week. Read on to see what’s coming this week, December 30-January 5!

Monday at 10:30pm tune in for the WETA UK premiere of the action comedy Spy. Tim quits his post at his mundane job at a computer store and unexpectedly stumbles into a career with MI5. Then at 11pm, watch British comedy Lead Balloon from the very first episode. Cynical comedian Rick Spleen (Jack Dee) tries to avoid an ugly baby's christening and stars in a public-service announcement about recycling that backfires.

Tuesday at 9pm catch two back-to-back episodes of Doc Martin. The second episode, beginning at 9:46pm, is the first episode in season 2. Martin and Louisa share a disastrous first kiss, Martin gets a new receptionist, and a local fisherman suffers from a list of ailments.

Wednesday at 11:30pm watch the WETA UK premiere of comedy Me & Mrs. Jones. The series follows the increasingly complex life of Mrs. Gemma Jones (Sarah Alexander) as she balances love, affection and motherhood between an ex-husband, one grown-up son, two young daughters and male admirers with a 20-year age gap. In the premiere episode, Gemma's life changes when her son returns from travelling and a friendly parent named Tom asks her out on a date.

Thursday at 9pm get your dose of mystery with back-to-back episodes of Masterpiece Mystery! Miss Marple. The first episode, The Secret of Chimneys, is about a weekend party hosted by Lord Caterham (Edward Fox) and attended by Marple (Julia McKenzie). One of the guests, Austrian count Ludwig Von Stainach (Anthony Higgins), goes missing. In the second episode, beginning at 10:30pm, The Blue Geranium is about the murder of wealthy Mary Pritchard (Sharon Small) in the village of Little Ambrose, where Marple's visiting old friend Rev. Milewater (David Calder), shortly after the unexplained death of a young man.

Friday from 1pm-7:30pm watch the best British action, mystery, adventures in the DC area! 1pm: MI-5, 2pm: New Tricks, 3pm: Waking the Dead, 4pm: Hustle, 5pm: DCI Banks, 6:30pm: Scott & Bailey.

Saturday from 8pm-10pm tune in for the WETA UK premiere of Queen Victoria’s Children, a documentary investigating the claim that Queen Victoria's relationships with her children were complex and tumultuous. Behind closed doors, royal domestic life often seemed like a battlefield and this series uses a wealth of written material and photos left by Victoria, Albert and their children, including letters, diaries, memoirs and journals, to bring the subject and characters to life.

Sunday at 8pm join us for the WETA UK premiere of Tales From the Palaces. Discover mysterious marks from the time of the Salem witch trials, hidden in the roof of Kew Palace, and the tangible remains of 'the madness of King George'. And, admire the extraordinary efforts to recreate a complete Tudor feast and the painstaking, delicate repairs of Princess Diana's dresses. Then at 9pm, open your eyes to the bizarre, ferocious and surprisingly beautiful world of the invertebrates with Life in the Undergrowth! Join David Attenborough on his groundbreaking exploration into a spectacular miniature universe never normally seen, but teeming all around us. If you haven’t had enough documentaries yet, stay on WETA UK for The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler: Leading Millions into the Abyss part 1 at 10pm. This three part documentary examines Hitler’s relationship with the people he led during the Second World War, with the help of testimony from people who were there, compelling archive film and dramatic reconstructions.
 

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How Sherlock Changed the World on WETA TV26

Sherlock Holmes is widely recognized as the most famous fictional detective of all time. However, Sherlock’s legacy has reached beyond the imaginary realm of fiction and into the real crime-fighting world. Scotland Yard’s finest fictional detective has inspired real-life scientists, detectives, and even criminals with his reasoning methods. How Sherlock Changed the World examines the vast impact Sherlock Holmes has had on the development of real criminal investigation practices and forensic techniques. See how the scientific methods Holmes introduced to the world have evolved into the advanced CSI-style forensic labs used today. Explore how the legacy of Sherlock Holmes has saved real lives and helped capture dastardly criminals in How Sherlock Changed the World.

You can watch How Sherlock Changed the World on Tuesday December 17 at 9:00 pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD!

 

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Travel to Outer Space with New Science Shows on WETA TV26

This Wednesday, November 20 beginning at 8:00 pm, tune into WETA TV26 and WETA HD for three new science programs that are out of this world!

NOVA: At the Edge of Space at 8:00 pm
High above Earth where our atmosphere meets space bursts of energy called sprites elude the human eye. Images of these bursts are nearly impossible to capture because sprites exist for barely a split-second. In the new epsiode At the Edge of Space, NOVA and NASA team up in an effort to explore the Earth-space boundary and capture these elusive phenomena on camera. Discover what mysterious objects lurk in the abyss through eye-catching footage shot from the International Space Station and never-before-seen 3D images.

NOVA: Asteroid: Doomsday or Payday? at 9:00 pm

Sized from the width of a football field, to the size of a small city, asteroids are killer rocks on a collision course with Earth. There are millions of these space rocks in the solar system but we have only just begun to understand their resource potential. A large asteroid could end life on Earth but entrepreneurs see asteroids and think payday, not doomsday. Asteroids can be loaded with billions of dollars’ worth of elements like iron, nickel, and platinum. Will these space rocks turn out to be our economic saviors, or cause our extinction? NOVA explores these questions and more in Asteroid: Doomsday or Payday? Watch a preview!

Comet Encounter at 10:00 pm
Comets have fascinated and terrified humans for thousands of years. As we speak, a comet the size of Manhattan is hurtling towards the sun. In Comet Encounter, scientists around the world follow this once-in-a-lifetime event, tracing the comet’s trajectory from just beyond Jupiter all the way to the sun. These scientists predict that as the comet races past Earth, it will light up the night skies brighter than a full moon, giving us the space show of the century! Through imagery that is out of this world, Comet Encounter brings you a show you can’t see at the Planetarium. Watch a preview!


 

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