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Discovering Alexandria: The Early Years | Alexandria, VA History Documentary

WETA TV26 presents a new, local, history documentary, Discovering Alexandria: The Early Years. Tune in for the premiere Thursday December 4 at 8pm! The show repeats throughout the month. In this blog post, watch a preview of the program and read a detailed description of the show.

This new 90-minute documentary explores the extraordinary story of Alexandria, Virginia, a vibrant community richly steeped in history, bringing the past to life and examining the city’s outsized role in American history from the 17th through the 19th centuries.

Discovering Alexandria spotlights the city’s role in the British Empire and the Independence movement, the planter and port economies, the slave trade and the experience of Alexandria’s African American community through time, and the development of industry. Touching on the earliest evidence of Paleoindian civilization in the area before taking up the story of early settlement, economic growth and community-building, the program concludes with post-Civil War Reconstruction, examining the momentous changes wrought by the war.

Watch Discovering Alexandria: The Early Years:
Thursday December 4 at 8pm & 10pm
Friday December 5 at 2:30pm
Sunday December 7 at 7pm
Tuesday December 9 at 8pm

*Air dates may change. Visit weta.org for the latest air dates and times.*


 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor: Jay Leno

The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was created in 1998 by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Mark Krantz, Peter Kaminsky, Bob Kaminsky and Cappy McGarr to recognize the art of humorists who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. Each year, the Mark Twain Prize is awarded to a different comedian. The 2014 Mark Twain Prize recipient is Jay Leno and the evening pays tribute to the humor and accomplishments of the comedy icon. Taped at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the special features a star-studded cast of Leno’s friends and colleagues including top entertainers and comedians, Garth Brooks, Kristin Chenoweth, Kevin Eubanks, Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, Robert Klein, Al Madrigal, Seth Myers, Jerry Seinfeld, JB Smoove, Wanda Sykes and special appearances by Jamie Foxx and Betty White.

Jay Leno first appeared as a guest host on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson in 1977, became the exclusive guest host in 1987, and became main host in 1992. Leno has also gained an international following on the internet with his new creation, Jaylenosgarage.com, winning an Emmy Award and two additional nominations for Outstanding Special Class–Short-Format Nonfiction Programs. Along with a variety of books, voice-overs, and charitable work, Leno is known as a fantastic comedian and television personality.

Tune into WETA TV26 & HD Sunday November 23 at 8pm for The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor 2014: Jay Leno.
After the awards program, stay tuned for Richard Pryor: Icon at 9:30pm.
 

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Washington in the 80s | New WETA TV26 Production

WETA TV26 proudly presents Washington in the ’80s, the latest in a series of documentaries exploring changes in Greater Washington decade by decade. You may have seen WETA's Washington in the ’60s and Washington in the ’70s and as you may guess, Washington in the ’80s chronicles the decade’s events through the recollections of those who saw and shaped them. The one-hour WETA production premieres Monday, November 17 at 8pm on WETA TV26 & HD. Repeats on Saturday, November 22 at 9:30pm and Wednesday, November 26 at 8pm.

Among the topics discussed are politics: Marion Barry’s three terms as mayor and President Ronald Reagan's administration and their influence on the city. Homelessness, the Vietnam Memorial, the changing media landscape, the Air Florida winter crash and the deadly Metro derailment the same day. DC's gay community, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the crack cocaine epidemic, and Washington’s dubious distinction of “Murder Capital USA”. Sports: Two Super Bowl championships for the Washington Redskins, the national champion Georgetown Hoyas and the meteoric rise and tragic death of Len Bias at the University of Maryland. DC’s unique music scenes, Go-Go and DC punk, and their surprising interconnection and the rapid expansion of Washington’s theater scene.

 

 

Washington in the ’80s features the firsthand accounts of notable Washingtonians such as politicians Marion Barry and Carol Schwartz, television journalists Maureen Bunyan and Tom Sherwood, radio journalist Kojo Nnamdi, political commentator Pat Buchanan, entertainment reporter Arch Campbell, former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, musician Kato Hammond, and former police chief Isaac Fulwood — offering a diversity of perspective and experience. The program is narrated by Gordon Peterson, WJLA anchor and former host of Inside Washington. The one-hour WETA production premieres Monday, November 17 at 8pm on WETA TV26 & HD. Repeats on Saturday, November 22 at 9:30pm and Wednesday, November 26 at 8pm.

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Documentaries in October | Independent Films on WETA TV26

This October on WETA TV26 & HD, tune in every Monday night for fascinating independent films presented by POV and Independent Lens. Read about each film below and mark your calendars!

Monday October 6 at 10pm POV: The Act of Killing
This film explores a horrifying era in Indonesian history and provides a window into modern Indonesia, where corruption reigns. Not only is the 1965 murder of an estimated one million people honored as a patriotic act, but the killers remain in power. In a mind-bending twist, death-squad leaders dramatize their brutal deeds in the style of the American westerns, musicals and gangster movies they love — and play both themselves and their victims. As their heroic facade crumbles, they come to question what they've done. Watch the trailer here. Some images may be disturbing.

Monday October 13 at 10pm Independent Lens: Bully
An intimate, unflinching look at how bullying affects five kids and their families. Opening a window onto the pained lives of bullied kids, it documents the responses of adults to aggressive behaviors beyond “kids will be kids” clichés, capturing a growing movement to change how bullying is handled in schools, communities, and society. Watch the trailer here.

Monday October 20 at 11pm Independent Lens: Twin Sisters
The poignant story of two girls from China adopted as infants by two separate sets of parents — one from California, the other from a remote fishing village in Norway — who grow up knowing they have a twin living on the other side of the world. Despite being on different paths, the magical bond between them grows deeper. Watch the trailer here.

Monday October 27 at 11pm Independent Lens: Brakeless
What led the driver of a Japanese commuter train to accelerate perilously, causing a deadly crash? Piecing together personal accounts of those affected by the tragedy, Brakeless poses a question for a society that equates speed with progress: have what were once national virtues — punctuality and compliance — become dangerous? Watch the trailer here.


 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Wildlife Wednesdays in September on WETA TV26

Throughout the month of September, tune into WETA TV26 & HD for fantastic wildlife programs that will excite and educate: Earthflight, Operation Maneater, and Penguins: Spy in the Huddle.

Wednesday September 3, 2014
8pm   – A Nature Special Presentation Earthflight: North America
The bird's-eye tour of six continents commences in North America with snow geese, pelicans and bald eagles flying across the Great Plains, Grand Canyon, Alaska, New York City and the Golden Gate Bridge.
9pm   – A Nature Special Presentation Earthflight: Africa
A bird's-eye tour of Africa features cape gannets arrow-diving among sharks, dolphins, whales and sardines. Other birds accompanied on their travails: fish eagles, flamingos, kelp gulls and vultures.
10pm – Operation Maneater: Polar Bear
Efforts to stop polar bear attacks in the isolated communities of Canada's Hudson Bay are detailed. Included: a team transports a captured bear by helicopter to a release site outside town; an early warning system that relies on an aerial drone; an ultra-loud speaker to scare them away; and a controversial experiment that sees meat being left for them on the tundra.

Wednesday September 10, 2014
8pm   – A Nature Special Presentation Earthflight: Europe
Cranes and geese fly over Venice, Italy; Dover in South East England; Edinburgh; and the Rock of Gibraltar. Other destinations include Rome; the Loire Valley in France; Holland; and Hungary.
10:30pm – Operation Maneater: Crocodile *UPDATED moved from 10pm to 10:30pm due to Presidential Address*
The series concludes with a visit to Namibia's Chobe River, where crocodile attacks are fairly commonplace. Included: an attempt to reduce attacks by training crocodiles to associate the sound of a bell with an electric shock.

Wednesday September 24, 2014
8pm   – A Nature Special Presentation Penguins: Spy in the Huddle "The Journey
"
Emperor penguins cross a treacherous frozen sea to reach their breeding grounds. Rockhoppers brave the world’s stormiest seas only to come ashore and face a daunting 300-foot cliff, hopping most of the way up. Tropical Humboldt penguins negotiate a gauntlet of dangers to reach their desert burrow nests. The hard work for all the penguins finally pays off when their tiny, vulnerable chicks begin to hatch. The final two parts of this series “First Steps” and “Growing Up” air Wednesday October 1 and Wednesday October 8 at 8pm.

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Ken Burns September on WETA TV26 | The Roosevelts & More!

Ken Burns’ newest documentary film The Roosevelts: An Intimate History premieres this September! Watch this new program as well as a selection from the Ken Burns collection this September on WETA TV26 & HD. Read this blog post for details on all the Ken Burns films airing on WETA TV26 & HD this September. Also, watch our local WETA TV26 Washington, DC video segments related to the Roosevelt family.

Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts: An Intimate History airs Sunday September 14-Saturday September 20 at 8pm & 10pm daily *NEW*
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History archives the lives of three members of the most prominent and influential family in American politics: Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt. This seven-part, fourteen hour film follows the Roosevelts for more than a century, from Theodore's birth in 1858 to Eleanor's death in 1962. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History premieres on WETA TV26 & HD Sunday September 14 at 8pm.

WETA TV26: Roosevelt Island
A living memorial to Theodore Roosevelt’s nature conservationist ideal, this DC area hidden gem is one with deep meaning.

WETA TV26: FDR Memorials
Learn about the popular FDR Memorial and the lesser-known FDR Memorial both located in Washington, DC. 

Ken Burns' The National Parks: America's Best Idea airs Monday September 1 from 5:30am-6pm
This series is a story of people from every conceivable background – rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.

Ken Burns’ The Statue of Liberty airs Friday September 5 at 8:30pm & Monday September 15 at 5pm
For more than 100 years, the Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of hope and refuge for generations of immigrants. In this lyrical, compelling, and provocative portrait of the statue, Ken Burns explores both the history of America’s premier symbol and the meaning of liberty itself.

Ken Burns’ The Civil War airs Sunday September 14 from 7:30am-8pm leading to the premiere of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
This film is a comprehensive examination of The Civil War told by dramatic readings, photos, and more.

Ken Burns’ The War airs Monday September 15-Friday September 19 at 1pm daily
This is the story of World War II through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four American towns. The war touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America and demonstrated that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary times.

Ken Burns’ The Address airs Monday September 15 at 3:30pm
The film tells the story of a tiny school in Putney Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to practice, memorize, and recite the Gettysburg Address.  In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the film also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address.

Ken Burns’ Lewis and Clark part 1 airs Tuesday September 16 at 3pm, part 2 airs Wednesday September 17 at 3pm
Lewis and Clark re-creates the 1803 journey to locate the Northwest Passage, the most notable expedition in U.S. history was led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, with soldiers, an African-American slave, a female guide, and Canadian boatmen.


 

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WETA TV26 August Music Programs

This August WETA TV26 & HD presents a wide variety of music oriented programs. Read on to see what shows are scheduled and a short description for each program. Show air dates are subject to change.

Jimmy Van Heusen: Swingin' With Frank & Bing  
A profile of composer Jimmy Van Heusen, who wrote such classics as "Swinging on a Star" and "Come Fly With Me." Included: remarks from Frank Sinatra Jr., Harry Crosby, Tony Bennett, Woody Allen, Angie Dickinson, Shirley MacLaine and John Pizzarelli; and archival performance footage of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Judy Garland.  Airs Wednesday August 13 at 8pm & Friday August 15 at 11pm.

The Big Band Years  
Peter Marshall hosts this celebration of big bands of the 1930s and '40s. Included: Glenn Miller, Harry James, Benny Goodman and Cab Calloway, as well as singers Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly (Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra), the Pied Pipers (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra) and Frank Sinatra (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra).  Airs Tuesday August 12 at 10pm, Saturday August 16 at 8pm, and Wednesday August 20 at 8pm.

John Sebastian Presents: Folk Rewind 
A John Sebastian-hosted celebration of the 1960s' folk-music boom, featuring archival footage of the era's top performers and modern-day performances by Barry McGuire, Roger McGuinn, the Chad Mitchell Trio, Chad and Jeremy, and Jesse Colin Young (of the Youngbloods). Airs Monday August 18 at 8pm and Thursday August 21 at 10pm.

Woody's Children: 45th Anniversary Concert Live at Symphony Space  
A celebration of the 45th birthday of the "Woody's Children" folk-music radio show, featuring David Amram, Tom Chapin and the Chapin Sisters, Emma's Revolution, Christine Lavin, Holly Near, Tom Paxton and Noel Paul Stookey. Also appearing: Nora Guthrie and singer-songwriter Doug Mishkin. Airs Tuesday August 19 at 10pm.

50s & 60s Rock Rewind  
Archival performances by such artists as Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, Bo Diddley, Johnny Otis, Buddy Holly, the Platters, Everly Brothers, Chordettes, Bobby Darin and Lloyd Price accent this compilation of classic songs from the 1950s and early '60s.Other featured performers include Fats Domino; Ricky Nelson; Elvis Presley; the Champs; Sam Cooke; Paul & Paula; Paul Anka; Conway Twitty; the Diamonds; Five Satins; Shangri-Las; Neil Sedaka; and Roy Orbison. Jon "Bowzer" Bauman hosts. Tuesday August 19 at 11pm, and Friday August 22 at 9:30pm.

Classical Rewind  
Martin Goldsmith hosts this collection of classical masterpieces, including ones by Mozart, Edvard Grieg, Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Aaron Copland, Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss II, Maurice Ravel, Richard Wagner, Jacques Offenbach, Antonio Vivaldi, Modest Mussorgsky, Carl Orff and Tchaikovsky. Also: Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell and Stewart Copeland of the Police offer their thoughts on the compositions. Airs Friday August 15 at 10:30pm.

 

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WETA TV26 Wildlife Wednesdays

Beginning Wednesday July 16, 2014 on WETA TV26 & HD, enjoy wildlife like you’ve never seen it before! Introducing two new PBS wildlife programs: My Wild Affair and Sex in the Wild and reintroducing NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years. Tune into WETA TV26 & HD Wednesdays from 8-11pm for these exciting natural history shows. Read on for more information on each upcoming episode and when to watch!

My Wild Affair airs Wednesdays at 8pm

In this four part series, hear extraordinary stories of the bonds between humans and their animal companions.
Part 1 “The Elephant Who Found a Mom” airs on July 16 at 8pm
Discover the intense bond between Aisha, a baby elephant orphan, and Daphne Sheldrick, the woman who became her human foster parent. Daphne uses the lessons learned from Aisha’s life to help her save more than 150 orphans over the next 40 years.
Part 2 “The Ape Who Went to College” airs on July 23 at 8pm
Hear the incredible story of Chantek, the orangutan raised as a human child on an American university campus during the 70s and 80s. Taught to speak in sign language, he is now living among his own kind at Zoo Atlanta, although he describes himself as an “orangutan person.”
Part 3 “The Rhino Who Joined the Family” airs on July 30 at 8pm
Rupert is an orphaned black rhinoceros was brought up in the suburban family home of wildlife veterinarian Dr. John Condy. Rupert captured the hearts of the vet’s four young children before his eventual release into the wild. Fifty years later, the children are searching for clues to their childhood friend’s fate.
Part 4 “The Seal Who Came Home” airs on August 6 at 8pm
Witness the true story of Andre, a two-day-old wild harbor seal who, in 1961, was rescued from certain death by arborist Harry Goodridge. Over the next 25 years, Andre and Harry established a friendship that brought Andre into the world of humans without Andre’s ever having to sacrifice his wildness.

NOVA: Australia's First 4 Billion Years airs Wednesdays at 9pm

Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. This four part NOVA miniseries, hosted by geologist Richard Smith, takes viewers on a fabulous adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today.
Part 1 “Awakening” airs on July 16 at 9pm
First stop in this road trip through time is Western Australia, around four and a half billion years ago, where we encounter the Earth shortly after its fiery birth. It’s a violent, poisonous planet, but not all is what it first seems.
Part 2 “Life Explodes” airs on July 23 at 9pm
Meet Planet Earth’s forgotten pioneers: the scuttling arthropod armies that invaded the shores, and the waves of green revolutionaries whose battle for the light pushed plant-life across the face of a barren continent. Revolution continued underwater as well, with armor-plated fish experimenting with teeth, jaws, sex and lungs.
Part 3 “Monsters” airs on July 30 at 9pm
Come face to face with the previously unknown reptilian rulers of prehistoric Australia. But reptiles didn’t have the world all to themselves. Mammals like the enigmatic platypus lived alongside them, ready for their moment in the sun. And 65 million years ago, they saw that day arrive.
Part 4 “Strange Creatures: airs on August 6 at 9pm
In the wake of the catastrophe—the asteroid impact 65 million years ago believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs--Australia was set adrift on a lonely voyage in southern seas. This is a tale of calamity and conquest; how a conspiracy of climate, biology and geology shaped the Earth we now call home.

Sex in the Wild airs Wednesdays at 10pm

This four-part series, presented by anatomist Joy Reidenberg and veterinarian Mark Evans, examines the reproductive behaviors and biology of four species — elephants, orangutans, kangaroos and dolphins — and takes an in-depth look at how these animals find and woo the opposite sex. It also explores how they mate, give birth and raise their young in extreme environments.
Part 1 “Elephants” airs on July 16 at 10pm
Reidenberg and Evans follow Kiti, a pregnant female elephant, through the birth of her baby. In addition, Evans travels with a group attempting to control the elephant population (and learns how to produce a bull elephant sperm sample) while also maintaining genetic diversity, through chemical birth control as Botswana copes with increasing numbers of animals.
Part 2 “Kangaroos” airs on July 23 at 10pm
The scientists chronicle the birth of a kangaroo joey and its development. The episode explores koala conservation efforts in Brisbane that use artificial insemination to boost the numbers of koala babies. Reidenberg visits a pioneering breeding program at the University of Adelaide to learn more about preservation efforts to save the extremely endangered southern brush-tailed rock-wallaby in South Australia.
Part 3 “Orangutans” airs on July 30 at 10pm
Reidenberg and Evans travel to an orangutan sanctuary deep in the rainforest of Borneo to explore the reproduction challenges of one of humans’ closest cousins — the orangutan. The team examines how the alpha male “kings” exert their power over other males and seduce females in their territory. Devoting a lengthy seven years to raising a single orangutan baby is key to the success of the species — similar to humans.
Part 4 “Dolphins” airs on August 6 at 10pm
In this episode, Reidenberg travels to New Zealand to uncover the mating strategies and anatomies of dusky dolphins, who form mating groups that leap from the water in perfect unison. In a high-speed chase, males pursue females and rapidly mate with them — in just two seconds. Viewers can witness a dolphin birth and learn the difficulties of breastfeeding underwater.


 

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WETA Movie Night: July 12-13

This Saturday, WETA TV26 & HD has three wonderful films for WETA Movie Night. Bonnie and Clyde, the 1967 action-packed romantic drama kicks off the night at 9:30pm. Then meet fantastic and inspirational athletes in My Way to Olympia at 11:30pm and get a different view of the world with Salt early Sunday at 12:30am.
 
Bonnie and Clyde (1967) airs Saturday at 9:30pm
This is a romanticized account of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang from the 1930s. Excited by Clyde Barrow's outlaw demeanor, Bonnie Parker joins him in a crime spree across multiple towns.  Soon the pair joins Clyde’s brother Buck and his wife Blanche in a bank robbery. Will they get away with the heist? How long can they pull off this lifestyle? This movie is packed with drama, action, adventure, and romance. Starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Gene Hackman. This film won the 1968 Oscars for Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Estelle Parsons and Best Cinematography: Burnett Guffey. Also watch Sunday at 11:30am!

POV: My Way to Olympia airs Saturday at 11:30pm
German director Niko von Glasow was born with severely shortened arms and along with his long list of award-winning films, he is the director of My Way to Olympia. Niko discovers  a group of incredibly adaptable, determined, and optimistic people performing athletic feats sometimes more astounding than those of regular Olympic athletes. This film shares the stories of these Paralympic athletes and shows that Paralympic sports are less about disabilities than about being the best at something, which is the same reason every athlete in the world competes.

POV: Salt airs Sunday at 12:30am
Award-winning photographer Murray Fredericks began making five-week-long, annual, solo camping trips to remote Lake Eyre and its salt flats in South Australia and has a plethora of remarkable photos to show for it. This documentary is the film extension of Fredericks’ photographic work at Lake Eyre, interweaving his photos and video diary with time-lapse sequences. The content in t his film will peak viewers’ ideas of time and space.
 

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WETA Movie Night: July 5-6

Check out description for this week’s WETA Saturday Night Movies below! Tune into WETA TV26 & HD beginning at 9:30pm on Saturday for a night full of movies that are sure to excite and entertain.

Cool Hand Luke (1967) airs Saturday at 9:30pm
In this prison drama, Luke Jackson (Paul Newman) is sentenced to a stretch on a southern chain gang after he's arrested for drunkenly decapitating parking meters. Jackson struggles to conform to rural prison life. Also airs Sunday at 11:30am!

POV: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs airs Saturday at 11:30pm
A profile of 98-year-old Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese-American social activist in Detroit who has spent much of her adult life fighting for civil rights and female equality.

POV: Good Fortune airs Sunday at 1am
This documentary investigates that international anti-poverty projects in Africa that may not be helping the people they're meant to. A plan to build modern housing in Kibera meets local resistance as residents fear that the project will benefit the well-connected, not them. In the west, neighbors worry that a rice farm's planned reservoir will cause their lands to flood.
 

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