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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.

Discovering Alexandria: The Early Years

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 for the latest air dates and times.*


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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 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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Exciting December Programming on WETA TV26

As you prepare for the holiday season, check out our December WETA Television Pledge Drive!

Return to Downton Abbey  | Thursday, December 5 at 8:00pm

Are you eagerly awaiting the debut of Downton Abbey season 4? Feed your appetite for more Crowley family drama with Return to Downton Abbey. Join host and devoted fan of the series, Susan Sarandon, as she recalls the fond

memories from the past three seasons and presents a sneak peek at season 4. The special features a mix of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with creators and cast members, and video clips of memorable moments. Prepare for all of the drama, rivalry, jealousy, and romance of season 4 with Return to Downton Abbey!
Don’t miss the premiere of the new season of Downton Abbey on January 5, 2014, on WETA TV26! After you get your taste of Downton Abbey, stick around and get ready for the February premiere of the new season of Doc Martin!

Doc Martin: Revealed | Thursday, December 5 at 9:30pm

Take an inside look at production o

n the highly anticipated sixth season of Doc Martin. Doc Martin: Revealed features comments from the actors and crew, and a behind-the-scenes look at scenes being shot at Large's Restaurant and the pub that doubles as the Crab & Lobster. This special will have you clamoring for the February premiere of Doc Martin season 6!

Happy Holidays: The Best of the Andy Williams Christmas Show | Saturday, December 7 at 10:00pm

This seasonal show features vintage clips from Andy Williams’ cherished holiday family Christmas specials of the 1960s. The compilation includes digitally re-mastered production numbers, complete with magnificent sets, costumes, and a cast of singers, dancers and skaters. Interviews with the unforgettable entertainers are interwoven with classic performances from Williams, his brothers, and the Osmonds. Fill your home with holiday cheer with Happy Holidays: The Best of the Andy Williams Christmas Show!

Celtic Woman: Home for Christmas | Monday, December 9 at 8:00pm
Christmas comes early this year when international phenomenon Celtic Woman returns to Dublin’s Helix Theater for a special filming of their latest project, Home for Christmas! Accompanied by a 36-piece orchestra and 40-member choir, the Celtic Woman ensemble perform timeless holiday favorites, including "Silent Night," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"

and "Joy to the World" with their signature Celtic twist. The adult contemporary group has crossed national and cultural boundaries and gone on to attain worldwide success with their distinct, uplifting sound. Celebrate the joys of the holiday season by sharing this inspirational performance with family and friends!

WETA Studio W: Ric Edelman | Tuesday, December 10 at 8:00pm
Prepare for the new special, WETA Studio W! This show focuses on interviews with authors, experts and artists. Paul Anthony will speak with acclaimed financial adviser Ric Edelman.

Rick Steves’ European Christmas | Thursday, December 12 at 8:00pm

Join Rick Steves for a vibrant musical celebration of Christmas across Europe! From England to Wales, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, you'll see the dazzling Christmas markets, listen to local choirs, and even play in the snow. Experience the beloved holiday from a European perspective in this magical winter wonderland adventure!


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An August of Entertainers on WETA | Pledge Highlights

We all have our favorite larger-than-life entertainment figures that help to put a smile on our face. Whether it’s a favorite musician or the television actor, we’ve got something for everyone this August on WETA. This month, WETA TV26 & HD presents programs that give behind the scenes looks at influential entertainers through intimate live performances and interviews. Read on for brief but informative synopses of each show.

60s Girl Grooves
The 1960s were an extremely

influential time in music history, and this iconic period featured some of the greatest musicians of all time. This decade also produced the summery jams of the female musicians that helped shape modern pop music. On 60s Girl Grooves hear some of the best original performances from these groups, and witness rare archival footage that was almost lost to time. Watch a preview here! Airs Saturday, August 3rd at 8:00pm.

Emeli Sandé: Live At The Royal Albert Hall

Since her career began back in 2008, Emeli Sandé has become one of the top singer-songwriters in modern music, winning awards for her songwriting and her solo performances. Sandé was most recently featured on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film The Great Gatsby. Emeli Sandé: Live At The Royal Albert Hall features a live performance with songs from Our Version of Events, Sandé’s debut album. Airs Saturday, August 3rd at 10:00pm.

Inside Foyle’s War
Detective Christopher Foyle has been

awing audiences with his cases for more than 10 years now. After 10 years of production, there are plenty of behind the scenes stories to tell, and you can get them all on Inside Foyle’s War. Hear exclusive interviews with series creator Anthony Horowitz, show directors, actors, and more. Read interviews with the cast of Foyle’s War here! Airs Sunday, August 8th at 9:30pm.

Sarah Brightman: Dreamchaser in Concert

Sarah Brightman’s illustrious career includes two Olympic singing performances and numerous Broadway credits, including the first musical portrayal of Christine Daaé of The Phantom of the Opera fame. Sarah Brightman: Dreamchaser in Concert features a live performance from Elstree Studios in London, where Brightman performs both classics and new music from her album Dreamchaser. Airs Monday, August 5th at 10:00pm.

Elvis, Aloha from Hawaii

Elvis Presley is a legendary performer who needs no introduction. In addition to his many career accolades and countless hit songs, he was also the first performer to be broadcast around the world through early satellite technology. The program Elvis, Aloha from Hawaii features a 1973 performance in Honolulu with some of Presley’s most famous songs in the expansive set list. Airs Tuesday, August 6th at 8:00pm.

The Jimmy Dean Show – Country Classics

The late Jimmy Dean was responsible for bringing country music into the world’s public eye on The Jimmy Dean Show in the 1960’s. Dean brought Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, and many more onto his show and helped them gain the exposure they needed to become stars. Relive some of these classic episodes on The Jimmy Dean Show – Country Classics and catch performances from some of the greatest country singers of all time.  Airs Thursday, August 8th at 8:00pm.

Gloria Estefan: The Standards

For her 27th album, Gloria Estefan has created a series of covers of her favorite songs. The album, entitled The Standards, doesn’t release until September, but you can catch live versions of her covers on Gloria

Estefan: The Standards. Airs Saturday, August 10th at 10:00pm.

A Salute to Vienna
Building on the 60-year tradition, A Salute to Vienna continues to make waves with opera performances that feature award-winning musicians, Academy Award winning actors, and music from the legendary Johann Strauss Jr.  Airs Sunday, August 11th at 9:00pm.

Great Performances: Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy
West Side Story, Wicked, and Bye, Bye Birdie are some of

the most beloved musicals of all time, and they each have something in common: Judaism played a central role in their creation. In theatre’s history, many Jewish songwriters drew inspiration from their religious values in order to create award-winning musicals that are still celebrated today. On Great Performances: Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, get an in-depth look at their history with interviews and performances. Watch a preview here! Airs Wednesday, August 14th at 10:00pm.

David Garrett: Music - Live in Concert

David Garrett is a Julliard-trained violinist who holds the Guinness World Record for World’s Fastest Violinist. On top of that he has also released 8 studio albums, the latest of which was released this past April. On David Garrett: Music - Live in Concert, watch his live performance at the TUI Arena in Hanover where he combines a wide variety of styles into one breathtaking performance.  Airs Friday, August 16th at 10:30pm.

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Love, War, Betrayal: Downton Abbey | Season 3 Marathon

Watch our Downton Abbey Season 3 Marathon Sunday March 3 from 11:00am - 11:00pm on WETA TV26 & WETA HD! Also watch March 4 from 1:00pm - 6:00pm and March 5 from 1:00pm - 6:00pm.

To watch a trailer of Downton Abbey season 3 click here!

Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey has now provided three seasons of riveting characters and stories.  Season 1 introduced the Crawley family to millions of viewers all over the world.  Dangerous jealousies and delicious ambitions painted a picture of the struggles of preserving a vanishing way of life.  In Season 2, the Crawley’s and staff attempt to honorably prevail into a new era as the Great War fundamentally changes everyone and everything in Downton. Season 3 continues testing tradition, weathering wars, budding romances, and shocking betrayals.  As the Great War continues, horrific battles are not only fought on the 

war front but also in the great cities and towns.  Distinguished homes have been destroyed financially and psychologically, and while some in Downton fight at all costs to maintain home, Downton may not be excluded from destruction.  Life becomes even more unsteady as the town morphs and grapples to find its place in this changing era. 

Whether new to the series or already hooked, check out our entire day dedicated to this show with our Downton Abbey Season 3 Marathon Sunday March 3 from 11:00am - 11:00pm on WETA TV26 & WETA HD.  The marathon continues on March 4 from 1:00pm - 6:00pm and March 5 from 1:00pm - 6:00pm.  Don’t miss out on our second look at this riveting season!