Extra Reasons to Support NPT this Season

Our December Membership Campaign begins this weekend with a slate of music specials and programs celebrating your favorite shows. And we have many great ways to thank you for your support with gifts ranging from Downton Abbey-inspired teas to DVDs and CDs to performance tickets and meet-and-greets.

Find more information about these thank-you gifts at http://www.wnpt.org/npt-highlights/.

In addition to supporting the kinds of programming you’ve come to expect and trust from public television, here are two more reasons to consider making a donation to NPT this season:


Visa gift card TWGift Card Giveaway: Once again we’re holding a giveaway of a $1,000 Visa gift card and you’ll be automatically entered in the drawing when you make a donation to NPT between now and Dec. 31, 2015. Click here for details. You may also be entered in the drawing without making a pledge, though we hope you’ll be inspired to give generously.


GivingTuesdayGiving Tuesday: Falling on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (December 1, this year), Giving Tuesday began four years ago in New York as a counter to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The concept of giving back, either by supporting nonprofit organizations or by volunteering in one’s community, has since spread to the rest of the world. If you would like to show your support of Nashville Public Television in connection to #GivingTuesday, please use this link: http://www.wnpt.org/giving-tuesday/


Spend Thanksgiving with NPT

Thanksgiving is a time for kicking back and enjoying quality time with family and friends, even if that means finding a few moments between stuffing the turkey and launching the shopping season. Our Thanksgiving week schedule is flavored with programming to augment the holiday mood—you may even learn a thing or two!

thxgiving imageTuesday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. Documentarian Ric Burns turns his attention to those seasonal stars of American history, the Pilgrims. Airing on the American Experience series, the two-hour film seeks to go beyond the myths and lore to present a more truthful account of these religious radicals. Scenes shot aboard the Mayflower II (the only full-scale replica of the Pilgrims’ vessel in existence) and in Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum in Plymouth, Mass., add to the film’s poignancy. (If Plimoth looks familiar, it’s because that’s where PBS’ Colonial House was filmed.)

Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 9 p.m. The Pilgrims get the lion’s share of attention, but the settlers at Jamestown, Va., predated them by 13 years. Secrets of the Dead: Jamestown’s Dark Winter is not the usual holiday fare. Instead, the show derives from an archaeological find that has historians rethinking the narrative about the first permanent English settlement in North America. Was the 14-year-old girl whose bones were found in a cellar a victim of murder or something even more sinister?

Thursday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. Our annual Thanksgiving marathon of Tennessee Crossroads episodes starts at 7 a.m. on NPT2 and moves to our main channel at 7 p.m. Join Joe Elmore and the gang as they make their way through 10 years of Crossroads journeys.

Thursday, Nov. 26, at 11 p.m. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a holiday tradition since 1924 and being invited to participate in the perambulating party is a big honor for marching bands. Journey to the Macy’s Parade follows one high school band’s road to New York.

Friday, Nov. 27, at 8 p.m. After the big meal, after the big shop, relax with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who is back with a new Great Performances show recorded in September at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. Andrea Bocelli: Cinema features songs from The Godfather, Dr. Zhivago, Love Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and other films. Bocelli sings in five languages in the concert, and welcomes actors John Travolta, Ryan O’Neal, Ali McGraw and Andy Garcia onstage to tell the films’ stories.

Find our full programming lineup at http://www.wnpt.org/schedule/.

NPT Productions Lands Six Midsouth Regional Emmy Nominations

NPT received six nominations in six different categories at the 30th Midsouth Regional Emmy Award announcement party on November 19, 2015, at BMI on Nashville’s Music Row.

emmy statuette

The following NPT productions and staff received nominations:

Wessyngton Plantation: A Family’s Road to Freedom, Ed Jones, Joe DelMerico, Joey Hodge, LaTonya Turner

NPT Reports: Aging Matters: Aging in Place, Will Pedigo, Matthew Emigh

Reconstruction: A Moment in the Sun, Ed Jones, Joey Hodge, Joe DelMerico

Tennessee Crossroads: Eyes on LaFollette, Will Pedigo, Matthew Emigh

NPT Reports: Aging Matters: Caregiving, LaTonya Turner, Suzy Hence

Veterans Coming Home, Will Pedigo, Shawn Anfinson

We’d also like to congratulate several of our friends and partners on their nominations, which include Todd Squared (Rock My Soul and Bluegrass Underground); The Jackson Foundation Media Productions (Desperate Days: Last Hope of the Confederacy and Tennessee’s Wild Side); and Sockeye Media (Mother Goose Club).


Well done, everyone!

New ‘Moveable Feast’ Season Launches with Nashville Chefs

We’re launching the third season of Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking this weekend with an episode featuring Nashville chefs Matt Bolus of The 404 Kitchen and Trevor Moran of The Catbird Seat. The episode airs Saturday, Nov. 14, at 1 p.m., in what will be the regular time slot for Moveable Feast.

In the Nashville episode, host Pete Evans first visits Rocky Glade Farm in Eagleville with Bolus and Moran to source fresh produce for the evening’s country-style feast. Next, the group  heads to Wedge Oak Farm in Lebanon to collect eggs, mushrooms, and duck. Wedge Oak Farm is also the site of the meal and where all of the cooking takes place.

moveable feast taping

‘Moveable Feast’ taping. Credit: Lindsey Snyder

The menu features baby collards and Swiss chard salad with gribiche and grilled onions; grilled suckling pig stuffed with green onions and green garlic; and fire-grilled vegetables with sorrel salsa verde and smoked farm eggs. There’s also wood-fired roasted duck with wild farm greens and beer yeast sauce served with fried duck eggs. And for dessert, chamomile ice cream.

Two NPT staffers were present for the spring taping of the show and report that the meal was delectable; the setting lovely.

Are you a fan of cooking shows? Be sure to watch our Wednesday night lineup starting at 7 p.m. on NPT2 and our Saturday menu of programs on NPT beginning at 10:30 a.m. See our full schedule here.

NPT Observes Veterans Day with Events, Programming

NPT is observing Veterans Day 2015 with two screening events and several on-air programs. Please join us in saluting veterans and their families.

Marines raised the American flag of victory atop Mt. Suribachi on February 23, 1945.

Marines raised the American flag of victory atop Mt. Suribachi on February 23, 1945. Credit: Courtesy of Associated Press

In the community

Join us Saturday, Oct. 31, at Nashville Public Library’s main branch for a free Indie Lens Pop-Up event featuring a screening of Stray Dog, a documentary about Vietnam veteran Ronnie “Stray Dog” Hall. The event begins with a reception and Celebration of Veterans Service at 1 p.m.; the film screening is at 2 p.m., followed by a panel discussion. Click here for more information.

Stray Dog airs on Independent Lens, Monday, Nov. 9, at 9 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m., we’re teaming with the Tennessee State Museum to present a free screening of Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History, Ric Burns’ new documentary about disabled veterans. The film will be followed by a discussion led by Dr. Lisa Budreau, the museum’s senior curator of military history. Click here for more information.

Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History, will be shown on NPT, Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. as part of PBS’ Stories of Service programming.

Also on air

Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. American and Japanese survivors came together for a Reunion of Honor on the 70th anniversary of one of World War II’s fiercest battles. The event is chronicled in Iwo Jima: From Combat to Comrades.

Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 11 p.m. The young women who fought to participate in the 1940s war effort are profiled in We Served Too: The Story of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots. Known as WASPs, the women tested military aircraft, delivered planes from factories to military bases, and performed other grueling and/or dangerous tasks. Three decades after their World War II service, the women attained military status.

Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 11 p.m. In 1969 Eric Hastings returned from to Montana after flying missions in Vietnam and found solace in fly-fishing. Not Yet Begun to Fight shows how the retired Marine colonel now teaches a new generation of veterans to do the same.

Several of these programs will air more than once; please check http://www.wnpt.org/schedule/ for additional airtimes.

NPT’s ‘Wessyngton Plantation’ Documentary Wins NETA Award

NPT’s original documentary, ‪Wessyngton‬ Plantation: A Family’s Road to Freedom, was awarded best documentary of the year by the National Educational Telecommunications Association last week.

NPT's Beth Curley accepting NETA Award from Skip Hinton, President of the National Educational Telecommunications Association

NPT’s Beth Curley accepting NETA Award from Skip Hinton, President of the National Educational Telecommunications Association

Part of NPT’s Tennessee ‪‎Civil War 150‬ series, the 2014 documentary was produced, written and directed by ‪NPT senior producer Ed Jones‬ and filmed by ‪‎Matthew Emigh‬, ‪‎Paul Mojonnier‬ and ‪Jim DeMarco‬. Jackie Welch Schlicher‬ provided narration; ‎Joe DelMerico‬ and ‪Joey Hodge‬ created the original music.

Wessyngton Plantation was inspired by ‪‎John F. Baker Jr‬.’s 2009 book, The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: Stories of My Family’s Journey to Freedom, and the Tennessee State Museum’s exhibit, “Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation.”

Wessyngton‬ Plantation: A Family’s Road to Freedom is available for viewing online at http://video.wnpt.org/programs/.

NPT Launches New ‘A Word on Word’ Series

Autumn is traditionally the time of the biggest launches in the book world. This season we’re proud to announce a big launch of our own: A new take on NPT’s long-running book series, A Word on Words. The series was hosted by respected journalist John Seigenthaler for more than 40 years and remains a favorite among viewers. We now build on Mr. Seigenthaler’s distinguished legacy with an exciting new version of the literary series.

AWOW launch

Behind the scenes with A Word on Words.

Hosted by Nashville authors J.T. Ellison and Mary Laura Philpott, this newly designed series of 2- to 3-minute programs are fresh, contemporary and should engage viewers on both books and literary topics, while also introducing viewers to locations around Nashville. The updated format is designed to be accessible to more viewers on air, online and through our many community partners.

See a sneak peek of the new A Word on Words during the Southern Festival of Books, Saturday, Oct. 10, at 11 a.m. in Legislative Plaza, Room 31.

A Word on Words will be shown on NPT beginning in late October and will also be available online and shared via Facebook and Twitter. Book lovers are encouraged to continue conversations about the episodes using the hashtag #keepreading, an homage to Mr. Seigenthaler’s familiar closing line.

Generous support for A Word on Words has been provided by Judy and Steve Turner.

New Feature: NPT This Week, The Vlog

We’re pleased to launch NPT This Week: The Vlog, a weekly video series highlighting upcoming programming. Each week includes commentary by Justin Harvey, NPT’s director of content; video clips; and a weekly staff member pick. We’ll post the video to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube  and include it in our NPT This Week enewsletter.

The weekly newsletter has recently been updated with other interactive features as well. Clicking on most program photos takes you to a web page about the series; use the hashtags on those photos when sharing your thoughts about the programs on social media.

Here’s the premiere episode of NPT This Week: The Vlog; let us know what you think!

NPT Observes Hispanic Heritage Month with Special Programming

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) NPT will broadcast a selection of programs commemorating the unique experiences and culture of Hispanic Americans that have shaped Latino – and American – history.


Sheila E.

Sheila E. Unity – The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson. Credit: Courtesy of Ciprian Lacob

Highlights include:
Friday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m. American Masters: Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey, a documentary by Raymond Telles and Yvan Iturriaga (Latino Americans). At the age of 22, Guerrero became Frank Lloyd Wright’s photographer after meeting the architect at Taliesin West, Wright’s home and studio. Later in his career, Guerrero established long working relationships with sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson. This film includes exclusive interviews with Guerrero and beautiful images from his portfolio. Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey is part of PBS’ VOCES series of Latino arts and culture documentaries and is produced by Latino Public Broadcasting.

NPT is hosting a preview screening of Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey Thursday, Sept. 17 (6-8:30 p.m.), at Casa Azafrán.

Monday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. POV: Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie) Angy Rivera became the country’s first advice columnist for undocumented youth. In this film, the young immigration activist shares her own story of being undocumented and sexually abused.

Monday, Sept. 21, at 11:30 p.m. Tune in for Hablamos Español, NPT’s original documentary from our Next Door Neighbors series about Nashville’s immigrant population.

Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 9 p.m. On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam This film by Mylène Moreno looks at the legacy of Latino families and the Vietnam War, including two siblings on opposite sides of the conflict: One was a POW; the other an anti-war protester. The documentary is being presented as part of PBS Stories of Service programs highlighting veterans.


Friday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. Unity – The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson World-class drummer and percussionist Sheila E. hosts a concert special that showcases award-winning Latin artists and a 37-piece orchestra performing Latin-infused arrangements of the songs on Tony Succar’s album by the same name. The album and concert feature “Smooth Criminal,” “I Want You Back,” “Billie Jean” and other songs. This program is part of PBS Arts Fall Festival 2015, a selection of programs hosted by Gloria Estefan.)

Friday, Oct. 9, at 9 p.m. The 28th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards hosted by the legendary Rita Moreno. This special evening features performances and appearances by some of the country’s most celebrated Hispanic artists. The Hispanic Heritage Awards were created by the White House in 1987 and are the country’s highest award paying tribute to Latinos by Latinos.

Monday, Oct. 26, at 11 p.m. Reinventing Cuba Former PBS Latin America correspondent travels to Cuba to highlight people leading in various fields, including art, entrepreneurship, medicine and art.

Friday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. GREAT PERFORMANCES “Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do” Legendary Broadway performer Chita Rivera has been lighting up international stages for more than 70 years with starring roles in such iconic Broadway shows as West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, and Chicago. Rivera returned to Broadway in 2015 to star in the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical The Visit. In addition to archival clips from Rivera’s many shows and TV appearances, this career retrospective also features interviews with Dick Van Dyke, Ben Vereen, Carol Lawrence and many others.

Posted in Programming by MiChelle Jones. No Comments

‘Arthur & George,’ New Twist in Sherlock Canon, Starts Sunday, Sept. 6

NPT and PBS have a special treat for Sherlock Holmes fans this month: Arthur & George, a new, three-part drama based on Julian Barnes’ acclaimed 2005 novel of the same name. The series airs Sundays at 7 p.m., Sept. 6 through 20, and stars Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the beloved fictional detective.


Arthur & George - 03

Martin Clunes as Arthur Conan Doyle in Arthur & George.


Since his first appearance in the stories and novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes has been a favorite of fans around the world. The character has also proved popular with other writers who’ve re-interpreted the famous detective’s distinctive characteristics,  methods and cases. PBS viewers have taken to the character in various series over the decades, including Sherlock, the striking modern and clever adaptation starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the consulting detective and Martin Freeman as John Watson, his more socially adapted colleague.

Arthur & George is yet another twist on the Sherlock Holmes story. In this case based on a real incident, Sir Arthur is drawn out of mourning for his wife by an intriguing letter from George Edalji (Arsher Ali, The Missing), a young Anglo-Indian solicitor seeking to clear his name. At first Sir Arthur’s secretary, Alfred Wood (Charles Edwards, Downton Abbey), is pleased by his employer’s interest; later Woodie has his doubts.

Arthur & George is a mix of suspenseful moments, spirited chases, and witty exchanges between the two male leads; think Young Sherlock Holmes meets Mystery’s 1980s/1990s Sherlock Holmes series. Holmes’ presence is felt throughout the drama; sometimes benignly such as when Sir Arthur is asked to sign books. At other times, to his annoyance, Holmes is held up as an unmatchable ideal: Sir Arthur is repeatedly told that his skills pale in comparison and that he is endangering Holmes’ reputation. If these instances create a few chuckles for viewers, they also reflect the conflicted relationship the writer had with his character (a situation often repeated by actors who take on the role).

“If this were a story, I’d change the beginning, I’d change the end, or I’d try something else,” Sir Arthur tells Woodie in one scene. Viewers are unlikely to agree with him; preferring instead to keep Arthur & George just as it is.