Tag Archives: Christmas

Dashing Through the Snow? Five Holiday Favorites to Watch on the Go!

For those of us with loved ones in various area codes, holiday travel is an inevitable part of the holiday experience. If you have some time to relax on your journey – or are simply looking for something to keep the children entertained on the road – WPT’s online video library has you covered!

Here are five online holiday favorites that run the gamut from music to craft to Wisconsin-made programs. All of the shows below are available to stream on video.wpt.org and on the PBS channel of your Roku or other digital device.

Trust us: this list is just the tip of PBS’ holiday programming iceberg! You can explore the full collection online, anytime.

Caregivers, take note: the PBS KIDS app and pbskids.org/video/ let you stream full episodes of PBS KIDS programs, including holiday favorites from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat and more! 

Read inside for some of our favorites – and let us know what gems you find!

Continue reading Dashing Through the Snow? Five Holiday Favorites to Watch on the Go!

2016 Holiday Program Schedule

Winter is in the air… and on the air, on Wisconsin Public Television. As we prepare for the first snowfall – and the much-anticipated premiere of Wisconsin Winter From the Air – we wanted to share the special holiday-themed programs coming up on WPT. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, look to WPT for classic favorites and fresh holiday finds.

Here is a complete list of every holiday program on WPT this season:

Continue reading 2016 Holiday Program Schedule

Celebrate With the "Vicious" Holiday Special

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, nothing feels better than spending a relaxing night in front of the television as we prepare for a new year.

If you’d like to continue the holiday celebration from more of a spectator’s perspective, tune in to the Vicious Holiday Special, tonight at 8:30 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Join Freddie and Stuart as they host a holiday soiree, and watch as a wicked game of Truth or Dare brings up hidden truths. Check out the preview below, then tune in tonight for the full special!

Make PBS KIDS Holiday Programming Your "Special Thing"

One of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandma’s lap watching holiday shows together. It was something we did for many years — long after the time when sitting on my grandma’s lap was cool — but it was our special thing. And as one of 20 grandkids, I cherished those special things whenever I could.

This week, we get the premieres of many PBS KIDS holiday shows. Peg and Cat, Daniel Tiger, and Thomas are off on holiday adventures that you can share with the children in your life. Each show is airing several times, so take a look at the WPT schedule and set aside a half hour or two to put your child on your lap and share a special moment with your favorite PBS KIDS friends.

Here are just a few of the episodes airing over the next week.

In “The Hanukkah Problem,” Albert Einstein teaches Peg and Cat how to make a 2D piece of paper into a 3D dreidel.  When Santa Claus is in trouble in “The Christmas Problem,” Peg and Cat have to figure out how to make and wrap presents for all the children of the world and deliver them using 100 sleighs.

On Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Daniel learns that if he takes one step at a time, he can overcome his fear and learn to do new things. He learns to sled and ice skate in “Daniel’s Winter Adventure” and performs The Nutcracker Ballet in “Neighborhood Nutcracker.”

A huge snowfall in Sodor means that Thomas, Connor, and the other engines will have to work together to clear the tracks and get the passengers home in time for Christmas in “Coming Home for Christmas.”

Have a wonderful holiday and don’t forget to take time for the special things.

Remember When? Sesame Street and A Muppet Family Christmas

There are a lot of classic TV Christmas specials. But as a Muppets fan who grew up in the 1980s, there was no television event that better defined most of my childhood than 1987’s A Muppet Family Christmas. In the course of just one hour, all of my favorite Muppets converged on Fozzie Bear’s mother’s farm house for a traditional holiday get-together. They watched home movies of them as Muppet Babies. Kermit and his nephew explored a cave in the basement and met the Fraggles. Just about everyone slipped and fell on an icy patch at the front door – a classic slapstick running joke that never got old.

Then, the ultimate convergence of Muppetry occurred – carolers were heard outside and who could it be? The entire cast of Sesame Street! As Big Bird, Oscar, The Count, the Two-Headed Monster and just about every other resident of Sesame Street mingled and partied with Animal, Gonzo and the Swedish Chef, my then 8-year-old mind was blown!

Here is the video from that great moment in Muppets and Sesame Street history, including Ernie and Bert’s introduction to Doc from Fraggle Rock. “Hey, what is this?,” Doc asks the orange and yellow buddies as they tell him Doc starts with “D” and “Yes” starts with “Y.” “Where we come from, this is small talk.” Happy holidays!

2014 Holiday Program Schedule

Frost on the windows and snow in the fields can only mean it’s time for another festive winter in Wisconsin. We’ve taken note and have stuffed our broadcast schedule with several festive shows for you to enjoy. From Thanksgiving, through New Year’s Day, look to Wisconsin Public Television for many of your favorite holiday programs. Here is a complete list of every holiday program on Wisconsin Public Television.

Image of Chef Vivian Howard from A Chef's Life
A Chef’s Life Holiday Special – Watch online now.

All programs air on WPT’s flagship channel unless otherwise noted.
(TWC) = The Wisconsin Channel xx-2
(Create) = Create Channel xx-3

Monday, Nov. 24
8 p.m. – Around the Farm Table: Boxing Day  Watch Now

Tuesday, Nov. 25
2 a.m. – Around the Farm Table: Boxing Day  Watch Now
4 p.m. – Wild Kratts: Happy Turkey Day

Wednesday, Nov. 26
7 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
5 p.m. – Martha Speaks: Martha’s Thanksgiving
7 p.m. – Nature: My Life as a Turkey  Watch Now
7:55 and 11 p.m. – Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2013 (TWC)

Image of Martha and a Turkey
Martha’s Thanksgiving airs 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26

Thursday, Nov. 27 – Thanksgiving
1 a.m. – Nature: My Life as a Turkey  Watch Now
6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Wild Kratts: Happy Turkey Day
7 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
9 a.m. – Sesame Street: Trashgiving Day Parade
5 p.m. – Martha Speaks: Martha’s Holiday Surprise
7 and 11 p.m. – Around the Farm Table: Boxing Day (TWC)  Watch Now
7:30 p.m. – Martha Stewarts’ Cooking School: Turkey  Watch Now
10 p.m. – Nature: My Life as a Turkey  Watch Now

Friday, Nov. 28
1:30 a.m. – Martha Stewarts’ Cooking School: Turkey  Watch Now
7 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
9 a.m. – Around the Farm Table: Boxing Day (TWC)  Watch Now
10 a.m. – Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs in the Snow
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Tinsel & Trains
1 p.m. – Sesame Street: Trashgiving Day Parade

Saturday, Nov. 29
6 a.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
9 a.m. – Around the Farm Table: Boxing Day (TWC)  Watch Now
Noon – A Farm Winter With Jerry Apps  Watch Now
3 p.m. – Rick Steves’ European Christmas
5 p.m. – Lawrence Welk Holiday Special

Sunday, Nov. 30
8 a.m. – Sesame Street: Trashgiving Day Parade
8:30 a.m. – Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs in the Snow
7 p.m. – Rick Steves’ European Christmas (Create)

Monday, Dec. 1
3 a.m. – Around the Farm Table: Boxing Day (TWC)  Watch Now
6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Odd Squad: Reindeer Games

Image of ice with bridge to Mackinac in background
Ice Bridge: Mackinac Island’s Hidden Season airs 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4

Tuesday, Dec. 2
7 and 11 p.m. – Nature: My Life as a Turkey (TWC)  Watch Now

Wednesday, Dec. 3
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Winter Surprise
8 and 11 p.m. – Christmas at Luther: Tidings of Comfort and Joy (TWC)

Thursday, Dec. 4
8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. – In the Americas: Winter in the Caldera: January in the Yellowstone Hotspot (Create)
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Let It Snow
7 p.m. – Ice Bridge: Mackinac Island’s Hidden Season

Friday, Dec. 5
3:30 a.m. – A Farm Winter With Jerry Apps  Watch Now
8:30 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Snowy Day
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Winter Delights

Saturday, Dec. 6
5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. – Travelscope: Christmas in Switzerland (Create)
6:30 a.m. – Craft in America: Holiday (Create)
7:30 a.m. – Christmas on the Danube (Create)
8 a.m. – Travelscope: Germany’s Holiday Markets (Create)
Noon – A Farm Winter With Jerry Apps  Watch Now
7 p.m. – Libera: Angels Sing Christmas in Ireland

Sunday, Dec. 7
7 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Snowy Day
10 a.m. – Rick Steves’ European Christmas (Create)
12:30 p.m. – Craft in America: Holiday (Create)
1:30 p.m. – Christmas on the Danube (Create)
2 p.m. – Travelscope: Germany’s Holiday Markets (Create)
3 p.m. – Smart Travels: Alpine Christmas (Create)
4 p.m. – Ice Bridge: Mackinac Island’s Hidden Season
4:30 p.m. – European Christmas Markets (Create)
7 p.m. – Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Ghosts of Christmas Eve
10 p.m. – Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol (TWC)

Libera Choir
Libera: Angels Sing Christmas in Ireland airs 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6

Monday, Dec. 8
1:30 a.m. – A Farm Winter With Jerry Apps Watch Now
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Fun in the Snow
10 p.m. – The Candy Bomber

Tuesday, Dec. 9
6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Wild Kratts: Snow Runners

Wednesday, Dec. 10
11:30 p.m. – Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Special 1995 (TWC)

Thursday, Dec. 11
6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Odd Squad: Reindeer Games
Noon – Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Special 1993 (TWC)

Friday, Dec. 12
3:30 a.m. – Ice Bridge: Mackinac Island’s Hidden Season

Saturday, Dec. 13
7 p.m. – Ice Bridge: Mackinac Island’s Hidden Season (Create)
8:30 p.m. – Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Ghosts of Christmas Eve

Sunday, Dec. 14
12:30 a.m. – Lawrence Welk Holiday Special
5:30 p.m. –  Libera: Angels Sing Christmas in Ireland

Monday, Dec. 15
5:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. – Arthur: The Blizzard
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Snow Stops Play
5 p.m. – Martha Speaks: Martha’s Holiday Surprise

Tuesday, Dec. 16 – Hanukkah Begins
7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Joy of Kosher With Jamie Geller: Chanukah Special (Create)
9 p.m. – A Chef’s Life Holiday Special
10 p.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: Hanukkah (Create)

Peg and Cat under a Christmas Tree
Peg + Cat + Holidays airs 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17

Wednesday, Dec. 17
3 a.m. – A Chef’s Life Holiday Special
4 a.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: Hanukkah (Create)
6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Odd Squad: Reindeer Games
7 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
8 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel’s Winter Adventure/Neighborhood Nutcracker
10 a.m. – Dinosaur Train: Don’s Winter Wish/Festival of Lights
10:30 a.m. – Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs in the Snow/Cretaceous Conifers
10:30 a.m. – P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home: Getting Ready for Christmas (TWC)
11 a.m. – Peg + Cat + Holidays
Noon – Super WHY!: Twas the Night Before Christmas
12:30 – Thomas & Friends: Christmas Cheer
1 p.m. – Sesame Street: Waiting for the Present
7 and 10:30 p.m. – Lidia Celebrates America: Holiday Tables & Traditions (Create)  Watch Now
8 and 11 p.m. – Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Special 1993 (TWC)

Thursday, Dec. 18
1 and 4 a.m. – Lidia Celebrates America: Holiday Tables & Traditions (Create)  Watch Now
7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Joy of Kosher With Jamie Geller: Chanukah Special (Create)
9 a.m. – Sesame Street: Waiting for the Present
10:30 a.m. – P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home: Seasonal Change (TWC)
11:30 a.m. – Peg + Cat: The Hanukkah Problem
Noon – Super WHY!: The Nutcracker
Noon – Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Special 1994 (TWC)
12:30 – Thomas & Friends: Coming Home for Christmas
7 p.m. – The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2014
8 p.m. – A Chef’s Life Holiday Special  Watch Now
9 p.m. – Green Bay Holiday Pops!

Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies
Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir airs 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19

Friday, Dec. 19
1 a.m. – The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2014
2 a.m. – A Chef’s Life Holiday Special  Watch Now
3 a.m. – Green Bay Holiday Pops!
8 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Snowflake Day!
8:30 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel’s Winter Adventure/Neighborhood Nutcracker
11 a.m. – Peg + Cat + Holidays
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Tinsel & Trains
1 p.m. – Sesame Street: Waiting for the Present
8 p.m. – Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies
8 and 11 p.m. – Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies (TWC)
9 p.m. – Christmas in Norway With the St. Olaf Choir (On flagship channel and TWC)

Saturday, Dec. 20
12 a.m. – Christmas in Norway With the St. Olaf Choir (TWC)
2 a.m. – Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies
3 a.m. – Christmas in Norway With the St. Olaf Choir
5 a.m. and 5 p.m. – Farm Holiday Special With Ian Knauer (Create)
5:30 a.m. – Angelina Ballerina: Angelina’s Holiday Treats
5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. – Katie Brown Workshop: Christmas (Create)
6 a.m. and 6 p.m. – Alsatian Christmas Table With Chef Hubert Keller: Dinner (Create)
6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. – Alsatian Christmas Table With Chef Hubert Keller: Treats (Create)
7 a.m. and 7 p.m. – Healthy Heritage Kitchen – Kwanzaa Edition (Create)
7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: Christmas (Create)
8 a.m. and 8 p.m. – Travelscope: A San Antonio Christmas (Create)
8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: Kwanzaa (Create)
9 a.m. and 9 p.m. – Heirloom Meals Christmas (Create)
10 a.m. and 10 p.m. – Ciao Italia: Festival of the Seven Fishes (Create)
10:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. – P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home: Getting Ready for Christmas (Create)
11 a.m. – Martha Stewarts’ Cooking School: Turkey  Watch Now
11:30 p.m. – Around the Farm Table: Boxing Day  Watch Now
5 p.m. – The Lawrence Welk Show: Christmas
5 p.m. – Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri (TWC)

Sunday, Dec. 21
12 a.m. – A Southern Celtic Christmas Concert
5:30 a.m. – Peg + Cat: The Hanukkah Problem
7 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel’s Winter Adventure/Neighborhood Nutcracker
7:30 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Snowflake Day!
8 a.m. – Sesame Street: Waiting for the Present
11 a.m. – Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri
11 a.m. – Farm Holiday Special With Ian Knauer (Create)
11:30 a.m. – Katie Brown Workshop: Christmas (Create)
Noon – Alsatian Christmas Table With Chef Hubert Keller: Dinner (Create)
12:30 p.m. – Alsatian Christmas Table With Chef Hubert Keller: Treats (Create)
1 p.m. – Healthy Heritage Kitchen – Kwanzaa Edition (Create)
1:30 p.m. – Mr. Stink (TWC)
1:30 p.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: Christmas (Create)
2 p.m. – Travelscope: A San Antonio Christmas (Create)
2:30 p.m. –  European Christmas Markets (TWC)
2:30 p.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: Kwanzaa (Create)
3 p.m. – Heirloom Meals Christmas (Create)
4 p.m. – Ciao Italia: Festival of the Seven Fishes (Create)
4:30 p.m. – P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home: Getting Ready for Christmas (Create)
6 p.m. – Mr. Stink
7 p.m. – Silent Night (TWC)

Monday, Dec. 22
6:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table: Festive Entertaining (Create)
8 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel’s Winter Adventure/Neighborhood Nutcracker
9 a.m. – Elmo’s Christmas Countdown
11 a.m. – Peg + Cat: The Christmas Problem
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Let It Snow
1 p.m. – O Christmas Tree (TWC)
5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. – Martha Bakes: Holiday Breads (Create)

Vicious Holiday Special
Vicious airs 8:30 p.m. Christmas Day following the Call the Midwife Holiday Special.

Tuesday, Dec. 23
2 a.m. – Silent Night (TWC)
2:30 a.m. – Martha Bakes: Holiday Breads (Create)
9 a.m. – Elmo’s Christmas Countdown
11 a.m. – Peg + Cat: The Hanukkah Problem
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Winter Delights
1 p.m. – Sesame Street: Waiting for the Present

Wednesday, Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve
5 a.m. – Caillou: Caillou’s Christmas
6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Odd Squad: Reindeer Games
8:30 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel’s Winter Adventure/Neighborhood Nutcracker
9 a.m. – Elmo’s Christmas Countdown
10 a.m. – Dinosaur Train: Don’s Winter Wish/Festival of Lights
10:30 a.m. – Dinosaur Train: The Forest Fire/The Lost Bird
11 a.m. – Farm Holiday Special With Ian Knauer (Create)
11:30 a.m. – Peg + Cat: The Christmas Problem
11:30 a.m. – Katie Brown Workshop: Christmas (Create)
Noon – Super WHY!: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Noon – Alsatian Christmas Table With Chef Hubert Keller: Dinner (Create)
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Christmas Cheer
12:30 p.m. – Alsatian Christmas Table With Chef Hubert Keller: Treats (Create)
1 p.m. – Healthy Heritage Kitchen – Kwanzaa Edition (Create)
1:30 p.m. – The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!: Reindeer Games
1:30 p.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: Christmas (Create)
2 p.m. – Travelscope: A San Antonio Christmas (Create)
2:30 p.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: Kwanzaa (Create)
3 p.m. – Heirloom Meals Christmas (Create)
4 p.m. – Ciao Italia: Festival of the Seven Fishes (Create)
4:30 p.m. – P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home: Getting Ready for Christmas (Create)
5 p.m. – Martha Speaks: Martha’s Holiday Surprise
7 p.m. – Mr. Stink (TWC)
11 p.m. – Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Special 1994 (TWC)

Thursday, Dec. 25 – Christmas Day
12 a.m. – Mr. Stink (TWC)
3 a.m. – Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Audra McDonald and Peter Graves (TWC)
4 a.m. – Christmas in Norway With the St. Olaf Choir (TWC)
4:20 a.m. – University Place: The Wreck of the Christmas Tree Ship  Watch Now
5 a.m. – Caillou: Caillou The Snowman
6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Odd Squad: Reindeer Games
6 a.m. and 2 p.m.- University Place: The Wreck of the Christmas Tree Ship (TWC)  Watch Now
6:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Wild Kratts: Snow Runners
7 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
7:40 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. – University Place: Old Fashioned Christmas (TWC)
8 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel’s Winter Adventure/Neighborhood Nutcracker
8:30 a.m. – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Snowflake Day!
9 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Elmo’s Christmas Countdown
10 a.m. – Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs in the Snow/Cretaceous Conifers
10:30 a.m. – Dinosaur Train: Don’s Winter Wish/Festival of Lights
11 a.m. – Peg + Cat: The Christmas Problem
11:30 a.m. – Peg + Cat: The Hanukkah Problem
Noon – Super WHY!: The Nutcracker
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Coming Home for Christmas
5 p.m. – Martha Speaks: Martha’s Holiday Surprise
7 p.m. – Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2014
8:30 p.m. – Vicious: Holiday Special
9 p.m. – Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies

The Vienna Philharmonic inside the Musikverein
Great Performances’ New Year’s Celebration airs 7 p.m. New Year’s Day.

Friday, Dec. 26 – Kwanzaa Begins
1 a.m. – Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2014
2:30 a.m. – Vicious: Holiday Special
3 a.m. – Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies
4 a.m. – Mr. Stink (TWC)
12:30 p.m. – Thomas & Friends: Fun in the Snow
9:30 p.m. – European Christmas Markets (TWC)
10 p.m. – Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2012
11:30 p.m. – Vicious: Holiday Special

Saturday, Dec. 27
12:30 a.m. – European Christmas Markets (TWC)
5 a.m. and 5 p.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: New Year’s (Create)
8:30 a.m. – Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs in the Snow/Cretaceous Conifers
10:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. – Katie Brown Workshop: New Year’s (Create)
11 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Martha Bakes: Holiday Breads (Create)
5 p.m. – The Lawrence Welk Show: New Year’s
9:30 p.m. – Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol

Sunday, Dec. 28
2:30 a.m. – Martha Bakes: Holiday Breads (Create)
3:30 a.m. – Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol
11 a.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: New Year’s (Create)
4:30 p.m. – Katie Brown Workshop: New Year’s (Create)

Monday, Dec. 29
6 a.m. and Noon – New Scandinavian Cooking: A Taste of Winter (Create)

Tuesday, Dec. 30
12 a.m. – New Scandinavian Cooking: A Taste of Winter (Create)

Wednesday, Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve
5:30 a.m. – Arthur: Arthur’s First Sleepover/Arthur’s First New Year’s Eve
11 a.m. – Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom: New Year’s (Create)
4:30 p.m. – Katie Brown Workshop: New Year’s (Create)
7 p.m. – Live From Lincoln Center: New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve: A Gershwin Celebration
7:50 and 11 p.m. – Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2014 (TWC)
9 p.m. – Michael Feinstein New Year’s Eve at the Rainbow Room

Thursday, Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day
7 p.m. – Great Performances: From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2015

Friday, Jan. 2
1 a.m. – Great Performances: From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2015

 

Sesame Street + The Sopranos = Christmas Joy

I am proud to say – like so many of us – that I grew up a devoted Sesame Street kid. I’m also one of the biggest Sopranos fans that I know.

So, there might not be a better Christmas gift than this video that arrived online from our friends at Sesame Workshop via the 2007 Elmo’s Christmas Countdown special. Seems like our old friends Ernie and Bert have decided to produce their very own Christmas special and they didn’t feel that they were the right pair to play themselves.

In a brilliant casting turn, they tapped Sopranos stars Tony Sirico and Steve Schirripa (Paulie Walnuts and Bobby Bacala, respectively) to play their roles. The outcome – hilarious. The scowl on Sirico’s face while he’s wearing classic Bert eyebrows is worth the price of admission alone. And his Bert laugh? Too much!

A Look Ahead from WPT Director of Programming Garry Denny

Garry Denny is Director of Programming for Wisconsin Public Television. For more than 12 years he has been responsible for the acquisition, scheduling and delivery of programming services on WPT’s six-station network. Check the “be More Tuned In” blog at the start of each month for Garry’s candid look at a few programs that are too good to miss.      – dg

Every month I have a sit down with the programming staff and we sift through literally hundreds of programs to put together a future schedule. Typically a big conference table becomes littered with inventory lists, notebooks, computers and all manner of office supplies. Our most recent foray into the schedule trenches was for December 2011. Uggh!

I say “uggh” because more often than not December is a really tough month to schedule, what with all the new and old holiday shows, show repeats and most importantly fewer people actually watching TV. The holidays put a huge dent in television viewing so we sometimes feel like our efforts are all for naught. But this December we found some true gems that not only excite us, but we’re certain will pique your interest.

Downton Abbey – Season One
Downton AbbeyThat’s right – one of the repeats that I was talking about. But, wait! This is a repeat we can all welcome with open arms. The Emmy-winning classic from Masterpiece Theater is back for one more run ahead of the premiere of season two in January 2012. This is a great opportunity for you to relive the romantic, intrigue-filled drama of the Downton Abbey estate and its eccentric cast of characters. If you missed any of this wildly popular series here’s your chance to catch up and be ready for the new episodes premiering 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8.

Eames: The Architect and the PainterEames: The Architect and the Painter on American Masters
My guess is that if you’ve ever been to a museum, art gallery or plain old furniture store you have seen the brilliant work of either Ray or Charles Eames. This married couple are giants of American design and visual arts, influencing designers and artists for generations. I’ll admit that I only had a pop culture, passing familiarity with the work of either Eames. Enough to say to my architecture-savvy friends “hmm, that looks like it was inspired by Eames.” After watching this entire documentary I can confidently say “wow, that is clearly influenced by the work of Eames.” The American Masters doc on the life and collaborative work of Ray and Charles Eames is utterly fascinating not only because it’s largely a story untold, but also because the presentation of the Eameses’ design processes and resulting works is so visually stunning. Do yourself a favor and check it out 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19 or see the encore 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Watch Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter on PBS. See more from AMERICAN MASTERS.


Lidia Celebrates America “Holiday Tables and Traditions”

Lidia Bastianich is one of this country’s true culinary pioneers and stars. She’s been around longer than any Top Chef or Iron Chef. Lidia doesn’t cook for competition – she cooks for the love of cooking. In her new holiday special Lidia hits the road in search of the rich and colorful traditions observed during four holiday celebrations: An Italian Christmas Eve, A Mexican American Christmas Day, A Chinese New Year, and a Passover Seder. Along the way there is some truly awesome ethnic cooking, fun (and funny) encounters, and a few celebrities to help keep the traditions alive. If for no other reason tune in to watch Mo Rocca of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! wrestle with a live eel. Check out Lidia and all the wonderful food 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20 with an encore 11 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22.

 

The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011
I am admittedly not the kind of programmer that easily falls for the “oohs and aahs” of staged celebratory events on television. So, when we got the announcement that a PBS station in Washington, D.C. would be producing a special on the lighting of the National Christmas Tree my initial reaction was less than enthusiastic. But that’s before I saw the list of talent that will be a part of the special. Up ’til yesterday the producers had begged me not to divulge all that I know, but I can now tell you that the host will be Carson Daly of NBC’s The Voice and Last Call and one of his special guests will be none other than Kermit the Frog, live in the flesh. There will also be a lot of great music by artists including OneRepublic, Ellie Goulding and Big Time Rush. Enjoy this holiday celebration 9 p.m. Tuesday, December 20 or 7 p.m. Thursday, December 22.

Celebrate the holidays with Wisconsin Public Television

I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I really wanted to share the holiday program schedule early to remind you of this week’s specials. The festivities begin Thanksgiving Day with Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas (see Erik’s post from Nov. 19) and roll right through December with an array of heartwarming concert specials. And, in January we wrap the holiday season when Austin City Limits and Great Performances ring in the new year. Peruse the entire schedule below, and whether you catch one program – or all of them! – be sure to take time to spread some holiday cheer this season.

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

Nov. 24
11 a.m.  Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

Nov. 25
noon  Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

Dec. 4
5:30  p.m.  Christmas With Daniel O’Donnell

Dec. 10
1:30  p.m.  Rick Steves’ European Christmas
5:30  p.m.  Christmas With Daniel O’Donnell

Dec. 14
8 p.m.  Live From Lincoln Center “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker”

Live From Lincoln Center "The Nutrcracker"

Dec. 17
3 p.m.  Live From Lincoln Center “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker”
10:30 p.m.  Rick Steves’ European Christmas
11:30 p.m.  European Christmas Markets

12:15 a.m.  Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas

Dec. 20
7 p.m.  Lidia Celebrates America “Holiday Tables and Traditions”
8 p.m.   Christmas at St. Olaf
9 p.m.  The National Christmas Tree Lighting

Dec. 21
8 p.m.  Nature “Christmas in Yellowstone”
11 p.m.  Christmas at St. Olaf

Nature "Christmas in Yellowstone"

Dec. 22
7 p.m.  The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011

Dec. 23
4:30 p.m.  Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri
8 p.m.  Christmas at Luther: Night of Glory, Dawn of Peace

Dec. 24
5 p.m.  The Lawrence Welk Show “Christmas”
6 p.m.  Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Special
8 p.m.  Christmas With the King Family
9 p.m.  Celtic Woman: Greatest Journey
10:15 p.m.  Celtic Thunder Christmas
11:15 p.m.  Tonic Sol Fa: Greatest Time of the Year
12:15 a.m.  Nature “Christmas in Yellowstone”

Coldplay New Year's Eve

Dec. 25
8 a.m.  Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri
7 p.m.  Nature “Christmas in Yellowstone”

Dec. 31
11 p.m.  Coldplay New Year’s Eve: An Austin City Limits Special

Jan. 1
6:30 p.m.  Great Performances “From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration
10:30 p.m. Coldplay New Year’s Eve: An Austin City Limits Special

Stay up to date. Find the most recent schedule online.

 

Christmas Eve on WPT…

We’re just days away from this year’s Christmas holiday, and WPT has a great lineup of special programs to help your family celebrate the season. Enjoy some afternoon Christmas chemistry with Dr. Bassam Shakhashiri. Then, in the evening, venture to a white Christmas in Yellowstone and enjoy the sounds and sights of the season with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the San Fransisco Ballet. Find the whole schedule below, but first, enjoy this classic Sesame Street Christmas memory.

Friday, Dec. 24 Schedule
1 p.m.    Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri
4:30 p.m.    Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri
7:30 p.m.    Nature “Christmas in Yellowstone”
8:30 p.m.    Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Natalie Cole
9:30 p.m.    Great Performances “Dance in America: San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker”
11:30 p.m.    Burt Wolf: Travels & Traditions “Celebrating Christmas at Biltmore Estate”