Tag Archives: interview

Meet Wisconsin’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator: David Olson

In April, we introduced you to David Olson, chair of the social studies department at Madison’s James Madison Memorial High School. As Wisconsin’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator, he was one of 52 educators across the country to attend the 2017 PBS Digital Summit. Read their stories.

WPT spoke with Olson shortly after his return from the Digital Summit in San Antonio.

“Having access to high quality digital resources, and finding ways for teachers to connect with one other and foster innovation, can only lead to good things,” says Olson. “It will lead to much better outcomes for students; we’re creating citizens who hopefully will be ready to be full participants in a very different world than the one in which many WPT members might have grown up.”

For more great resources for educators, kids and anyone who loves to learn, visit WPT Education.

Continue reading Meet Wisconsin’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator: David Olson

A Conversation With Mercy Street Star Gary Cole

Gary Cole has inhabited roles ranging from an aloof middle manager in Office Space to Vice President in The West Wing and an advisor to the President in Veep. In PBS’ Civil War drama Mercy Street, Cole portrays the wealthy patriarch of a Confederate family living in Union-occupied territory.

As the series enters its second season this month – premiering Jan. 22 on Wisconsin Public Television – we checked in with Cole to ask him about his role as James Green Sr., how his new work on public television has brought his career full circle, and even a few insights into how Office Space became a cult classic.

Continue reading A Conversation With Mercy Street Star Gary Cole

WPT Previews: American Experience’s Mark Samels Takes Us Inside “The Battle of Chosin”

When he visited Wisconsin recently, American Experience Executive Producer, Wisconsin native and University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate Mark Samels talked with Wisconsin Public Television to give a behind-the-scenes perspective on the making of the PBS series’ new film, The Battle of Chosin, which premieres 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Watch an exclusive first look at the first chapter of the powerful film online now.

Q&A: Treasured Quilts of Wisconsin

“Quilting is so much more than making a bed quilt to keep someone warm,” says Nancy Zieman. The longtime host of Sewing With Nancy is excited to present the new Treasured Quilts of Wisconsin special, premiering Tuesday, Nov. 29. at 7 p.m.

Read on to see why and how this unique program came to be.

Continue reading Q&A: Treasured Quilts of Wisconsin

Q&A: Behind the Scenes in the New Season of “Wisconsin Life”

Since the Wisconsin Life project began more than four years ago, producer/reporter Joel Waldinger has been just one of the producers who has worked with WPT videographers to spotlight people and their passions all around the state.

wl-logoAs we get ready for Wisconsin Life’s Season 4 broadcast premiere on Thursday, Sept. 22, check out our Q&A to find out how he and his colleagues search high and low – sometimes literally – for great stories.

Watch Wisconsin Life on WPT 7 p.m. this Thursday, or online now.
Continue reading Q&A: Behind the Scenes in the New Season of “Wisconsin Life”

Mexico: One Plate at a Time – An Interview With Chef Rick Bayless

Chef Rick Bayless takes WPT viewers inside the culinary wonders of Mexico on each episode of Mexico: One Plate at a Time, introducing us to the people creating marvelous traditional, rustic and modern dishes, sharing the delicious essence of the country’s cuisine and introducing techniques for home cooks to enjoy the fresh, bold flavors in their own kitchen.

We caught up with the James Beard Award-winning Chicago chef in advance of his show’s 11th season premiere 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 on WPT.

Read our full Q&A about the places he visited in the new season, his favorite culinary discoveries, new techniques we can all use in our home kitchens, how social media is helping take viewers inside Bayless’ kitchen in new ways and some of the Wisconsin farmers who are helping provide fresh ingredients for his Chicago restaurants. Continue reading Mexico: One Plate at a Time – An Interview With Chef Rick Bayless

WPT Here and Now: Gov. Scott Walker Interview

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 2.25.10 PMIn this new interview from Thursday afternoon, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks with Wisconsin Public Television’s Here and Now reporter Zac Schultz about what he learned during his run for president last year and dealing with his lowest approval numbers since he ended his campaign. Looking ahead, Walker said he would be crisscrossing the state, rather than crisscrossing the country, as he works to implement his legislative agenda in 2016.

Watch the full interview below and tune in to Here and Now 7:30 p.m. Fridays on Wisconsin Public Television or explore past reports and interviews online anytime.

WPT Interviews: Christopher Kimball From America’s Test Kitchen

When America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country host Christopher Kimball visited Madison recently, Wisconsin Public Television caught up with the celebrated chef and founder and editor of Cook’s Illustrated magazine to ask him about his go-to rules on kitchen gadgets, the small things every home cook should know to be successful, a few surprising hints that make life in the kitchen easier (spoiler alert: vodka makes great pie crusts!), his favorite cocktail, the cheese question he gets asked most and the secret to the perfect cheesecake.

We even surprised him a bit when he learned that an Old Fashioned made with brandy was the Wisconsin drink of choice. Just wait to see his reaction to that!

Watch Cook’s Country From America’s Test Kitchen Saturdays on Wisconsin Public Television.

We’ll Have What Phil’s Having – An Interview With Phil Rosenthal

Phil Rosenthal is best known as the creator and writer of Everybody Loves Raymond. But, you’ll soon get to know him as a man whose world has been opened up through food. And, you’ll be inspired as you travel along with Phil around the world to uncover the culinary traditions that both make our cultures unique and tie us close together in his new public television series, I’ll Have What Phil’s Having, premiering  Sept. 28 on Wisconsin Public Television.

In advance of the series, we caught up with him to ask him about the new show. We featured a few of his comments in the September issue of Airwaves, WPT’s member magazine, that is hitting mailboxes soon.

Read the full conversation below, and then watch an exclusive preview of the new series!

You grew up in Queens, N.Y., just outside of what a lot of us would consider a dining mecca of New York City. What were your early culinary experiences?
If you don’t have a lot of money, you eat at home like everybody else. It’s luck of the draw if you’re mom or dad are a good cook or not. Neither of them were very good in my taste. There were flavors I never experienced growing up until I left home – like, I never had garlic. I didn’t know what that was. When I finally did, it was like this magical thing.

I’ll Have What Phil’s Having started with a different name, didn’t it?
When I told my brother that I was actually getting to do a show like this, he said, “That’s very interesting. What are you going to call the show, “Phil’s a Lucky Bastard?” I loved that, because I actually feel that way. But, this is PBS, so we couldn’t actually call it that.

How does this show reflect your full circle experience of coming from Queens to now experiencing the entire world through food?
All I’m trying to do is get people off the couch, to come along and travel. To me there is nothing more mind-expanding that people can do in life than travel, and for me food and laughs are the way in. It’s how we connect with each other.

As someone who has made a living as a comedy writer, you’re now starring in a food show. Was that a scary proposition?
Not at all. It’s actually an extension of who I am, an extension of what I’ve always done. As a writer – writing Everybody Loves Raymond – I was trying to connect with the audience. Now, it is the same kind of connection in a different way. The sense of humor is the same, the personality is the same. Just as if you look at Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, that show is an extension of what we know of him as a writer from Seinfeld. This show is an extension of me, from the guy you know from behind Raymond.

I loved every moment of everything you see, because everything – and every place – was new. There’s a wonderful expression from Albert Einstein – You can live life as if nothing is a miracle or as if everything is a miracle. That’s such a wonderful philosophy of life.

Are your famous friends completely jealous of your impending PBS stardom?
Every single person I speak to, the number one comment I get, from famous or not famous, is “Do you need someone to carry your bags?” I admit, this is a scam I have pulled. Don’t tell PBS, but I’d have paid them to do it. Hopefully we will entertain people and motivate them to think about travelling. And that can be to a new place overseas or right in your own town.

We’d welcome you to join us in Wisconsin for a lutefisk dinner in a future episode.
(After learning what lutefisk is) You make it sound so appetizing. There might be one or two other places on our list before I get to that. (Laughing.)

WPT Interviews: Downton Abbey Historical Advisor Alastair Bruce

“So you see, I love the details!”

Those words arrived in the middle of my interview with Alastair Bruce, the historical advisor to Downton Abbey, and they might have been one of the biggest understatements ever spoken. In his role on the beloved Masterpiece Classic series, Bruce is the reason that every small detail is exactly like it would’ve been in the original era of the grand manor – from set design to the posture and interaction of actors in both the fore and backgrounds. It’s even Bruce’s hands that the show’s fans know from the closing credits, carefully measuring the placement of dishes and silverware on the dining room table.

In this exclusive interview with Bruce from his recent visit to Madison, the man – who also serves as an advisor to the British Royal Family on official ceremonies and customs – talks about his role on the beloved PBS show and the work that goes into making everything exactly right, why the work he does is not “etiquette,” but instead protocol (a lesson I learned firsthand mid-interview), and the one piece of protocol from the age of Downton Abbey that he wishes still existed today.

Learn more about Bruce’s role on the show when The Manners of Downton Abbey: A Masterpiece Special premieres on Wisconsin Public Television Jan.4, immediately following the premiere of the fifth season of Downton Abbey. Want even more Downton Abbey? Read WPT’s Downton Dispatch blog!