Highlights 2/15 to 2/21

Nature at 7 p.m. Sunday asks one of life’s funny questions, why do we like cats and dogs?

Masterpiece Classic at 8 p.m. Sunday presents Charles Dickens’ much-loved “Oliver Twist,” the story of a young orphan and his adventures in 19th-century London.

Through interviews with medical historians, psychiatrists and desperate families, American Experience at 8 p.m. Monday tells the gripping tale of the lobotomy, one of the most barbaric mistakes of modern medicine.

Simon Schama reconstructs the epic journey of John Clarkson, a young Royal Navy lieutenant, who was sent to North America to fulfill a promise of freedom to the African-American slaves who fought for the British in Rough Crossings at 9 p.m. Monday.

Nova at 7 p.m. Tuesday investigates the mysterious feathered dinosaurs that are challenging old ideas about the origin of bird flight, found preserved in China’s Liaoning Province.

Frontline at 8 p.m. Tuesday examines the causes of the worst economic crisis in 70 years and how the government responded, with inside stories of the Bear Stearns deal, the Lehman Brothers collapse, the propping up of AIG and the $700 billion bailout.

Independent Lens at 9 p.m. Tuesday tells the story of Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington’s co-composer, who wrote some of the greatest American music of the 20th century but struggled under the prejudice of being a gay man in the 40s and 50s.

Journey to some of Canada’s most isolated adventure destinations in Adventure Lodges of North America at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

American Masters at 8 p.m. Wednesday follows the life and career of director/choreographer Jerome Robbins, a man who transformed Broadway with shows such as “West Side Story,” “Gypsy” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Sarah McLachlan graces the ACL stage in support of her greatest hits album, “Closer” followed by British rising star Duffy in Austin City Limits at 10 p.m. Wednesday and 11 p.m. Friday.

Docubloggers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday looks at how the Museum of Weird in Austin is keeping Austin even weirder.

Downtown at 8 p.m. Thursday examines the role of public art, the history of Rainey Street and the resurgence of crafting.

Rick Steves journeys to Iran to better understand it’s rich and historic culture, as well as to capture a view of modern-day Tehran in Rick Steves’ Iran at 9 p.m. Friday.

Nashville brothers Kings of Leon perform followed by Texas rock & roll legend Rory Erickson in Austin City Limits at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Review: Austin City Limits Drive-By Truckers/Ryan Bingham

Austin City Limits “Drive-By Truckers followed by Ryan Bingham”
Saturday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m.
Additional air dates: Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 10 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 13, at 11 p.m.
Preview the show at austincitylimits.org

True children of the south, Athens, Georgia’s Drive-By Truckers embody the contradictory cultural impulses of contemporary life below the Mason-Dixon line. Natives Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley formed the band in the mid-90s from the ashes of regional favorite Adam’s House Cat, folding their love of punk, country & western, Southern rock, pop and straightahead rock & roll into a three-guitar, multi-songwriter powerhouse. On seven highly acclaimed albums, including Decoration Day, The Dirty South and the massive Southern Rock Opera, the Truckers survey the modern South with a complex blend of realism-tempered regional pride and compassionate but uncompromising analysis. Both celebrating the accomplishments and dissecting the flaws of Southern culture, the band’s intelligent narratives have garnered them an audience far beyond regional or national borders, resulting in ever-growing record sales, popular tours and multiple appearances at the major music festivals (including several stints at the Austin City Limits Music Festival). In celebration of the group’s latest album Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, the Drive-By Truckers hit studio 6A for a set of smart, passionate rock & roll.
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Highlights 2/8 to 2/14

Nature at 7 p.m. Sunday explores the beautiful, yet hostile environment of South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains and the surprising number of creatures that manage to live there.

Masterpiece Classic at 8 p.m. Sunday presents the finale of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” as the two Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, continue to struggle on their quest for sensible love.

American Experience at 8 p.m. Monday recounts one of the most dramatic events in American history: the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Juneteenth Jamboree at 9:30 p.m. Monday explains the history of blacks in Texas, while celebrating the day slavery ended in Texas, June 19, 1865.

Nova at 7 p.m. Tuesday captures the intense emotional conflict that occurred in the small town of Dover, Penn., when the local school board ordered science teachers to teach their students the theory of Intelligent Design.

Independent Lens at 9 p.m. Tuesday examines of one of the biggest drug stings in Texas history, where a small town’s search for justice may have paid a price for its war on drugs.

Red Tail Reborn at 10 p.m. Tuesday tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first and only World War II black fighter pilots and their signature planes with the distinctive red tail.

Travel to Rocky Mountain National park to take a look at the graceful Stanley Hotel and to the Jackson Lake Lodge at the foot of Grand Teton as Grand Lodges of National Parks tours national parks and the masterpiece lodges that reside in them at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Looking for Lincoln at 8 p.m. Wednesday dissects myths that have grown up around Abraham Lincoln, addressing many outstanding questions about him regarding race, equality, religion, depression and sexuality.

Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers perform followed by up-and-coming alternative country singer Ryan Bingham in Austin City Limits at 10 p.m. Wednesday and 11 p.m. Friday.

Journalist and author Carl Hiaasen discusses writing, politics and Florida on Texas Monthly Talks at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Docubloggers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday travels to Round Top, Texas, home to the International Festival Institute.

Explore the many threats facing Texas’ water, as Texas the State of Flowing Water at 8 p.m. Thursday examines the complex issues that drive the search for more water for Texas’ fast growing cities and the balance needed for wildlife and rural communities.

Legendary singer/songwriter Seal brings a one-of-a-kind performance to Soundstage at 9 p.m. Thursday, taking on Ann Pebble’s “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and others.

Adventurer Richard Bangs travels to Morocco on a quest for the modern-day equivalent of the Kasbah, a once refuge for African, Arab, Jewish and European traders, pirates and holy men that walled Moroccan cities in Adventures With Purpose at 9 p.m. Friday.

Sarah McLachlan graces the ACL stage in support of her greatest hits album, “Closer,” followed by British rising star Duffy in Austin City Limits at 7 p.m. Saturday.

African American Lives: Austin edition

Building on the widespread acclaim of African American Lives (2006) and Oprah’s Roots (2007), African American Lives 2 journeys deep into the African-American experience to reveal the triumphs and tragedies within the family histories of an all-new group of remarkable participants. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. returns as series host, guiding genealogical investigations. Part one of African American Lives 2 airs Sunday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m.; Part two airs Sunday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.

In conjunction with the rebroadcast of this series, KLRU’s Michael Emery will be blogging about his own genealogical experiences. Here is part one of his journey.

My dear mother kept several photograph albums that spanned decades of family relations. Always the patient parent, she would sit with me and my siblings in order to explain what the many pictures were about and who was being therein pictured. This was better than her reading us storybooks, because these were not made-up: these were real events and real people, frequently my own relatives. And so it went for me as a boy, my attraction to genealogy began as photos of my family and oral histories. more

Texas Monthly Talks with Jerry Patterson

Program: Texas Monthly Talks
Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Thursday, Feb. 5
Also airs: Sunday, Feb. 8, at 12:30 p.m.

They say politics is show business for ugly people. If so, without casting aspersions on his plainly respectable appearance, this week’s guest would be a Hollywood casting director’s dream: always in character; know his lines and delivers them flawlessly; and conveys a casual authenicity rarely seen in an industry filled with poseurs and pretenders. Indeed, the thing that’s most noteworthy about Jerry Patterson’s affect is his lack thereof: The 62-year-old Land Commissioner of Texas is every bit the taut-jawed, perenially upright Marine turned reluctant civilian. more

Preview Screening: American Experience "A Class Apart"

In 1954, a group of Mexican American attorneys from Texas argued a case before the United States Supreme Court that would change history. Hear their story at a special sneak preview screening of A Class Apart featuring Filmmaker Carlos Sandoval on Wednesday, February 11, at 7 p.m. at Austin’s Mexican American Cultural Center. The event is free, but an RSVP is required. RSVP here

Premiering on American Experience on Monday, February 23, at 8 p.m. on KLRU, A Class Apart is a new documentary by celebrated filmmakers Carlos Sandoval and Peter Miller. It is the first major film to bring to life the heroic post-World War II struggle of Mexican Americans against the Jim Crow-style discrimination targeted against them. Raising questions about inclusion, American identity, and equality before the law that are as important today as ever, A Class Apart dramatically interweaves the story of its central characters – activists and lawyers, returning veterans and ordinary citizens, murderer and victim – within the broader history of Latinos in America during a time of extraordinary change.