Highlights: April 29 – May 5

“Finding Your Roots” at 7 pm Sunday features Samuel L. Jackson, Condoleezza Rice and more as they examine their families roots.

Masterpiece Classic at 8 pm Sunday presents part two of “Birdsong,” an adaptation of Sebastian Faulk’s best-selling novel about lovers torn apart by World War I. Eddie Redmayne (The Pillars of the Earth) plays Stephen Wrayford, whose pre-war affair with Isabelle Azaire (Clemence Poesy, Harry Potter) has an enduring effect on him as he fights in the trenches.

The intimate story of Britain’s royal weddings, from the Queen Mother through to Princess Margaret, told from the point of view of people who were there on “Britain’s Royal Weddings” at 9 pm and 10 pm Monday.

Jesse Owens: American Experience at 7 pm Tuesday tells the story of the young American athlete who channeled his raw emotions into some of the most remarkable achievements in the history of athletics, winning four gold medals in the face of Nazi racism at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street at 8 pm Tuesday pivots to the inner workings of global high finance, which four years after the crisis exploded remains largely shrouded in secrecy and laden with risk.

Nature at 7 pm Wednesday explores how being born in the wild has evolved over time and how animals interacting with their young, wrestling with the feelings and dilemmas that come with raising a baby, can mirror our own experiences on “Born Wild: The First Days of Life”.

Nova at 8 pm Wednesday takes viewers inside an IBM lab where a crack team has been working for nearly three years to perfect a machine that can answer any question on “Smartest Machine On Earth”.

Cross the country with host Yul Kwon to look at traditional and not-so-traditional types of manufacturing on “America Revealed: Made In The U.S.A.” at 9 pm Wednesday.

Austin City Limits at 10 pm Wednesday and 10 pm Friday presents a special digitally remastered and edited version of Roy Orbison’s 1982 live performance on the show. Orbison’s appearance was a milestone in the 25-year history of the Austin City Limits as he brought the show to a new level, a larger audience and the status of being a nationally recognized television program.

All major United States Senate candidates, both Democrat and Republican, vying to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison, will take part in a two-hour live event “Conversations with the Candidates” at 7 pm Thursday.

Independent Lens at 9 pm Thursday presents “Circo”, an intimate portrayal of the Ponce family circus as it struggles to make a living from its artistry, sweat and wit against the backdrop of Mexico’s collapsing rural economy.

“Art In The Twenty-First Century” at 9 pm Friday profiles artists Rackstraw Downes, Robert Mangold and Sarah Sze, whose works explore the gap between art and existence, challenge the distinction between seeing and knowing and demonstrate that the pursuit of harmony can be a radical proposition.

Austin City Limits at 7 pm Saturday showcases the best in modern country with Miranda Lambert and Jeff Bridges.

Sherlock must solve perplexing and dangerous puzzles specifically laid out for him on “The Great Game” on Masterpiece Mystery! Presents Sherlock at 8 pm Saturday.

Science Night 5/2


Nature “Born Wild: The First Days of Life” at 7 pm

From the moment of their birth, baby animals in the wild can face almost anything — from a large social group of interested caregivers, to a potentially deadly group of relatives, to one or two devoted parents, to complete abandonment and no available help at all. Yet they all have something in common. They must learn whom to trust, what to fear and when to act — all in the first days of life. Child care involves instinct, but also experience and choices, some of which can be devastatingly hard. Find out how being born in the wild has evolved over time, and how animals interacting with their young, wrestling with the feelings and dilemmas that come with raising a baby, can mirror our own experiences.

NOVA “Smartest Machine On Earth” at 8 pm
What’s so special about human intelligence and will scientists ever build a computer that rivals the flexibility and power of a human brain? In “Artificial Intelligence,” NOVA takes viewers inside an IBM lab where a crack team has been working for nearly three years to perfect a machine that can answer any question. The scientists hope their machine will be able to beat expert contestants in one of the USA’s most challenging TV quiz shows — Jeopardy, which has entertained viewers for over four decades. “Artificial Intelligence” presents the exclusive inside story of how the IBM team developed the world’s smartest computer from scratch. Now they’re racing to finish it for a special Jeopardy airdate in February 2011. They’ve built an exact replica of the studio at its research lab near New York and invited past champions to compete against the machine, a big black box code — named Watson after IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson. But will Watson be able to beat out its human competition?

America Revealed “Made In The USA” at 9 pm
American manufacturing has undergone a massive revolution over the past 20 years, becoming – gloomy perceptions to the contrary – the number-one manufacturing nation on earth. Cross the country with host Yul Kwon to look at traditional and not-so-traditional types of manufacturing. Along the way, meet the men and women who create the world’s best and most iconic products, engineers who are reinventing the American auto industry, steelworkers who brave intense heat to accommodate radical new ideas about recycling and engineers who are re-imagining the microchip. Visit a small start-up company that is building personalized robots – machines that may one day reshape our homes and offices. Investigate the emerging notion that manufacturing itself is changing – from a system based on the movement and assembly of raw materials to a system in which ideas and information are the raw materials of a new economy.

Announcing NEW Family Membership: KLRU Invites You to Start Exploring!

We are having a great week of celebrating and hope you can join us for our capstone event on Sunday afternoon: KLRU’s 50th Birthday Party! Your favorite PBS characters will be celebrating KLRU’s birthday with the city of Austin. Cookie Monster, Arthur, SuperWhy, Clifford, Maya & Miguel and others will take over 2ND Street with fun for the whole family including a Central Texas Gardener activity, story time with local celebrities, Arts In Context dance demonstrations and much more.

At the Birthday Party, we will also be celebrating the launch of our BRAND NEW family membership called KLRU Explorers! KLRU Explorers goes beyond a typical Kids Club – from events to programming to trips – and there’s an opportunity for engagement and fun for every member of your family.

When your family joins KLRU Explorers, you not only support your favorite public television station, but you also get so much in return!

  • Discounts to local family-friendly and kid-centered businesses, museums and attractions. You will receive a KLRU Explorer card and a Go Local Austin card for hundreds of deals all over town!
  • A bi-monthly eNewsletter with upcoming program, community events, and Explorer discount highlights for kids and families.
  • Want to see Clifford at the Long Center or a great musical performance at the Austin symphony? KLRU Explorers will get automatic entry into all family-fun ticket giveaways!
  • You’ll also receive special invitations to all family and kid-friendly events at KLRU
  • We want to see your adventures – a visit to the zoo? A family photo in the wildflowers? Share your family exploration photos with us and we’ll share them on our website – a great way to showcase Austin and your awesome family!

And finally, as a KLRU Explorer we want you to explore beyond Austin’s City Limits:

Once a year, a KLRU Explorer family will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington DC to visit incredible museums, zoos, and meet your favorite PBS Kids characters!

For only $7 a month, your whole family will be part of the KLRU Explorers – and, if you’re a grandparent or close family friend, a KLRU Explorers membership would be a great gift to give any time.

Start exploring right now, or sign up at the information booth at the Birthday Party – we’ll be giving away Idina Menzel concert tickets to the first 10 families that sign up on Sunday!

Hope to see you this Sunday!

Community Cinema: Strong! 5/1

Join KLRU and the Austin Public Library for free Community Cinema screenings on the first Tuesday of the month at the Windsor Park Branch Library (5833 Westminster Dr,). Screenings will start at 7 p.m. with a discussion to follow each of the films. The next screening will be Strong! on May 1st.

Strong!
A formidable figure, standing at 5’8″ and weighing over 300 pounds, Cheryl Haworth struggles to defend her champion status as her lifetime weightlifting career inches towards its inevitable end. STRONG! chronicles her journey and the challenges this unusual elite athlete faces, exploring popular notions of power, strength, beauty and health.

VOCES video contest 4/29

The VOCES Oral History Project (formerly the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project) is holding its second video editing short documentary competition critique and awards for University of Texas students who have produced 5-minute documentaries from existing two hour-plus oral history interviews from the project’s WWII collection. The event will be Friday, April 27th, in KLRU’s Studio 6A, 4-6 p.m. Doors open at 3 p.m. Refreshments provided. This event is part of KLRU’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Guest jurors are highly respected film producers/directors and include:

NANCY DE LOS SANTOS received her degree in Radio-Television-Film from the UT-Austin. She has a master’s degree in communications from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Her film credits include: Selena and My Family Mi Familia. Her documentary credits include The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood Cinema and Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano.

ROLAND HARTZOG is a graduate of UT’s RTF department, Hartzog worked as a Producer/Director at KTBC-TV in Austin and founded Creative Video Productions in Houston in 1976. He has traveled extensively to produce, script, direct and edit commercials and modules for a variety of purposes. In 1992, he created both an English and a Spanish-language version of a promotional video for the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project.

JESÚS TREVIÑO is a writer/filmmaker/producer whose credits include America Tropical, Yo Soy Chicano, La Raza Unida, Chicano Moratorium, The Salazar Inquest and Birthwrite. He was co-executive producer of the PBS series, Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. From 2000 to 2002, he served as co-executive producer of the Showtime drama series, Resurrection Blvd. His television directing credits include: Law & Order Criminal Intent, Criminal Minds, Prison Break, The Practice, The O.C and Star Trek: Voyager. He is also author of the classic book Eyewitness: A Filmmaker’s Memoir of the Chicano Movement.

Stotesbery added Latino Public Broadcasting board

KLRU’s Bill Stotesbery named to national Latino Public Broadcasting board

Austin, TX — KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, announces that CEO and General Manager Bill Stotesbery has been elected to the Latino Public Broadcasting Board of Directors. In his announcement, letter Edward James Olmos, President of the LPB Board, wrote that Stotesbery’s “leadership and expertise will greatly contribute in helping our organization grow.”

Under Stotesbery’s leadership, KLRU has worked on several projects with focusing on the Latino community, most recently the addition of VMe, an all-Spanish language public television service, on KLRU’s digital cable channel 18.4.

“I am pleased to be included in this vital public broadcasting organization ,” said Stotesbery. “The LPB is very active in ensuring the diversity of PBS offerings and making sure Latino filmmakers have their stories heard.”

“As Latinos become this nation’s largest minority group, we face an exciting time ahead of us as we help bring diverse talent and content to public broadcasting,” Olmos said. “The programs we support bring new audiences to public television and have a recognizable impact on a broad range of viewers; present a diverse subjects and viewpoints from a variety of Latino producers across the country; and both complement and challenge existing public television offerings.”
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Highlights: April 22-28

Finding Your Roots at 7 pm Sunday delves into actors Robert Downey, Jr. and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s American roots in early colonial communities, and we meet their Eastern European Jewish ancestors, who share almost identical migration stories.

Masterpiece Classic at 8 pm Sunday presents part one of “Birdsong”, an adaptation of Sebastian Faulk’s best-selling novel about lovers torn apart by World War I. Eddie Redmayne (The Pillars of the Earth) plays Stephen Wrayford, whose pre-war affair with Isabelle Azaire (Clemence Poesy, Harry Potter) has an enduring effect on him as he fights in the trenches.

Trouble Puppet Theater takes Arts In Context at 9:30 pm Sunday on a journey into the art of puppetry as the company produces one of their unique plays led by creative director and master puppeteer Connor Hopkins.

Arts In Context at 9 pm Monday presents the story of Holocaust survivor Naomi Warren and how she inspired Ballet Austin’s Creative Director Stephen Mills to create the “Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project.”

Narrated by Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Milius (Apocalypse Now) and with Sam Waterston providing the voice of President Lincoln, “Jewish Soldiers In Blue & Gray” at 10 pm Monday chronicles Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s infamous 1862 mandate to expel Jewish residents from Union-controlled land and shares the story of President Lincoln’s doctor-turned-Union spy.

Crash of 1929: American Experience at 7 pm Tuesday chronicles the year the boom went bust through the words and experiences of the descendants of the titans of finance.

Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street at 8 pm Tuesday investigates how two U.S. administrations have confronted the financial crisis while dealing with sharp internal divisions and a relationship with Wall Street marked by mistrust and dependence, mutual interests and competing goals.

Nature at 7 pm Wednesday documents the lives of the packs of wolves and other wildlife thriving in the “dead zone” that still surrounds the remains of Chernobyl in “Radioactive Wolves”.

Nova at 8 pm Wednesday reveals a bright new dawn in our understanding of our nearest star-one that might help keep our planet from going dark in “Secrets Of The Sun.”

Travel around the country with host Yul Kwon to understand our modern power grid’s intricacies, its vulnerabilities and the remarkable ingenuity required to keep the electricity on, every day of the year on “America Revealed: Electric Nation” at 9 pm Wednesday.

Rock and funk collide with Alejandro Escovedo and Trombone Shorty on Austin City Limits at 10 pm Wednesday and Friday.

Fans of writer Susan Orlean trust her to take them deep into each subculture she explores, giving her readers intimate access to worlds they would otherwise never see. She discusses her career and latest work on “Overheard with Evan Smith” at 7 pm Thursday.

Angie Dickinson, Meat Loaf, Barry Corbin, Danny Trejo and Douglas McGrath are honored at the 2012 Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards presented by the Austin Film Society at 7:30 pm Thursday.

Join Chet Garner as he heads to Wimberley, Texas for a day of glassblowing, handcrafted tamales, a hike up Mt. Baldy and a dip in Blue Hole on “The Daytripper” at 8:30 pm Thursday.

Independent Lens at 9 pm Thursday presents “Facing The Storm: Story of The American Bison”, a documentary that introduces viewers to a rich history of human sustenance, exploitation, conservation and spiritual relations with the ultimate icon of wild America.

On “Art In The Twenty-First Century” at 9 pm Friday, artists Glenn Ligon, Mary Reid Kelley and Marina Abramovi? play with historical events, explore and expose commonly held assumptions about historic “truth” and create narratives based on personal experiences.

Austin City Limits at 7 pm Saturday presents a special digitally remastered and edited version of Roy Orbison’s 1982 live performance on the show.

Sherlock and Watson must follow the clues that lead to an underground crime gang when a banker is found dead inside his locked apartment on “The Blind Banker” on Masterpiece Mystery! Presents Sherlock at 8 pm Saturday.

Science Night 4/25

Nature “Radioactive Wolves” at 7 pm
The historic nuclear accident at Chernobyl is now 25 years old. Filmmakers and scientists set out to document the lives of the packs of wolves and other wildlife thriving in the “dead zone” that still surrounds the remains of the reactor.

Nova “Secrets of the Sun” at 8 pm
It contains 99.9 percent of all the matter in our solar system and sheds hot plasma at nearly a million miles an hour. The temperature at its core is a staggering 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. It convulses, it blazes, it sings. You know it as the sun. Scientists know it as one of the most amazing physics laboratories in the universe. Now, with the help of new spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes, scientists are seeing the Sun as they never have before and even re-creating what happens at the very center of the Sun in labs here on Earth. Their work will help us understand aspects of the sun that have puzzled scientists for decades. But more critically, it may help us predict and track solar storms that have the power to zap our power grid, shut down telecommunications, and ground global air travel for days, weeks, or even longer. Such storms have happened before-but never in the modern era of satellite communication. SECRETS OF THE SUN reveals a bright new dawn in our understanding of our nearest star-one that might help keep our planet from going dark.

America Revealed “Electric Nation” at 9 pm
Our modern electric power grid has been called the biggest and most complex machine in the world – delivering electricity over 200,000 miles of high-tension transmission lines. Travel around the country with host Yul Kwon to understand its intricacies, its vulnerabilities and the remarkable ingenuity required to keep the electricity on, every day of the year. At New York State’s governing grid control room, learn how a massive blackout cut power to 40 million Americans; to understand how we can protect against this type of colossal failure, join a team who makes daring repairs from the side of a helicopter in flight. Visit the country’s largest coal mine, rappel down the side of a wind turbine, take a rare tour of a nuclear plant and travel on a massive tanker – as Kwon reflects on the challenges and opportunities to keep the power flowing.

Local Night features Light programming 4/19

AIC promo from KLRU-TV on Vimeo.

KLRU will present a special night of local programing on April 19th as part of ourLight / The Holocaust & Humanity Project events. In honor of Yom HaShoah, the Day of Remembrance for the Holocaust, we’ll be showing:

Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 pm
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel talks with Evan Smith on Overheard. Wiesel is a well-known voice for tolerance and justice worldwide. Wiesel spent part of his childhood in the Auschwitz concentration camp, and eventually published the memoir Night. Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, and established a foundation that fights intolerance and promotes justice. He teaches at Boston University, and has written more than 50 books.

Arts In Context: Producing Light at 7:30 pm
Arts in Context spends a month with Ballet Austin, as Artistic Director Stephen Mills and company produce a re-staging of the acclaimed Light/ Holocaust and Humanity Project. With unprecedented access to the dancers and staff on and off the stage, Producer/ Director Karen Bernstein and Cinematographer Deborah Lewis provide a unique look into production for Mills’ harrowing work on survival amidst a climate of indifference and hate.

Spark at 8:30 pm
Gerda Weissmann Klein draws from her wealth of life experiences: from surviving the Holocaust and meeting her future husband on the day of her liberation, to her journey to the United States, accepting an Oscar and Emmy for a documentary based on her life, and her constant fight to promote tolerance, encourage community service and combat hunger. Taped in front of a live audience as part of KLRU’s Spark speaker series on March 20, 2012. Watch the Weissmann Klein talk here:

Spark: Gerda Weissman Klein from KLRU-TV on Vimeo.