Highlights: December 23-29

KLRU Highlights

Starting at 6 pm Sunday, KLRU presents parts 4, 5, 6 of Downton Abbey, Series II back-to-back. The sereis depicts the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them.

Actress Jane Seymour and baritone Nathan Gunn join the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in a magnificent Christmas special featuring some of the season’s best-loved songs on Christmas With The Mormon Tabernacle Choir at 8 pm Monday. Followed by Christmas at the Belmont at 9 pm and Christmas at St. Olaf at 10 pm.

Breakfast Special 2: Revenge of the Omelets at 7 pm Tuesday visits breakfast spots from Norwalk, Connecticut to Hilo, Hawaii and samples some classic as well as some unusual dishes, talking to enthusiastic cooks, servers and eaters all along the way.

Nature at 7 pm Wednesday explores the thick forests, vast wetlands, and deep chasms that make up a wild, inaccessible place belonging more to myth than reality in “Wild Balkans”.

NOVA at 8 pm Wednesday attempts to answer the question: How did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights? Nova’s team of scientists reveals the hidden formulas, drawn from the pages of the Bible itself, that drove medieval builders ever upward on “Building The Great Cathedrals“.

NOVA at 9 pm Wednesday presents Quest for Solomon’s Mines, an investigation of the illuminated legend King Solomon that reveals the source of the great wealth that powered the first mighty Biblical kingdoms.

Actor Bob Balaban discusses his career on Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 pm Thursday.

Every year, some of Austin’s influential artists, architects and entrepreneurs travel south to Presidio County to honor the late artist, writer, cowboy sage and visionary, A. Kelly Pruitt. Arts In Context at 7:30 pm Thursday chronicles the event.

Learn all about Spain’s influence on David Chang’s career on The Mind of a Chef at 8 pm Thursday.

Chet races to the Texas Motor Speedway, explores Denton’s historic square and independent music culture on The Daytripper at 8:30 pm Thursday.

American Masters at 9 pm Friday presents “Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance”, the story of the first quintessentially American dance company whose founders pioneered a new dance philosophy by daringly combining modern and traditional techniques, art with social statement, and integrating pop and rock music scores.

The CTG team swaps perspectives, discoveries, and flops from 2012 and makes their resolutions for a new gardening year on Central Texas Gardener at noon Saturday.

Austin City Limits at 7 pm Saturday presents the evolution of electric guitar music with Sonic Youth and the Black Keys.

Starting at 8 pm Saturday, the last three parts of Downton Abbey, Series II depict the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them, set at their Edwardian country house in the early 20th century.

Science Night 12/26

Nature “Wild Balkans” at 7 pm
Thick forests, vast wetlands, deep chasms – this is a wild, inaccessible place that belongs more to myth than reality. The landscape looks as if it was taken straight form Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” But here there are neither orcs nor elves; rather, bears and wolves. This is not Middle Earth; rather it is middle Europe – the Balkans. Through the centuries this land has burned its way into the soul and spirit of its people. The jagged contours have thrown long dark shadows over the history of the peninsula, always in the middle, between forces of the East and the West. It’s as if the bloody history of the Balkans conspired to conceal its natural wonders. The landscape is still untouched and in it are wild animals that have all but vanished from the rest of Europe.

NOVA “Building The Great Cathedrals” at 8 pm
Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, soaring effortlessly atop a spiderweb of masonry, Gothic cathedrals are marvels of human achievement and artistry. But how did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights? Consuming the labor of entire towns, sometimes taking 100 years to build, these architectural marvels were crafted from just hand tools and stone. Many now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, an international team of engineers, architects, art historians and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell towers for clues to how the dream of these heavenly temples on earth came true. NOVA’s teams perform hands-on experiments to investigate and reveal the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their soaring, glass-filled walls. This program reveals the hidden formulas, drawn from the pages of the Bible itself, that drove medieval builders ever upward.

NOVA “Quest For Solomon’s Mines” at 9 pm
Inspired by the Bible’s account of the splendor of his temples and palaces adorned in glittering gold and copper, countless treasure-seekers have set off in search of King Solomon’s mines. They have trekked through burning deserts and scaled the forbidding mountains of Africa and the Levant. Yet to date, the evidence that’s been claimed to support the existence of Solomon and other early kingdoms in the Bible has been highly controversial. In fact, there is so little physical evidence of the kings who ruled Israel and Edom that many contend that they are no more real than King Arthur. During the summer of 2010, NOVA and National Geographic embarked on two groundbreaking expeditions to expose new clues buried in the pockmarked desert of Jordan: the ancient remnants of a mass industrial-scale copper mine and a 3,000-year-old message from the past with the words “slave,” “king” and “judge.” These cutting-edge investigations illuminate the legend of Solomon and reveal the source of the great wealth that powered the first mighty Biblical kingdoms.

KLRU Q Saturday Night at the Movies – 12/22

KLRU-Q’s Saturday Night at the Movies presents a full-length movie every Saturday night, plus extra content that gives the evening an exciting spin. Here is a peek of what this Saturday has in store:

8:00pm – Masterpiece Mystery! Presents: Poirot X: Murder On The Orient Express
David Suchet (Henry VIII, The Way We Live Now) stars as suave Belgian super sleuth Hercule Poirot in this mystery based on the novels by Agatha Christie. Whether he’s on holiday abroad, taking a countryside break or simply going about his business near his central London home, Poirot finds himself exercising his “little grey cells” by helping police investigate crimes and murders, whether they ask for his help or not. Securing a last-minute ticket on the Orient Express from Istanbul to London, Poirot finds himself amongst a host of eclectic fellow passengers. When the train becomes caught in a snowdrift and a passenger is found brutally murdered mid-voyage, the famous Belgian detective is called upon to investigate the crime and find the culprit. Dame Eileen Atkins (Cranford), Hugh Bonneville (Miss Austen Regrets) and David Morrissey (Sense and Sensibility) guest star.

9:30pm – David Suchet on the Orient Express
This program takes us across the Europe of today and reaches into bygone eras. With glamour, insight, charm, beautiful photography and fascinating characters, Suchet leads us on an epic journey on an iconic train through a series of romantic cities and stunning scenery.

Librarian in Leander ISD named a KLRU/PBS LearningMedia Grand Prize Winner!

Rachel Deaton, Librarian of Winkley Elementary in Leander ISD is now the proud owner of a new iPad thanks to her entry in the PBS LearningMedia Sweepstakes! Rachel is a daily user of KLRU / PBS LearningMedia in order to supply her teachers and students with relevant, engaging content and is “amazed” at the wealth of information on the site. Access to the Learning Media portal is FREE to all and offers access to over 20,000 artifacts from the PBS archives. (Two hints: Create your free login ASAP to avoid reminders, and “like” PBS LearningMedia on Facebook to receive valuable tips on contents.)

Here for Each Other: Helping Families After an Emergency

In light of the terrible events that transpired in Newtown, CT, here are some materials to help you and your young child.

Talking to children about current news: http://to.pbs.org/UY5Uj7

Here’s a link to a few pointers from PBS Parents and Mister Rogers on talking to kids about news that may be scary:http://to.pbs.org/12pWyyO

Click the picture below to access Here for Each Other: Helping Families After an Emergency, to support families either directly impacted or others who are struggling to make sense of this tragedy.  As an additional resource, Sesame Workshop has posted Sesame Street Support PSAs. These discuss monitoring television viewing, managing stressful situations and identifying and coping with emotions. Most importantly for adults, though you may wish to remain glued to the television or Internet for breaking news, after a reasonable time you should step away!

Elmo and mother puppet holding hands

KLRU Create's Sewing with Nancy features Austin expert

Local Expert Makes Appearance on TV’s Longest Running Sewing Show

When she’s not busy showing sewing machines to potential customers in the Austin area Barbara Goldkorn, of the Sew Much More sewing retail store, loves to create unique projects with her Baby Lock serger. In fact, Goldkorn creates such beautiful sewing projects that she caught the attention of national sewing celebrity Nancy Zieman and was invited to be a guest on TV’s longest running sewing show, PBS’s “Sewing With Nancy”. The episode, “Serger Boutique”, will air on KLRU Create. Part one airs on 12/24, 12/26 and 12/28 at 5:30 pm and part two airs 12/31, 1/2 and 1/4 at 5:30 pm.

Goldkorn loves her Baby Lock Evolution serger, and has created numerous original projects using unusual techniques. “I had a lot of projects I thought I’d like to share,” Goldkorn said. “I thought about writing a book…” But after speaking with Zieman at a sewing event, Goldkorn’s projects were destined for television.

“Sewing With Nancy” first aired in 1982 as a one-woman production. From those humble beginnings, the show quickly gained popularity and now airs on 91% of all PBS markets. Zieman’s “you can do it” approach towards new techniques makes it easy for viewers to follow along. In fact, Zieman is so popular that over 40 thousand people visit her blog each month.

For over 30 years, Zieman has searched for guests, like Goldkorn, who can provide new inspiration to her audience. From helpful tips to original project ideas, each “Sewing With Nancy” guest gives viewers an opportunity to try something they may have never considered. These motivational guests combined with Zieman’s on-screen charm have made “Sewing With Nancy” the longest running sewing show on television.

By using her Baby Lock serger in a unique way, Goldkorn was exactly the type of guest to keep the “Sewing With Nancy” momentum going into its 31st year. “Barbara has the unique talent of making a serger (sewing) machine sing! Her creations rival high-end accessory and home décor designers,” Zieman said.

Of course, Goldkorn was just as excited to be on the show as Nancy was to have her. She had never made a television appearance and was particularly impressed with the helpful staff behind “Sewing With Nancy.” A lot of prep goes into each episode, and Zieman’s staff made it easy for Goldkorn to make her television debut.

“It was an honor to be there. Her staff is amazing, and of course being with Nancy is a treat,” Goldkorn said. “Nancy makes you feel very comfortable. She has a knack for that.”

The two-part “Serger Boutique” episode featuring Goldkorn and her projects will debut in late December. It can be seen on PBS or online at nancyzieman.com. A book and DVD of the episode  are already available, but  that  won’t be stopping Goldkorn from pursuing another book in the future.

You can also read about Barbara’s visit on Nancy Zieman’s blog

Highlights: December 16-22

KLRU Highlights

The entire first series of Masterpiece Downton Abbey airs noon to 6 pm Sunday. Then starting at 6 pm Sunday, the first three parts of Downton Abbey, Series II depict the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them, set at their Edwardian country house in the early 2oth century.

Live From Lincoln Center at 9 pm Monday presents a program of favorite arias and ensembles, including selections by Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, Massenet, Mascagni, Handel and Wagner, from The Richard Tucker Opera Gala.

First Freedom: The Fight For Religious Liberty at 7 pm Tuesday profiles the generation of colonial Americans who raised the ideal of religious freedom to the level of a fundamental human right.

Iranian Americans at 8:30 pm Tuesday explores the history and lives of the Iranian American community in the United States.

Frontline at 9:30 pm Tuesday presents the epic story of the rise of Christianity.

Nature at 7 pm Wednesday documents the breathtaking landscapes framing intimate scenes of wolves and coyotes, elk and bison, bears and otters as they make their way through their most challenging season of the year in “Christmas in Yellowstone”.

NOVA at 8 pm Wednesday follows an international team of archeologists, architects and engineers to find out if they can reverse the destructive forces of man and nature to save one of the great wonders of the ancient world in “Riddles Of The Sphinx”.

NOVA at 9 pm Wednesday travels to one of Egypt’s most impressive temples, built some 3,500 years ago for the celebrated female pharaoh Hatshepsut, in search of answers to a tantalizing archeological mystery in “Building Pharaoh’s Ship” at 9 pm Wednesday.

Actor/Comedian David Cross talks about his career on Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 pm Thursday.

Arts In Context at 7:30 pm Thursday profiles Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the U.S. specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action, and just plain fantastic movies from around the world, in “All My Friends Are Vampires”.

The Mind of a Chef at 8 pm Thursday explores Chef David Chang’s past: dishes from childhood, summer eating, his time in Japan and golf.

The Daytripper at 8:30 pm Thursday follows Chet to Stephenville, TX as he visits Dublin Bottling Works, sees some barrel racing at Lone Star Arena, and polishes it off with chicken fried steak in the “cowboy capital of the world”.

Emmy and golden Globe-winning actress Jane Seymour and Grammy Award-winning baritone Nathan Gunn join the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in a magnificent Christmas special featuring some of the season’s best-loved songs on Christmas With The Mormon Tabernacle Choir at 9 pm Thursday.

Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 10 pm Thursday features performances and readings by James Taylor, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Ledisi, The Fray, Phillip Phillips and Rico Rodriguez.

Great Performances at 9 pm Friday presents The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour”, a film arguably ahead of its time with a mostly improvised and loosely plotted script based around a surreal dreamlike coach trip to an unknown destination.

Austin City Limits presents a classic performance from Tom Waits’ 1979 appearance at 7 pm Saturday.

Replace lawn or cover the ground under trees with water-wise plants on Central Texas Gardener at noon Saturday. On tour, a gardener created sculptural art in a healing garden to soothe cancer traumas.

Starting at 8 pm Saturday, the first three parts of Downton Abbey, Series II depict the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them, set at their Edwardian country house in the early 20th century.

Science Night 12/19

Nature “Christmas at Yellowstone” at 7 pm
As snow falls and Christmas lights glow in Jackson Hole, a holiday season of a different sort settles in just beyond the town, in the great winter world of Yellowstone. Breathtaking landscapes frame intimate scenes of wolves and coyotes, elk and bison, bears and otters as they make their way through their most challenging season of the year. NATURE journeys in the footsteps of the men who first explored the park, and travels with their modern-day counterpart on his own journey of discovery. From the unique crystals of individual snowflakes to the grand sweep of Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley, this is a Christmas like no other.

NOVA “Riddles of the Sphinx” at 8 pm
The Great Sphinx is disappearing. It would not be the first time in its nearly 5,000-year history that the sands of Egypt have buried this wonder of the ancient world. But today the Sphinx confronts a threat far worse than being blanketed by dunes. The face of the mysterious Pharaoh is being sandblasted to oblivion, its features eroded beyond recognition by whipping winds while its limestone lion’s body is dissolved by rising saltwater and sewage and shaken by planes, cars and construction. Now, an international team of archeologists, architects and engineers, led by Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner, is racing against time to save the Sphinx. With the aid of the most advanced digital 3D model ever constructed, they hope to save the Sphinx before it is too late. Along the way, they’ll also solve the riddles that have eluded the rescue missions of Pharaohs, Caesars and Emperors for more than 3,000 years. Who is the Sphinx and what did it symbolize? How was it built, when and by whom? NOVA follows the team to find out if they can reverse the destructive forces of man and nature to save this wonder of the ancient world.

NOVA “Building Pharaoh’s Ship” at 9 pm
A magnificent trading vessel embarks on a royal expedition to a mysterious, treasure-laden land called Punt. Is this journey, intricately depicted on the wall of one of Egypt’s most impressive temples, mere myth — or was it a reality? NOVA travels to the legendary temple, built some 3,500 years ago for the celebrated female pharaoh Hatshepsut, in search of answers to this tantalizing archeological mystery. Did Punt exist and, if so, where was it? Did the ancient Egyptians, who built elaborate barges to sail down the Nile, also have the expertise to embark on a long sea voyage? NOVA follows a team of archeologists and boat builders as they reconstruct the mighty vessel shown on the mysterious carving, and then finally launch it in to the Red Sea on a unique voyage of discovery.

Catch up on Downton Abbey in December

KLRU-TV to present Season 1 & 2 of Masterpiece Classic “Downton Abbey” this December.

KLRU features Season 1 & 2 of Downton Abbey for our viewers to enjoy this month! As we all eagerly await the new Season 3 of Masterpiece Classic “Downton Abbey,” it is time to reflect on the previous seasons.

For those needing to see the story from the very, very beginning with Season 1 of Downton Abbey, KLRU will provide this treat starting on Saturday, December 15th. On that Saturday from 6 pm- midnight, you can watch all four episodes of Season 1 of Downton Abbey.

Then on Sunday, December 16th, KLRU-TV will offer fans a real Downton Abbey Marathon starting at noon. Season 1 of Downton Abbey will be repeated noon-6 pm. Then at 6 pm, Season 2 of Downton Abbey will be featured till 10 pm that evening.

Season 2 continues the next Sunday, December 23rd from 6 pm-10 pm and repeated on Saturday, December 29th at 8 pm.

Then on Sunday, December 30th, the Christmas finale of Season 2 will air from 8 pm-10 pm.

KLRU also has a special offer for our viewers to get Season 3 on DVD. Support KLRU now to reserve your copy

Highlights: December 9-15

KLRU Highlights

Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 at 6 pm Sunday recaps the 25th birthday concert of the legendary musical with a company of over 300 actors and musicians at the O2 Arena in London.

Downton Abbey Revisited at 10 pm Sunday savors great moments from the series’ first two seasons, along with cast interviews, rare behind-the-scenes footage and a sneak peek at what’s in store for the Crawleys as they enter the Roaring Twenties.

Seeking to answer the question of what happened in the engine and boiler rooms after the collision, Saving The Titanic at 7 pm Tuesday tells the story of the disaster from below deck, with the action taking place between the time the crew embark the Titanic at Southampton and the eventual sinking of the ship.

Generations after the ship’s sink, stories of the Titanic are still unfolding as host Len Goodman meets the modern-day descendants to learn how, 100 years after it sank, the Titanic’s legacy lives on Titanic with Len Goodman at 8 pm Tuesday.

Nature at 7 pm Wednesday explores the most feline, the most intelligent, the most dangerous, and, until recently, one of the least understood predators on land in “Revealing The Leopard”.

NOVA at 8 pm Wednesday follows a new generation of researchers finding important clues in the landscape surrounding Stonehenge, one of the densest concentrations of prehistoric structures in the world, in “Secrets of Stonehenge”.

Arts in Context at 7:30 pm Thursday profiles local Austin music-makers Mother Falcon.

What does it take for a family to survive and thrive in Texas? Fighting Chance at 8 pm Thursday follows the lives of five families and shows the tough choices they must make — sacrifices that most Texans could not imagine. Civic Summit at 8:30 pm Thursday features Austin community members and leaders in conversation to discuss What it Takes for Texas Families to get by. Hear how different cities address issues and provide solutions for their communities. Learn also about tools and resources available to help families get ahead.

Great Performances at 9 pm Friday presents “Magical Mystery Tour Revisited”, a documentary chronicling the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the film and provides context for “the summer of love” era that set the scene for its production.

Designer Diana Kirby illustrates how new gardeners turned old yards into gardens on Central Texas Gardener at noon Saturday. On tour, a couple renovates a neglected yard.

Starting at 6 pm Saturday, Season One of Downton Abbey depicts the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them, set at their Edwardian country house in 1912.