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Highlights & Specials

Great Performances - John Leguizamo's Road to Broadway

Friday, November 16th at 9 PM

Beginning his career as a stand-up comic in the early 1980s, John Leguizamo garnered early-career acclaim in 1993 with his memorable role in “Carlito’s Way,” which led to an extensive film and television career including roles in “To Wong Foo…,” “Romeo + Juliet,” “Moulin Rouge” and many more. But it has been in the theater that Leguizamo has been able to fully display his quicksilver comic brilliance and insightful social consciousness in a series of one-man shows: “Mambo Mouth,” “Spic-O-Rama,” “Freak,” “Sexaholix…A Love Story” and “Ghetto Klown.” In partnership with Latino Public Broadcasting’s arts and culture series VOCES, Great Performances presents this behind-the-scenes documentary chronicling Leguizamo’s latest theatrical showcase, “Latin History for Morons."

Grand Coulee Dam: American Experience

Saturday, November 17th at 8 PM

During the darkest days of the Depression when construction was started on Grand Coulee Dam, everything about it was described in superlatives. It would be the "Biggest Thing on Earth," the salvation of the common man, a dam and irrigation project that would make the desert bloom, a source of cheap power that would boost an entire region of the country. Of the many public works projects of the New Deal, Grand Coulee Dam loomed largest in America's imagination, promising to fulfill President Franklin Roosevelt's vision for a "planned promised land" where hard-working farm families would finally be free from the drought and dislocation caused by the elements.

Foreigner Live at the Symphony

Saturday, November 17th at 10 PM

In May 2017, the legendary rock ‘n’ roll band Foreigner performed two sold-out shows together with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, conducted by Ernst van Tiel, taped over three spectacular nights in Lucerne, Switzerland. "Foreigner Live at the Symphony" represents a year-long collaboration between Foreigner founding member and lead guitarist Mick Jones and the Grammy-nominated composing/arranging team, Dave Eggar and Chuck Palmer, exploring the deep symphonic potential of these classic and iconic songs. Celebrating 40 years of chart-topping hits, the band performs “Juke Box Hero,” “Cold as Ice,” “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” “Waiting For a Girl Like You,” “Starrider,” “Double Vision,” “Urgent,” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

Poldark on Masterpiece - Season 4, Episode 8

Sunday, November 18th at 9 PM

Elizabeth hopes to persuade George that Valentine is his child once and for all. Ross returns to Cornwall to mend things with Demelza. The Poldarks look to a new century of change together.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The Mark Twain Prize

Monday, November 19th at 9 PM

This November, The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor salutes Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The program premieres Monday, November 19 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide. The special, recorded at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on October 21, features a star-studded cast of Louis-Dreyfus’ friends, admirers and collaborators including Stephen Colbert, Bryan Cranston, Tina Fey, Ilana Glazer, Tony Hale, Abbi Jacobson, Keegan-Michael Key, Kumail Nanjiani, and Jerry Seinfeld. The evening pays tribute to the humor and accomplishments of the television icon.

Frontline - Documenting Hate: New American Nazis

Tuesday, November 20th at 9 PM

Learn about a neo-Nazi group that has actively recruited inside the U.S. military. An investigation with ProPublica shows the group's terrorist objectives and how it gained strength after the 2017 Charlottesville rally.

Frontline - Documenting Hate: Charlottesville

Tuesday, November 20th at 10 PM

Exposing the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis involved in the 2017 Charlottesville rally. An investigation with ProPublica shows how some of those behind the racist violence went unpunished and continued to operate around the country.

Nova - World's Fastest Animal

Wednesday, November 21st at 9 PM

See the world through the eyes of nature’s fastest animal: the peregrine falcon. Though once perilously endangered in the U.S. this spectacular predator is now thriving again in American cities and on every continent but Antarctica. What is the secret to their predatory prowess? To find out, follow a young family of peregrines in urban Chicago as the chicks hatch and learn from their parents to fly and hunt. And join expert falconer Lloyd Buck as he trains a captive peregrine and puts its hunting skills to the test. What’s the secret behind the peregrine falcon’s blistering speed, able to reach nearly 200 mph?

Doc Martin - Episode 701 - Rescue Me

Thursday, November 22nd at 9 PM

We start back in Portwenn with Martin, but Louisa is not there. After their tumultuous time last series, Louisa has gone for a break to visit her mother in Spain: to have some time to think and get some perspective on their relationship. Martin is faced with the questions:will Louisa come back to him; and what can he do to make sure that she does? Martin knows that he needs to try and change for the sake of his marriage, and promised Louisa that he would see a therapist to try and effect this change. Aunt Ruth manages to find him someone very well qualified to see Dr. Rachel Timoney. However, life in Portwenn transpires to get in Martin's way, in the shape of Steve Baker, and the Lifeboat training exercise. Martin is not the only person inconvenienced Steve and his assistant Barry are meant to be helping Al get his Bed and Breakfast ready in time for his first guests arriving, but Steve is never there and half the walls still haven't been plastered.

Doc Martin - The Shock of the New

Thursday, November 22nd at 10 PM

After Martin’s first session with Dr. Rachel Timoney, we see he may have me this match: if anyone is going to be able to help Martin change, then Dr. Timoney seems well-qualified. Louisa’s return further raises questions around their relationship: in order to stay together, perhaps they need to spend more time apart, living in separate houses until they have worked through their issues. Meanwhile, Al welcomes his first fishing guests, but an uninvited one means that his good review is definitely not guaranteed. Bert decides to try and rejuvenate trade at the restaurant by joining an online voucher scheme, and offering a 2-for-1 lobster special with the help of Gus, a local fisherman. Morwenna thinks her responsibilities in the Surgery have increased, and asks Martin for a pay raise. Louisa, her return to school imminent, has to find a new babysitter to look after James Henry, and reluctantly decides to offer Janice a trial.

Great Performances - Harold Prince: The Director's Life

Friday, November 23rd at 9 PM

This Great Performances retrospective celebrates the extraordinary career of producer and director Harold Prince, whose seven decades in the theater spans from Broadway’s “Golden Age” to the contemporary blockbusters of today. Winner of 21 Tony Awards (the most of any individual), Prince’s peerless résumé includes such legendary shows as “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cabaret,” “Company,” “Follies,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Evita,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and many more. In addition to archival clips, this fascinating performance-documentary includes interviews with many of Prince’s renowned collaborators, including Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mandy Patinkin, John Kander, Susan Stroman, Angela Lansbury and others, all sharing their firsthand insights into his pioneering achievements in the theater. Photo: Joseph Sinnott/WNET

Ken Burns: The Civil War

Saturday, November 24th at 5 PM

Originally broadcast in 2015 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the landmark series this program presents an in-depth overview of the iconic documentary. See video clips and interviews with Ken Burns, Geoffrey Ward, Ric Burns, Buddy Squires and others.

Ethan Bortnick Live in Concert: The Power of Music

Saturday, November 24th at 6:30 PM (Repeats Sunday, November 25th at 8 PM)

The captivating family music special Ethan Bortnick Live in Concert: The Power of Music features the amazing 12-year-old composer, pianist, and entertainer Ethan Bortnick, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra, 4-piece band, and the 120-member Kids Choir, in a program that had the live audience dancing in the aisles! Presented by WTTW National Productions, this program is premiering just in time for the family holiday get-togethers! Ethan performs with passion and heart - his fingers fly across the piano keys in "Minute Waltz," and the audience rocks out to "Rock Around the Clock," claps to the beat of "Lean On Me," and participates in a very enthusiastic sing-along of "Crocodile Rock." He's joined by special guests Damian McGinty of Glee and Celtic Thunder and Grammy-nominated vocalist Jane Monheit, who add even more color to the musical rainbow on stage.

Great Performances - Michael Buble: Tour Stop 148

Saturday, November 24th at 8 PM

This unique concert film offers viewers a front row seat and exclusive backstage pass to superstar Michael Bublé’s visually thrilling and musically triumphant To Be Loved Tour, which was seen worldwide by two million fans in 2015 over the course of an epic schedule of 172 concert dates. The richly atmospheric film spotlights Bublé’s charismatic gifts as an entertainer and showcases thrilling live performances of the GRAMMY®-winning singer-songwriter’s biggest hits, including “Home,” “Haven’t Met You Yet,” “Cry Me A River” and “Feelin’ Good.” In addition, the performance sequences are intercut with exclusive cinéma vérité-style footage of what it took for Team Bublé to travel this movable musical feast from arena to arena over the course of a two-year span.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - From Gainesville

Saturday, November 24th at 9:30 PM

In 2006 during their 30th-anniversary tour, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers returned to Gainesville, Florida, hometown of Petty and bandmates Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench. By this time, Petty and The Heartbreakers had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 (their first year of eligibility), sold millions of records, and Petty had become a rock icon and one of the best-selling artists of all time.

Ethan Bortnick Live in Concert: The Power of Music

Sunday, November 25th at 8 PM

The captivating family music special Ethan Bortnick Live in Concert: The Power of Music features the amazing 12-year-old composer, pianist, and entertainer Ethan Bortnick, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra, 4-piece band, and the 120-member Kids Choir, in a program that had the live audience dancing in the aisles! Presented by WTTW National Productions, this program is premiering just in time for the family holiday get-togethers! Ethan performs with passion and heart - his fingers fly across the piano keys in "Minute Waltz," and the audience rocks out to "Rock Around the Clock," claps to the beat of "Lean On Me," and participates in a very enthusiastic sing-along of "Crocodile Rock." He's joined by special guests Damian McGinty of Glee and Celtic Thunder and Grammy-nominated vocalist Jane Monheit, who add even more color to the musical rainbow on stage.

Mister Rogers: It's You I Like

Monday, November 26th at 8 PM

Join host Michael Keaton to celebrate "Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood," the pioneering children's series that premiered nationally 50 years ago. Keaton worked as a stagehand and made appearances on the series in the 1970. Judd Apatow, Joyce DiDonato, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Kratt, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma and son Nicholas Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Silverman, Esperanza Spalding and Caroll Spinney reveal their favorite memories from the series.

Peter, Paul and Mary at Newport 1963-65

Monday, November 26th at 9:30 PM

These never-before-seen performances by Peter, Paul and Mary at Newport ’63-’65 convey the joy, optimism and turbulence of that extraordinary era of change. Many of these songs hold an honored place in the soundtrack of 60s activism in America.

Lost Coast Sessions - Paula Jones Band

Tuesday, November 27th at 9:30 PM

The Paula Jones Band's pianist Tim Randles, drummer Mike LaBolle, bassist (and luthier) Ken Lawrence, saxophonist (and flautist) Don Baraka respond to every nuance and gesture of the personable, loving presence provided by singer Paula Jones at the apex of her powers.

Nature - Snow Bears

Wednesday, November 28th at 8 PM

Witness the incredible journey of newborn polar bear cubs as they leave the safety of their den for the first time. Bravely led by their mother, the cubs must make the perilous 400-mile Arctic voyage to the sea to feed. Narrated by Kate Winslet.

A River's Last Chance (Pledge Event)

Wednesday, November 28th at 9:30 PM

“A River’s Last Chance: A Story of Salmon, Timber, Weed and Wine along California’s Mighty Eel River,” by former Humboldt State University student and the director of storytelling for Pacific Rivers, Shane Anderson. The Eel River in Northern California is arguably the best opportunity for wild salmon recovery on the entire west coast. The river and salmon have weathered decades of over fishing , abusive logging, catastrophic floods and droughts , a hydro power dam that diverts water out of basin. Today the Eels recovering wild salmon compete for water with the region’s underground multi billion dollar cannabis economy and the multi billion dollar wine industries of Sonoma and Mendocino. This film is rooted in the belief that we can live symbiotically with our watersheds and encourage both a rivers recovery and economic future.

Doc Martin: Revealed

Thursday, November 29th at 9 PM

DOC MARTIN: REVEALED features behind-the-scenes footage from the DOC MARTIN series (Season 6) shot on location in Port Isaac, Cornwall, England. Viewers get inside access to the actors and crew as they film sequences on the balcony at Large's Restaurant and in the nearby pub that doubles for the Crab & Lobster.

Great Performances - Tony Bennett and Diana Krall: Love is Here to Stay

Friday, November 30th at 8:30 PM

An unprecedented union of two of the greatest living jazz singers, Tony Bennett and Diana Krall honor the legacy of the premiere songwriting duo of the Great American Songbook, George and Ira Gershwin. Bennett and Krall team up to perform definitive interpretations of Gersh­win favorites such as “Love Is Here to Stay,” “Fascinating Rhythm” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.” Behind-the-scenes sequences recorded during the making of their new album highlight the personal and musical rapport that these two artists have established over the course of their 20-year friendship. Interviews with Bennett and Krall reveal the meaning behind the music and the process of creating this collaborative album together.

Leonard Cohen -- Tower of Song (Pledge Event)

Friday, November 30th at 10 PM

Filmed at the Bell Center in Montreal, Quebec on the first anniversary of his death, LEONARD COHEN – TOWER OF SONG celebrates the globally recognized icon, poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen. The special features performances by a star-studded lineup of international artists, and includes many of Cohen’s most celebrated songs, augmented by rare archival interviews and concert footage. A 24-piece orchestra, and special guests kd lang, Sting, Elvis Costello, Damien Rice and more pay tribute with moving renditions of “Dance Me to the End of Love,” “Hallelujah,” “Suzanne,” "Bird on a Wire" and “Democracy” to name a few.

Sinatra in Concert at Royal Festival Hall

Saturday, December 1st at 8 PM

SINATRA IN CONCERT AT ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL was filmed on November 16, 1970. The set list includes classics like "Pennies From Heaven", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "My Kind Of Town" and "My Way".

Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player

Saturday, December 1st at 9:30 PM

On May 15, 1987, a group of A-list musicians gathered to celebrate the enormous influence of guitarist Chet Atkins on their lives and careers. Taped in Nashville just blocks from the famed Music Row that he's largely credited with creating, this star-packed program includes performances by Atkins with Mark Knopfler, the Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Michael McDonald and a band of Music City's finest players.

Paul Simon's Concert in Central Park

Sunday, December 2nd at 7 PM

Celebrate the legendary artist as he performs a retrospective mix of favorites before an enormous crowd in Central Park in 1991. Joining Simon onstage are a 17-piece band, South African and Brazilian musicians, Chevy Chase and a Bahian drum ensemble.

Great Performances - Tony Bennett and Diana Krall: Love is Here to Stay

Sunday, December 2nd at 9 PM

An unprecedented union of two of the greatest living jazz singers, Tony Bennett and Diana Krall honor the legacy of the premiere songwriting duo of the Great American Songbook, George and Ira Gershwin. Bennett and Krall team up to perform definitive interpretations of Gersh­win favorites such as “Love Is Here to Stay,” “Fascinating Rhythm” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.” Behind-the-scenes sequences recorded during the making of their new album highlight the personal and musical rapport that these two artists have established over the course of their 20-year friendship. Interviews with Bennett and Krall reveal the meaning behind the music and the process of creating this collaborative album together.