The National Football League, a multibillion-dollar commercial juggernaut, presides over America’s indisputable national pastime. But the NFL is under assault as thousands of former players claim the league has covered up football’s connection to long-term brain injuries. In a special two-hour investigation, FRONTLINE and prize-winning journalists Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada of ESPN reveal the hidden story of the NFL and brain injuries, drawn from their forthcoming book League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth (Crown Archetype, October 2013). What did the NFL know and when did it know it? What’s the truth about the risks to players? What can be done? The FRONTLINE investigation details how, for years, the league denied and worked to refute scientific evidence that the violent collisions at the heart of the game are linked to an alarming incidence of early onset dementia, catastrophic brain damage, and other devastating consequences for some of football’s all-time greats. Get more information.
A Victorian-era department store is the setting for love, intrigue, and a revolution in retailing, with Joanna Vanderham (What Maisie Knew) as a beautiful salesgirl and Emun Elliott (“Game of Thrones”) as the ruthless, enigmatic store owner. Adapted from Emile Zola’s classic novel, the glittering shopping spectacle also stars Patrick Malahide, Elaine Cassidy, and Sarah Lancashire.
Between Sept. 4 and Nov. 4 in 1838, around 850 members of the Potawatomi nation from Indiana were forced to walk more than 650 miles though Illinois and Missouri when they were forced to relocate to Kansas by the government. More than 40 people died during the journey, most of them were children. Host Jim Meadows talks with Sister Virginia Pearl, whose great-grandmother was one of the few children to survive what Virginia’s mother described to her as “the long walk” when she was a girl. Pearl is one of a handful of people who recently returned from a pilgrimage from Indiana to Kansas, traveling along the same route her ancestors did. The caravan came through East Central Illinois stopping to observe historical markers near Danville, Monticello and Decatur.
Meadows also talks with Shirley Willard, co-founder of the Potawatomi Trail of Death Association, the group that has organized the trip every five years since the late 1980s and John Bowes, an expert in the Potawatomi. He’s an associate professor at Eastern Kentucky University and will talk with us about why the Potawatomi were forced to leave their home in Indiana.
The longterm effects of multiple concussions in NFL football players has been increasingly reported by the media, especially after a $765 million settlement between the NFL and its former players this summer. But concussions have serious risks at all levels of play.
Host Jim Meadows talks with Randy Moss, athletic director at Monticello High School. Moss says in Monticello, football culture inspires a special kind of community and making it especially important for coaches, players and parents to take the risk of concussions pose seriously. We’ll hear about new rules the Illinois State High School Association has implemented in the interest of player safety and will hear from Adam Tarr, an athletic trainer who works with students to make sure concussions can be diagnosed and treated properly.
Meadows also talks with Chris Nowinski, co-founder and executive director of the Sports Legacy Institute in Boston. Nowinski is author of the book “Head Games” and is a former NCAA college football player and former WWE professional wrestler. A concussion ended his career in the WWE where he played the character “Chris Harvard,” and shortly after his retirement from professional sports, he became invested in educating athletes about a condition called CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that is believed to be a result of multiple concussions. Nowinski is interviewed in the PBS Frontline documentary League of Denial about the NFL and concussions, airing at 8 pm Tuesday, Oct. 8, on WILL-TV.
Some people say Béla Fleck has reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. He performs his own Banjo Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra and guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. It's an all-American program that also includes Copland's Suite from Billy the Kid, Gershwin's An American in Paris and John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine.
Discovering bacteria on Mars would be big news. But nothing would scratch our alien itch like making contact with intelligent life. Hear why one man is impatient for the discovery, and also about the new tools that may speed up the “eureka” moment. One novel telescope may help us find E.T. at home, by detecting the heat of his cities.
Also, the father of modern SETI research and how decoding the squeals of dolphins could teach us how to communicate with aliens.
Lee Billings – Journalist and author of Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars
Oliver Guyon – Optical physicist, astronomer, University of Arizona and Suburu telescope; 2012 McArthur Genius award winner
Jeff Kuhn – Physicist, Institute for Astronomy in Honolulu, Colossus Telescope
Frank Drake – Astronomer, SETI Institute
Denise Herzing – Behavioral biologist and research director of the Wild Dolphin Project
Two words are synonymous with Selfridges: luxury and London. However, Selfridges was the brainchild of an American — Harry Gordon Selfridge — whose life was depicted in the MASTERPIECE series Mr. Selfridge. The real, flamboyant Mr. Selfridge brought about a complete revolution in the way Londoners shopped, introducing a new American retail model that made shopping less a practical pursuit and more a luxurious adventure. Keen to put the shopper’s experience above anything else, Selfridge coined the expression “The customer is always right,” which has become the mantra of shops all over the world. The program reveals the grandiose store’s hidden stories and delves deep into the mind of its ambitious creator.
This six-hour series chronicles the full sweep of African-American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent through more than four centuries of remarkable historic events up to the present. Presented and written by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the series draws on some of America’s top historians and heretofore untapped primary sources, guiding viewers on an engaging journey across two continents to shed new light on the experience of being African American. Among those interviewed are Kathleen Cleaver, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Congressman John Lewis, civil rights activist Diane Nash and more.
The series airs on WILL-TV Tuesdays at 7 pm through Nov. 26
All local TV stations were unavailable to DirecTV viewers last night due to a systemwide outage. The interruption lasted from approximately 6:45 – 10:45 pm.
If you missed any of our affected programs, please see below for how to tune in, either over-the-air or online:
Last Tango in Halifax – repeats Tuesday morning (tonight!) at 1:00 AM. Available online any time at http://video.will.illinois.edu/video/2365087989/
Masterpiece Mystery! “Foyle’s War” – repeats Tuesday morning (tonight!) at 2:00 AM. Available online any time at http://video.will.illinois.edu/video/2365087130/
Bletchley Circle – repeats Tuesday morning (tonight!) at 3:30 AM. Available online any time at http://video.will.illinois.edu/video/2365001143/