WILL Highlights

WILL - WILL Highlights - September 16, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Glenn Gould in rapture

From NPR's Krulwich Wonders: Watch Gould deep in what psychologists call "a flow state."



WILL - WILL Highlights - September 15, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

7 pm all week long on WILL-TV (repeated 9 pm nightly)

Franklin, Eleanor and Theodore Roosevelt

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History airs on WILL-TV over seven consecutive nights beginning at 7 pm Sunday, Sept. 14. Each episode is repeated at 9 pm the same night.

The film weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics. The series marks the first time their individual stories have been woven into a single narrative. 

“The Roosevelts have played significant roles in other stories we’ve told before, from the National Parks to World War II,” said filmmaker Ken Burns. “It’s impossible, in fact, to visit many parts of the American experience without encountering their presence. But beyond simply sharing a bloodline or political success, they each shared a passionate belief that America is at its strongest when everyone has an equal chance. And on a personal level, they each struggled to overcome their own fears while maintaining a public face of courage.”

The Roosevelts follows the family’s story for more than a century, from Theodore’s birth in 1858 to Eleanor’s death in 1962. Over the course of those years, Theodore would become the 26th president of the United States, and his beloved niece, Eleanor, would marry his fifth cousin, Franklin, who became the 32nd president. Together, they redefined the relationship Americans had with their government and with each other, and redefined, as well, the role of the United States within the wider world. The series encompasses all the history the Roosevelts helped to make — the creation of National Parks and the digging of the Panama Canal, the New Deal and the defeat of Hitler, and the postwar struggles for civil rights at home and human rights around the world in which Eleanor Roosevelt played a central role. But it is also an intimate human story about love and betrayal, family feeling and personal courage and the conquest of fear.

Legendary actress Meryl Streep portrays Eleanor Roosevelt in readings from her personal letters and writings. Of her performance, Burns said, “As we’ve seen time and time again, Ms. Streep is a magician. Here, she completely transformed herself into Eleanor Roosevelt, simply through her voice. It was remarkable to witness. The entire cast delivers what I consider to be some of the finest voice-over work we’ve ever been fortunate enough to present.”

Joining Streep are Paul Giamatti as the voice of Theodore Roosevelt and Edward Herrmann, two-time Emmy Award nominee for his performance as Franklin Roosevelt, as the voice of FDR. 

Rounding out the cast are Patricia Clarkson, Adam Arkin, Philip Bosco, Keith Carradine, Kevin Conway, Ed Harris, John Lithgow, Josh Lucas, Carl Lumbly, Amy Madigan, Carolyn McCormick, Pamela Reed, Billy Bob Thornton and Eli Wallach.

Get more information about the series.

Watch a preview:


WILL - WILL Highlights - September 07, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

American Masters, 8 pm Tuesday, Sept. 23, on WILL-TV

The Boomer List, faces of boomers interviewed

From the time of its birth, the baby boomer generation (1946-1964) has significantly and uniquely changed our world. 2014 marks an important shift in American culture, as the last boomers turn 50. American Masters: The Boomer List tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom:

1946 Tim O’Brien, Vietnam vet / author

1947 Deepak Chopra, M.D., New Age guru

1948 Samuel L. Jackson, actor

1949 Billy Joel, singer-songwriter

1950 Steve Wozniak, co-founder,

Apple Computer

1951 Tommy Hilfiger, fashion designer

1952 Amy Tan, author

1953 Eve Ensler, playwright

1954 Julieanna Richardson, founder,

The HistoryMakers

1955 Maria Shriver, journalist

1956 Kim Cattrall, actor

1957 Virginia Rometty, CEO, IBM

1958 Ellen Ochoa, Director, Johnson Space Center

1959 Ronnie Lott, athlete

1960 Erin Brockovich, environmentalist

1961 Peter Staley, AIDS activist

1962 Rosie O’Donnell, entertainer

1963 David LaChapelle, artist

1964 John Leguizamo, actor

Watch a preview:

Intimate interviews by filmmaker/photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders focus on these individuals’ exceptional achievements, struggles and identities, sharing the experiences of these extraordinary Americans and the history they lived through and often created. Subjects illuminate the key movements and changes that shaped the world during the baby boom years, discussing the environment; arts and entertainment; science; civil, LGBT and women’s rights; law; politics; public service; sports; the military; technology and media.

“When I learned about this year’s boomer milestone, I came up with the idea for The Boomer List,” says Greenfield-Sanders, whose past films include About Face: Supermodels Then and Now and American Masters — Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart. “The film captures the boomer generation’s dynamic spirit through 19 distinct ‘American Masters’ who had a profound effect on our world.”


WILL - WILL Highlights - September 04, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Penguins, Spy in the Huddle: 7 pm Wed., Sept. 24-Oct. 8

WILL-TV: Spycams capture life of nature’s most devoted parents and their offspring.

Emperor penguin chicks

The life of a penguin is not an easy one, but recording the challenges faced by nature’s most devoted parents and their offspring in remote parts of the world was nearly as hard, and only possible due to the placement of spycams in their midst. For nearly a year, filmmakers deployed 50 animatronic cameras disguised as realistic life-size penguins, eggs and rocks to infiltrate the colonies of three very different species: emperor penguins in Antarctica, rockhopper penguins on the Falkland Islands, and Humboldt penguins in Peru’s Atacama Desert. The resulting footage shows what it is really like to be a penguin from a whole new perspective.

Take a front row seat as they journey to their breeding grounds, raise chicks, dodge predators and return to the sea when Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, A Nature Special Presentation airs on three consecutive Wednesdays, September 24, October 1 and 8, 2014 at 7 pm on WILL-TV. After broadcast, the episodes will be available for online streaming at pbs.org/nature.

Series director John Downer (“Earthflight”) and his team filmed 1000 hours of intimate behavior for this project using both animatronic and conventional cameras, footage which was later condensed to three hours for broadcast. Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, A Nature Special Presentation contains a number of notable firsts due to the sheer length of time the production crews spent observing the colonies as well as to the presence of the spycams.

At the cold Antarctic breeding ground of the emperor penguins, emperorcams and eggcams await the arrival of prospective parents. In a humorous sequence, female emperors engage in flipper fights over the more limited pool of potential mates. Even when it’s clear which emperors are officially couples, some female rivals still try to disrupt a pair, sometimes when mating. Later, egg-laying by a female is filmed for the very first time. The footage shows how the mother uses her tail feathers to catch the couple’s single egg while her feet cushion the fall. A dropped egg on the ice would quickly freeze leaving the parents childless.

On the Falkland Islands, rockhoppercams, eggcams and even rockcams capture other firsts, including the underwater arrival of rockhopper penguins battling the stormy South Atlantic seas as they head for dry land. Some rockhoppers are also filmed using mountaineering techniques, rather than hopping, as they struggle to scale the steep rock walls to reach their clifftop nests. On a darker note, pairs that have lost their chicks to predators turn to kidnapping from others in their desperation to find another chick to care for and heated fights ensue.

The shy and rarely-filmed Humboldt of Peru’s Atacama Desert is the only mainland penguin to live in the tropics. At night, low-light Humboldtcams reveal for the first time how hungry vampire bats feed on both adults and chicks while the Humboldts fight back by kicking dirt in their faces. Other sequences show how the penguins maneuver through dangerous booby bird colonies, gangs of fur seals and potentially deadly sea lions to make their way back and forth to their nests from the sea.

With 50 remotely controlled spycams operating in tough environments, there are always mishaps: losing three eggcams in a blizzard or having a rockhoppercam lose its head in an attack by a jealous mate. But when a predator bird mistakes eggcam for the real thing and flies off with it, viewers are treated to the first aerial of a penguin colony shot by a flying bird. The spycams, which captured many first time events and challenges faced by these dedicated parents and chicks, provide new insights into the study of penguin behavior.

Watch a preview:


WILL - WILL Highlights - August 27, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Backyard Industry: Apple a Day

From the archives: Wolfe Orchard in Monticello grows many more varieties of apples than the varieties you can find in the grocery. Lisa Bralts stopped by.

Hope Wolfe holds an heirloom apple.

WILL - WILL Highlights - August 25, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

On the Media

3 pm Sundays and 10 am Mondays on WILL-AM: A clear-eyed look at all media.

While maintaining the civility and fairness that are the hallmarks of public radio, OTM tackles sticky issues with a frankness and transparency that has built trust with listeners and led to more than a tripling of its audience in five years.

Since OTM was re-launched in 2001, it has been one of NPR's fastest growing programs, heard on more than 300 public radio stations. It has won Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting and investigative reporting, the National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism and a Peabody Award for its body of work.

For more on the history of On the Media, and how it fits in to the rest of public radio, check out the "manifesto" written by OTM managing editor Brooke Gladstone for Transom.org back in 2004. You can find it here.



WILL - WILL Highlights - August 08, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

WILL-AM’s 10 am weekday line-up

The Moth Radio Hour has joined WILL-AM's schedule at 10 am Tues. (repeated 1 pm Sat.). See the rest of the line-up here.

The Moth Radio Hour has joined WILL-AM’s schedule at 10 am Tuesdays. The Moth Radio Hour features true stories told live on stage without scripts, notes, props or accompaniment. Each show mixes humorous, heartbreaking, and poignant tales that captivate, surprise, and delight audiences with their honesty, bravery and humor.

The Moth was originally formed by the writer George Dawes Green as an intimate gathering of friends on a porch (where moths would flutter in through a hole in the screen). Today, The Moth is a nonprofit organization with ongoing programs such as StorySlam competitions that contribute their best stories to The Moth Radio Hour.

 “I love the feeling of The Moth,” says program producer Jay Allison. “You can feel the risk each storyteller takes, getting up before us to recount something spellbinding and real. It makes you recognize how rare it is to hear truly honest, vulnerable voices on the airwaves.” 

We are offering a different program each day at 10 am Monday through Friday, with some of our most popular weekend programs repeated to give you another chance to hear them.

Here's the rest of the 10 am weekdays schedule:

Mondays: On the Media

While maintaining the civility and fairness, On the Media tackles sticky issues with a frankness and transparency .

Wednesdays: Big Picture Science

Big Picture Science takes on big questions by interviewing leading researchers and weaving together their stories of discovery in a clever and off-kilter narrative style. The show reveals science as an adventure.

Thursdays: TED Radio Hour

Hosted by Guy Raz , the program is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. Based on talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme, and injects soundscapes and conversations that bring these ideas to life.

Fridays: State of the Re:Union

Hosted by Al Letson, the program takes a journalistic, documentary-style approach, with each episode focusing on one city or region.


WILL - WILL Highlights - August 07, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Linder new IPM Education Outreach Coordinator

Suzanne Linder, an English teacher at Urbana’s University Laboratory High School for 17 years, will join the staff of Illinois Public Media Aug. 18 as education outreach coordinator.


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