Monday, November 24, 2008

Masterpiece announces new Classic Host

This winter, Masterpiece is delighted to welcome Emmy Award-winning actress Laura Linney as the new host of Masterpiece Classic. The acclaimed star of John Adams, The Savages and You Can Count on Me will make her first appearance when the series premieres with a new adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles on January 4, 2009.

"Whether it's Austen or Dickens, timeless stories by great authors are worth telling again and again," says Ms. Linney. "The beauty of Masterpiece Classic is that each generation brings a new and interesting interpretation to these programs."

Masterpiece Classic line-up for 2009 (airdates subject to change):

January 4 and 11
Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles (4-hour mini-series)
Starring Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace)

January 18 and 25
Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (2.5-hour mini-series)
Starring Tom Hardy (The Virgin Queen)

"The Incomplete Charles Dickens"

February 15 and 22
Oliver Twist (3-hour mini-series)
Starring Timothy Spall (A Room with A View) and Sophie Okonedo (The Secret Life of Bees)

March 15 and 22
David Copperfield - encore (3-hour mini-series)
Starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Bob Hoskins and Ian McKellen

March 29 to April 26
Little Dorrit (8-hour mini-series)
Adapted by screenwriter Andrew Davies (Bleak House) and starring Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice)

May 3
The Old Curiosity Shop (90-minute single)
Starring Sir Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius) and Gina McKee (The Forsyte Saga)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NPR Thanksgiving Specials

A Thanksgiving How-To with Christopher Kimball
Morning Edition, Wednesday, November 26
The annual tradition continues! In years past, the host of the PBS's America's Test Kitchen has given Morning Edition time-saving tips, saved us from turkey day disasters like burned biscuits and lumpy gravy, and even welcomed us to dinner at his Vermont farmhouse. For this time around, listeners set the agenda with their questions and comments, and Kimball will join hosts Renée Montagne and Steve Inskeep to pave the way for a successful turkey day.

Thanksgiving is Relative
Morning Edition, Thanksgiving Day
Morning Edition music commentator Miles Hoffman joins Renée Montagne for their annual holiday ritual of talking about Thanksgiving and classical music. This year's theme: musical relatives. Mozart's father was a composer, and his sister a talented performer. Robert Schumann was married to a talented composer, Clara. Felix Mendelssohn's sister also wrote music, and the Strauss Family could fill a very large table for Thanksgiving.

Bailey White's Annual Thanksgiving Story
All Things Considered, Thanksgiving Day
Storyteller Bailey White continues her annual tradition on All Things Considered's Thanksgiving Day program with yet another enjoyable tale straight from her imagination. This year, she's telling us about Runnell Tumblehome - a fastidious little man with delicate hands and feet who's absolutely useless. He sponges off people in the community, but does not harm. When he adopts a dog more loveable than himself, trouble starts.

Listen to or read Bailey's 2007 story, "The Green Bus."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Children Now Study Finds PBS KIDS(R) and PBS KIDS GO!(SM) Offer the Most Educational Programs on Television

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov 12, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Nonpartisan Research and Advocacy Group for the Well Being of Children Cites PBS as Model of Successful Educational and Non-Violent Programming

PBS KIDS(R) and PBS KIDS GO!(SM) programming are among the most education-rich offerings on television, according to a new report released today by independent research and advocacy organization Children Now. With a carefully-selected schedule packed with engaging series designed to boost four key areas of childhood development - cognitive (including literacy, science, technology and math), social, emotional and physical (guiding kids towards healthy living) - PBS continues to be America's top broadcaster for high-quality, educational children's programming.

Read the full report HERE.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The National Day of Listening

StoryCorps: National Day of Listening
Join in on Friday, November 28
The National Day of Listening is an initiative created by the independent nonprofit project StoryCorps to encourage, instruct, and inspire everyday people to start a new holiday tradition: sit down with a loved one on the day after Thanksgiving, November 28, 2008, and record a meaningful conversation to preserve for years to come.

StoryCorps created the National Day of Listening to give new meaning to the day after Thanksgiving, a day when many people are at home with family, but also traditionally a day of rushing around town. Setting aside an hour on November 28, to look loved ones in the eyes and ask about their lives is one of the most meaningful moments you can share. The simple act of listening tells them how much they matter, and preserving that conversation on tape, CD, or with a pen and paper tells them they won't be forgotten. It's the greatest holiday gift you could ever give.

To help people celebrate the National Day of Listening, StoryCorps distributes a free Do-It-Yourself Instruction guide, a simple step-by-step guide to facilitating and archiving interviews at home. Download your DIY Guide today at

Tune in to WGVU Radio the week of Thanksgiving for special programming from NPR, leading up to The National Day of Listening on Friday, November 28.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Battleground: Female Soldiers in the Line of Fire

By Felicia R. Lee, New York Times

After Shannon Morgan returned from serving in Iraq, the memories of killing and carnage continued to haunt her, memories that some told her were unexpected for a female soldier.

Department of Defense policy bars female soldiers from direct ground combat, but for Ms. Morgan, like the four other female soldiers profiled in the documentary “Lioness,” that regulation meant little in the heat of battle. Attached to all-male combat units in the Army and the Marines as part of the Lioness program, the female troops were used to search Muslim women as needed and to defuse the cultural tensions caused by strange men interacting with Iraqi women. But when fighting broke out, the female soldiers fought back.

Read the full New York Times story HERE.

Lioness airs Thursday, November 13 at 9 p.m. on WGVU HD and Sunday, November 16 at 10:30 p.m. and Friday, December 12 at 10 p.m. on WGVU TV.

Reactions to Lioness from WGVU's Independent Cinema screening:

“Excellent look into the real war and what it actually means from people, removed from politics.”
- Ryan

“Eye opening, very well made”
- Heather, Sparta

“A well made, powerful documentary detailing the lives of these historical women, who fought for their country and against gender roles.”
- anonymous, Allendale

“Excellent film – very moving”
- Tom, Grand Rapids

“Great to get other perspectives and even the controversy that is a necessary part of our democratic culture.”
- Jim, Grand Rapids

“This film was eye opening and scary… we do not usually see that kind of footage in American media.”
- anonymous, Allendale

“It brought back many memories. Kind of hard to deal with. But it’s the reality.”
- anonymous, Kentwood

“Very accurate, detailed and informative. Brought back many emotions.”
- anonymous, Comstock Park

For upcoming Independent Cinema screenings, click HERE.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Election Night 2008

There are only a few more days until the campaign season finally culminates in Election Night 2008. Tune in to WGVU TV and Radio for up-to-the-minute coverage from the award-winning news teams at PBS, NPR and right here at WGVU.

Starting at 7 p.m., NPR will be covering the elections live on WGVU AM & FM (until the wee hours of 3 a.m.) – WGVU reporters will break in at the 8, 9 and 10 p.m. hours to give updates on local races. Coverage will be hosted by NPR’s Robert Siegel & Michele Norris, and Scott Simon & Debbie Elliott. Get reporting direct from more than two dozen sites around the country, including key battleground states and major candidate sites, and analysis from NPR’s Ron Elving and Mara Liasson. And check out for the latest results, blogging, and to join in community discussion.

If you’d rather watch the action, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer will be live for the evening starting at 9 p.m. on WGVU TV. Anchor Jim Lehrer and senior correspondents Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill, Ray Suarez, Jeffrey Brown and Margaret Warner and correspondent Kwame Holman will provide extensive coverage of election night:

• Judy Woodruff reports live from Obama’s election night headquarters in Chicago, Illinois
• Ray Suarez reports live from McCain’s election night headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona
• Gwen Ifill speaks with political analysts Amy Walter and Stuart Rothenberg
• Margaret Warner gets perspective from The NewsHour's panel of historians
• Jeffrey Brown speaks with NPR correspondents on the ground in key battleground states
• Kwame Holman presents a NewsHour feature using voter videos submitted via YouTube

Visit PBS Vote 2008 for more coverage from across your favorite PBS Public Affairs programs, including Tavis Smiley, Bill Moyers Journal and Nightly Business Report.

Either way, WGVU is the best place to get your live, accurate news on Election Night. We’re WGVU, and we approve this message.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Accolade Awards Interview WGVU Production Manager Phil Lane

By Yayoi Lena Winfrey

Operated by Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids Michigan, television station WGVU has won numerous Accolade awards with its high quality submissions. Production manager, Phil Lane shares his thoughts about why.

Q: Over the years you've won top Accolade awards for your productions. Why do you think Surviving Auschwitz: Children of the Shoah and Stefon Harris & Friends in Concert won?

A: With both of those programs, the content was very good. Surviving Auschwitz is a captivating story that touches people in different ways. With the concert program, it helps that the main musician is an extremely talented individual as well as the group that he’s with. That’s certainly a good starting point.

Read the full interview HERE.