Sleeper Picks: March, April and May 2019
Last Updated by
We have some awesome shows coming this spring that you’ll hear all about – Les Miserables on Masterpiece, Nature’s American Spring LIVE and Korea: The Never-Ending War to name a few – but, according to our Chief Programming Officer Jim Wiener, you’ll want to set the DVR for these shows too!
William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge
Thursday, March 21, at 10pm on ThinkTV16
Remembering Leonard Nimoy
Thursday, March 21, at 11pm on ThinkTV16
Born within four days of each other, they co-starred in the TV cult sci-fi series STAR TREK.
Nimoy’s profile is a straightforward bio of the man who died four years ago from COPD brought on by years of smoking. My favorite Nimoy role was not Spock, but as Dr. David Kibner, the famous self-help author who turned out to be… one of… Them in the 1978 remake of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Nimoy also earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Antioch College in the late 70’s.
Shatner turns 88 the day after his Chaos on the Bridge airs. He tells the story of the tumultuous creation of STAR TREK: The Next Generation, the 1986 relaunch of the original STAR TREK series, and how creator Gene Roddenberry went off the rails at various turns.
The Queen Mother
Saturdays, March 23 & March 30, at 9pm on CET
Two-parter on the life of the much beloved wife of King George VI and mother to Elizabeth and Margaret.
With the death of Queen Mary in 1953, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon served as England’s Matriarch for nearly half a century until her death at the age of 101. If there were times the people grew disenchanted or dissatisfied with drama surrounding the Royal Family, the Queen Mother was always held in high regard.
Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange
Saturdays, starting March 23, at 11pm on ThinkTV16
Danielle Brooks (Orange Is The New Black) hosts the 11th season of new documentaries and short films on contemporary life and culture in the African diaspora. The opener features a bio of South African singer/activist Miriam Makeba. Other episodes include “Mama Colonel,” a woman who leads a special Congolese police force that combats violence against women and children, and “The Faces We Lost,” about Rwandans whose photographs keep alive memories of loved ones lost in the 1994 genocide.
Goodbye, The Levee Has Broken
Sunday, March 24, at 4:30pm and 11pm on ThinkTV 16
ThinkTV’s 2005 documentary about the Great Flood that had downtown looking like Venice (and not in a picturesque way) 106 years ago this week. It was water, water everywhere, and above it, buildings on fire from ruptured gas lines. Oakwood became a desired suburb simply because it was on high ground. NCR, incorporated all of 13 years previous, switched production gears to build rescue boats. An up-and-coming industrial city took the body blow, and vowed “never again” when it raised money to build new dams.
Sundays, starting March 24, at 11pm on CET
Repeats Saturdays at 10pm on CET
Eight-part contemporary murder series set in Sweden. A profiler who’s also a single mother, and her autistic daughter, are drawn into her investigation of a series of murders. Unlike most of our period whodunit mysteries, this has that dark, disturbing atmosphere reminiscent of the Stieg Larsson crime novels. It’s also more violent than our typical mystery fare, so take heed.
Perfect 36: When Women Won The Vote
Sunday, March 31, at 11pm on ThinkTV 16
Back in 1920, the nation needed 36 states to ratify the amendment to allow women the right to vote. It all hinged on Tennessee. Counter demonstrations in Nashville became known as the “War of the Roses” as those in favor of women voting more yellow roses while anti-forces wore red roses. It all came down to the vote of a 24 year-old freshman representative.
Joanna Lumley’s India
Mondays, April 1 – April 15, at 10pm on ThinkTV 14
The British actress best known for Absolutely Fabulous and Coronation Street was born in India (her father served in the British Indian Army’s Gurkha Rifles). Here is her chance to go back to revisit the land she vaguely remembered from childhood. She visits Himayun’s Tomb in Delhi, where her father proposed to her mother, and to the majestic Ellora Caves in Maharashtra. Ms. Lumley retraces her family’s Indian roots and discovers a nation full of beauty and diversity.
Journey To The Wilderness
Tuesday, April 9, at 11pm on ThinkTV 16
Southern journalist Frye Gaillard wades into the heritage-vs.-hate debate about how we view the Confederacy. His own family had a 250-year history in the Southern aristocracy which included owning hundreds of slaves. He also had a great uncle who served as a Confederate officer who fought with Robert E. Lee through every major battle from Bull Run to the Wilderness. Gaillard talks of his life-long struggle through his journalism career to navigate his way through the tangled web of his own conscience and heritage.
Joseph Pulitzer: American Masters
Friday, April 12, at 9pm on CET
Saturday, April 13, at 9pm on ThinkTV 16
We know him now thanks to his legacy with Columbia University prestigious journalism school that also awards one of the most coveted prizes in the field. But Pulitzer’s journalistic endeavors were no less yellow than his contemporaries. A Hungarian immigrant, he became a media mogul with the acquisition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the New York World. He lacked the power and wealth of William Randolph Hearst, but the two went head-to-head with similar tabloid styles. But it was Pulitzer whose name is synonymous with journalistic excellence thanks to his Columbia endowment.
Ozone Hole: How We Saved The Planet
Wednesday, April 10, at 1pm on CET and ThinkTV16
Tuesday, April 16, at 10pm on ThinkTV 14
The problem of climate change seems so massive that it is either unsolvable, or efforts are too little too late, or that it can be avoided by simply doubting its effects or even existence.
But in the late 1970’s, we faced another environmental crisis: a hole in the ozone layer. So scientists went to politicians looking for money to affect a solution. By the early ‘80’s, politicians went to their leaders, conservative President Ronald Reagan and conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
And—wonder of wonders—the leaders responded, money was secured, and various solutions (banning certain halocarbon refrigerants and chlorofluorocarbons), and the result was ozone levels stabilized by the 1990’s and recovering in this century.
Tuesday, April 16, at 11pm on ThinkTV 16
A tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek documentary about the 1861 Athenaeum Girls’ School in Columbia, Tennessee, where every summer, women ages 14-18 sign up for a dance where they can wear period costumes of the Southern Belle. The Jackson Cadets join them for a dance, and they’re all taught the etiquette, art, music, dance and social graces of the bygone ante-Bellum South. Is it all a living history experience, or does it attempt to romanticize and misinform new generations?
Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees
Monday, April 22, at 11pm on ThinkTV 16
The famed actress has loved her grove of trees at the bottom of her garden. We follow her through four seasons as she tends to them, and learns from scientists and historians just how vital trees are to our well-being.
Monday, April 29, at 10pm on ThinkTV 14
John Nettles (Midsomer Murders) hosts this history of how Britain’s Channel Islands were captured and occupied by the Nazis for five years. These islands were seen as staging areas for an eventual invasion of the mainland, but never came about. Nettles talks to locals and unearths tales of bravery and resistance, collaboration, and violence that rocked the native’s quiet lives.
Thursday, May 2, at 10pm on ThinkTV 16
Eva Mozes Kor was 10 years old when she and her twin sister were put in a concentration camp, and subjected to cruel experiments devised by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. Eva survived, but faced decades of torment and pain from her ordeal. Now she tours the world delivering a message of healing and self-empowerment. Narrated by Ed Asner, this includes interviews with actor Elliott Gould, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, and former NBA star Ray Allen, who’s a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.
And Then There Were None
Saturday, May 11 – May 25, at 10pm on ThinkTV 16
Three-part adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie tale of ten strangers with dubious pasts who travel to an island estate where they discover they’re becoming victims one by one. Set in the late 1930’s, this stars Sam Neill (JURASSIC PARK), Charles Dance (GAME OF THRONES) and Miranda Richardson (HARRY POTTER).
Yes, POLDARK fans will flock to see Aiden Turner here, but his hair is considerably shorter, and his toros considerably covered. They’ll see that as the true crime here.
Rick Steves Cruising The Mediterranean
Monday, May 20, at 9pm on ThinkTV 14
Rick has always been a believer in being a traveler more than a tourist, so he was never really enamored of cruises. But now he’s acknowledged that cruises have become such a ubiquitous form of travel that he has to weigh in and give advice on how you can get more out of this travel experience.
Wednesday, May 29, at 10pm on ThinkTV 16
Years ago, Woody Allen had a piece in the NEW YORKER, a parody of the tortured inventor’s journal and how his work was a series of trial and error, coming so close to that “Eureka!” moment. But here, Allen mimicked the Earl of Sandwich (paraphrasing here: “At the World’s Fair in Vienna, and my latest iteration was a disaster. No one cared for the ham and cheese slices on top of two pieces of bread! Must go back to the drawing board! I know I must be close, but what is the right formula?”).
If you thought it was tough sledding for an 18th century Earl to create a conglomeration of bread, meat, cheese, tomato, lettuce, etc., imagine the engineering that went into the creation of the Hot Pocket!
Okay, okay, imagine what went into Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
We’re coming up on the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s great contribution to science. This weaves together dramatic reenactments, animation and innovative projection techniques to trace his journey toward one of the most beautiful and profound ideas ever conceived since the monkeys slid their paws across the black monolith. Brian Greene and an ensemble cast take us through the frustrations, near misses, and emergence into the light of how the universe operates.