Public Media Connect Blog

CET and ThinkTV16 are premiering a new six-part series next week as part of Science Wednesday – How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson. This new program premieres with the episode “Clean” at 9pm Wednesday, Oct. 15, followed by “Time” at 10pm on both stations. The subsequent four episodes will air on consecutive Wednesdays at 10pm.


The series looks at the little-known stories of the men and women who came up with revolutionary innovations that have had far reaching consequences beyond their original intent and play a role in just about every aspect of our daily lives.


Here’s some information about each episode:



Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Dirty water has killed more humans than all the wars of history combined, but in the last 150 years, a series of radical ideas and extraordinary innovations have changed our world. This isn’t only about the world becoming a cleaner place — the iPhone, the subway, flat screen TVs and even the two piece swimsuit are the result of the valiant efforts of the unsung heroes of clean.



Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 10pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Board a submarine with Steven Johnson to discover what a lack of natural light means for a sailor’s working day and visit Heathrow, the world’s busiest airport, to try to get timings right at air traffic control. The story of getting a grip on time is full of curious garage tinkerers.



Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 10pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Join Steven Johnson and consider how the invention of the mirror spurred on the Renaissance, how glass lenses allow us to reveal worlds within worlds and how, deep beneath the ocean, glass is essential to communication. The link between the worlds of art, science, astronomy, disease prevention and global communication starts with the little-known maverick innovators of glass.



Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 10pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Steven Johnson relates the story of people who take us out of the dark and into the light. Whether, altering the world’s sleeping patterns, giving rise to mass spectator sports, revolutionizing how global business is done or triggering one of the great social reforms in American history, the pioneers of light have made themselves indispensable throughout human history.



Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 10pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Steven Johnson explains how ice entrepreneur Frederic Tudor made ice delivery one of the biggest export businesses in the U.S. and describes the place where Clarence Birdseye, the father of the frozen food industry, experienced his eureka moment. From IVF to food, politics and Hollywood to human migration, the unsung heroes of cold have led the way. 



Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 10pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Imagine a world without the power to capture or transmit sound. Journey with Steven Johnson to the Arcy sur Cure caves in northern France, where he finds the first traces of the desire to record sound — 30,000 years ago. He also learns about the difference that radio made in the civil rights movement and reveals the Hollywood star who designed a WW2 weapon that would make possible the modern cell phone network.


Watch a clip about the process behind great ideas: 

10/09/2014 Programs 0 Comments

The next POV – “The Act of Killing” – is a dreamlike and terrifying film that explores a horrifying era in Indonesian history and provides a window into modern Indonesia, where corruption reigns. Not only is the 1965 murder of an estimated one million people honored as a patriotic act, but the killers remain in power.


In a mind-bending twist, death-squad leaders dramatize their brutal deeds in the style of the American westerns, musicals and gangster movies they love — and play both themselves and their victims. As their heroic facade crumbles, they come to question what they’ve done. This film was nominated for an Academy Award and won the 2014 BAFTA Film Award for Best Documentary among other accolades.  


This program airs at 10pm Oct. 6 on CET and at 10pm Oct. 10 on ThinkTV16. Given the subject matter of this film, viewer discretion for the full program and the preview is advised.



10/02/2014 Programs 0 Comments

Women have fought their way into nearly every sphere of American Life over the last five decades – from the battlefield to the comedy club – and it hasn’t always been easy. The women who have paved the way in comedy, Hollywood, space, business, politics and war will be featured in a new season of MAKERS starting Tuesday, Sept. 30.


The new six-part series expands on the critically acclaimed three-hour PBS documentary MAKERS: Women Who Make America, which premiered in February 2013, and told the story of the American women’s movement over the last half-century. More than 4.3 million viewers tuned into the 2013 MAKERS premiere and it was trending #1 on Twitter worldwide for over four hours on premiere night.


In a quote from a MAKERS press release, MAKERS Founder and Executive Producer said, “MAKERS is not just a media project, it is a movement. Each documentary in this six-part series examines the impact of the women’s movement on six fields once largely closed to women. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media reports that since 1946, gender inequality on screen has remained largely unchanged and unchecked and our goal at MAKERS is to help change that statistic.”


MAKERS: Women in Comedy

September 30 at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Track the rise of women in the world of comedy, from the “dangerous” comedy of 70s sitcoms like “Maude” to the groundbreaking women of the 1980s American comedy club boom to today’s multifaceted landscape.


MAKERS: Women in Hollywood

October 7 at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Follow the women of showbiz, from the earliest pioneers to present-day power players, as they influence the creation of one of the country’s biggest commodities: entertainment.


MAKERS: Women in Space

October 14 at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Trace the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. Some, like aviators Wally Funk and Jerrie Cobb, passed the same grueling tests as male astronauts, only to be dismissed by NASA, the military and even Lyndon Johnson, as a distraction. It wasn’t until 1995 that Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a spacecraft.


MAKERS: Women in War

October 21 at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Track American women’s increasing participation in war — from Vietnam to the present — as nurses, soldiers, journalists, diplomats and spies.


MAKERS: Women in Business

October 28 at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16

Hear about the exceptional women — past and present — who have taken the world of business by storm. Told by female business leaders themselves, this is a candid exploration of what it takes to make it and a celebration of the extraordinary individuals who, over the course of 50 years, have proven — on Wall Street, in corporate America or business empires of their own — that a woman’s place is wherever she believes it to be. 


MAKERS: Women in Politics

October November 4 at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16

View profiles of women in public office who were “firsts” in their fields. From the first woman elected to Congress in 1916 to a young woman running for Detroit City Council in 2013, the documentary explores the challenges confronting American women in politics.



09/25/2014 Programs 0 Comments

From African American Lives (2006) through the first season of Finding Your Roots (2012), Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has been helping people identify relatives hidden for generations. Now Gates and his team of genealogists and geneticists are back for a 10-part second season to uncover the origins of a diverse group of almost 30 guests.


The new season premieres at 8pm Tuesday, Sept. 23, on CET and ThinkTV16 and will continue on consecutive Tuesdays.


This first episode, “In Search of Our Fathers,” features three guests who know almost nothing about their fathers’ past.  Stephen King’s father walked out on the family when Stephen was two years old and never returned; Courtney B. Vance’s father was a foster child and never knew who his biological parents were — after his suicide, Courtney wants to learn more about his roots; and Gloria Reuben’s father was 78 years old when she was born — he died when she was young, taking the secret of his ancestry with him.


Future episodes feature 29 of today’s leading entertainers, athletes, chefs and art personalities including Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Khandi Alexander, Tom Colicchio, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Derek Jeter, Stephen King, Nas, Anna Deavere Smith, Sting and Courtney B. Vance.


Working closely with leading U.S. genealogists (including Johni Cerny, co-author of the acclaimed The Source: Guidebook for American Genealogy) and ancestry experts from around the world, Gates and his production team comb through family stories to discover unknown histories and relatives the guests never knew existed. When paper trails end for each story, the team turns to top geneticists and DNA diagnosticians to analyze each participant’s genetic code, tracing their bloodlines and taking guests back further in time than ever before.           


Watch full episodes from season one here:


Here’s a preview for season two:


09/18/2014 Programs 0 Comments

Acclaimed British actress Julia McKenzie returns to CET and ThinkTV16 this month for three new episodes of the popular Agatha Christie Miss Marple series. This is the seventh season for the series – season six premiered in 2011. What manner of mayhem will Miss Marple face this year? Pour that cup of tea, grab those knitting needles and find out below:


A Caribbean Mystery

Sunday, Sept. 21, at 8pm on ThinkTV16 and CET

While staying at a lavish tropical island hotel, Miss Marple investigates the sudden death of a fellow guest. She and a curmudgeonly business tycoon unravel a web of deceit, murder and “dark magic,” leaving Miss Marple to consider every one of the hotel’s guests as a suspect. Sir Antony Sher (God on Trial) guest stars.


Greenshaw’s Folly

Sunday, Sept. 21, at 9:30pm on ThinkTV16 and CET

When an old family friend and her young son turn to Miss Marple for assistance, she finds them work and lodging at nearby Greenshaw’s Folly, the family home of an eccentric botanist. All seems well, until the house’s loyal butler dies unexpectedly. When another houseguest goes missing, Miss Marple begins a search for the truth, unveiling secrets of both the past and present. Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter) guest stars.


Endless Night

Sunday, Sept. 28, at 9pm on ThinkTV16 and CET

Miss Marple befriends Mike, a charming chauffeur who recounts his romance with Ellie. Despite warnings from a gypsy woman, they plan their dream home at a local spot known as Gypsy’s Acre. Not long after the young couple weds, Ellie is thrown from her horse and dies, fueling speculation of a gypsy curse. Following two more suspicious deaths, Miss Marple begins to sort out the clues, but can she solve the mystery before she finds herself in danger? Tom Hughes (Silk) and Joanna Vanderham (The Paradise) co-star.



09/11/2014 Programs 0 Comments


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