FEATURED PROGRAMS on Blue Ridge PBS
Be sure to check our schedule for additional air times!
ACC InVenture Prize 2021
Wednesday, April 21 at 7pm
North Carolina State University will once again serve as the host of The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) InVenture Prize competition! Thirteen universities have committed to competing at this year's event and have selected their best entrepreneurs to represent them at the nations' largest undergraduate student innovation competition.
Discover the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present.
- Tuesday, April 13 at 9pm – Ruby Ridge
Examine the 1992 FBI siege at Ruby Ridge that helped launch the modern militia movement through eyewitness accounts, including Randy Weaver’s daughter and federal agents involved in the deadly confrontation.
- Monday, April 19 at 9pm – American Oz
When L. Frank Baum published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, he was 44 years old and had spent much of his life in restless pursuit of his American dream. After working and failing at a string of odd jobs that honed his instincts for showmanship — chicken breeder, actor, marketer of petroleum products, shopkeeper, newspaperman and traveling salesman — Baum and his family headed west from their home in Syracuse, New York, in 1888. During his travels from Chicago to the Great Plains during the American frontier’s final days, he witnessed a nation coming to terms with the economic uncertainty of the Gilded Age. But he never lost his childlike sense of wonder and eventually crafted his observations into an enduring, magical tale of survival, adventure and self-discovery. American Oz tells the remarkable story of the man behind one of the most beloved and quintessential American classics, reinterpreted through the generations in films, books and musicals.
Fridays at 9pm
Explore the lives and creative journeys of America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants.
- April 2 – Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story
Explore the groundbreaking career of master trumpeter Doc Severinsen, from his three decades as the colorful bandleader to “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” to his relentless schedule of touring and performing into his nineties.
- April 9 – Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Dive into the life and work of the legendary neurologist and beloved author who was a fearless explorer of the brain and mind. Sacks redefined our understanding of the diversity of human experience, and of our shared humanity.
Atlantic Crossing on Masterpiece
Sundays at 9pm
A princess steals the heart of the president of the United States in an epic drama based on the World War II relationship of Franklin Roosevelt and Norwegian Crown Princess Martha. Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Sex and the City) stars as Roosevelt, opposite Swedish star Sofia Helin (The Bridge) as the beautiful Martha, who flees the Nazis with her three young children and lives under Roosevelt’s protection. The eight-part series co-stars Tobias Santelmann as Crown Prince Olav and Harriet Sansom Harris as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
- April 4 – Episode 1
Norwegian Crown Princess Martha and her husband Prince Olav visit U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. A year later they must flee the Nazi invasion of their country.
- April 11 – Episode 2
Olav and the king plan their escape. Meanwhile, Martha and the children take refuge with her Swedish royal relatives. But the Nazis threaten the king if he harbors the crown princess.
- April 8 – Episode 3
While bombs fall on Olav and the king in London, Martha and the children are in the U.S., where President Roosevelt extends a special invitation.
- April 25 – Episode 4
Martha is pressured to exploit her friendship with the president, who defies isolationists to push the Lend-Lease act. Martha and the children get a surprise Christmas present.
Babe Ruth at Sing Sing
Thursday, April 22 at 9pm
On September 5, 1929, the New York Yankees, led by their star player Babe Ruth, played an exhibition game against the inmate baseball team at Sing Sing prison. This new documentary examines the backstory--eg exploring the social history of the era by weaving back and forth between the careers of Babe Ruth, the major sports figure of his day, and Lewis Lawes, who as warden of Sing Sing was considered "America's Warden."
Saturdays at 10pm
Backstage Pass features live studio performances with behind the scenes footage and exclusive interviews. In each episode artists reveal their inspiration behind their music.
- April 3 – Outer Vibe
One of West Michigan's most sought-after acts, Outer Vibe features catchy pop and alternative rock music. Playing more than 100 shows a year, Outer Vibe has performed with groups like REO Speedwagon, The Tubes, and We The Kings.
- April 10 – Tunde Olaniran
As one of the most beloved artists of the Detroit music scene, Tunde Olaniran is not only a singer and songwriter, but a producer, rapper, choreographer, author, and activist. His latest album "Transgressor" received acclaim from the New York Times and Rolling Stone, and was named by Yo-Yo Ma as one of the three most inspiring Artists of 2019.
Basketball, Water & the Lost City of Elbowoods
Thursday, April 22 at 10pm
The 1942 Elbowoods High School basketball team made it to the North Dakota State Class B championship game, but they lost in a bizarre twist that resulted in a 60-year effort to right a wrong. "Basketball, Water and the Lost City of Elbowoods" relives the excitement of that basketball team and the title game controversy, and it examines the fate of the team’s hometown—which was sacrificed after the Garrison Dam was constructed in 1953 and is now covered by Lake Sakakawea.
Business Matters - PREMIERING APRIL 2!
Fridays at 7pm & Wednesdays at 7:30pm
A new weekly program produced by Blue Ridge PBS, that strives to explore that subject from a variety of viewpoints and scenarios - the big players, the up and coming, the look ahead; featuring interviews with the people helping to grow jobs, the economy and the Southwest Virginia region. Series host Gene Marrano is an award-winning radio and print journalist, and the editor of Valley Business FRONT magazine.
Call the Midwife, Season 6
Thursdays at 7pm
It’s now 1962 and times are changing. As they strive to help mothers and families cope with the demands of childbearing, disability, disease and social prejudice, the Poplar medics must make choices – and fight battles – of their own.
Critical Care: America vs The World
Wednesday, April 21 at 10pm
Examine the highs and lows of America’s health care system, and travel to four other nations to see how they provide health coverage affordably and thoroughly, even in the face of the pandemic.
Finding Your Roots
Tuesdays at 8pm
The acclaimed series with Professor Gates explores the mysteries, surprises and revelations hidden in the family trees of popular figures.
- April 13 – The New World
Trace ancestors of actor John Lithgow and journalist Maria Hinojosa who thrived in North America long before the birth of the United States.
- April 20 – Anchored to the Past
Examine how journalists Gretchen Carlson and Don Lemon were able to overcome biases in their careers, drawing parallels to relatives who met profound challenges of their own.
- April 27 – On Broadway
Investigate the family histories of Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Mandy Patinkin, discovering ancestors whose struggles laid the groundwork for their success.
Frontline: The Virus that Shook the World
Monday, April 26 at 9pm and Tuesday, April 27 at 10pm
Living the year of the pandemic, filmed around the world, from lockdowns to funerals to protests. Using extensive personal video and local footage, how people and countries responded to the virus, across cultures, race, faith and privilege.
Fridays at 9pm
Watch television’s longest-running performing arts anthology to enjoy the best in music, dance and theater.
- April 16 – Beethoven in Beijing
Experience the international impact of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s historic 1973 trip to China, offering a story of cultural reversals and a glimpse into the worldwide future of classical music.
- April 23 – Romeo & Juliet
Experience a contemporary rendering of Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy from the National Theatre where a company of actors in a shuttered theater bring to life the timeless tale of two young lovers. Stars Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley.
Greta Thunberg: A Year to Save the Planet
Wednesday, April 28 at 8pm
Travel with the world’s best-known climate activist as she takes her fight to a global stage. With unique access, the series follows Greta over an extraordinary year as she embarks on a mission to ensure world leaders work to limit global warming.
Monday - Wednesday, April 5 -7 at 8pm (encore at 10pm each evening)
Hemingway, a three-part, six-hour documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, examines the visionary work and the turbulent life of Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest and most influential writers America has ever produced. Interweaving his eventful biography -- a life lived at the ultimately treacherous nexus of art, fame, and celebrity -- with carefully selected excerpts from his iconic short stories, novels, and non-fiction, the series reveals the brilliant, ambitious, charismatic, and complicated man behind the myth, and the art he created.
- April 5 – A Writer (1899-1929)
Hemingway, yearning for adventure, volunteers for the Red Cross during World War I. He marries Hadley Richardson and moves to Paris, publishes The Sun Also Rises and finds critical and commercial success with his second novel, A Farewell to Arms.
- April 6 – The Avatar (1929-1944)
Hemingway, having achieved a level of fame rarely seen in the literary world, settles in Key West with Pauline Pfeiffer but can’t stay put for long. He reports on the Spanish Civil War and begins a tempestuous romance with Martha Gellhorn.
- April 7 – The Blank Page (1944-1961)
Hemingway follows the Army as they advance through Europe. Afterwards, he tries to start a life with Mary Welsh, but is beset with tragedies. He publishes The Old Man and the Sea to acclaim but is overcome by his declining mental condition.
International Jazz Day 10th Anniversary
Friday, April 30 at 9pm
A look back at 10 years of historic International Jazz Day concerts featuring dozens of music icons. Watch unforgettable performances by Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Hugh Masekela and many more.
My Grandparents’ War
Sundays at 8pm
Follow leading Hollywood actors as they re-trace the footsteps of their grandparents and learn how World War II changed the lives of their families and the world.
- April 4 – Helena Bonham Carter
Follow actress Helena Bonham Carter as she explores the heroism of both sets of her grandparents during WWII—her grandmother, an air warden and outspoken politician, and her grandfather, a diplomat who save hundreds from the Holocaust.
- April 11 – Mark Rylance
Follow actor Mark Rylance as he explores the extraordinary story of his grandfather, who spent nearly four years as a Japanese prisoner of war during World War II, and examines his own beliefs about war and peace in the process.
- April 18 – Kristin Scott Thomas
Follow actress Kristin Scott Thomas as she pieces together a lost chapter of her family history, learning how her grandfather, a Royal Navy officer, saved thousands at Dunkirk and survived some of World War II’s most devastating battles.
- April 25 – Carey Mulligan
Follow actress Carey Mulligan as she travels to Japan to learn about her grandfather’s experience as a British naval officer during World War II, including the kamikaze aircraft attack he survived, and the extent of the devastation he witnessed.
Wednesdays at 9pm
Explore the science behind the headlines in PBS’ premier science series.
- April 14 – Picture A Scientist
Women make up less than a quarter of STEM professionals in the United States, and numbers are even lower for women of color. But there is a growing group of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists, exposing longstanding discrimination, and leading the way in making science more inclusive. From cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, scientific visionaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.
- April 21 – Reef Rescue
Coral reefs are not just beautiful, they are also home to over a quarter of all marine life and are crucial to human societies around the globe. But as the climate changes and oceanic heat waves become commonplace, corals are bleaching and reefs are dying off. Now, marine biologists from across the world are teaming up to counteract this catastrophe with a technique called assisted evolution. Follow scientists as they attempt to crossbreed heat-resistant corals, and even transplant corals’ algae, in a race to save the coral reefs from extinction.
Tuesdays at 9pm
Go inside the emotional, high stakes work that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and an ensemble of idealistic outsiders from different walks of life take on as they attempt a fundamental overhaul of an entrenched criminal justice system.
- April 20 – Episode 1
The new Philadelphia District Attorney uncovers a secret the police are desperate to hide.
- April 27 – Episode 2
Krasner and his team battle to obtain the complete police misconduct files.
Mondays at 7pm
Explore savory dishes uniting people and creating new traditions across the American South with award-winning host and chef Vivian Howard.
- April 12 – American as Hand Pie
See how Vivian’s crash course in mass producing hand pies inspires her to revisit the applejacks of her youth. Her journey includes a trip to West Virginia for a taste of pepperoni rolls and a look at the world’s most popular hand pie – the empanada.
- April 19 – Porridge for the Soul
Join Vivian at a dinner honoring pioneering chef Edna Lewis. Vivian gives porridge the royal treatment and learns about African American contributions to Southern cuisine.
- April 26 – Dumpling Dilemma
Accompany Vivian on a trip to the Mississippi Delta and farther south to learn that not all dumplings are the same. But whether filled with minced meat, chopped veggies or nothing at all, they stretch our ingredients and our imaginations.
Songs at the Center
Saturdays at 10pm
This music spotlights accomplished singers and songwriters — from the famous to the unknown — performing "in the round" before a live audience.
- April 17 –Sarah Peacock, T.Wong and John Schwab. Hosted by singer-songwriter Eric Gnezda.
- April 24 – Sugarcane Jane (Savana Lee and Anthony Crawford), Andrew Adkins and Ronnie “Diamond” Hoard. Hosted by singer-songwriter Eric Gnezda.
World on Fire on Masterpiece
Sundays at 10pm
“World on Fire” is an adrenalized, emotionally gripping and resonant World War II drama that follows the intertwining fates of ordinary people in five countries as they grapple with the effects of the war on their everyday lives. Set in Britain, Poland, France, Germany and the United States, the events of the seven-hour series take place during the first year of the war.
- April 4 – Episode One
When war breaks out, young translator Harry vows to help his Polish lover Kasia flee Warsaw, but how will he explain this to his sweetheart Lois, waiting for him at home in Manchester?
- April 11 – Episode Two
A month into war and with Warsaw destroyed, Harry is desperate for news, while Kasia joins the Polish resistance.
- April 18 – Episode Three
Tom faces the fight of his life aboard HMS Exeter, while Harry and Lois have a more personal battle to fight.
- April 25 – Episode Four
Harry’s courage is tested at Louvain, while Kasia’s resistance activity in Warsaw intensifies.