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February 2015 – TV Programming Highlights

Feb. 3 @ 8pm – American Experience: The Big Burn

In the summer of 1910, an unimaginable wildfire devoured more than three million acres across the Northern Rockies, confronting the fledgling U.S. Forest Service with a catastrophe that would define the agency and the nation’s fire policy for the rest of the 20th century and beyond. THE BIG BURN provides a cautionary tale of heroism and sacrifice, arrogance and greed, hubris and, ultimately, humility in the face of nature’s frightening power. Inspired by the best-selling book by Timothy Egan.

Feb. 4 @ 8pm – Earth A New Wild (series)
This five-part series takes a fresh look at humankind’s relationship to the planet’s wildest places and most fascinating species. Dr. M. Sanjayan, a leading conservation scientist, takes viewers on a stunning visual journey to explore how humans are inextricably woven into every aspect of the planet’s natural systems. The series features spectacular natural history footage from the most striking places on Earth, filming encounters between wild animals and the people who live and work with them. With up-close looks at a range of species, from giant pandas to humpback whales and African lions to Arctic reindeer, Sanjayan reveals that co-habitations with animals can work — and be mutually beneficial.

Feb. 7 @ 8pm – Austin City Limits – Foo Fighters
Superstar rockers Foo Fighters return to the ACL stage. The band, with special guests, features songs from the best-selling Sonic Highways.

Feb. 10 @ 8pm – American Experience: The Forgotten Plague
Tuberculosis is the deadliest killer in human history, responsible for one in four deaths for almost two centuries. While it shaped medical pursuits, social habits, economic development and public policy, TB and its impact are poorly understood.

Feb. 10 @ 9pm – Frontline: Being Mortal
FRONTLINE teams up with writer and surgeon Atul Gawande to examine how doctors care for terminally ill patients. In conjunction with Gawande’s new book, Being Mortal, the film explores the relationships between doctors and patients nearing the end of life, and shows how many doctors – including Gawande himself – struggle to talk honestly and openly with their dying patients.

Feb. 11 @ 8pm – NOVA: Colosseum: Roman Death Trap
The Colosseum is a monument to Roman imperial power and cruelty. Its graceful lines and harmonious proportions concealed a highly efficient design and advanced construction methods that made hundreds of arches out of 100,000 tons of stone. In its elliptical arena, tens of thousands of gladiators, slaves, prisoners and wild animals met their deaths. Ancient texts report lions and elephants emerging from beneath the floor, as if by magic, to ravage gladiators and people condemned to death. Then, just as quickly, the Colosseum could be flooded with so much water that ships could engage in sea battles. Could these legends be true? Now, with access to one of the world’s most protected world heritage sites, archaeologists and engineers team up to re-create ancient Roman techniques to build a 25-foot lifting machine and trap-door system capable of releasing a wolf into the Colosseum’s arena for the first time in 1,500 years.

Feb. 16 @ 9pm - Rick Springfield “Stripped Down”
Grammy award-winning musician, actor and bestselling author, Rick Springfield brings his
“Stripped Down” concert to KEDT Public Television. Known for his hit song “Jesse’s Girl” and his acting career on General Hospital, Springfield’s new concert performance includes music, storytelling and a question and answer session with audience. Tune in to learn how you can support KEDT and receive tickets for an upcoming local concert by Rick Springfield.

Feb. 17 @ 8pm – The Italian Americans (series)
Trace the evolution of Italian Americans from the late 19th century to today, with Tony Bennett, David Chase, John Turturro, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Gay Talese and more. Once “outsiders” viewed with suspicion and mistrust, Italian Americans are today some of the most prominent leaders of U.S. business, politics and the arts. The series peels away myths and stereotypes to reveal a world uniquely Italian and uniquely American. Stanley Tucci narrates.

Feb. 22 @ 8pm – Downton Abbey: Season 5 (series continues)
Someone tries to derail Rose and Atticus’ happiness. Mrs. Patmore gets a surprise. Anna is in trouble. Robert has a revelation.

Feb. 25 @ 7pm – Nature: The Last Orangutan Eden
Ecologist Chris Morgan (“Bears of the Last Frontier”) travels to the jungles of Northern Sumatra to document the efforts to save its wild orangutan population, which is quickly dwindling due to deforestation. Morgan spends time with orphaned orangs at rehabilitation centers observing the process of teaching them the survival skills they’ll need to be released back into the wild. He also travels to a peat swamp forest known as Suaq Balimbing in a protected area and part of a World Heritage Site. Working with a team of experienced researchers, he becomes immersed in a unique social band of wild orangs that use tools, share food, forage together and create their own distinct culture. Advanced cameras follow the orangs throughout the canopy to provide an intimate, clear picture of how these arboreal apes spend their days and nights and interact with one another.

Feb. 27 @ 8pm – Great Performances: La Dolce Vita: The Music of the Italian Cinema
Dawning in the dark aftermath of World War II, the fertile mid-century decades of Italian cinema delighted international movie audiences with an eclectic mix of movie classics from groundbreaking directors including Frederico Fellini, Franco Zeffirelli, Sergio Leone and others. And a major component of Italian cinema’s enduring popularity continues to be a lush selection of sweeping film scores by composers like Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone. Featuring Josh Groban, Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell, GREAT PERFORMANCES partners with the New York Philharmonic and music director Alan Gilbert for a romantic concert of audience favorites with music from 8½, Amarcord, Once Upon a Time in the West, Cinema Paradiso, Life Is Beautiful, Il Postino and more.