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Including the debut of new "Check, Please!" host Catherine De Orio and an innovative new special, "Chicago Time Machine," from Geoffrey Baer

For immediate release
Chicago, IL - September 5, 2013

WTTW, the Midwest’s premier public television station, announces some notable new programs in its Fall 2013 primetime and kids’ schedule.  In addition to the station’s continuing national public television series, including Antiques Roadshow, NOVA, Masterpiece Mystery!, Nature, and the popular Saturday evening “Britcom” bloc, below are some special “popout” programs airing on WTTW in Fall 2013, including two local premieres – the 13th season premiere of Check, Please! with new host Catherine De Orio (October 18), and a new Geoffrey Baer special, Chicago Time Machine (December 3).


  • Last Tango in HalifaxSunday, September 8-October 13 at 7:00 pm
    This award-winning 6-part series from the U.K. tells the story of widowed septuagenarians Alan and Celia (Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid), childhood sweethearts who fall in love again when they are reunited over the internet after 60 years.  But complications with their extended families inevitably follow.
  • American Masters: Billie Jean KingTuesday, September 10 at 8:00 pm
    Pioneering tennis legend Billie Jean King presents her own story, to commemorate the 40th anniversaries of both her infamous match with Bobby Riggs and the launch of the Women's Tennis Association.
  • Latino AmericansTuesday, September 17-October 22 at 8:00 pm
    Actor Benjamin Bratt narrates this landmark six-hour series, the first major television documentary series to chronicle the rich and varied history of Latinos, who have for the past 500-plus years helped shape what is today the United States as they evolved into the country’s largest minority group.
  • Genealogy Roadshow – Monday, September 23-October 14 at 9:00 pm
    Follow a diverse cast of participants from four American cities — Nashville, Austin, Detroit, and San Francisco — who want to explore a genealogical mystery. Each individual’s past will link to a larger community history, revealing the rich cultural tapestry of America.


  • Masterpiece Classic: The Paradise – Sunday, October 6-November 17 at 8:00 pm
    For those who enjoyed Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge, this is a new 7-part program from the U.K. that is based on an Emile Zola novel and set in a Victorian prototype of the department store “The Paradise.” 
  • Peg + CatMondays at 9:00 am beginning Monday, October 7
    This charming new animated PBS Kids series is designed to engage preschool children and teach them how to solve math-based problems with Peg, a chatty and tenacious five year-old, her feline pal, Cat, and her smart, handsome, cool friend Ramone.
  • Check, Please! – Friday, October 18 at 8:00 pm
    The 13th season of WTTW’s popular restaurant review series premieres with a new host – Elmwood Park native Catherine De Orio.  Restaurants/reviewers on the season premiere:  Wicker Park eatery Estrella Negra, reviewed by Anthony Bruno; Benny's Chop House in Chicago’s Loop, reviewed by TR Youngblood; and Tin Fish in Tinley Park, reviewed by Aja McClanahan.
  • PBS Fall Arts Festival Fridays at 9:00 pm in October and November, beginning October 18
    The annual arts showcase from PBS includes Great Performances’ star-studded 40th Anniversary Celebration, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, Nashville 2.0, Stephen Sondheim’s Company, A Raisin in the Sun, Moby Dick from the San Francisco Opera, and Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn.
  • The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross – Tuesday, October 22 at 8:00 pm
    This 6-part series chronicles the full sweep of African American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent through five centuries of historic events right up to present day.  Hosted by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
  • The Graduates/Los Graduados, an Independent Lens PresentationMonday, October 28 and November 4 at 10:00 pm
    This 2-part bilingual documentary explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina adolescents from across the country, offering first-hand perspectives on the barriers they have to overcome in order to make their dreams come true.  One of the film’s subjects is a Chicagoan; WTTW will be supplementing this broadcast with two community screenings, youth panels, and Youth Empowerment Expos.


  • JFK Assassination 50th anniversary programming. The 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy will be commemorated with the following programs:
  • Kennedy Memories – Monday, November 11 at 8:00 pm
  • JFK: American Experience – Monday, November 11 and Tuesday, November 12 at 9:00 pm
  • NOVA: Cold Case JFK – Wednesday, November 13 at 9:00 pm
  • Secrets of the Dead: One o’ Clock – Wednesday, November 13 at 10:00 pm
  • Carol Burnett: The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor 2013Sunday, November 24 at 8:00 pm
    The beloved comedienne, actress and television star is saluted by a group of her peers at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
  • How Sherlock Changed the WorldTuesday, November 26 at 9:00 pm
    This two-hour special reveals for the first time the astonishing impact the world’s most legendary fictional detective — Sherlock Holmes – had on the development of real criminal investigation and forensic techniques.


  • Chicago Time Machine with Geoffrey Baer – Tuesday, December 3 at 7:30 pm
    In this new and original special, WTTW’s popular Chicago history expert Geoffrey Baer gives us a unique historical perspective on the city through a “found” time machine, discovered at a flea market.  Geoffrey shows us various Chicago locales in the past – via rare archival photos and film, and special effects -- as he tells their fascinating stories in the present.
  • Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – Sunday, December 15 at 8:00 pm
    The renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra present an all-new Christmas special from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, performing some of the season's best-loved music.

About WTTW
Soon to celebrate its 60th anniversary, WTTW is the Midwest’s premier public media organization, committed to creating and presenting unique television and digital media content.  WTTW is dedicated to bringing Chicago and the world together to explore the arts, sciences, humanities, and public affairs across four distinct television channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, the Spanish-language channel WTTW V-me, and WTTW Create/WTTW WORLD, and on, where visitors can connect with others in the community and access a full library of local and national video content for kids and adults, interactive features, event and membership opportunities, and robust microsites and blogs dedicated to WTTW series and specials.  Each week, WTTW reaches an audience of 1.8 million over a four-state area, making it one of the most-watched public television stations in America.