What to Watch in April

Dan Soles
Ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) seems to stop in mid-air as it approaches a flower. Corpus Christi, TX. Photo: Ann Johnson Prum/ © THIRTEEN Productions LLC
Nature: American Spring Live brings you amazing coverage of animals like the ruby-throated hummingbird. Photo: Ann Johnson Prum/ © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

There’s a huge amount of worthwhile TV out there nowadays, so it can be hard to choose what to watch. But who better to recommend shows than the person who programs them? Dan Soles, Senior Vice President and Chief Television Officer at WTTW, constructs the WTTW schedule by searching through offerings from many different sources which include the national PBS network, the BBC, and independent filmmakers to put together a varied and engaging broadcast schedule. Each month, he’ll recommend a few shows that he thinks you should watch.

Father Brown and Death in Paradise

Saturdays beginning April 6 at 7:00 and 9:00 pm

Saturdays will be an exciting time for fans of British mysteries, as we have two new seasons for some favorite shows, Father Brown and Death in Paradise. Fans have been waiting, and now they’re finally here!

Death in Paradise

Mexico: One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless

Fridays beginning April 12 at 8:30 pm

Islands Without Cars with Kira Hesser

Saturdays beginning April 13 at 6:00 pm

Two other old favorites have new seasons, too, and both of these are Chicago-based! Rick Bayless continues to explore Mexican cuisine in a new season of Mexico: One Plate at a Time after decades as a titan in Chicago’s food scene, while Kira Hesser returns to travel to isolated places where cars aren’t allowed, including Michigan’s Mackinac Island.

Rick Bayless

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War

Tuesday, April 9 and 16, at 9:00 pm

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is one of America’s foremost historians and the producer of some of our most exceptional programming, from Finding Your Roots to his magisterial surveys of African American history and stories. Now he looks at an often overlooked and little understood chapter of American history, the brief period after the Civil War where it seemed that the promises of the 14th Amendment might be fulfilled, until Jim Crow was instituted and wiped out many of the gains African Americans had made.

Eva: A-7063

Thursday, April 11 at 8:00 pm

Eva Mozes Kor survived the unspeakable brutality, torment, and cruelty of Auschwitz as a child – and eventually decided that she needed to share her story, pain, and message with the world. This moving documentary helps tell her story and its importance to people everywhere.

Eva Mozes Kor, A-7063

Les Misérables

Sundays at 8:00 pm beginning April 14

This classic Victor Hugo novel, considered one of the greatest of the 19th century, may have been popularized by the musical adaptation of it, but this Masterpiece version doesn’t have any songs. It does, however, have a suitably epic feel, stirring drama, and a stellar cast that includes David Oyelowo, recent Oscar winner Olivia Colman, and Dominic West.

Boss: The Black Experience in Business

Tuesday, April 23 at 8:00 pm

Macarthur “genius” Stanley Nelson returns with another excellent corrective, surveying the stories of bold African American entrepreneurs who have overcome racism, discrimination, and circumstances to become successful businesspeople. Chicago has produced its fair share of phenomenal black entrepreneurs, from the Johnson family to the Chicago Defender’s Robert Abbott, so you’ll also get a look at our city’s vibrant African American community over more than the past century.

Nature: American Spring Live

Monday, April 29, through Wednesday, May 1 at 8:00 pm

As with last year’s Autumnwatch New England, American Spring Live brings together scientists and researchers to explain the incredible changes that happen every spring, as live shots showcase the remarkable transformations that happen amongst wildlife and flora across the country every year. Don’t miss the three-night event – it’s live!

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