What to Watch in January

Lisa Tipton
Dave Chappelle is awarded the Mark Twain Prize. Photo: Jati Lindsay
Dave Chappelle is the recipient of this year's Mark Twain Prize, and the ceremony includes numerous comedians and others. Photo: Jati Lindsay

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? Lisa Tipton, WTTW’s Head of Programming and Pledge, 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, she’ll recommend a few shows that she thinks you should watch.

The Interview Show with Mark Bazer

Fridays, beginning January 3 at 8:30 pm

The Interview Show with Mark Bazer

Chicago is chock-full of fascinating people in every sort of industry, and Mark Bazer is the perfect person to introduce you to some of them. In intimate conversations at the Hideout with musicians like Jeff Tweedy to comedians like Abby McEnany, academics such as cosmologist Dan Hooper to reporters like Greta Johnsen, Bazer coaxes out amusing anecdotes, intriguing opinions, and endearing personalities. The Interview Show is a great way to learn about some of the talented people living in Chicago.

Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors

Sunday, January 5 at 9:00 pm

Lucy Worsley in Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors

The popular British historian Lucy Worsley is always a delight, whether exploring the holiday traditions of the Tudors or the wardrobes of queens. In this special, she dives into the private life of Jane Austen, seeing what clues Austen’s living quarters hold to the novelist’s writing and life. And if it whets your appetite for more Jane Austen, you can watch a new Masterpiece drama based on her final, unfinished novel Sanditon beginning the following Sunday, January 12, at 8:00 pm.

Dave Chappelle: The Mark Twain Prize

Tuesday, January 7 at 9:00 pm

Every year, some of the United States’ funniest people convene in Washington, D.C. to celebrate as one of their own is presented with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center. This year, the awardee is the pioneering Dave Chappelle, and he’s joined by an all-star roster of colleagues and friends, including Tiffany Haddish, Trevor Noah, John Legend, and many others. You will laugh—we promise.

Eastland: Chicago’s Deadliest Day

Thursday, January 23 at 8:00 pm

More than 800 people lost their lives on July 24, 1915, when a boat rolled onto its side in the Chicago River just before leaving the dock. It’s a devastating tragedy that could have been easily averted—and yet the rich and powerful people who were largely responsible for it got away scot-free. Take an immersive look at Chicago’s deadliest tragedy.

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