Coming Up on WTTW

Daniel Hautzinger
Pati Jinich at the U.S.-Mexico border. Photo: Alan Jinich/Mexican Table LLC
In 'La Frontera,' chef Pati Jinich explores the oft-misunderstood U.S.-Mexico border via the medium of food. Photo: Alan Jinich/Mexican Table LLC

As summer ends, the school year isn't the only thing to prepare for—we also have some newly announced PBS shows to look forward to over the coming few months. You've already heard about September's Muhammad Ali documentary from ken Burns, Sara Burns, and David McMahon, as well as The Great American Recipe, a home cook competition coming next summer, and gotten an update on an upcoming season of All Creatures Great and Small. Plus, we've previewed upcoming dramas and mysteries. Here's a look at some other things on the way.

American Experience — Sandra Day O'Connor: The First

Monday, September 13 at 9:00 pm

Forty years ago, Sandra Day O'Connor was approved by a unanimous Senate vote to become the first female Supreme Court justice. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan, O'Connor served as a critical swing vote on such controversial issues as reproductive rights, gender, race, and Bush v. Gore. At a time of increasing pressure and attention on the Supreme Court, revisit O'Connor's trailblazing life and tenure.

American Experience — Citizen Hearst

Monday, September 27 and Tuesday, September 28 at 9:00 pm

He was the model for Orson Welles' Citizen Kane. Now discover the real life of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, whose transformation of the media's role in politics continue to have repercussions today. 

NOVA: The Cannabis Question 

Wednesday, September 29 at 9:00 pm

Recreational marijuana is now legal in 19 states, while medical marijuana is legal in 36, and 55 million Americans say they currently use cannabis. But because the federal government still classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug, research on the plant and its effects is scant. NOVA investigates the story of cannabis in the U.S.

This fall, NOVA also takes on the elusive neutrino particle and how eating insects could benefit our health and the planet.

POV: Fruits of Labor

Monday, October 4 at 10:00 pm

Ashley is a Mexican-American teenager living on the central coast of California whose plans to go to college are complicated when ICE raids in her community force her to become her family's primary breadwinner, working days in strawberry fields and nights in a processing plant. 

American Masters — Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It

Tuesday, October 5 at 9:00 pm

She's one of the only people who has ever won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony, and for good reason: Rita Moreno is an iconic performer and trailblazer. Explore her 70-year career. 

American Masters also examines the life of Helen Keller, the pioneering activist for disability rights, in October.  

La Frontera with Pati Jinich

Fridays, October 15 and October 22 at 9:00 pm 

You know Pati Jinich as the approachable chef of Pati's Mexican Table (a new season premieres September 15), but she is also a former political analyst with a master's degree in Latin American Studies and the current resident chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. Using her background and the medium of food, she explores the misunderstood U.S.-Mexico border region, savoring the diverse cultures of El Paso, Ciudad Juárez, Nuevo Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville, meeting artists, musicians, athletes, and of course chefs and home cooks. 

American Veteran

Tuesdays beginning October 26 at 9:00 pm

Illinois's U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is among the narrators of this four-part series highlighting the diverse experiences of American veterans from a wide variety of backgrounds, across the country's history. In the multiplatform initiative, which also includes a podcast and digital shorts, every voice is a veteran's.

Independent Lens: Ferguson Rises

Monday, November 8

This documentary looks back on the protests in Ferguson, Missouri following the killing of Michale Brown, Jr. by a white police officer, in the wake of the national movement for racial justice that arose after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year. In addition to portraying the rise of Black Lives Matter to prominence and the local movements for change in Ferguson, it also portrays more intimate stories of grief.

Frontline: American Reckoning

This documentary, premiering before the end of the year, is the final part in a multiplatform project investigating unsolved cold cases from the civil rights era and the challenges—and importance—of revisiting them today. 

Other Frontline investigations coming this fall look at America in the two decades after 9/11, flaws in a Boeing jet that led to crashes killing hundreds of people, and police reform in Salt Lake City. 

Finding Your Roots

January, 2022

In the eighth season of Finding Your Roots, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. unearths the family roots of celebrities ranging from David Chang to Kathryn Hahn, Lena Waithe to Damon Lindelof, Nathan Lane to Leslie Odom, Jr., and many more.

POV: Not Going Quietly

Monday, January 24, 2022

Follow the inspiring and sobering story of Ady Barkan, who became a powerful activist following a diagnosis of ALS at age 32 and a chance encounter with U.S. Senator Jeff Flake on an airplane.