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What to Watch in October

Lisa Tipton
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at a barbershop in Making Black America: Through the Grapevine
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at a barbershop in 'Making Black America: Through the Grapevine.' Photo: McGee Media/ PBS

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.

Find all the ways to watch WTTW here.

Making Black America: Through the Grapevine

Tuesdays beginning October 4 at 9:00 pm

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s latest is a four-part series examining the networks and organizations that Black people have built to connect and share information over the centuries in America, from historically Black colleges and universities to Black Twitter and beyond. 

Rick Steves Art of Europe

Fridays beginning October 14 at 8:00 pm

Rick Steves takes a break from showing off cities to give a tour of European art history from cave art and Ancient Greece through Van Gogh and Picasso in this new six-part series. You'll still get to travel to stunning locations alongside Steves; this time you'll just focus exclusively on art!

New Mysteries

Sundays beginning October 16 at 7:00 (Miss Scarlet and the Duke), 8:00 (Magpie Murders), and 9:00 pm (Annika)

Our fall mystery line-up showcases three separate female detectives: one in nineteenth century London (season 2 of Miss Scarlet and the Duke), one in contemporary London and Suffolk (Magpie Murders), and one all the way up in Glasgow (Annika). Don't miss them—or the marathon of season 1 of Miss Scarlet that we're airing on Sunday, October 16 beginning at 11:30 am.

You can also catch up on season 1 of Miss Scarlet with our recaps and streaming (the latter available to WTTW Passport members); both will be available for all of the new shows as well. Annika is available to stream now by Passport members.

Independent Lens: TikTok, Boom

Monday, October 24 at 10:00 pm 

The social media app TikTok has surpassed even Google as the most popular website in the world, which means it reaches billions of people. This documentary explores both its community and the issues that come along with it, from security issues to racial biases.