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What to Watch in May

Lisa Tipton
On Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsular, Fagradalsfjall Volcano spews molten lava across the valley
'Wild Scandinavia' explores the extreme landscapes of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and more. Photo: Stefan Forster

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. Many of the below shows are available to stream or will be once they premiere.

NOVA on Conservation, Volcanoes, and Your Brain

Wednesdays at 8:00 pm

We've got a full slate of new NOVA episodes this month, covering amazing things learned about an endangered North Atlantic giant of the sea (Saving the Right Whale, May 3), the massive volcanic eruption in Tonga last year (Hidden Volcano Abyss, May 10), and the surprises of the human brain in a miniseries (Your Brain, beginning May 17).

Dooky Chase Kitchen: Leah's Legacy

Saturdays at 11:30 am

Leah Chase ran one of the most important restaurants in a city full of them: Dooky Chase, in New Orleans. Not only did she serve up outstanding Creole cuisine; she also opened up her restaurant as a gathering place for the Civil Rights movement. Discover the history, legacy, and recipes of that legendary place in this new series. 

Frontline on the Supreme Court and Guns

Tuesdays, May 9 and 30 at 8:00 pm

Clarence and Ginni Thomas have long been a Washington, D.C. power couple but have lately garnered more and more of the spotlight, due to Clarence's influence on a conservative Supreme Court and Ginni's controversial activism, including around efforts to overturn the election of Joe Biden as president. Frontline investigates the couple on May 9, then turns to the aftermath of the tragic 2022 mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on May 30.

Wild Scandinavia

Wednesdays beginning May 10 at 7:00 pm 

From fjords to forests, with volcanoes and arctic landscapes in between, Scandinavia offers breathtaking beauty and epic extremities in its natural landscapes. Explore them in this new three-part series. 

National Memorial Day Concert

Sunday, May 28 at 7:00 pm and 8:30 pm

The National Memorial Day Concert from Washington, D.C. is a cherished annual tradition that we broadcast—and look forward to every year—and this one is no different!