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What to Watch in October

Lisa Tipton
Mayor Richard J. Daley overlooks the Chicago skyline with Marina City in the background
Mayor Richard J. Daley overlooking the Chicago skyline, with Marina City in the background. Credit: Richard J. Daley collection, University of Illinois Chicago Library

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.

Chicago Stories

Fridays at 8:00 pm and at

WTTW's documentary series continues in October with looks at a company that built a unique town and caused two huge labor movements, one of which laid groundwork for the civil rights movement (Pullman and the Railroad Rebellion on October 6); an influential and domineering mayor and his effect, good and bad, on the city (The Boss and the Bulldozer on October 13); a Nobel Peace Prize winner (Jane Addams: Together We Rise on October 20), and Chicago's history as a manufacturer of your favorite sweet treats (Candy Capital on October 27).

Be sure to check out even more Chicago Stories at

Frontline “Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover”

Tuesday, October 10 at 8:00 pm

Once a notorious user of Twitter, Elon Musk now owns the social media company. What does that mean for the company's future, and for free speech?

New Dramas

Sundays beginning October 15

We've got new seasons of three shows coming October 15, starting with season 2 of Hotel Portofino at 7:00 pm (you can catch up on season 1 with a marathon that starts at 1:00 pm that afternoon). Then we finally get a second season of the World War II drama World on Fire at 8:00 pm, with season 1 airing the afternoons of October 1 and 8 to keep you up to date. Season 2 of the fourth wall-breaking mystery Annika closes out the line-up at 9:00 pm

You can also stream these shows with a WTTW Passport membership via the PBS app or at, and catch up with our recaps

American Buffalo

Monday and Tuesday, October 16 and 17 at 7:00 pm

Ken Burns and his team of talented filmmakers' latest is a two-part look at bison. Long an integral part of Native American life, bison were nearly wiped out by rapacious settlers and hunters before being saved in one of conservation's greatest success stories.

Check out more at

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month Early 

Native American Heritage Month is November, but we've got two series starting a week early. The drama Little Bird follows a woman as she tries to find her birth family, and is based on a true story (Sundays beginning October 22 at 6:00 pm). Then a second season of Native America (Tuesdays beginning October 24 at 8:00 pm) shows how Native Americans are bringing their traditions into the 21st century as engineers, politicians, artists, and athletes.