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Stories by Jennifer Robinson

AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN FROM COOK'S ILLUSTRATED: Almond Cake And British Scones

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In this episode, test cook Bridget Lancaster shows host Christopher Kimball how to make the Best Almond Cake. Then tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges Chris to a tasting of supermarket orange juice. And finally, test cook Julia Collin Davison uncovers the secrets to making the ultimate British-Style Currant Scones right at home.

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET: Le Nozze di Figaro (New Season Premiere)

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Met music director James Levine conducts a spirited new production of Mozart’s masterpiece, directed by Richard Eyre, who sets the action of this classic domestic comedy in an 18th-century manor house in Seville during the 1930s. Dashing bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov leads the cast in the title role of the clever servant, opposite Marlis Petersen as his bride, Susanna, Peter Mattei as the philandering count they work for, Amanda Majeski as the long-suffering countess and Isabel Leonard as the libidinous pageboy, Cherubino.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW: Austin, Texas - Hour Two

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Highlights include a 1607 Galileo letter that was purchased by the owner’s grandmother for $170 and is now appraised at $60,000 to $100,000; a jewelry collection of a diamond and sapphire ring, necklace and tassel, valued at $55,000 to $85,000; and a Chinese cloisonné panel that was said to be gifted to the owner’s grandfather by the Emperor of China and holds an estimated auction value of $70,000 to $100,000.

RICK STEVES’ EUROPE: Berlin

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A tumultuous 20th century left Berlin filled with powerful sights — from evocative memorials, to surviving bits of its communist and fascist days, to its glass-domed Reichstag. We enjoy its now-trendy east side, its people-friendly riverfront, and its vibrant social scene. Reunited Berlin — perhaps the fastest changing and most happening city in Europe — is entertaining more visitors than ever.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Ryan Adams/Jenny Lewis

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In this episode, great American singer/songwriters Ryan Adams and Jenny Lewis return to the AUSTIN CITY LIMITS stage. Adams features songs from his self-titled album. Former Rilo Kiley star Lewis comes in support of her LP "The Voyager."

SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED: A Midsummer Night's Dream With Hugh Bonneville (New Season Premiere)

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Hugh Bonneville started his career as an understudy for Ralph Fiennes in "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" at the Open Air Theatre in London’s Regent’s Park. He revisits the theatre where his love for Shakespeare blossomed and catches up with Ralph to talk about why the play has enduring appeal. Interviews include David Walliams and Sheridan Smith.

LIVE AT THE BELLY UP: Trigger Hippy

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San Diego has long been known as a hotbed of great musical talent. What’s more, San Diego is home to one of the best music venues on the West Coast. Since 1974, the Belly Up has been featuring great local bands from the Cedros Design District. This episode, with Trigger Hippy, featuring Jackie Greene, Joan Osborne, Steve Goreman, Nick Govrik and Tom Bukovac, is a genre blurring band of blues, soul, Americana and more.

CROSSING SOUTH: Tequila

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One of the great things Mexico brings to the world is its tequila. Our research would not be complete with out a 2,000 mile trip to Tequila, Jalisco. In this episode, follow along as we visit the town who gave the drink it's name. Learn about the Tequila-making process at the Jose Cuervo factory and learn the right way to taste this drink.

1915 EXPO CENTENNIAL: SAN DIEGO’S HISTORIC PLACES: Marston House & Park, Kate Sessions, Cabrillo Bridge, Grant Hotel, Streetcar

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Join Elsa Sevilla, host and producer of SAN DIEGO'S HISTORIC PLACES as she uncovers stories from the 1915 Exposition in Balboa Park. Find out how civic leader George Marston enlisted the talent and guidance of New York architects to help design Balboa Park. Also, see wonderful black and white photos showing how the historic Cabrillo Bridge was built ahead of the Exposition and how nearby hotels, like the Historic U.S. Grant, and also the San Diego Electric Railway, played a key role in the fair's success 100-years ago.

SECRETS OF THE DEAD: Ben Franklin's Bones

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When skeletal remains of at least 10 people, including several infants, turned up in the basement of Benjamin Franklin’s British residence, people wondered if the Founding Father might have had a much darker side, as the bones had been meticulously cut and drilled. Franklin was aware of the bodies in his basement, but they weren’t the victims of violent acts. Rather, they were used for the purposes of an illegal anatomy school that helped shaped modern medicine.

NOVA: Sinkholes - Buried Alive

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In Tampa, Florida, in February 2013, a giant hole opened up under the bedroom floor of Jeffrey Bush, swallowing the 36-year-old as he slept. His body was never found. Bush was a victim of a sinkhole — a growing worldwide hazard that lurks wherever limestone and other water-soluble rocks underpin the soil. Sinkholes have swallowed highways, apartment buildings, horses, camels, even golfers, with monster-size holes cracking the earth from Siberia to Louisiana. With compelling eyewitness video of dramatic collapses, and following scientists as they explore the underlying forces behind these natural disasters, NOVA travels the globe to investigate what it’s like to have your world vanish beneath your feet.

RICK STEVES’ EUROPE: Prague

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The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is the best-preserved Baroque city in Central Europe. We experience its massive castle, beloved statue-lined bridge, evocative Jewish Quarter, and thrilling 20th-century history while enjoying its infectious love of music and perhaps the best beer in Europe. With a beautifully preserved Old Town, Prague deserves its nickname: the Golden City of a Hundred Spires.

MARTIN YAN'S TASTE OF VIETNAM: The Chefs Of Vietnam (New Series Premiere)

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International culinary icon Martin Yan returns to public television with a new series that explores the bustling cities, breathtaking landscapes, colorful history and authentic cuisine of Vietnam. Behind every creative Vietnamese dish is a creative Vietnamese chef. Some are award-winning professionals with years of international experience, while others are young rising stars. In the first episode, Martin cooks with a few of these chefs and shares ideas on Vietnamese cuisine. Recipes: Duck with Tea Sauce, Orange-flavored Duck, My Long Noodle, Dungeness Crab with Tamarind Sauce.

NATURE: Penguin Post Office

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In the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula there’s a post office surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery and 3,000 gentoo penguins. Every summer, as staff put stamps on postcards, the penguins return from their fishing grounds to their breeding grounds, trek nearly two miles across sea ice and snow, rush to find a partner, build a nest, lay eggs and protect them from predators, and finally get down to the task of raising their young. Watch their four-month drama unfold as cruise ships come and go, bringing tourists to buy postcards and photograph penguins – the backdrop to the penguins’ lives.

AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN FROM COOK’S ILLUSTRATED: Comfort Food Revisited (New Season Premiere)

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Season 15 features 51 all-new recipes! In this episode, test cook Dan Souza uncovers the secrets to the Best Chicken Stew. Next, equipment expert Adam Ried reviews 13 by 9-inch metal baking pans in the Equipment Corner. Then, test cook Bridget Lancaster shows host Christopher Kimball how to make the ultimate Cream Cheese Brownies.

LIVE AT THE BELLY UP: Donavon Frankenreiter (New Season Premiere)

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San Diego has long been known as a hotbed of great musical talent. What’s more, San Diego is home to one of the best music venues on the West Coast. Since 1974, the Belly Up has been featuring great local bands from the Cedros Design District. This episode features Donavon Frankenreiter and his full quiver of songs from beachy acoustic to rippin' 1970s sounding electric guitar songs.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Edison

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By the time he died in 1931, Thomas Alva Edison was one of the most famous men in the world. The holder of more patents than any other inventor in history, Edison had amassed a fortune and achieved glory as the genius behind such revolutionary inventions as sound recording, motion pictures, and electric light.

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW: Season 2: Philadelphia - Franklin Institute

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At Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family histories. A man learns that the event that drove his family to the City of Brotherly Love changed the course of history; a man may be a Viking descendant; another family could have part of one of history’s biggest scams; a young man hopes to confirm his relation to a signer of the Declaration of Independence; and two sisters learn their ancestors were part of the great Irish migration.

A PATH APPEARS - An INDEPENDENT LENS Special Presentation

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A PATH APPEARS, from the creative team behind the groundbreaking series HALF THE SKY: TURNING OPPRESSION INTO OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN WORLDWIDE, follows authors/reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and celebrity activists Malin Akerman, Mia Farrow, Ronan Farrow, Jennifer Garner, Regina Hall, Ashley Judd, Blake Lively, Eva Longoria and Alfre Woodard to Colombia, Haiti, Kenya and throughout the United States. They explore the roots of gender inequality, the devastating impact of poverty and the ripple effects that follow — including sex trafficking, teen pregnancy, gender-based violence and child slavery. In their travels, they meet with inspiring activists who are creating effective solutions to gender-based oppression, transforming lives and providing a roadmap for sustainable change.

CROSSING SOUTH: Food Garden & Tequila Festival

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Did you say Food Garden? Sounds like a perfect place for host Jorge Meraz. A literal garden of wonderful meals, in a gourmet food court, is waiting for Jorge to taste every last dish. Next we go to the Tijuana Tequila Expo. This is an annual event that showcases a traditional Mexican drink. Jorge does some tasting research, and falls in love with some of the sweet mixed versions.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW: Austin, Texas - Hour One

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Highlights include a spinning wheel gifted to the owner’s mother by Mahatma Gandhi, now valued at $50,000 to $75,000; a pin designed by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein that features his trademark Ben-Day dot pattern; and a diamond and platinum Van Cleef and Arpels necklace that was custom ordered for $5,700 by the owner’s father-in-law and is now worth $125,000.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Sam Smith/Future Islands

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Explore the best original music — including contemporary and traditional rock, blues, country, folk, soul and worldbeat — in uninterrupted full concerts recorded live in Austin, Texas. In this episode, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS features soulful pop from Sam Smith and Future Islands. UK sensation Smith sings “Stay With Me” and others from his debut. Future Islands features their single “Seasons (Waiting on You)” as well as other tunes from "Singles."

1915 EXPO CENTENNIAL: SAN DIEGO’S HISTORIC PLACES: Rare Expo Black & White Film, Foreign Arts Building, San Diego History Center Ephemera, Expo Historic Artifacts

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Historic black and white photos and film show great detail of how Balboa Park was constructed, and how the 1915 Expo was planned. While there are thousands of photos from the era that depict the exterior buildings, there are a few, rare photos that show the inside. You will also see ephemera that demonstrates the ingenious and successful marketing strategies used to attract visitors from the East Coast to San Diego. And you'll want to see how the Piccirilli Brothers from New York would create spectacular ornamentation for various park buildings.

AMERICAN MASTERS: Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice

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For the first time in the series’ 29-year history, AMERICAN MASTERS profiles a magician: the inimitable Ricky Jay, one of the world’s greatest conjurers, a best-selling author, historian, actor and leading collector of antiquarian books and artifacts. Journey through the mysterious world of sleight-of-hand through new interviews with Jay, his friends and collaborators, including writer/director David Mamet.

NOVA: Sunken Ship Rescue

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NOVA follows the epic operation to secure, raise and salvage the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which ran aground and capsized off the coast of Italy on January 13, 2012, killing 32 people. The wreck stretches the length of three football fields, weighs 45,000 tons and lies half submerged on the site of a protected reef, with a 160-foot-long hole in its hull. Moving it from its precarious perch on the edge of an underwater cliff will be a huge technical and logistical challenge. Now, NOVA joins a team of more than 500 divers and engineers working around the clock as they attempt the biggest ship recovery project in history.

A CHEF’S LIFE: Chicken Lickin'

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As Vivian waits for spring’s vegetables to appear, she pauses to appreciate chicken’s endless capacity as an ingredient. The restaurant’s new best-seller is a whole chicken, pounded and stuffed with broccoli salad. An old family friend fries a chicken the old-fashioned way, served with a side of banana sandwiches. Spring brings the twins’ birthday, and Vivian can’t help but go over the top with celebrations, including the Cadillac of chicken coops to house Theo and Flo’s new baby chicks.

SHELTER ME: New Beginnings

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SHELTER ME is an inspiring series that celebrates shelter pets with positive and uplifting stories. We tell stories about people’s lives being improved when they adopt a shelter pet. “New Beginnings” is hosted by Allison Janney. The stories in this film will lift your spirits and fill you with hope.

INDEPENDENT LENS: The Kill Team/Confusion Through Sand

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In “The Kill Team,” venture behind closed doors to learn the harrowing story of a 21-year-old U.S. infantryman in Afghanistan who — with the help of his father — attempted to alert the military to heinous war crimes being committed by his platoon. By Dan Krauss. Then, director Danny Madden’s animated short film, “Confusion Through Sand," tells the story of a teenage military recruit alone and scared in a hostile desert.

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW: Season 2: St. Louis - Central Library

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At Saint Louis’ historic public library, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories from Missouri’s famous gateway city. A mystery writer discovers her mother has hidden a life-changing secret; a woman finds out if she is descended from the infamous pirate Blackbeard; a mother and daughter seek connections to a famous author; and a young man seeks connection to the Mali tribe in Africa.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW: New York City, N.Y. - Hour Three

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Highlights include a Tiffany presentation watch that was gifted to NYPD lieutenant Giuseppe Petrosino by the Italian government; a 1943 Irving Berlin manuscript that was discovered nestled in the pages of a photo album belonging to the family of the Columbia Records president; and a collection of rare 1903 American Beauty-backed tobacco baseball cards in pristine condition, appraised for $200,000.

MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! Grantchester

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“As a priest, isn’t everything our business?” asks Reverend Sidney Chambers as he gets to the bottom of another baffling murder around the placid village of Grantchester. James Norton stars as the handsome, jazz-loving vicar, with Robson Green as his law-enforcement ally, Inspector Geordie Keating, on Grantchester, airing in six parts on MASTERPIECE, Sundays, January 18 - February 22, 2015 on KPBS.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Spoon/White Denim

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In this episode, Austin's best alternative rock shines with Spoon and White Denim. Top 10-seller Spoon highlights its album "They Want My Soul," while White Denim features its LP "Corsicana Lemonade."

SCOTT & BAILEY: Season 4

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Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp return in this crime drama exploring the personal and professional lives of two detectives. This series sees both Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones) and Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp) in line for promotion but with only one sergeant's role up for grabs, they must compete against each other. Rachel's mum is back on the scene with a new boyfriend who Rachel discovers has a violent past. Janet has personal issues to deal with when her daughter decides to leave home. Rachel starts a new relationship, but because her lover is a senior police officer, she must keep it secret. And Janet unintentionally sparks trouble for boss Gill when she raises concerns about Gill's drinking. Will Gill make it through to retirement with her reputation intact?

CROSSING SOUTH: La Justina & Tijuana's Culinary Art School

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In this episode, host Jorge Meraz breaks his own advice and heads to Revolution Avenue in Tijuana. Not to purchase crummy souvenirs, but to visit La Justina, a trendy restaurant co-owned by an American chef. Chef Chad White is an interesting character, with a tasty menu. Later, we visit Tijuana's Culinary Art School. Discover a main source of the amazing culinary scene hitting Baja as we talk with the owner and take a short tour.

1915 EXPO CENTENNIAL: SAN DIEGO’S HISTORIC PLACES: Expo Planning, Spreckles Organ Pavilion, Early Park Landscaping, California Building Tower Tour

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Major decisions had to be made before securing funds for the 1915 Panama California Exposition. Decisions like the park's location, what architectural design to choose and would the park be an open space concept. Balboa Park and its buildings would be described as a magical wonderland. The Expo would put San Diego on the international map but there would be major obstacles to overcome. In the end, the 1915 Expo was so successful it was extended a second year, attracting a total of 3.7 million visitors.

NOVA: Big Bang Machine

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On July 4, 2012, scientists at the giant atom smashing facility at CERN announced the discovery of a subatomic particle that seems like a tantalizingly close match to the elusive Higgs Boson, thought to be responsible for giving all the stuff in the universe its mass. Now CERN’s scientists are preparing for the Large Hadron Collider’s second act, when they restart the history-making collider, running at higher energy — hoping for the next great discovery that will change what we know about the particles and forces that make up our universe.

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW: Season 2: New Orleans - Cabildo (New Season Premiere)

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A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories at the famous Cabildo, home of the Louisiana State Museum. A couple whose ancestors hail from the same small Italian town explore the chance they may be related; a woman is desperate to find out who committed a gruesome murder in her ancestor’s past; a home held by one family for more than a century renders a fascinating story; and a woman discovers the difficult journey her ancestor took on the path to freedom from slavery.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Klansville, U.S.A.

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As the civil rights movement grew, the long-dormant Ku Klux Klan gained momentum as well, having reemerged after the 1954 Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision. That the Klan would rise once again wasn’t surprising, but where the reincarnation took place was. North Carolina, long considered the most progressive southern state and one whose image was being burnished by the enormously popular THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, saw a boom in Klan membership under the leadership of Bob Jones, the most successful Grand Dragon in the country.

FRONTLINE: Putin's Way

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FRONTLINE and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation go behind the latest headlines to investigate the Russian leader – his remarkable ascent from unemployed spy to modern-day czar, and the persistent accusations of criminality and corruption that have accompanied that rise. Producer Neil Docherty ("Murdoch’s Scandal," "On Our Watch," "Al Qaeda's New Front") and correspondent Gillian Findlay — both of the fifth estate, Canada's premier investigative TV program – trace Putin’s career back two decades to his political start in St. Petersburg, where allegations of corruption began almost immediately.

The Queen's Garden

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"The Queen’s Garden" recounts a year in the Buckingham Palace Garden, exploring the history and natural history of this remarkable 39-acre oasis hidden in the heart of London. With permission from Her Majesty the Queen, the filmmakers explore this urban oasis with a five-century history — a “living museum” where almost every plant (and some of the animals) have royal stories to tell.

INDEPENDENT LENS: Evolution Of A Criminal

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Years ago, 16-year-old honor student Darius Clark Monroe was arrested for robbing a Bank of America. Seventeen years after serving his sentence, Monroe returns to his childhood home and encounters the people affected by the robbery: his family, victims at the bank and his partners in crime. In this emotionally compelling documentary executive-produced by Spike Lee, Darius, now 33, turns the camera on a past he deeply regrets and tries to make the audience understand how he came to make the decision he made without providing excuses for his actions.

The Manners Of Downton Abbey: A MASTERPIECE Special

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Hovering just off camera on the set of DOWNTON ABBEY is the man who watches the actors’ every move. The director? No, it’s the historical advisor, Alastair Bruce, guaranteeing that the behavior above stairs and below stairs is true to the period of 1900s Britain. A treat for DOWNTON ABBEY fans or anyone who loves history, this MASTERPIECE goes behind the scenes during the filming of Season 5 with Bruce to explore the elaborate code of conduct that governed British life.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW: New York City, N.Y. - Hour Two

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Highlights include a Tiffany Studios mosaic inkwell, ca. 1905, likely designed by Carol Driscoll; a show run from the Beatles’ first “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance along with an autographed photograph of the band; and a Joseph Kleitsch oil painting, ca.1925, purchased by the owner’s father from Kleitsch’s widow for $100 and now valued at $500,000.

COOK’S COUNTRY: Oklahoma Onion Burgers And Louisiana Meat Pies

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In this episode, test cook Julia Collin Davison shows host Christopher Kimball how to make Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers. Then, tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges Chris to a tasting of frozen French fries. And finally, test cook Bridget Lancaster shows Chris how to make a regional favorite at home, Natchitoches Meat Pies.

RICK STEVES’ EUROPE: Amsterdam

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Europe's best-preserved 17th-century city, Amsterdam is quaint and jarring, traditional and modern. Filled with history and happy-go-lucky, it’s a delight to explore. Uniquely entertaining Amsterdam shows us Rembrandts and Van Goghs, more bikes than cars, flirting prostitutes, and pot-filled coffee shops — all under tall, skinny facades leaning out below quaint church towers.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: The Avett Brothers/ Nickel Creek

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In this episode, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS showcases modern Americana with the Avett Brothers and Nickel Creek. The Avett Brothers perform tunes from their LP "Magpie and the Dandelion," while Nickel Creek highlights their comeback album, "A Dotted Line."

GREAT PERFORMANCES: American Voices With Renée Fleming

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Conceived and hosted by renowned American singer Renée Fleming, "American Voices" is the groundbreaking festival of performances, master sessions and symposia convened in November 2013 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., bringing together vocal masters, industry titans and emerging artists to celebrate the artistry, technique and challenges of professional singing.

1915 EXPO CENTENNIAL: SAN DIEGO'S HISTORIC PLACES: Early Balboa Park Plans, Early Architect Plans, Museum Of Man Design, St. Frances Chapel

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The 1915 EXPO CENTENNIAL series uses rare, historic black and white photos and film to tell the story of City Park and how the Exposition was planned. The series promises to give television viewers a unique glimpse into the 1915 Exposition. Find out how City Park was planned and meet the key city leaders who created the urban park for San Diego. Also, learn about Balboa Park's architectural and landscaping designs, world-renowned architects, rare historic black and white photos and film that show unique aspects of the fair, we'll also show you rare artifacts from the 1915 Exposition and unique behind the scenes tours of the park, museum vaults and historic buildings.

CROSSING SOUTH: Surfing & Poco Cielo

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In this episode, watch as host Jorge Meraz faces his fears, and learns how to surf just south of Rosarito. His instructor, the "Surf Diva," helps him build his confidence and guides him into the waves. Afterwards, Jorge explores the Poco Cielo bed and breakfast nearby. After exploring the "cute" rooms, Jorge replenishes some of those calories he burned while surfing.

Return To The Wild - The Chris McCandless Story

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Twenty years ago a young American hiker Chris McCandless, the accomplished son of successful middle-class parents, was found dead in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness. The documentary retraces McCandless’ steps, trying to understand why he severed all ties with his past, burnt or gave away all his money, changed his name, and hiked into the Denali Wilderness. McCandless’ own letters, released for the first time – plus new and surprising interviews – shed light on a private mystery that became a public obsession and continues to confound so many to this day.

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