TV (Cable 11, Cox 1011, Time Warner 15-1)
Airs Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV
Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio learns the hardships his family endured living in a tiny town in Northern Italy and celebrates the courage of his original immigrant ancestor, a man who crossed the Atlantic multiple times to bring the Colicchios to the United States; Ming Tsai, the child of immigrants who fled Mao’s Cultural Revolution, was raised to believe that his family’s Chinese past was obliterated by the Communists but finds instead that his roots can be traced back over 2000 years, yielding the largest family tree we’ve ever seen; and Aarón Sánchez discovers that his family’s treasured Mexican roots include people who were Spaniards, Africans, and Native Americans.
Airs Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV
Track American women’s increasing participation in war — from Vietnam to the present — as nurses, soldiers, journalists, diplomats and spies. Among those featured are Linda Bray, the first woman to lead troops into battle, and Valerie Plame Wilson, whose career was sabotaged after she was “outed” as a high-level spy. Viewers hear from war correspondents Molly Moore, Clarissa Ward and Christiane Amanpour about life on the battlefield.
Airs Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
FRONTLINE examines the unfolding chaos in Iraq and how the U.S. is being pulled back into the conflict. Drawing on interviews with policymakers and military leaders, the film traces the U.S. role from the 2003 invasion to the current violence, showing how Iraq itself is coming undone, how we got here, what went wrong and what happens next.
Airs Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014 at 9 p.m. & Sunday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. on KPBS TV
The first stage in the adventure of human flight began with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th-century Paris, where a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers developed all the essential features of today’s hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the American ambassador. To explore this burst of innovation, NOVA re-creates key flights, including the world’s first manned voyage on November 21, 1783.
Airs Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
Best-selling author Steven Johnson considers how the invention of the mirror gave rise to the Renaissance, how glass lenses allow us to reveal worlds within worlds and how, deep beneath the ocean, glass is essential to communication. He learns about the daring exploits of glassmakers who were forced to work under threat of the death penalty, a physics teacher who liked to fire molten glass from a crossbow and a scientist whose tinkering with a glass lens allowed 600 million people to see a man set foot on the moon.