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December 2021

Holiday special programs and performances air all month long on WNMU-TV PBS. From classics like Charlie Brown–to live performances from Wheaton College and the Tabernacle Choir–to local productions like Pelkie–our holiday specials offer quality entertainment for the whole family. Scroll down to learn about December's featured programs. Shows are organized week by week. All programs are on 13.1 unless otherwise noted.

Don't forget: Go Public! 21 Fundraiser airs November 27-December 7. 

Thank you for your support! Donate today: https://wnmutv.nmu.edu/support/ 

December 1-4

Discovering Your Warrior Spirit with D.J. Vanas

Discovering Your Warrior Spirit with D.J. Vanas
Tap into the power of your warrior spirit by applying Native American traditions to everyday life.  

Wednesday, December 1 at 2 pm ET.

Morfar's View of the Winds

Morfar's View of the Winds
A character study about an obsessive 80-year-old photographer who enlists the help of his daughter and granddaughter to locate the exact rock where an artist sat in 1842 to sketch the first published image of the Rocky Mountains.  

Wednesday, December 1 at 3:30 pm ET.

Linked to Legends: The U.P. Teams That Played the Packers

Linked to Legends The U.P. Teams That Played the Packers
Stories of the U.P. athletes who played for and against the early Packers, along with other U.P. players who made their mark in the first decade of the NFL. Part of Go Public! 21.  

Wednesday, December 1 at 8 pm ET.  .

Ken Burns: Hemingway

Ken Burns: Hemingway
Join Jeff Daniels for a behind-the-scenes look at the documentary series on the iconic author.  

Wednesday, December 1 at 9:30 pm ET.

Anatomy '59: The Making of a Classic Motion Picture

Anatomy '59 The Making of a Classic Motion Picture
Details the story behind the 1959 Marquette County, Michigan on-location filming of Otto Preminger’s classic courtroom drama.  

Thursday, December 2 at 2 pm ET

Ask the DNR Snowmobiling, Post-Deer Season, Ice Fishing

Ask the DNR
Snowmobiling, Post-Deer Season, Ice Fishing
Personnel from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources visit WNMU-TV to answer phoned-in questions from viewers.  

Thursday, December 2 at 8 pm ET.

Fresh Coast Flashback 2021

Fresh Coast Flashback 2021
Films from this year's Fresh Coast Film Festival. Films include How to Court a Wolf (pictured), Saving Buffalo Reef, Eight Days on Isle Royale, and more. Click the link for a full list of programs. Part of Go Public! 21.  

Thursday, December 2 at 9 pm ET.

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

Curious George A Very Monkey Christmas
Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat go through Christmas present confusion.   

Friday, December 3 at 9 am ET.  Repeats 12/8 at 1 pm ET.

Nature Cat: A Nature Carol

Nature Cat A Nature Carol
In the tradition of the Dickens holiday classic, Nature Cat is visited by the spirits of Nature Past (Daisy), Present (Squeeks) and Future (Hal) on Christmas Eve.  

Friday, December 3 at 10 am ET.  Repeats 12/10 at 10 am ET.

Let’s Go Luna!: Luna’s Christmas Around the World

Let’s Go Luna! Luna’s Christmas Around the World
When the Circo gets stuck at the South Pole on Christmas eve, Leo, Andy, and Carmen are convinced that Santa will never find them. With the help of their friend Luna, the kids endeavor to save Christmas, learning about holiday traditions from around the world along the way.  

Friday, December 3 at 12:30 pm ET.  Repeats 12/16 at 10:30 am ET.

Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank

Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank
Celebrate the holidays with a 1957 special featuring the magical combination of Sinatra and Crosby.  

Friday, December 3 at 2:30 pm ET.  Repeats 12/4 at 8:30 pm ET.

Professor T: Homeless

Professor T
Homeless
A homeless man on the verge of death after an accident confides in Saskia that he killed someone. Professor T studies his mother's old diaries and begins to remember more and more about his father.  

Friday, December 3 at 9 pm ET. 

Pasquale Esposito In The Spirit of Christmas

Pasquale Esposito In The Spirit of Christmas
Internationally acclaimed Neapolitan-American tenor Pasquale Esposito takes viewers on an unforgettable holiday journey in this new concert program from Naples, Italy.  

Saturday, December 4 at 7 pm ET. 

Great Performances: Broadway: Beyond The Golden Age

Great Performances 
Broadway: Beyond The Golden Age
Go backstage with stories from stars like Carol Burnett, Dick Van Dyke, Liza Minnelli and more.  

Saturday, December 4 at 9 pm ET.

December 5-11

Alabama Hymns & Gospel Favorites

Alabama Hymns & Gospel Favorites
One of the most acclaimed country bands of our time, the award-winning Alabama is a name synonymous with tight harmonies, chart-topping songs and the fabric of American music.

 Sunday, December 5 at 6 pm ET.

Finnish American Chip Wood Carvers

Finnish American Chipwood Carvers
Explore Finnish woodcraft past and present by focusing on a handful of Finnish American woodcarvers thriving today in the Upper Peninsula in this exclusive world premiere. Discover how these carvers began learning their craft, why they continue to produce traditional arts, and why they work to teach Finnish woodcraft to a younger generation. Producer Michael M Loukinen, PhD, has been producing local content with NMU students for over 40 years. This film features videographer and editor Alex Maier, an outstanding outdoor filmmaker who has worked with Loukinen on previous films aired on WNMU-TV, including Pelkie and Matikka (Burbot): American Finlander Lobster. Part of Go Public! 21. 

Sunday, December 5 at 7:30 pm ET.

Matikka (Burbot): American Finlander Lobster

Matikka (Burbot) American Finlander Lobster
Producer Michael M Loukinen, PhD, celebrated local content producer who has been with NMU students for over 40 years, presents viewers with matikka or “poor man’s lobster”--a unique, local delicacy with a fascinating story behind it in this world premiere. This film features renowned videographer and editor Alex Maier, who has worked with Loukinen on previous films aired on WNMU-TV, including Finnish American Chipwood Carvers and Pelkie. Part of Go Public! 21.  

Sunday, December 5 at 8:30 pm ET.

Frankie Manning: Never Stop Swinging

Frankie Manning Never Stop Swinging
Profile of the dancer and choreographer features archival footage of his dancing from the 1930s to 2009.  

Sunday, December 5 at 9:30 pm ET.

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas!

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas!
The Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally take a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home in time for Christmas.  

Monday, December 6 at Noon ET.  Repeats 12/24 at Noon ET.

Pelkie: From Copper Miners to Lumberjacks to Farmers

Pelkie
From Copper Miners to Lumberjacks to Farmers
Lumberjacks and farmers cleared the land in the Pelkie area to make way for farms and the railroad connected them to the world. It was a thriving dairy farming and logging community. Part of Go Public! 21  

Monday, December 6 at 8 pm ET.  .

Pelkie: Third Generation: Cows, Kids and Barns

Pelkie
Third Generation: Cows, Kids and Barns
Second and third generation Finns worked on the farms as kids, instilling a good work ethic and social values. They had freedom to run and play, and there was a strong culture of visiting and sauna among neighbors. As the children matured, by seeking work and education, they migrated. Part of Go Public! 21  

Monday, December 6 at 9 pm ET.

Pelkie: A Fairwell to Dairy Farming

Pelkie
A Fairwell to Dairy Farming
Descendents of the Finnish immigrants move away to go to school and many found work in Detroit. Many did not return. Finnish culture weakened in Pelkie. At the same time milk prices bottomed out and big box stores outcompeted the Co-op. Outsiders moved in while some Finnish Americans remained. Part of Go Public! 21  

Monday, December 6 at 10 pm ET.

Pearl Harbor - Into The Arizona

Pearl Harbor Into The Arizona
Explore the lower decks of the USS Arizona for the first time since the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago.  

Tuesday, December 7 at 3 pm ET.

America's Forests with Chuck Leavell: US Capitol Christmas Tree

America's Forests with Chuck Leavell
US Capitol Christmas Tree
The journey of the Capitol Christmas tree from Colorado to DC.  

Tuesday, December 7 at 9:30 pm ET.  Repeats 12/26 at 9:30 am ET.

Frontline: Poor Kids

Frontline
Poor Kids
An intimate portrait of poverty, told through kids growing up in the Midwest.  

Tuesday, December 7 at 10 pm ET.

Ornament of the World

Ornament of the World
Learn how Muslims, Jews and Christians in medieval Spain forged a common cultural identity.  

Tuesday, December 7 at Midnight ET.

Bob Ross Experience

The Bob Ross Experience
From 1983 to 1988, Bob filmed The Joy of Painting in a makeshift studio in the L.L. Ball home near the campus of Ball State University. This program documents the transformation of his original studio into an intimate museum experience designed for those he inspired.  

Wednesday, December 8 at 3 pm ET.

Nature: Wild Way of the Vikings

Nature
Wild Way of the Vikings
Experience the natural world through the eyes of the Vikings. Ewan McGregor narrates.  

Wednesday, December 8 at 8 pm ET.  .

NOVA: Rise of the Mammals

NOVA
Rise of the Mammals
An amazing fossil discovery reveals how mammals took over after an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs.  

Wednesday, December 8 at 9 pm ET.

Arthur's Perfect Christmas

Arthur's Perfect Christmas
Everyone’s favorite aardvark gives kids a new spin on seasonal traditions in this special, showing children many ways to celebrate “the holidays.”  

Thursday, December 9 at 8:30 am ET.  Repeats 12/13 at 6:30 am ET.

Ask the Doctors Behavioral Health

Ask the Doctors
Behavioral Health
Area physicians visit WNMU-TV to answer phoned-in questions from viewers on the topic of behavioral health during this live broadcast.   

Thursday, December 9 at 8 pm ET.

Professor T:  Queen Olivia

Professor T
Queen Olivia
When a woman is murdered and thrown overboard during a sailing trip, the police investigate. Professor T realizes a piece of evidence has been confiscated from the police file on his father's suicide.  

Friday, December 10 at 9 pm ET.

Holidays at Murray State

Holidays at Murray State
The Murray State University Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra and featured soloists highlight this annual seasonal special.  

Sunday, December 12 at 7 pm ET.

A Chef’s Life Holiday Special

A Chef’s Life Holiday Special
Join Vivian as she prepares foods that draw on her Southern heritage and Ben's Chanukah traditions.  

Sunday, December 12 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 12/13 at Midnight ET.

All Creatures Great and Small on Masterpiece: Ep. 1-2

All Creatures Great and Small
Ep. 1-2
James Herriot's first day as a Yorkshire veterinarian is full of surprises. Siegfried's fun-loving brother, Tristan, arrives to help out. Mrs. Pumphrey throws a swanky party.  

Sundays at 9 pm ET, begins December 12.  .

December 12-18

20 Years of Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir

20 Years of Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir
Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell hosts this star-studded 20th anniversary retrospective.  

Monday, December 13 at 8 pm ET.

Independent Lens: The King

Independent Lens
The King
Climb into Elvis' 1963 Rolls-Royce for a musical road trip and meditation on modern America.  

Monday, December 13 at 10 pm ET.

Peg + Cat + Holidays

Peg + Cat + Holidays
This holiday special features Peg + Cat in three holiday-themed stories: "The Christmas Problem," "The Hanukkah Problem," and "The Penguin Problem."   

Tuesday, December 14 at 11:30 am ET.  Repeats 12/24 at 1 pm ET.

The Oratorio A Documentary with Martin Scorsese

The Oratorio A Documentary with Martin Scorsese
Learn the long-forgotten story of the 1826 performance that brought Italian opera to New York City.  

Tuesday, December 14 at 3 pm ET.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Alan Cumming recounts the origin story of how a prince got put into a nutcracker. Unlike the ballet, we also learn what happens when the young girl grows up, having saved the prince, and what they are doing today.  

Tuesday, December 14 at 9 pm ET.  Repeats 12/15 at 1 am ET.

One Voice: The Songs We Share: The Sacred

One Voice: The Songs We Share
The Sacred
See how music once only performed in church is adapted by top artists for new audiences.  

Tuesday, December 14 at 10:30 pm ET.

Nature: Santa's Wild Home

Nature
Santa's Wild Home
Journey to Lapland, where tales of Santa Claus mingle with hearty wildlife and stunning landscapes.  

Wednesday, December 15 at 8 pm ET.  .

NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci

NOVA
Decoding Da Vinci
Discover the science behind Leonardo da Vinci's masterpieces -- and Mona Lisa's legendary smile.  

Wednesday, December 15 at 9 pm ET.

Ask the Lawyers: December General Law

Ask the Lawyers
December General Law
Area attorneys answer phoned-in questions from viewers.  Thursday, December 16 at 8 pm ET.

Professor T: The Reveal

Professor T
The Reveal
When the body of Professor T's father is exhumed and examined, the results point to murder, not suicide, and the troubled academic must try to recall painful memories he has been repressing for years.  

Friday, December 17 at 9 pm ET.

High School Bowl: Munising vs. Painesdale-Jeffers; Chassell vs. Westwood

High School Bowl
Munising vs. Painesdale-Jeffers; Chassell vs. Westwood
Host Jim Koski presents the “best and brightest” from area high schools competing for scholarships and prestige in a battle of speed and knowledge.

Saturday, December 18 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 12/20 at 3 pm ET.

The Night Before Christmas Carol

The Night Before Christmas Carol
Actor David zum Brunnen portrays Charles Dickens -- and seventeen other familiar characters from the ghostly classic, "A Christmas Carol."  

Saturday, December 18 at 9:30 pm ET. 

December 19-25

USAF Band of Mid America Holiday Special

USAF Band of Mid America Holiday Special
Join the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America Concert Band for a LIVE festive holiday concert including McKendree University choir.   

Sunday, December 19 at 7 pm ET.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Feeling down about Christmas commercialism, Charlie Brown becomes director of the holiday play.  

Sunday, December 19 at 7:30 pm ET. 

Lucy Worsley's 12 Days of Tudor Christmas

Lucy Worsley's 12 Days of Tudor Christmas
Discover the surprising Tudor origins of some favorite Christmas traditions.  

Sunday, December 19 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 12/20 at Midnight ET.

All Creatures Great and Small: Ep. 3-4

All Creatures Great and Small
Ep. 3-4
James is put to the test with an ailing racehorse. While Tristan gives Tricki-Woo the spa treatment, James deals with Helen's champion bull.  

Sunday, December 19 at 9 pm ET.

Christmas at Belmont 2021

Christmas at Belmont 2021
Featuring alumnus Josh Turner (pictured) and Belmont University students, the show includes holiday favorites and songs from Turner's new Christmas album.  

Monday, December 20 at 9 pm ET.  Repeats 12/21 at 1 am ET.

Independent Lens: Pipe Dreams

Independent Lens
Pipe Dreams
Follow four ultra-talented young people playing in the Canadian International Organ Competition.  

Monday, December 20 at 10 pm ET.  .

American Experience: Voice of Freedom

American Experience
Voice of Freedom
Explore the life of singer Marian Anderson and her triumphant 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial.  

Tuesday, December 21 at 9 pm ET. 

Nature: Mystery Monkeys of Shangri-La

Nature
Mystery Monkeys of Shangri-La
Investigate a unique monkey society formed in response to the hardships of the Himalayas.  

Wednesday, December 22 at 8 pm ET. 

NOVA: Decoding The Pyramids

NOVA
Decoding The Pyramids
Shine a light on new archaeological evidence of how the Great Pyramid of Giza was engineered.  

Wednesday, December 22 at 9 pm ET.

Extinction: The Facts

Extinction The Facts
Sir David Attenborough explores the extinction crisis and how it drives pandemic diseases. 

Wednesday, December 22 at 10 pm ET. 

Sarah Brightman: A Christmas Symphony

Sarah Brightman A Christmas Symphony
Join the world’s best-selling soprano and guest Andrew Lloyd Webber for her first Christmas special.  

Thursday, December 23 at 8 pm ET.

Hope College Christmas Vespers

Hope College Christmas Vespers
Traditional Christmas music from Holland, Michigan, performed by the Hope College Chapel Choir, Symphonette, College Chorus, and Brass Ensemble.  

Friday, December 24 at 3 pm ET.  Repeats 12/26 at 3 pm ET.

Wheaton College Christmas Festival: Through His Own Redeeming Love

Wheaton College Christmas Festival Through His Own Redeeming Love
Experience the story of the Bible through "Nine Lessons and Carols." This traditional Christmas concert alternates between choral and instrumental pieces performed by the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music ensembles, and presents a mixture of traditional and contemporary Christmas music.  

Friday, December 24 at 9 pm ET.

Little Women on Masterpiece

Little Women on Masterpiece
With their father away at war, the March sisters come to terms with their new life.  

Saturday, December 25 at 6 pm ET.

St. Thomas Christmas: Comfort & Joy

St. Thomas Christmas Comfort & Joy
Filmed at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, the annual Christmas concert draws on both familiar carols and innovative contemporary selections. This year, the program premieres a new original work, “Comfort & Joy,” composed by Jocelyn Hagen.  

Saturday, December 25 at 8 pm ET.

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

All is Calm The Christmas Truce of 1914
Relive the moment when Allied and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate the holiday together during World War I.  

Saturday, December 25 at 9 pm ET.

December 26-31

Wild Kratts Creature Christmas

Wild Kratts Creature Christmas
It’s Christmas time and the Wild Kratts are taking a break from creature adventuring to celebrate. But when the Wild Kratts receive an alert that their favorite creatures are suddenly disappearing around the globe, their holiday party quickly turns into a rescue mission.   

Sunday, December 26 at 6:30 am ET. 

Things That Go Bump in the Night

All is Bright! A Concordia Christmas
The vocal and instrumental musical ensembles of Concordia University Irvine and friends invite you to join us for a festive collection of music that brings light, hope, and joy to the season.  

Sunday, December 26 at 7 pm ET.

Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2019

Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2019
The Nonnatus House team go to the Outer Hebrides in response to a nursing shortage.  

Sunday, December 26 at 7:30 pm ET.  Repeats 12/27 at Midnight ET.

All Creatures Great and Small: Ep. 5-6

All Creatures Great and Small
Ep. 5-6
James volunteers to be the official vet at the Darrowby Show. His ordeals include an ethical plight involving Helen’s bull. Defying Siegfried, Tristan coaxes James to try a risky procedure to save a stricken cow. Then James gets a shock from Helen.   

Sunday, December 26 at 9 pm ET.

Starboard Light

Starboard Light
Sometimes the greatest adventure is the journey home. A love letter to loss spanning five generations, Starboard Light shows us how to hold on and asks: does a family make a house? or does a house make a family?  

Monday, December 27 at 3 pm ET.

American Experience: The Codebreaker

American Experience
The Codebreaker
Meet Elizebeth Friedman, the pioneering cryptanalyst who took down Al Capone and a Nazi spy ring.  

Tuesday, December 28 at 9 pm ET. 

Frontline: Opioids, Inc.

Frontline
Opioids, Inc.
The story of a drug company that pushed opioids by bribing doctors and committing insurance fraud.   

Tuesday, December 28 at 10 pm ET. 

Earth Emergency

Earth Emergency
Explore how environmental feedback loops are amplifying global warming and what we can do about it.  

Wednesday, December 29 at 8 pm ET. 

NOVA: Secrets of the Forbidden City

NOVA
Secrets of the Forbidden City
Explore how China's magnificent Forbidden City has withstood centuries of earthquakes.  Wednesday, December 29 at 9 pm ET. 

Climate Change - The Facts

Climate Change The Facts
Experts examine the impact of climate change and potential solutions to this global threat.  

Wednesday, December 29 at 10 pm ET. 

Prairie Quilts

Prairie Quilts
Showcasing the work of contemporary North Dakota quilters who express their creative impulses through needle, thread and fabric.  

Thursday, December 30 at 8 pm ET.

The Violin Alone

The Violin Alone
The story of two modern visionaries and a quest to push the boundaries of music.  

Friday, December 31 at 3 pm ET. 

United in Song: Celebrating The American Dream

United in Song Celebrating The American Dream
Join Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, Patti LaBelle and more to celebrate America’s irrepressible strength.  

Friday, December 31 at 9 pm ET.

One Symphony, Two Orchestras

One Symphony, Two Orchestras
Go inside the remarkable partnership of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.   Friday, December 31 at 10:30 pm ET.