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May 2021

Scroll down to learn about this month's featured programs. Shows are organized week by week. All programs are on 13.1 unless otherwise noted.

May 1

International Jazz Day 10th Anniversary Celebration

International Jazz Day 
10th Anniversary Celebration
A look back at 10 years of historic International Jazz Day concerts featuring dozens of music icons.  

Saturday, May 1 at 1 am ET.

NMU Spring Commencement

NMU Spring Commencement
Coverage of Northern Michigan University’s pandemic-adjusted spring commencement ceremonies.  

Saturday, May 1 at 10 am ET.

Freedom Writers  Stories From The Heart

Freedom Writers 
Stories From The Heart
It’s 1994 and Long Beach, California is a racially divided community filled with drugs, gang warfare and homicides. Inside the classroom, Erin Gruwell encounters hostility and racial divisions between students. The struggle and strife on the streets has carried into the school halls. Follow a teacher’s journey to change the lives of her students.  

Saturday, May 1 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/3 at 3 pm ET.

May 2-8

Breached! The Tittabawassee River Disaster

Breached! The Tittabawassee River Disaster
May 19, 2020, the Edenville and Sanford Dams breached resulting in disasters to the towns and communities along the Tittabawassee River. Hear from local residents about the devastation and community members who rushed to help the victims of this man made tragedy.  

Sunday, May 2 at 3 pm ET.

Grandpa's War Story Goes Viral

Grandpa's War Story Goes Viral
The remarkable account of James (Jim) Schmidt's World War II service and military career, and his grandson's efforts to generate interest in Schmidt's story through social media.  

Sunday, May 2 at 7 pm ET.

Rise of the Nazis: Politics

Rise of the Nazis
Politics
Celebrate the greatest hits of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Ray Price in this classic concert. Part of Festival! 21

Tuesday, March 2 at 9:30 pm ET.  Repeats 3/8 at 2:30 pm ET.

Atlantic Crossing: Empty Promises

Atlantic Crossing
Empty Promises
Martha uses dinner-table tactics to help Norway. The president gets on dangerous ground with her.  

Sunday, May 2 at 9 pm ET.

World on Fire: Ep. 5

World on Fire
Ep. 5
Harry and his unit reach Dunkirk, with the odds stacked against them.  

Sunday, May 2 at 10 pm ET.

The Daniel Tiger Movie: Won’t You Be Our Neighbor?

The Daniel Tiger Movie Won’t You Be Our Neighbor? 
Daniel and his community welcome their new friends in this movie event from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  

Monday, May 3 at 9 am ET.

Donkey Hodie

Donkey Hodie
The imaginative puppet series follows the adventures of Donkey Hodie, the granddaughter of the original Donkey Hodie character (now known as “Grampy Hodie”), a puppet from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  

Weekdays at 10 am and 1:30 pm ET, begins May 3.

American Masters: Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir

American Masters 
Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir
Explore the life of the groundbreaking author of "The Joy Luck Club" in this intimate portrait.  

Monday, May 3 at 9 pm ET.

Philly D.A.: Ep. 4

Philly D.A.
Ep. 4
LaTonya Myers fights for probation reform, but any slip-up could send her back to prison.  

Tuesday, May 4 at 9 pm ET.

Frontline: Escaping Eritrea

Frontline
Escaping Eritrea
An unprecedented undercover investigation into one of the world’s most repressive regimes.  

Tuesday, May 4 at 10 pm ET.

Greta Thunberg: A Year to Save The Planet: Ep. 2

Greta Thunberg A Year to Save The Planet
Ep. 2
Follow Greta's journey from Switzerland to Poland to the UK, where she meets Sir David Attenborough.  

Wednesday, May 5 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/12 at 3 pm ET.

Human: The World Within: Birth

Human The World Within
Birth
Learn the story of human reproduction from attraction to the moment of a baby’s first breath. 

Wednesday, May 5 at 9 pm ET.  

Human: The World Within: Pulse

Human The World Within
Pulse
The human heart and the circulatory system power of our lives create the pulsing rhythm of our world.

Wednesday, May 5 at 10 pm ET.

Ask the DNR: Water Sports, Camping, Recreation

Ask the DNR
Water Sports, Camping, Recreation
Personnel from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources answer phoned-in questions from viewers about water sports, camping and summer recreation.  

Thursday, May 6 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/7 at 3 pm ET.

Professor T: The DNA of a Murderer

Professor T
The DNA of a Murderer
Over a dozen iconic artists sing some of the greatest hits of all time including Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick, The Righteous Brothers, The Supremes and more, seen for the first time in over 50 years on Public Television. Part of Festival! 21

Saturday, March 6 at 9 pm ET.  

Without Perfect Answers

Without Perfect Answers
Two residential schools are located six thousand miles apart but work side by side in finding a better way for at-risk children.  

Saturday, May 8 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/10 at 3 pm ET.

May 9-15

Roadtrip Nation: A Single Mom's Story

Roadtrip Nation A Single Mom's Story
Follow three single mothers driven to succeed despite the odds stacked against them.   

Sunday, May 9 at 7 pm ET.

Rise of the Nazis: The First Six Months in Power

Rise of the Nazis
The First Six Months in Power
Discover the measures Chancellor Hitler takes to dismantle the German state.  

Sunday, May 9 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/10 at Midnight ET.

Atlantic Crossing on Masterpiece: The Giant Awakes

Atlantic Crossing
The Giant Awakes
As America enters the war, people grow suspicious of Martha's ties to the president.  

Sunday, May 9 at 9 pm ET. 

World on Fire on Masterpiece: Ep. 6

World on Fire 
Ep. 6
Paris falls to the Nazis, and Webster and Albert's lives are turned upside down.  

Sunday, May 9 at 10 pm ET.

POV: Through The Night

POV 
Through The Night
Explore the stories of those whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, N.Y.  

Monday, May 10 at 10 pm ET.

Extra Life A Short History of Living Longer Vaccines

Extra Life A Short History of Living Longer
Vaccines
Discover the role vaccination plays in our growing ability to prevent the spread of illness.  

Tuesday, May 11 at 8 pm ET.

Philly D.A.: Ep. 5

Philly D.A. 
Ep. 5
A skeptical parole board and his own pride stand between a man and freedom.  

Tuesday, May 11 at 9 pm ET.

Frontline: Plastic Wars

Frontline
Plastic Wars
Did the plastic industry use recycling to sell more plastic?

Wednesday, March 10 at 9:30 pm ET.

Greta Thunberg: A Year to Save The Planet: Ep. 3

Greta Thunberg A Year to Save The Planet 
Ep. 3
Join Greta in Switzerland and Denmark to investigate potential solutions to limit climate change.  

Wednesday, May 12 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/19 at 3 pm ET.

NOVA: Fighting for Fertility

NOVA
Fighting for Fertility 
Meet people struggling with infertility and the challenges of assisted reproduction.

Wednesday, May 12 at 9 pm ET.  Repeats 5/13 at 3 pm ET.

Human: The World Within: Fuel

Human The World Within
Fuel
Journey through the factory at the center of our bodies that turns food into energy.  

Wednesday, May 12 at 10 pm ET.

Ask the Doctors: The Brain and Stroke

Ask the Doctors 
The Brain and Stroke
Area physicians answer phoned-in questions on the topics of the brain and stroke from viewers.  

Thursday, May 13 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/14 at 3 pm ET.

Professor T: Dead Girls Don't Sing

Professor T
Dead Girls Don't Sing
A student at a strict Catholic boarding school is found dead in her room.  

Friday, May 14 at 9 pm ET.

A Passion for Giving

A Passion for Giving
A stylish, powerful film about the importance of “giving” anything – time, resources, talent - to help other people, animals, and the planet. The program weaves great music and interviews to illustrate the benefits and happiness that can come from giving of oneself.  

Saturday, May 15 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/17 at 3 pm ET.

May 16-22

MF&H: Water & Agricultural Special

MF&H Water & Agricultural Special
The role that water, one of Earth's most valuable resources, plays in food production is examined.  

Sunday, May 16 at 9:30 am ET.

Kitchenistas

Kitchenistas
The Kitchenistas are leading a movement using the power of healthier food traditions to raise the health, wellbeing, and resilience of a community.  

Sunday, May 16 at 7 pm ET.  .

Rise of the Nazis: Night of the Long Knives

Rise of the Nazis
Night of the Long Knives
See how Hitler finds himself caught between Germany's president and the Nazis' power base.  

Sunday, May 16 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/17 at Midnight ET.

Atlantic Crossing on Masterpiece: The Gift

Atlantic Crossing
The Gift
A Nazi agent slips through the cracks. Martha travels to England and gets a shock.  

Sunday, May 16 at 9 pm ET

World on Fire on Masterpiece: Ep. 7

World on Fire
Ep. 7
Harry has a second chance at saving Kasia. In Manchester, could Lois be set for happiness at last?  

Sunday, May 16 at 10 pm ET.

American Experience: Billy Graham

American Experience
Billy Graham
Explore the life of one of the best-known, most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century.  

Monday, May 17 at 9 pm ET.

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer: Data

Extra Life A Short History of Living Longer
Data
Track the importance of data mapping and analysis in the quest to improve public health.  

Tuesday, May 18 at 8 pm ET.

Philly D.A.: Ep. 6

Philly D.A. 
Ep. 6
A councilwoman bridges constituents plagued by the opioid crisis with the unorthodox D.A.  

Tuesday, May 18 at 9 pm ET.

Frontline: The Healthcare Divide

Frontline
The Healthcare Divide
An investigation with NPR into growing inequities in American healthcare exposed by COVID-19. 

Tuesday, May 18 at 10 pm ET.

Life at the Waterhole: Ep. 1

Life at the Waterhole
Ep. 1
Meet the first animal visitors to a new manmade waterhole in the African savannah.  

Wednesdays at 8 pm ET, begins May 19.  Repeats 5/26 at 3 pm ET.

NOVA: Hindenburg: The New Evidence

NOVA 
Hindenburg The New Evidence
A revealing new investigation of one of history’s most iconic aviation disasters.  

Wednesday, May 19 at 9 pm ET.  Repeats 5/20 at 3 pm ET.

Human: The World Within: Defend

Human The World Within 
Defend
Uncover how the human body defends itself in an increasingly dangerous global environment.  

Wednesday, May 19 at 10 pm ET.

Ask the Lawyers: May 21

Ask the Lawyers 
May '21
Local attorneys answer phoned-in questions from viewers.  

Thursday, May 20 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/21 at 3 pm ET.

Professor T: Swan Song, Part 1

Professor T
Swan Song, Part 1
In the first of this 2-part season finale, an undercover agent, who's embedded in the drug scene, is found dead.  

Friday, May 21 at 9 pm ET.

Inside The Met: The Birthday Surprise

Inside The Met
The Birthday Surprise
Watch as the COVID-19 pandemic forces the Met to close its doors for the first time in history.  

Saturdays at 1 am ET, begins May 22.

Death is But A Dream

Death is But A Dream
In Buffalo, New York a research team is studying the dreams of dying patients. By asking a single question “Are you dreaming?”, they are completely re-framing the dying process.  

Saturday, May 22 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/24 at 3 pm ET.

May 23-29

PBS NewsHour presents Critical Care: America vs. The World

PBS NewsHour presents
Critical Care: America vs. The World
Examine the highs and lows of America’s health care system and how it compares to other nations.  

Sunday, May 23 at 7 pm ET.

The Queen at War

The Queen at War
Learn how the longest reigning monarch in British history was shaped by World War II.  

Sunday, May 23 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/24 at Midnight ET.

Atlantic Crossing on Masterpiece: A Queen Returns

Atlantic Crossing
A Queen Returns
The president's health takes a bad turn. Olav faces rocky relations with Martha.  

Sunday, May 23 at 9 pm ET.

Independent Lens: The Donut King

Independent Lens
The Donut King
Hear the incredible American Dream story of refugee and Christy's Doughnuts founder Ted Ngoy.  

Monday, May 24 at 10 pm ET.

Journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway

Journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway
Indianapolis radio personalities John Cinnamon and Ann Craig-Cinnamon take viewers on a travel adventure from Moscow to Beijing on the world's longest train ride. Throughout the 16-day trip, John and Ann also share their tips and takeaways from the once-in-a-lifetime experience.  

Tuesday, May 25 at 1 am ET. 

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer: Medicine

Extra Life A Short History of Living Longer 
Medicine
Learn about the surprisingly recent invention of medicine that combats illness directly.  

Tuesday, May 25 at 8 pm ET.

Philly D.A.: Ep. 7

Philly D.A.
Ep. 7
Krasner must decide whether to pursue a rarity -- murder charges against a cop.  

Tuesday, May 25 at 9 pm ET.

Frontline: The Jihadist

Frontline
The Jihadist

Tuesday, May 25 at 10 pm ET.

Life at the Waterhole: Ep. 2

Life at the Waterhole 
Ep. 2
Discover how heat impacts the animals, as the new waterhole becomes busier in the evening cool.  

Wednesday, May 26 at 8 pm ET.

NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race

NOVA
Great Electric Airplane Race 
A look at emission-free electric planes, including an autonomous drone and “self-flying” air taxis.

Wednesday, May 26 at 9 pm ET. Repeats 4/27 at 3 pm ET.

Human: The World Within: Sense

Human The World Within
Sense
Explore the incredible world of human sensation and how it defines our reality.  

Wednesday, May 26 at 10 pm ET.

Ask the Doctors: General Health

Ask the Doctors
General Health
Area physicians answer phoned-in questions from viewers.  

Thursday, May 27 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/28 at 3 pm ET.

Professor T: Swan Song, Part 2

Professor T
Swan Song, Part 2
In Part 2 of the season finale, the team is closing in on drug lord Mark Desmedt.  

Friday, May 28 at 9 pm ET.

The Last Pig

The Last Pig
The life of a farmer in crisis: after a decade of raising pigs, he can no longer bear the ultimate act of betrayal. Follow his final year on the farm, set against the stunning backdrop of upstate New York.  

Saturday, May 29 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/31 at 3 pm ET.

May 30-31

Marriner Eccles: Father of the Modern Federal Reserve

Marriner Eccles Father of the Modern Federal Reserve
The Chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, Marriner was integral to the economic policies of the 1930s and '40s; he was a staunch advocate for the independence of the nation’s central bank, and a voice of the New Deal.   

Sunday, May 30 at 7 pm ET.

National Memorial Day Concert

National Memorial Day Concert
Tune in to the 32nd annual broadcast of America's national night of remembrance.  

Sunday, May 30 at 8 pm ET.  Repeats 5/31 at Midnight ET.

The U.P. Recalls The War

The U.P. Recalls The War
People living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan recall World War II, sharing images and stories from the battlefields to the iron ore mines. Combined with vintage newsreels and film footage, these personal memories paint a vivid image of victory and loss.  

Sunday, May 30 at 9:30 pm ET.

Fighting on Both Fronts: The Story of the 370th

Fighting on Both Fronts The Story of the 370th
The little-known story of a unit of African American soldiers from Chicago who fought in combat for the U.S. in World War I.  

Sunday, May 30 at 10:30 pm ET.

Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten

Tulsa The Fire and the Forgotten
Learn about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, on the 100th anniversary of the crime.  

Monday, May 31 at 9 pm ET.