Several of the world’s best-known and promising performers are coming to Central Florida’s new – and only – home for PBS this month.
WUCF TV will be hosting its first pledge drive from Thursday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Sept. 25. Viewers will notice a difference in how WUCF TV does pledge – instead of pre-empting PBS shows, pledge shows will air around PBS favorites, not in place of them.
“We’re thrilled to offer exceptional PBS programming to Central Florida,” said Grant J. Heston, a UCF assistant vice president leading WUCF TV. “We’ve listened to the community and will pledge differently than before. Although we will have less pledge programming, our need for support is still great.”
WUCF TV will feature many special performances and programming, including the legendary Barbra Streisand, folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, famed television host Ed Sullivan and debut performances by Russian tenor Nikolai Baskov and pre-teen superstar Jackie Evancho.
A full schedule and descriptions of each special performance or program are included below. Viewers can visit wucftv.org/support to contribute to PBS and WUCF TV.
WUCF TV is a partnership between the University of Central Florida and Brevard Community College, created to keep PBS in Central Florida. The station launched July 1 with the promise of providing the community PBS favorites and high-quality local programs.
Along with pledge specials, WUCF TV also is debuting “The Lawrence Welk Show” on its station this month to air every Saturday evening. The first show – Welk’s 1955 national television debut – will air on WUCF at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10.
“Viewers told us that they wanted Lawrence Welk back, so we are bringing him back,” Heston said.
During September, WUCF TV wants to get to know its viewers. The channel has launched its “10,000 New Voices” campaign to encourage people to sign up online or call the station and help shape the future of public television in Central Florida. Viewers can learn more by visiting wucftv.org.
WUCF TV September Pledge Shows & Schedules:
Peter, Paul and Mary: Carry It On, A Musical Legacy: In this special, viewers share in the four-decade career of Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers. “Carry It On” features rare archival performances of songs that energized the spirit of the nation’s cultural and political renaissance. Woven together with the varied musical performances are poignant comments from Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, Richie Havens, Ronnie Gilbert of the Weavers and legendary record producer Phil Ramone, among others.
When to Watch: 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15; 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18
Nikolai Baskov: Romantic Journey: Featuring Russia’s most popular tenor, 34-year-old international star Nikolai Baskov, this legendary concert performance was taped at Moscow’s Hall of the Luzhniki Arena. Accompanied by a full orchestra, Baskov plays to an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 10,000 people and performs classic pieces from “Tosca,” “La Boheme,” “Werther,” “Turandot,” and other favorites such as “Be My Love,” “Granada,” “Back to Sorrento” and many others.
When to Watch: 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16
Barbra Streisand – One Night Only At The Village Vanguard: In the early 60s, clubs like the Village Vanguard were scattered throughout Greenwich Village. Now it stands alone, the last of its kind. In September 2009, a select group of fans and friends had the rare opportunity to experience the legendary Barbra Streisand’s performance in the ultimate up-close-and-personal setting of this historic club. Accompanied by piano, bass, guitar and drums, this is the artist at her most intimate.
When to Watch: 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17; 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22
3 Steps to Incredible Health! With Joel Fuhrman, M.D.: This special directly addresses the crisis of obesity and chronic disease plaguing America. Over 65 percent of Americans are overweight or obese — and that number is growing just like our waistlines. Dr. Fuhrman’s revolutionary health plan is not about will power, but instead offers knowledge and a healthy, effective and scientifically proven plan for shedding weight quickly and reclaiming the vitality and good health we all deserve.
When to Watch: 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17; 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25
GREAT PERFORMANCES: Jackie Evancho: Dream With Me in Concert: Jackie Evancho – the 11-year-old girl with the extraordinarily big voice – who came to national prominence on “America’s Got Talent” returns to PBS after her sensational guest appearance on GREAT PERFORMANCES “Hitman Returns: David Foster & Friends.” Her solo concert – coincides with the release of her first full-length solo album, Dream with Me – was filmed at the grounds of the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla.
When to Watch: 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18; 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22
Freedom Riders: Behind the Scenes: From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. This special takes a look at the making of the film of the same name and features Freedom Riders director Stanley Nelson and film clips.
When to Watch: 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18; 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21
The Ed Sullivan Comedy Special: For 23 years, “The Ed Sullivan Show” featured America’s premiere comedy legends performing their acts for millions of Americans every week. This special from the Sullivan archives brings back the original stars that defined the history of comedy, in their prime doing their original acts. The talent line-up includes classic bits from Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Flip Wilson, Joan Rivers, Alan King, Jack Paar, Jackie Gleason, Victor Borge and many more.
When to Watch: 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19
Country Pop Legends: Country artists unite to perform their biggest and best-loved hit recordings from the 1950s, 60s and 70s in this MY MUSIC special. County music legend Roy Clark hosts this emotional trip down three decades of memory lane. New performances from Glen Campbell, Crystal Gayle, Hank Locklin, Bill Anderson, BJ Thomas, the Bellamy Brothers, the Browns and more are intermixed with classic full-length vintage archival gems from the vaults.
When to Watch: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20; 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25
Moments to Remember: The popular My Music series is back, highlighting the late 50s and early 60s pop era. Patti Page and Nick Clooney return to co-host new performances and archival classics from the vault with fellow co-hosts Peter Marshall, Wink Martindale and the Lawrence Welk Show’s Mary Lou Metzger. Featuring Frankie Laine, Julius LaRosa, the Four Lads, the Four Aces, the Four Freshmen, Roger Williams, Lenny Welch, the Platters, the DeCastro Sisters, and archival performances from Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como and Nat King Cole.
When to Watch: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21; 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24