Sleeper Picks from Our Chief Programming Officer | ThinkTV

Sleeper Picks from Our Chief Programming Officer

Posted by Kellie May on

Marley’s Ghosts

Saturdays at 8:30pm on CET starting on September 23

New British comedy (at least new to the States) about a woman who sees dead people. She can also talk to them. Unfortunately for Marley, those dead are confined to her husband, her lover and her local vicar. Even the afterlife can prove … how shall we say …  AWKWARD!!

Sarah Alexander (Coupling) is Marley, and viewers will recognize John Hannah as her husband as he was in the MUMMY franchise.

I was hoping for a cameo from now 29 year-old Haley Joel Osment (“I see dead people!”), but no such luck.


Birth of the Living Dead

Saturday, September 30, at 10pm on ThinkTV 16

I first saw it four years after it was released in theatres. It was a midnight movie screening in Athens, OH. The theatre was packed to the gills with college students with varying impairments. No coming attractions, just lights out and then the movie on screen. And with the first shot of the station wagon heading up the lane, the full house was screaming their guts out. And halfway through the movie, the guts WERE out (albeit from pigs) on the big screen.

Welcome to Night of the Living Dead.

The virtually no-budget horror film from a Pittsburgh director whose day job was making commercials broke the horror movie mold. Surely one theatre owner didn’t know that when he booked it as part of a weekly kiddie matinee, and traumatized the kids. The warning went out to parents via a Reader’s Digest article, and the rest is history. Look at George Romero’s landmark film that spawned a virtual zombie industry.


Ireland’s Great Hunger and The Irish Diaspora

Monday, October 2, at 9pm on ThinkTV16

Thursday, October 5, at 10pmon CET

Sunday, October 8, at 10pm on ThinkTV14

Another documentary in the category of “everybody’s heard of it, but they know nothing much about it.” Gabriel Bryne narrates this look at the social and political factors that created mass starvation and emigration from Ireland in the mid-19th century. Between the dying and leaving, Ireland lost nearly a quarter of its population.


A Place to Call Home

Thursdays at 9pm on CET starting October 5

This was originally billed in the states as the Australian Downton Abbey, which was to say that it has a large ensemble cast, is set at a time more than 60 years ago, and features the well-to-do with their particular brand of dilemmas.


Marta Dusseldorp (the name sounds like a character in ‘Allo, ‘Allo or Benny Hill) plays Sara, who returns to Australia after 20 years in Europe before and during WWII. She clashes with the well-to-do Bligh family, and slowly the secrets and entanglements start to unfold. Maybe the only soapy plot device missing here is amnesia, but it’s what fans enjoy: convoluted plot lines featuring beautiful people socializing in formal wear in another era.


Major League Cuban Baseball

Saturday, October 7, at 8pm on ThinkTV14

The Latin influence in major league baseball has been considerable for over a half century. But a motherlode of talent has only dripped out from Cuba over that same time period. Yet before the Castro regime, some 17 Cuban-born Causcasian players played in the majors between 1911-1929. Later Afro-Cuban players populated the Negro Leagues and ultimately integrated into the Majors. Among them are Luis Tiant, Tony Oliva, Rafael Palmeiro. The Cincinnati Reds alone had Tony Perez (the RBI cog in the Big Red Machine), Leo Cardneas, Cookie Rojas, Camilo Pasqual, Osvaldo Fernandez and Aroldis Chapman.


Hispanic Heritage Awards

Sunday, October 8, at 1pm on CET

VOCES on PBS: Children of Giant

Sunday, October 8, at 2pm on CET

The 30th anniversary of this awards show pays tribute to Latinos in all walks of life by other Latinos.

“Children of Giant” is a look at the sprawling movie, Giant. Most remember the story of Taylor’s newlywed character adapting to the rough and tumble Texas landscape, and cattleman Rock Hudson’s rivalry with emerging oil baron James Dean. But Giant was also about the racial prejudice against Hispanics, a pretty bold move for a big budget movie released in 1955. Recall that Rock Hudson didn’t duke it out with the diner owner over the lousy chicken fried steak. So how was the themes of prejudice received by audiences then and now?


Mark Twain’s Journey to Jerusalem: Dreamland

Thursday, October 12, at 10pm on CET

Monday, October 16, at 9pm on ThinkTV16

When he was a young, ambitious reporter in 1867, Twain convinced his editors to let him travel to Europe, the Mediterranean and the Holy Land. What we saw was the emergence of the American abroad, and Twain’s sarcastic humor and opinionated observations. Here was a man raised in Hannibal, Missouri and thoroughly steeped in Christianity and the Bible. But Twain was disappointed that all the cities and landscapes weren’t as grand as the Scriptures led him to believe, and that the poverty and squalor was beneath the “splendor” of European culture. Narrated by Dayton-native Martin Sheen.


Classic Uggams – Live from the Victoria Theatre

Saturday, October 14, at 8pm on ThinkTV16

Local production features the Tony and Emmy Award winning singer Lesie Uggams (oh, and don’t forget her acting in everything from ROOTS to LOVE BOAT to DEADPOOL). Here she performs a number of Broadway standards in Dayton’s beloved Victoria Theatre. Songs include “Stormy Weather,” “It Had to Be You” and “What I Did for Love.”


Veterans Coming Home: Cincinnati Town Hall

Sunday, October 15, at 1pm on CET

Veterans Coming Home: Cincinnati Stories

Sunday, October 15, at 2pm on CET

Voices from Vietnam: Reflecting at the Wall

Sunday, October 15, at 2:30pm on CET

Legacies of War: Vietnam

Sunday, October 15, at 3pm on CET

Legacies of War: Coming Home

Sunday, October 15, at 3:30pm on CET

The Cincinnati Bengals don’t play today until 4:30pm, so watch these local and national productions dealing with the veterans who came home from war – from Afghanistan to Vietnam.


Kosciuszko: A Man Before His Time

Sunday, October 15, at 10pm on ThinkTV14

If you were asked “who has more statues than any other historical figure in America?” you’d likely guess George Washington. And you’d be right. But who comes in second? Jefferson? Lincoln? Reagan? Ladies and gentlemen, meet Thaddeus Kosciuszko. He was a Polish-born revolutionary who fought alongside Washington, Jefferson and Ben Franklin for America’s independence, and later returned to Europe to lead the Kosciuszko Uprising of Poles and Lithuanians against Imperial Russia and Prussia.


Great British Baking Show Encores

Sundays at 1pm and 2pm on CET from October 22 through November 19

If you need inspiration for holiday treats, catch the fourth season with back-to-back episodes leading up to Thanksgiving.


Victoria on Masterpiece

Fridays at 8pm on ThinkTV14 from October 22 through November 24 and then from December 8 through December 15

Revisit season 1 of this very popular Queen Victoria prequel as it leads into season 2 coming in January on 48 and 16.


Cincinnati LEEDs the Nation

Thursday, November 9, at 9pm on CET

The city of Cincinnati has built many new municipal buildings that are “green,” namely energy efficient. And when the city’s west side neighborhood needed to replace its forbidding-looking, antiquated police station, the city commissioned architects to design a truly energy independent building. Neighbors were recruited to help with the artwork in and outside the building. The end result was more than just a new police station, but an inviting community center. Still, did it live up to its billing and become a LEEDS certified energy independent building? They do show their electric bill after one year in operation: Duke Power owed the city some money! From Cincinnati producer Laure Quinlivan.


Foo Fighters – Landmarks Live in Concert

Friday, November 10, at 10pm on CET

Saturday, November 11, at 11pm on ThinkTV16

With 25 million records and 11 Grammys, the Foo Fighters can perform anywhere they want. But that’s the object of Landmarks Live in Concert. The band gets to pick a venue — not even a musical space — that has significance for them. So here’s where David Grohl and company selected: the Acropolis. No, not one of a hundred Acropolis theatres named around the world, but THE Acropolis, the iconic Greek amphitheatre.


Cincinnati Music Hall: The Next Movement

Thursday, November 16, at 9pm; Sunday, November 19, at 3pm and 7pm; Thursday, November 23, at 5pm on CET

$130+ million renovation of the beloved 130+ year old music venue. It was a labor of love where designers and craftsmen not only updated the facility, but also took great pains in restoration. Plenty of drama as workers would uncover new obstacles that had to be overcome. The public will love the renovations, but this CET produced documentary is testimony to the massive effort that went into remaking it. For the architects, designers, workers, restoration experts and craftspeople, this local production is their standing ovation.


David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize

Monday, November 20, at 8pm on CET and ThinkTV16

“Accepting the award for Mister Letterman… Howard Hughes! No, wait, that IS David Letterman!”

His tenure on late night was as innovative as the invention of late night talk. And the best parts of this are the tributes from good friends like Bill Murray and Martin Short.