FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
Celebrating Earth Day
WTVP celebrates Earth Day with a slate of new and encore
programs that highlight how both natural forces and manmade wonders affect climate changes and energy opportunities.
Grand Coulee Dam: American Experience
Tuesday, April 3, 7:00 p.m.
Grand Coulee was more than a dam — it was a proclamation. In the wake of the Great Depression, America turned from
private enterprise to public works — not simply to provide jobs, but to restore faith. The ultimate expression of
Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, Grand Coulee played a central role in transforming the Northwest; it was the largest
hydroelectric power producing facility in the world when it was completed in March 1941. After WWII, a vast
irrigation project made possible by the dam helped turn the barren deserts of central Washington into rich farmland.
But the dam prevented access to one of the greatest salmon rivers in the world. Deprived of the salmon — their most
important resource — the native people who lived along the Columbia witnessed a profound cultural decline. Featuring
the men and women who lived and worked at Grand Coulee and the native people whose lives were changed, as well as
historians and engineers, this film explores how the tension between technological achievement and environmental
impact hangs over the project's legacy.
Panama Canal: American Experience
Tuesday, April 3, 8:30-10:00 p.m.
On August 15, 1914, the Panama Canal opened, connecting the world’s two largest oceans and signaling America’s
emergence as a global superpower. American ingenuity and innovation had succeeded, but the U.S. paid a price for
victory: more than a decade of ceaseless, grinding toil, an outlay of more than $350 million — the largest single
federal expenditure in history to that time — and the loss of more than 5,000 lives. Along the way, Central
America witnessed the brazen overthrow of a sovereign government, a revolutionary public health campaign, the
backbreaking removal of hundreds of millions of tons of earth and construction on an unprecedented scale. The story
of the canal features a cast of colorful characters ranging from an indomitable president to visionary engineers to
tens of thousands of workers from around the world, rigidly segregated by race. Using an extraordinary archive of
photographs and footage, some remarkable interviews with canal workers and firsthand accounts of life in the canal
zone, director Stephen Ives and producer Amanda Pollak unravel the remarkable story of one of the world’s most
significant technological achievements.
Yellowstone: Land to Life
Monday, April 9, 9:30-10:00 p.m.
Filmmaker John Grabowska presents a lyrical interpretation of the sweeping geologic story of Yellowstone, the
world’s first and most famous national park. Formation of glaciers, mountain ranges and the gigantic caldera of a
supervolcano provide the saga of this special place. Filmed over two years through all seasons, the film delves
deeply into the significance behind the scenery and illuminates the intimate bonds between the landscape and
biology — how Yellowstone’s geology influences where life exists and how it evolves. A short concluding film,
“Yellowstone’s Cascade Corner,” features the portion of Yellowstone extending across the southwestern border of
Montana into Idaho.
NOVA "Deadliest Tornadoes"
Wednesday, April 11, 8-9:00 p.m.
In April 2011, the worst tornado outbreak in decades left a trail of destruction across the U.S., killing more than
360 people. Why was there such an extreme outbreak? How do such outbreaks form? With modern warning systems, why did
so many die? Is our weather getting more extreme — and if so, how bad will it get? In this NOVA special, get a look
at the science behind the last year’s outbreak, meeting those affected and the scientists striving to understand the
forces behind the outbreak. Could their work improve tornado prediction in the future? Learn how we all can protect
ourselves and our communities in the future.
Hoover Dam: American Experience
Tuesday, April 17, 8-9:00 p.m.
Rising more than 700 feet above the raging waters of the Colorado River, it was called one of the greatest
engineering works in history. The Hoover Dam, built during the Great Depression, drew men desperate for work
to a remote and rugged canyon near Las Vegas. There they struggled against heat, choking dust and perilous
heights to build a colossus of concrete that brought electricity and water to millions and transformed the
WORDGIRL “Earth Day Girl”
Friday, April 20, 3:30-4:00 p.m.
When the villainous (and very large) Birthday Girl learns that planet Earth is having a special celebration on the
same day as her happy occasion, she decides to wreak environmental havoc, just to teach the Earth a lesson. Can
WordGirl find a way to stop the Birthday Girl’s eco-rampage and save Earth Day?
Powering the Planet
Sunday, April 22, 9:30-10:30 p.m.
Take an eye-opening look at some of the world’s most important case studies in energy policy. In Spain and Morocco,
large-scale solar farms and individual photovoltaic panels atop tents in the Sahara are beginning to bring the vast
potential of the sun down to Earth. In Brazil, abundant natural resources — sun, rain and sugar cane — are
transformed into efficient, sustainable biofuel, making Brazil the only nation whose cars could run normally if
gasoline were to vanish. In Samsø, Denmark, and in West Texas, citizens have taken sustainability — and economic
realities — into their own hands by becoming stakeholders in wind turbines. In China, a full-throttle approach to
multiple sustainable energy technologies is giving rise to a “new empire of clean tech.” What about America? One
energy insider predicts an “energy abyss” if smart decisions aren’t made. Learn how great nations and small
communities are finding sustainable solutions that provide for people and protect the planet.
Independent Lens "Revenge of the Electric Car"
Sunday, April 22, 10:30 p.m.-Midnight
Director Chris Paine takes his film crew behind the closed doors of Nissan, GM and the Silicon Valley start-up Tesla
Motors to chronicle the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. Without using a single drop of foreign oil,
this new generation of car is America’s future: fast, furious and cleaner than ever. “Revenge” follows the race among
major car-makers to be the first, the best, and to win the hearts and minds of the public around the world. It’s not
just the next generation of green cars that’s on the line. It’s the future of the automobile itself.
NOVA "Secrets of the Sun"
April 25, 8-9:00 p.m.
It contains 99.9 percent of all the matter in our solar system and sheds hot plasma at nearly a million miles an hour.
The temperature at its core is a staggering 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. It convulses, it blazes, it sings. You know
it as the sun. Scientists know it as one of the most amazing physics laboratories in the universe. Now, with the help
of new spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes, scientists are seeing the sun as they never have before and even
re-creating in labs what happens at the very center of the sun. Their work will helps us understand aspects of the
sun that have puzzled scientists for decades. But more critically, it may help us predict and track solar storms that
have the power to zap our power grid, shut down telecommunications and ground global air travel for days, weeks, even
longer. Such storms have occurred before — but never in the modern era of satellite communication. "Secrets of the Sun"
reveals a bright new dawn in our understanding of our nearest star — one that might help keep our planet from going
For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of
at (309) 495-0591 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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