TV Specials | December 2022
Celebrate the holiday season with WKAR TV!
Watch a variety of holiday, religion, and spirituality specials on WKAR-HD 23.1 and WKAR WORLD 23.2.
Fri Dec. 2 at 9PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy | Great Performances
Explore the role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the American musical. Narrated by Joel Grey and featuring the classic shows of Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and more.
Sat Dec. 3 at 9PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
The World of Wisdom & Wonder
Escape the stress of everyday life with scenes of nature's breathtaking vistas set to soaring original music and universal words of wisdom. Offering comfort, encouragement and hope, the program is a soothing balm for the soul.
Mon Dec. 5 at 9PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
Carpenters: Close to You & Christmas Memories | My Music Presents
MY MUSIC Presents THE CARPENTERS: CLOSE TO YOU is a music-filled documentary that traces the Carpenters' career through the eyes of Richard Carpenter and the group's friends in the music business. MY MUSIC Presents THE CARPENTERS: CHRISTMAS MEMORIES is a special holiday program starring beloved brother-sister recording duo Richard and Karen Carpenter, the most successful American recording act of the 1970s. The all-new program focuses entirely on the Carpenters' perennially popular Christmas music offering favorites "The Christmas Song," "Winter Wonderland," White Christmas" and more.
Mon Dec. 5 at 9PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Will to Preach
The half-hour documentary A WILL TO PREACH offers viewers an unprecedented look at a pastor moving from scripture to sermon. In the program, Reverend Doctor William H. Willimon accepts an invitation from a young clergyman to guest preach at a small Episcopal church in Salisbury, North Carolina. The congregation is planning a weekend discussing racism and Rev. Willimon will deliver the sermon that culminates the weekend. Through interviews with family and colleagues, plus intimate camera access to Willimon and his process, A WILL TO PREACH offers a fascinating study of story, homiletics, humor, faith, and ultimately, the art of preaching.
Mon Dec. 5 at 9:30PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Holiday Spirit | Stories from the Stage
Top storytellers share stories that conjure the holiday spirit. David Dean Bottrell discovers his passion after stealing the school play's spotlight. Andrea Kamen's bright menorah cuts through darkness of anti-semitism. Joe Charnitski tries to break a nightmare-before-Christmas bad luck streak.
Fri Dec. 9 at 8PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Billy Graham | American Experience
Explore the life of one of the best-known and most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century. An international celebrity by age 30, he built a media empire, preached to millions worldwide, and had the ear of tycoons, presidents and royalty.
Fri Dec. 9 at 9PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
Holiday | Craft in America
The program celebrates some of our most important traditions. Nordic folk woodcarver Harley Refsal brings to life the rich history of winter solstice. Clay artist Susan Garson creates fanciful Chanukah menorahs. George Vanderbilt's opulent turn-of-the-century Christmas is recreated at the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. Daring chefs make lavish gingerbread houses for the competition at Grove Park Inn. Navidad is celebrated in San Antonio with religious processions, tamales and Kathleen Trenchard's sparkling luminarias. Garcia Art Glass makes colorful ornaments, and Veronica Castillo creates a traditional Mexican Tree of Life.
Fri Dec. 9 at 10PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
Hope College Christmas Vespers
This program is a celebration of the true spirit of Christmas and features some of the most beautiful choral and instrumental music of the season. Over 250 student musicians participate in Christmas Vespers in ensembles that include the Hope College Orchestra, Chapel Choir and College Chorus. A tradition at Hope College since 1941, Christmas Vespers is the perfect way to ring in your holiday season.
Sun Dec. 11 at 10PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Inside The Vatican
Filmed over a historic year INSIDE THE VATICAN gives viewers unprecedented access to the inner workings of one of the most important places in the Christian world. From Pope Francis himself and some of the highest-ranking officials, to the choristers of the Sistine Chapel and the papal gardener, the film gives unique insight into the lives of those who live and work in this independent City State.
Mon Dec. 12 at 8PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
The Adventures of Saul Bellow | American Masters
Explore Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow's impact on American literature and how he navigated through issues of his time, including race, gender and the Jewish immigrant experience. Featuring interviews with Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie and others.
Mon Dec. 12 at 8PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Three Faiths, One God: Judaism, Christianity, Islam
A thoughtful examination the religious beliefs and practices shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims to illustrate how many in the Abrahamic faith communities are dealing with historical conflicts and charts their dedication to facilitating understanding and respect. THREE FAITHS, ONE GOD captures a broad range of voices and ideas of ordinary people and respected scholars in the interfaith field. The program contrasts the religious practices of the three faiths, including the rituals of fasting and marriage. Later, the program features a dramatic and moving example of reconciliation as the father of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter opens a dialogue between Muslims and Jews to create better understanding between the two faiths. In the same spirit, a conflict-resolution workshop engages in an intensive dialogue as they attempt to dispel myths, misconceptions and stereotypes about each others' religion.
Tue Dec. 13 at 8PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
O Holy Night : Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir
Tony Award-nominee Megan Hilty and television and film actor Neal McDonough join The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for this Irish-inspired edition of this heartwarming annual celebration of music and holiday traditions. Repeated on Sat Dec. 17 at 8PM.
Sat Dec. 17 at 8PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
Christmas 2021, Part 1 | Death In Paradise
A Caribbean Christmas treat with the show's first-ever Christmas special. The sun-soaked, scintillating beauty of Saint Marie is rocked at Christmas time by a baffling murder, with a dazzling array of guest stars under suspicion. The feature-length episode, which concludes the show's 10th anniversary celebrations, also sees the return of Danny John Jules as Officer Dwayne Myers. When the team needs some extra help, Dwayne steps in, quickly making his presence felt in ways that they could not have anticipated. All the usual ingredients are in place for a truly unforgettable Caribbean Christmas. Repeated on Thu Dec. 22 at 10PM.
Sun Dec. 18 at 9PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Revolution of the Heart: The Dorothy Day Story
Dorothy Day's journey from a young communist journalist, to a Catholic convert, to the co-founder of The Catholic Worker newspaper and the first "houses of hospitality," which sheltered New York City's homeless during the Great Depression. The documentary uses extensive archival footage from Day's own collection, and features interviews with actor Martin Sheen, public theologian Cornel West, Senator Tim Kaine, biographer Robert Ellsberg, and Day's granddaughters.
Sun Dec. 18 at 10PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Two and a half millennia ago, a new religion was born in northern India, generated from the ideas of a single man, the Buddha, a mysterious Indian sage who famously gained enlightenment while he sat under a large, shapely fig tree.
Mon Dec. 19 at 8PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
Naughty Or Nice | Antiques Roadshow
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW's special edition, "Naughty or Nice," makes a list and checks it twice. Enlivening the year-end holiday season, this lineup of favorite appraisals from past seasons will satisfy everyone's wish list. Highlights include: an 1863 Temperance lithograph illustrating the evils of imbibing spirits; a letter from Gerald Ford, written when he was House Minority Leader, to his kindergarten teacher in Michigan who called him "naughty little Gerry Ford"; and a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the film Some Like It Hot that was so tight she had to be sewn into it, valued at $150, 000 to $250,000.
Mon Dec. 19 at 8PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Gandhi's Awakening & Gandhi's Gift: Gandhi's Gift
Gandhi's Gift documents Gandhi at the end of his life, on the brink of attaining his lifelong goal of freedom from the British but with his heart breaking by the partition of India and terrible communal violence that is killing an estimated million or more. Having led masses in nonviolent marches, Gandhi now walks alone for unity and peace.
Mon Dec. 19 at 9PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
"A Christmas Concert for Troubled Times," is a cantata composed by Paul Van Ness that reflects on a darker side of the Christmas story. Recorded live at the Cabot Theater in Beverly, Massachusetts, the beautiful musical meditation draws from the story in the Book of Matthew. The first Gospel tells how "tidings of comfort and joy" about the birth of Jesus quickly turn to news of devastation. King Herod orders his soldiers to kill all Jewish boys under the age of two, hoping to destroy the child who could grow up to challenge his political power. Warned by an angel, Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt, living as refugees to protect Jesus from the slaughter. In that first Christmas, joy is commingled with grief, fear and struggle. The story of THE TIDINGS, filled with pain as much as promise, strikes a chord with many who have felt deep sorrow. Featuring piano, cello, acoustic guitar and a six-voice chamber choir, the cantata is flanked by new arrangements of traditional carols that revive their poignancy and draw the audience deeper into the mysteries of the Christmas story.
Tue Dec. 20 at 9PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
Telling the Story: Christmas Oratorios
Choir and orchestra members of the Michigan State University College of Music will gather to bring the joy and spirit of the holiday season to the community through Telling the Story: Christmas Oratorios by Bach & Saint-Saëns. David Rayl will conduct more than 200 instrumentalists and singers from the MSU Choral Union, University Chorale, State Singers, and the MSU Symphony Orchestra in selections from the Christmas Oratorios of J.S. Bach and Camille Saint-Saëns. The concert opens with choruses from Saint Saëns Oratorio de Noel, which was composed for Midnight Mass in the Church of the Madeleine in Paris, France in 1858. Rayl will then conduct the first three of the six cantatas from Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium, composed in 1834. The cantatas were originally performed for major feasts of the Christmas season held within the iconic churches of Leipzig, Germany. The three cantatas featured in this program cover the birth of Jesus, the angel’s announcement to the shepherds, and the shepherd’s visit to Bethlehem. The role of the Evangelist, who literally “tells the story” and weaves together the Christmas narrative with choruses and chorales will be sung by tenor soloist Cole Harvey, a master’s student in the College of Music. Repeated on Sat Dec. 24 at 8PM.
Fri Dec. 23 at 8PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet
The story of the seventh-century prophet who changed world history in 23 years and continues to shape the lives of more than 1.2 billion people. This lively, thorough and honest portrait of the man and the prophet takes viewers to ancient Arabian sites where Muhammad's story unfolded and into the homes, mosques and workplaces of some of America's approximately seven million Muslims to discover the many ways in which they follow Muhammad's example. With some of the world's leading scholars on Islam providing historical context and critical perspective, viewers learn not only who Muhammad was, but also what most American Muslims believe Islam teaches and how their beliefs are increasingly shaping society.
Fri Dec. 23 at 9PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Join Alan Cumming for the real story of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King with the beloved music of Tchaikovsky. Featuring the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the direction of John Mauceri, this new version is a rare holiday treat.
Fri Dec. 23 at 10:30PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
Clown By Quentin Blake
Quentin Blake's Clown is a half-hour animation that brings to life the adventures of a little toy clown, who has been thrown away. On Christmas Eve he goes on an exciting journey to find a new home for himself and his toy friends. After a series of unhappy incidents, he finds a poor but loving family (two children and a single mother) happy to welcome them in their humble home and love them. It's the story of an unusual outcast that talks about resilience and hope, which will resonate with many viewers in the difficult times we live. At the end of the film, we learn that toys only come alive when children love them.
Sat Dec. 24 at 9PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
Christmas 2021, Part 2 | Death In Paradise
A Caribbean Christmas treat with the show's first-ever Christmas special. The sun-soaked, scintillating beauty of Saint Marie is rocked at Christmas time by a baffling murder, with a dazzling array of guest stars under suspicion. The feature-length episode, which concludes the show's 10th anniversary celebrations, also sees the return of Danny John Jules as Officer Dwayne Myers. When the team needs some extra help, Dwayne steps in, quickly making his presence felt in ways that they could not have anticipated. All the usual ingredients are in place for a truly unforgettable Caribbean Christmas. Repeated on Thu Dec. 29 at 10PM.
Sat Dec. 24 at 9PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Michael Flynn's Holy War | Frontline
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn: from elite soldier overseas to waging "spiritual war" in America. With the Associated Press, how Flynn emerged as a leading conspiracy theorist, from QAnon to "Stop the Steal" and his ties to Christian nationalism.
Sun Dec. 25 at 8PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
The Perfect Christmas | All Creatures Great and Small
James and Helen question their future together in the run up to Christmas Day, while things look grave for one of Darrowby's most beloved animals.
Sun Dec. 25 at 8PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Santa's Wild Home | Nature
Get an intimate look into life in Lapland, fabled land of Santa Claus and actual home of tenacious wildlife such as reindeer, wolverines, Brown bears and more.
Sun Dec. 25 at 9PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
Holiday Special 2022 | Call The Midwife
With Christmas approaching, the midwives move to their maternity clinic and are delighted when their first patient is a familiar face. Life in Poplar returns to normal after the tragic train crash, and everyone unites for a festive talent show.
Sun Dec. 25 at 10PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Your Health : A Sacred Matter
Explore how religion, spirituality and health care interrelate. The program weaves together compelling individual stories from doctors, patients, nurses, chaplains and caregivers who speak to the benefits of incorporating a patient's spirituality as part of a whole-patient/whole-person model of care. The two-hour documentary examines how the medical profession is not only looking to the origins of medicine in order to move forward, by re-integrating religiously based tenets into the healing process, but also responding to contemporary research findings that support earlier accepted wisdom. The film's interviewees provide a representative sampling of the leading medical schools, teaching hospitals and research centers across the nation recognized for their work in this field.
Wed Dec. 28 at 8:30PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
An Act of Worship | POV
Dive down this counter-narrative and collective memory of the past 30 years of Muslim life in America by exploring pivotal moments in U.S. history and the impact of anti-Muslim rhetoric and policy on young Muslims who came of age after 9/11.
Thu Dec. 29 at 9PM on WKAR WORLD 23.2
Spiritual Audacity: The Abraham Joshua Heschel Story
The chronicles of Heschel's life and legacy, offering an engaging profile of one of the 20th century's most prominent Jewish theologians and philosophers. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called Heschel a "great prophet" and their social justice views aligned; noted theologian Reinhold Niebuhr also spoke of his friend Heschel as "an authoritative voice not only in the Jewish community but in the religious life of America."
Sat Dec. 31 at 8PM on WKAR-HD 23.1
United In Song 2022: Ringing in the New Year Together
Following New Year's Eve broadcasts that were filmed at historic Mount Vernon and Philadelphia's Independence Hall, this next episode of United in Song will feature multiple regions of the United States, filmed in Boise, Idaho, Marietta, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, Los Angeles, California, and New York City, and Washington D.C. As we ring in the New Year, we celebrate the extraordinary cultural diversity of our country - from folk and rock to opera, country to hip hop, Broadway to bluegrass, and beyond. This special performance will also reflect on what brings us together as Americans, as we unite through the arts.