TVO’s January 2011 lineup revisits the Haiti earthquake, digs deep into the history of maps, and gets wild with the Kratt brothers

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on December 9, 2010 at 1:00 AM

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December 01, 2010 @ 10:00AM

Marking the first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, the TVO-commissioned documentary Inside Disaster Haiti makes its world premiere on TVO this month. Following the efforts of the International Red Cross disaster relief teams over several months after the quake, this three-part series goes behind the news headlines to provide a gripping, first-hand view of a major crisis response and the human dramas that unfolded at ground zero.

Other documentary offerings on TVO in January include an eye-opening look at the story of cartography in Mapping the World’ and a trip down the Nile with actress Joanna Lumley.

There’s also something new for kids with the premiere of Wild Kratts, the Kratt brothers’ first ever animated series; The Prime Radicals, a show that takes the mystery out of math; and weekly Sunday matinees the whole family can enjoy.
Haiti Earthquake

Inside Disaster Haiti – World premiere
Tuesday to Thursday January 11, 12 and 13, 2011 at 9 pm ET
Encore Wednesdays January 26, February 2 and 9 at 9 pm ET
3 / 60 minutes
Written and directed by Nadine Pequeneza
Produced by PTV Productions Inc. in association with TVO

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit by one of the deadliest earthquakes in history. As the death toll mounted and the full impact of the quake became horrifically clear, Canadians responded generously, opening their hearts and their wallets so that relief agencies could save lives.

Coinciding with the first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, TVO presents the world premiere of Inside Disaster Haiti, a three-part documentary that follows the disaster relief teams of the International Red Cross as they mount the largest single-country response in their history. Embedded with the Red Cross teams were Canadian filmmaker Nadine Pequeneza and her crew who had unprecedented access to the gripping stories, compelling characters and intense drama that unfolded in the hours, days, weeks and months after the quake.

The series gives viewers a front-row seat to the inner workings of a large-scale disaster relief operation. Cameras follow as specialists from the Red Cross’s Field Assessment and Coordination Team and Emergency Response Units assess the damage and coordinate the supply of life-saving water, medical care, shelter, and food.

Inside Disaster Haiti also tells the story of the people of Haiti focusing on three individuals. Magalie Landee is a 37-year-old middle class entrepreneur who lost four of her five children in the quake; Louken Pluviose is a volunteer paramedic without any formal training who helped pull people out of the rubble; and Marcel Phevenun is part of Haiti’s working poor who lost his home and must start from scratch to provide a home for his large extended family. Their stories demonstrate how the earthquake impacted every part of society.

Visit for more information on the documentary, the work of humanitarian agencies, and how the earthquake changed Haiti.

You can also get different perspectives from the point of view of journalists, relief workers, and survivors by visiting, an interactive simulation that gives a first-person view of the quake and its aftermath.

Download the Inside Disaster Haiti press kit for more information on the documentary, bios of the Inside Disaster Haiti crew and Red Cross team members, and episode synopses.

The Story of Science – North American premiere
Tuesdays January 18 to February 22, 2011 at 9 pm ET
6 / 60 minutes
Produced by BBC

Popular belief might have it that scientific breakthroughs are mere “eureka” moments by genius figures. Yet as host Michael Mosley shows us in the six-part series, The Story of Science, the iconic inventions and discoveries that have transformed our lives are deeply intertwined with our society’s history. Who were the great men and women who asked the questions and sought out the answers? Mosley uncovers the human stories behind the science and recreates the experiments while exploring the things that make us all think: what exists beyond Earth; what the world is made of; the possibility of unlimited power; human origins; the secret of life on our planet; and brain anatomy and psychology.

Mapping the World – North American premiere
Mondays January 24 to February 7, 2011 at 10 pm
3 / 60 minutes
Produced by BBC

From rock art to Google Earth and GPS systems, UK professor and self-professed “map fanatic” Jerry Brotton charts the history of cartography in this fascinating three-part series. More than simple navigation aids that guide us from point A to B, maps are snapshots of defining historical, political and cultural moments.

Beginning his journey in northern Italy where he locates the world’s first known map, Brotton explores why people were driven to create maps long before they could even write, and traces the scientific advances that made map-making possible. He discovers stories of power and war in maps, as the rise of scientifically accurate map-making became a powerful tool for European expansion and depictions of distant lands tempted explorers like Christopher Columbus and Sir Walter Raleigh to plunder and conquer. He also uncovers the role of religion and societal issues in map-making, and how the style of modern maps – which we take for granted as natural and objective – in fact provide a subjective view of our world.

Joanna Lumley’s Nile – Canadian Premiere
Fridays January 28 to February 18, 2011 at 7 pm ET
4 / 50 minutes
Produced by Tiger Aspect Productions

Having fulfilled a lifelong dream to track down the Northern Lights in her first travelogue, Joanna Lumley: In the Land of Northern Lights, the British actress is back to front another adventure series that charts her 4,000-mile trip down the world’s longest river, the Nile. Passing through five different countries (Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda) in the path of great explorers before her, Lumley crosses some of the most inhospitable landscapes on earth – from deserts where ancient civilizations once ruled to jungles where Victorian explorers underwent unspeakable suffering. As she ventures from sea to source by boat, train, plane, car, donkey and camel, Lumley reveals a compelling, modern portrait of the Nile and its people.

Last Chance to See – Ontario Premiere
Wednesdays January 12 to February 16, 2011 at 7 pm ET
6 / 60 minutes
Produced by West Park Pictures for BBC

In this television follow-up to the 1989 BBC radio wildlife documentary series and tie-in book of the same name, English actor and comedian Stephen Fry joins naturalist Mark Carwardine to seek out the animals around the world on the brink of extinction and meet the research scientists and local conservationist teams trying to understand and protect these endangered species. Among the stops on the pair’s itinerary: Manaus in Brazil where they search for the Amazonian manatee, a large aquatic mammal whose numbers have been dramatically reduced by illegal hunting; Kenya, where they learn about a soon-to-be abandoned conservation project that aimed to relocate the endangered northern white rhino; and the island of Rinca in the Malay Archipelago, home to the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard.

Also this month in documentaries:

Time Team – Mondays January 3 to March 28, 2011 at 7 pm ET
The popular archeological series returns for a 15th season and finds host Tony Robinson and his team digging for a medieval castle in Derbyshire, a 12th-century monastery in Towcester, a Georgian estate outside Bath, as well as excavating sites in South Wales, Northern Ireland and the Outer Hebrides.

Born to be Different – Sundays January 23 and 30, 2011 at 8 pm ET
Watch for two new instalments in the decade-long television project following the lives of six families with disabled children. In these episodes, the children turn 8 and 9. The youngsters continue to cope with an increasing barrage of challenges, and some begin to tell their own stories.
Film and Drama

Saturday Night at the Movies
Saturdays beginning at 8 pm ET

Freedom of speech is the theme of SNAM’s January 15 program with Malcolm X and The People vs. Larry Flynt as the double bill.

Watch for outspoken magazine publisher Larry Flynt who appears in a candid conversation on The Interviews, the documentary centerpiece of SNAM.

Returning Dramas
Sunday nights beginning January 23 at 9 pm

In January, mystery fans will enjoy the return of two popular series on Sunday nights. Beginning January 23 at 9 pm, the seventh series of New Tricks sees the UCOS team of former detectives investigating cold cases including the death of a boxer, the murder of a debutante, the attack on a 1980s fashion designer, and the suspicious suicide of a college professor. The suspense continues at 10 pm with the premiere of the second series of Whitechapel on January 23. This time Chandler and his team are on the hunt for a pair of copycat killers patterning themselves after the infamous Kray brothers who terrorized the East End of London in the 1960s.
Current Affairs

Allan Gregg in Conversation
Fridays at 10 pm ET
Produced by TVO

Russell Peters (January 14)
Canadian funnyman Russell Peters discusses his memoir, Call Me Russell, his childhood in Brampton, Ontario and his rise to fame. Check out now to watch bonus interview clips featuring Peters’ answers to viewer questions.

Margaret Trudeau (January 21)
The former wife of Pierre Trudeau and author of Changing My Mind talks about her lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder and her work as an advocate for those who suffer from mental illness and their families.

For a deeper perspective on the subject of mental illness, Allan Gregg in Conversation presents an online miniseries of past interviews at, including:

– Psychiatrist Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison on suicide
– Physician, author and public speaker Dr. Gabor Maté on addiction and the brain
– Author and journalist Patricia Pearson on anxiety disorder
– Psychologist Dr. Paula Caplan on psychiatry and mental illness


Wild Kratts – Canadian premiere
Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6:30 pm ET beginning January 11, 2011 and Saturdays at 3 pm ET
40 / 30 minutes
Animated/live action
Produced by the Kratt Brothers Company and 9 Story Entertainment in association with TVO

Zoologists Martin and Chris Kratt of Kratts’ Creatures and Zoboomafoo fame go 2D in their first ever animated series. In Wild Kratts, the pair encounter adventure, discovery and rescue situations in the animal world. Luckily, the Kratt brothers are ready for anything, with their extensive creature knowledge and use of cutting-edge technologies. Joining them in their adventures are the young inventor Aviva Corcovado, electronic whiz kid Koki, and gamer Jimmy J. Watch for a live-action segment in each episode featuring the Kratts, who take viewers around the globe to see exotic animals in their natural habitats.

Wild Kratts online
For interactive adventures deep in the animal world, kids can join the Wild Kratts team on the show’s companion website, available to Canadians exclusively at Kids can meet up with Martin and Chris in Tortuga headquarters and play various “creature power” games, including Caracal Leap, TVOKids’ first-ever augmented reality game that allows users with a webcam to participate in a bird-catching activity along with African wildcats. They can also create their own avatar and go on global safaris wearing creature power suits. And for interesting facts on exotic animals, their habitats and lifestyles, there’s a Creaturepedia that kids can browse.

The Prime Radicals – World premiere
Saturdays at 3:30 pm ET beginning January 15, 2011 and Sundays at 12:30 pm
26 / 11 minutes
Live action
Produced by GPAC Entertainment Inc. in association with TVO

Mishap and mayhem in a wacky uncle’s workshop add up to a host of math adventures in this new live-action series aimed at grade-school kids. Often the subject that poses the toughest challenges for kids, math is a laughing matter in The Prime Radicals. Whenever Uncle Norm has a real-life problem, such as measuring without a ruler, adapting a recipe to serve more people, or folding paper to make a hat, the Radicals (cousins Kevin and Alanna) come to his rescue with math-based solutions and help from a wide range of experts who demonstrate how much a part of everyday life math really is. While concepts like geometry, patterning, place value, fractions and measurement are at the root of each episode, fun is the common denominator in the trio’s adventures.

The Prime Radicals was developed in consultation with Dr. Lynda Colgan, associate professor in mathematics education at Queen’s University, and is based on the Ontario math curriculum for Grades 2 and 3.

TVOKids Family Movie – Weekly beginning January 16!
Every Sunday at 2 pm ET

TVOKids carves out special time for families every Sunday afternoon from 2 – 4 pm as the family movie block goes weekly starting January 16. Watch for these titles this month:

– January 16: Harriet the Spy (1996) starring Michelle Trachtenberg and Rosie O’Donnell
– January 23: The Secret Garden (1994), an animated version of the children’s classic with voices by Derek Jacobi, Anndi McAfee and Honor Blackman
– January 30: Snow White (1987), a live-action musical adaptation starring Dame Diana Rigg (The Avengers) and Sarah Patterson
About TVO

Celebrating 40 years, TVO’s vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. TVO is funded primarily by the Province of Ontario and supported by thousands of donors. For more information, visit
Where to find TVO

Cable channel 2 (channel may vary in some areas), Rogers HD channel 580, Bell TV channel 265, Shaw Direct channel 353.

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