The Sporting Life: NPT Winter Edition

See Jenna Coleman as VICTORIA on Masterpiece at the NPT Celebration December 11

See Jenna Coleman as VICTORIA on Masterpiece at the NPT Celebration December 11

One of the really cool things about Nashville is its amazing Public Televison station, NPT. In addition to preview screening events for globally significant MASTERPIECE series and locally-produced programming, NPT recently completed airing two amazing multi-episode PBS documentaries that floored me. While one was about music, one about the black struggle, each resonated with me deeply. Support NPT and get the DVD or Blu-ray of either or both of these series, at

In this four-part series, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state of black America—and our nation as a whole. Every aspect of the series—its visual approach, music, narrative scope, and Gates’ intimate tone—is crafted to feel vibrant and relevant, to raise questions that are provocative and thoughtful.

SoundBreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music
Sound recording transformed music forever. This eight-part television event charts a century’s worth of innovation and experimentation, tracing this ongoing sonic revolution, and exploring the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives, from the Beatles’ groundbreaking use of multi-track technology to the synthesized styling of Stevie Wonder, from disco-era drum machines to the modern art of sampling. Produced by Sir George Martin, “The Fifth Beatle,” hear the songs we love in a whole new way, featuring over 150 artists including Smokey Robinson, Quincy Jones, RZA, Paul McCartney, Chuck D, BB King, and Questlove.

NPT’s Victoria Preview Screening and Victorian Celebration
Nashville Public Television is hosting an advance screening of the first episode of Victoria on MASTERPIECE, before its January 15, 2017, premiere on NPT.  Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman in the title role about the epic life of Queen Victoria, will air Sunday nights on NPT in the time slot occupied by Downton Abbey for six years. (FYI, clear your dvrs for this: NPT will be airing a Christmas marathon of every episode from all six seasons of  Downton Abbey, in order, starting at 8:00 pm on Friday, Dec. 23 and running through 10:30 pm on Monday, Dec. 26, in HD.)

Prior to the 6:30 p.m. screening, a Victorian Celebration at 5:30 p.m. benefiting NPT will include period-themed hors d’oeuvres from B&C Catering, drinks, live music and fun photo opportunities for guests dressed in festive Victorian attire. The celebration and screening run until 7:30 p.m. at the Franklin Theatre, 419 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064. Open to the public; RSVP required; tickets are $50.00 per person, available through the website: