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October 31, 2019

Leandro’s Don’t Miss List: November 2019

WNET’s very own Leandro Mejia, a self-proclaimed public media superfan, writes a monthly column of his must-see recommendations on THIRTEEN. Check out his suggestions for new and encore programs you won’t want to miss. And if you want to expand your vocabulary, click on the hyperlinked words for a definition.


November might be the 11th month of the year, but THIRTEEN is first in quality public television!

Independent Lens: Decade of Fire (November 4 at 10pm). This installment explains the socio-political issues behind the infamous phrase, “the Bronx is Burning.”

The Daniel Tiger Movie: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (November 5 at 8:30am). This early morning hour-long special will be worth pandiculating for as the Neighborhood of Make-Believe’s favorite scion, Daniel, and his friends and family welcomes a new platypus playmate, Jodi, and her family!

Frontline: In the Age of AI (November 5 at 9pm). Artificial intelligence may, indeed, lead to a dark fate (wink, wink) but also holds great promising potential.

NOVA: The Dead Sea Scroll Detectives (November 6 at 9pm). Though some of these far-famed artifacts have been lost, others remain and continue to provide scientists with indispensable insight into humanity’s past.

Independent Lens: The Interpreters (November 11 at 10pm), shows how a virtual army of interpreters, upwards of 50,000, assiduously assisted US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Frontline: Kids Caught in the Crackdown (November 12 at 9pm) explores the controversially and heartbreaking policy of the mass confinement of immigrant children.

Nature: Nature’s Biggest Beasts (November 13 at 8pm). Giraffes made the cut, of course. But so did an insect called the armored ground cricket!

NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci (November 13 at 9pm). The episode explores how his uncanny ken for both science and art, and their interplay, have made Leonardo worthy of the appellation of “Renaissance Man.”

Life From Above rounds out this fascinating four-parter about the Earth as seen from the space by the electronic eyes of cameras first with Patterned Planet (November 6 at 10pm) about the spectacular shapes that can only be discerned from great heights such as the swath Congo elephants cut through the verdant landscape. Then, in Changing Planet (November 17 at 10pm), witness the planet’s despair (deforestation and melting glaciers) and hope (Tanzanians restoring the local environments for chimpanzees).

Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration (November 17 at 7pm). Join Elmo and the rest of gang, as well as guests like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Patti Labelle, for this aureate anniversary. Brought to you by PBS, aka, the number 13 (ha!ha!ha!)

Frontline: For Sama (November 19 at 10pmM). See the human side of war from the perspective of a Syrian mother, as she films the triumphant and tragic contours of life during the Siege of Aleppo.

NOVA: The Violence Paradox (November 20 at 9pm). Using historical and scientific evidence, psychologist and science author Steve Pinker shows us that the tides of human violence have ebbed and how to maintain these lower levels.

NOVA: Animal Espionage (November 27 at 9pm). Once again, human ingenuity from cameras to drones allow viewers more intimate and realistic insight into the actual lives of wildlife.

The Plastics Problem: PBS NewsHour Presents (November 27 at 10pm). In depth and sobering coverage of the planet’s plastic pollution problem.

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