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May 2023

May is full of new and exciting programming on WNMU-TV PBS, from new shows like Wild Scandinavia and Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories with David Rubenstein, to classics like This Old House and season 2 of Downton Abbey on Friday nights. 

Enjoy midwestern stories like Michigan: An American Portrait on the Sunday, May 7 and 25 Weeks: A Wisconsin Pizza Harvest on the 18th. Tune in for a special broadcast of Northern Michigan University's Spring Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, May 6 starting at 10a/9c. Commencement will also be available to stream live from our website or the PBS App. 

We continue to bring you local productions that make WNMU-TV PBS your public broadcasting station. A special Realtors edition of Ask the Expertsairs Thursday, May 4, while Ask the Doctorsfocuses on Cancer the week of May 25. Find yourself missing High School Bowlon Saturday nights? Relive the excitement of past episodes any time by streaming from our website, Passport, or on the PBS app.

Finally, celebrate holidays throughout the month, starting with International Jazz Day from the United Nationson Tuesday, May 1st. On the 14th, we air our Mothers Day special Petit Rat--portrait of three women, bonded by the intergenerational trauma of war and uplifted by the resilience of familial love. We close out the month with specials commemorating Memorial Day the evening on the 28th, including the annual National Memorial Day Concert from PBS. 

No matter which specials you choose to enjoy, know that your contribution makes it possible. Donate today to show your support and continue the tradition of public broadcasting in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Scroll down to learn about the rest of this month's featured programs. Shows are organized week by week. All programs are on 13.1 unless otherwise noted.

May 1-6

International Jazz Day

Jazz stars from around the globe come together to celebrate the unifying power of music. 

Monday, May 1 at 9/8c.

Independent Lens

Matter of Mind: My ALS

Three people with ALS confront complex choices in this intimate exploration.

Monday, May 1 at 10/9c.

My Grandparents’ War

Emeli Sandé 

Emeli Sandé explores her grandparents’ remarkable stories of wartime courage.

Tuesday, May 2 at 9/8c.

Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March

Explore the fight against Asian American hate following the March 2021 mass shootings.

Tuesday, May 2 at 10/9c.


Attenborough's Wonder of Song

David Attenborough presents seven of the most remarkable animal songs found in nature.

Wednesday, May 3 at 8/7c.


Saving the Right Whale 

Follow scientists determined to save the critically endangered right whale.

Wednesday, May 3 at 9/8c.

Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories with David "The Hollywood Sign"

Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories with David Rubenstein 
The Hollywood Sign
Learn how a real estate advertisement erected in 1923 became an international symbol of fame, fortune, and the American dream.  

Wednesday, May 3 at 10/9c.

Ask the Experts: Realtors

Ask the Experts


Get your property buying and selling questions answered by local real estate professionals, when they join WNMU-TV to answer questions submitted from viewers by phone or email.  

Thursday, May 4 at 8/7c.  Repeats 5/5 at 3/2c.

Downton Abbey

Episode 4

Matthew and William meet uncertainty. Vera plays a cruel game. Daisy faces a severe test.

Friday, May 5 at 9/8c.

Downton Abbey

Episode 5

As the war nears its end, Downton's aristocrats and staff put their lives back together.

Friday, May 5 at 10/9c.

NMU Spring Commencement 2023

Northern Michigan University

Spring Commencement 2023

Live coverage of Northern Michigan University’s spring commencement ceremonies. Available to stream live from our website or the PBS App.

Saturday, May 6 at 10a/9c.

May 7-13

Boblo Boats: A Detroit Ferry Tale

A doctor, psychic and amusement park fanatic unite to save Detroit's beloved Boblo Boat.

Sunday, May 7 at 3/2c.

The Spirits Still Move Them: Moonshining in The Mountains

Everything we know about moonshine and moonshiners is wrong. From the Beverly Hillbillies to Thunder Road, moonshiners have been portrayed as lazy, drunk outlaws with few redeeming qualities. Spirits re-looks at moonshining in the context of how it allowed farmers to survive difficult circumstances. 

Sunday, May 7 at 7/6c.

Call the Midwife

Episode 8

The wedding day arrives, but a horrific car crash turns into a race against time.

Sunday, May 7 at 8/7c.  Repeats 5/8 at Midnight.

Tom Jones

Episode 2

Tom is banished by Allworthy. Meanwhile, Sophia flees her impending marriage to Blifil.  

Sunday, May 7 at 9/8c.

Marie Antoinette

Episode 8 | Queen of Hearts

Louis becomes increasingly confident. Marie Antoinette is enamored by a familiar face.

Sunday, May 7 at 10/9c.

Independent Lens

Sam Now

What happens when a filmmaker helps his half brother search for his missing mother?

Monday, May 8 at 10/9c.

Wild Scandinavia

Life on the Edge

Explore Scandinavia’s wild and unpredictable coast, a place of haunting beauty and dangerous extremes.

Wednesday, May 10 at 8/7c.

NOVA: Hidden Volcano Abyss

Hidden Volcano Abyss
Piece together clues about a volcanic cataclysm and probe questions about human evolution and Earth’s fragile ecosystems.   

Wednesday, May 10 at 9/8c.

Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories with David Rubenstein

The Gadsden Flag

Discover how the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, such a potent symbol of independence, has been co-opted by a wide variety of Americans over its long history.  

Wednesday, May 10 at 10/9c.

Downton Abbey

Episode 6

The Spanish flu strikes Downton, transforming the fortunes of all.

Friday, May 12 at 9/8c.

POV Shorts: This Sacred Place

POV Shorts 

This Sacred Place

New worlds unfold in stories of tradition and hometown pride. Includes "You Can’t Stop Spirit" and "Coming Home." 

Friday, May 12 at 11:30/10:30c.

May 14-20

Charlie Tennessen

25 Weeks: A Wisconsin Pizza Harvest

The story of an ancient crop, a farmer, and a pizza. Filmed entirely on a small Wisconsin farm devoted to recreating rare 19th Century wheat, "25 Weeks" tells a beautiful story of a place, a crop, and a farm working to produce the perfect pizza over the course of a season. 

 Sunday, May 14 at 3/2c.

Mothers Day Special

Petit Rat

In 1940, a French Jewish girl's dream of becoming a ballerina is cut short by World War II. She vows that if she has daughters, they will become dancers. Nearly 80 years later, she and her two daughters confront the impact of that  pledge. Petit Rat is a portrait of three women, bonded by the intergenerational trauma of war and uplifted by the resilience of familial love.  

Sunday, May 14 at 7/6c.

Tom Jones: Ep. 3

Tom Jones on Masterpiece

Episode 3

Tom is lured to a masquerade by an insatiable paramour; complications develop.  

Sunday, May 14 at 9/8c.

Independent Lens

Silent Beauty

A woman’s journey to heal from childhood sexual abuse and confront generational trauma.

Monday, May 15 at 10/9c.

American Masters

Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV

See the world through the eyes of Nam June Paik, the father of video art.

Tuesday, May 16 at 9/8c.

Wild Scandinavia

The Heartlands

Journey to the enchanted Scandinavian Forest, an ancient land shrouded in myth and legend.  

Wednesday, May 17 at 8/7c.

NOVA: Your Brain: Perception Deception

Your Brain | Perception Deception
Is what you see real? Join neuroscientist Heather Berlin on a quest to understand how your brain shapes your reality, and why you can’t always trust what you perceive. Learn the surprising tricks and shortcuts the brain takes to help us survive.

Wednesday, May 17 at 9/8c.

Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories with David Rubenstein: The Cowboy

Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories with David Rubenstein
The Cowboy
The cowboy is the quintessential American — fiercely independent, brave, and laconic. Examine the myths and realities of this archetype, which remains as potent as ever in the 21st century. 

Wednesday, May 17 at 10/9c.

Ask the Lawyers

Ask The Lawyers

May 2023

Area attorneys answer questions live submitted by viewers from phone and email.  

Thursday, May 18 at 8/7c.  Repeats 5/19 at 3/2c.

Downton Abbey

Episode 7

In the Downton Abbey season 2 finale, the family gathers at Downton Abbey for Christmas.

Friday, May 19 at 9/8c.

May 21-27

Michigan: An American Portrait

Michigan: An American Portrait

Footage from more than 80 locations around the state highlights Michigan’s cultural diversity, natural beauty, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovative approach to business through breathtaking cinematography, compelling commentary, and historical archives.   

Sunday, May 21 at 3/2c.

A Promise to My Father
Follow Israel “Izzy” Arbeiter as he returns, perhaps for the last time, to the sites of his darkest hours. With his grandson in tow, Izzy travels to Treblinka, Auschwitz and Stuttof, and various Holocaust memorials, with the hope of bringing closure to this painful chapter of his life.   

Sunday, May 21 at 7/6c.

Tom Jones: Ep. 4

Tom Jones on Masterpiece

Episode 4

Tom’s letter to Lady Bellaston threatens to sink his prospects with Sophia. A secret emerges.  

Sunday, May 21 at 9/8c.

A diagnosed schizophrenic must decide if he should comply with traditional mental health treatment.  

Sunday, May 21 at 10/9c.

Fanny: The Right to Rock

Co-founded by Filipina American and queer teenagers, Fanny is the first all women band to release an album with a major record label (Warner/Reprise, 1970). Revered by David Bowie, meet the most groundbreaking rock group you've never heard of yet.  

Monday, May 22 at 10/9c.

American Experience

Goin' Back To T-Town

Discover the story of a Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that prospered in the 1920s and 30s.  

Tuesday, May 23 at 9/8c.

Frontline: Once Upon a Time in Iraq: Fallujah

Once Upon a Time in Iraq: Fallujah
The enduring story of the battle of Fallujah, told by the people who lived through it.

Tuesday, May 23 at 10/9c.

Wild Scandinavia

Fire and Ice

Discover Scandinavia’s northern extremes, shaped by fire and ice.  

Wednesday, May 24 at 8/7c.

NOVA: Your Brain: Who's in Control?

Your Brain | Who's in Control?
Dive into the subconscious to see what’s really driving the decisions you make.  

Wednesday, May 24 at 9/8c.

Secrets of the Dead

Hindenburg’s Fatal Flaws

A fresh look at the flaws that led to the infamous Hindenburg disaster in 1937.

Wednesday, May 24 at 10/9c.

Ask the Doctors: Cancer

Ask The Doctors


Area medical professionals visit WNMU-TV to answer questions submitted from viewers.   

Thursday, May 25 at 8/7c.  Repeats 5/26 at 3/2c.

Classic FIlm of the Month

Whistle Stop

When beautiful Mary returns to her home town, long-standing feelings of animosity between two of her old boyfriends leads to robbery and murder. This 1946 film noir stars Ava Gardner and George Raft, and Victor McLaglen.  

Friday, May 26 at 9/8c.

Vanishing Chinatown: The World of the May's Photo Studio

Vanishing Chinatown: The World of the May's Photo Studio

Hundreds of photographs, serendipitously rescued from a Chinatown dumpster, chronicle the lives of an immigrant community from an insider's perspective, shining a light on everyday life in San Francisco’s Chinatown a century ago.   

Friday, May 26 at 10:30/9:30c.

May 28-31

Elvis and The USS Arizona
The surprising story of how one of music's biggest icons helped to establish a USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor. Elvis’ fundraising concert drew public attention to the plight and helped to galvanize efforts to finish the USS Arizona Memorial as it stands today.  

Sunday, May 28 at 7/6c.

National Memorial Day Concert

Enjoy our 34th annual broadcast of America’s national night of remembrance.  

Sunday, May 28 at 8/7c.  Repeats 5/29 at Midnight ET.

Ernie Pyle: Life in The Trenches

The story of famed WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who reached millions each week with stories celebrating “ordinary” Americans doing extraordinary things, capturing snapshots of American life during the 1930s.  

Sunday, May 28 at 9:30/8:30c.

Memorial Day Massacre: Workers Die, Film Buried

The first film to fully explore the 1937 tragedy in Chicago, when police shot and killed ten pro-labor marchers--and the shocking film cover-up that followed.

Monday, May 29 at 9/8c.

Independent Lens

The Donut King

Meet the Donut King, the Cambodian refugee who built a multi-million-dollar empire baking.

Monday, May 29 at 10/9c.

The Hook

Chef Ricky Moore traces the journey of the bonefish from ocean to plate.

Tuesday, May 30 at 4:30/3:30c.

Lidia Celebrates America "Flavors That Define Us"

Lidia Celebrates America

Flavors That Define Us

Lidia Bastianich shares stories of immigrants shaping what it means to be an American. 

Tuesday, May 30 at 9/8c.

Frontline "After Uvalde: Guns, Grief & Texas Politics"

After Uvalde: Guns, Grief & Texas Politics
A year after the Uvalde school shooting, the community’s trauma and the fight over assault rifles. With the Texas Tribune, journalist Maria Hinojosa examines the police response, Uvalde’s history of struggle and its efforts to heal.

Tuesday, May 30 at 10/9c.


Pandas: Born to be Wild

Trek through the steep Qinling Mountains with filmmakers to witness wild pandas' behavior.

Wednesday, May 31 at 8/7c.


Why Ships Crash

How could a single ship cause a major supply chain crisis around the globe?

Wednesday, May 31 at 9/8c.

Secrets of the Dead

Abandoning the Titanic

Learn about the captain of a “mystery ship” who turned away from the "unsinkable" Titanic.

Wednesday, May 31 at 10/9c.