Thursday, October 15, 2015


Primetime documentaries and direct-to-web content are showcased in new schedule
PITTSBURGH – WQED explores the new Pittsburgh, as well as the challenges of building a vibrant region for all in the three-part documentary series Renewal & Reality beginning October 22 at 8 pm on WQED-TV. Focusing on local communities in various stages of revival or renaissance, the programs point out not only the successes, but obstacles and concerns along the way.
The Renewal & Reality documentaries are part of WQED’s shift to showcasing local content in primetime, including a documentary series and other local specials premiering in the Thursday 8pm time slot.
“These programs have impact in the community and showcasing them in prime-time gives them greater exposure with a larger audience,” says Darryl Ford Williams, WQED’s Vice President of Content. “Viewers can be assured of interesting local content in that time period.”
WQED’s recent local documentaries including “Gun Violence: Victims and Voices for Change,” “Will’s Story: A Steeler’s Stand Against Domestic Violence,” Human Trafficking: Pittsburgh Fights Back,” “Portrayal & Perception,” “Finding Elizabeth’s Soldiers,” “Cresson,” “Rose’s Garden: Surviving My Mother’s Mental Illness,” “The Race to Save Pennsylvania’s Bats,” and many others have earned numerous Emmy® Awards and other local, regional and national accolades.
The new season of local content also launches the seventh season of Filmmakers Corner with host Minette Seate; new episodes of WQED’s locally-produced, nationally-distributed and Emmy® winning iQ: smartparent; a documentary and direct-to-web content on living with mental illness; a documentary on the economic impact of Pittsburgh’s place in the entertainment industry; and a direct-to-web series on Pittsburgh’s vibrant music scene.  A new weekly local program at 7:30pm is in development for a January 2016 premiere with details to be announced at the end of 2015.
Below are highlights of the new season through December:
Renewal & Reality: Has the Smoke Cleared? (documentary)
explorepahistory.comCredit: Image Donated by Corbis-Bettmann

Smokestacks from factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, belch black smoke into the atmosphere.
Premieres Thursday, October 22 at 8pm and rebroadcasts Monday, October 26 at 7:30pm.
Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh are growing.  More young adults are moving into the city, attracted by low housing costs, arts, culture and a trendy food scene. The city tops national lists on livability. But despite the high rankings, Pittsburgh lags in diversity and air quality. And some critics worry that a trendier Pittsburgh will drive up the cost of living and displace people with lower incomes. This program spotlights the positives in communities including Lawrenceville, Manchester and Larimer, while exploring possible ramifications of the negatives.

Renewal & Reality: Rebuilding Braddock  (documentary)
Premieres Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 8pm, encores Monday, November 2 at 7:30pm
Braddock was once a vibrant steel town with a population of more than 20,000. Today, fewer than 2,200 people live there. Enter a team of community leaders and investors determined to spark new life. As the borough struggles to rebound from unemployment, poverty, crime and the devastating loss of its hospital, there are signs of revitalization and hope. But who benefits from the rebirth? This program explores Braddock through the eyes of residents and those working hard for change.
Condemned houses in Braddock, 2009

Renewal & Reality: Why Not Wilkinsburg? (documentary)
Premieres Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 8pm, encores Monday, November 9 at 7:30pm.
With a thriving main street, dozens of churches, and a prosperous middle class, Wilkinsburg was once among Pittsburgh's most popular suburbs. But changing times, a failing economy and crime damaged the borough and its citizens. Wilkinsburg is among many local communities fighting to come back – but it faces unique challenges. Wilkinsburg is working on a long-term solution for its troubled middle-high school, but will it mean the end of Wilkinsburg High School? A referendum to bring liquor licenses into the long-dry borough has passed, but has also raised concerns. The borough’s revival attempts haven’t earned the same media attention as other turnaround neighborhoods like Braddock, East Liberty and Lawrenceville, so they’re fighting to tell their story. Economic development and the spirit of rediscovery are giving many neighborhoods a second chance.  So - why not Wilkinsburg?

Building Hollywood East (documentary)
Premieres Thursday, November 19 at 8pm, encores Monday, November 23 at 7:30pm.
Movie making in Pittsburgh boomed in recent years. But now that many other states have film tax credits, production here is starting to slow. Now there’s a new approach to moving the entertainment economy forward. But it now goes way beyond movies. From gaming and technology to graphics and special effects, you might be surprised at what’s already in place here, and how it could help Pittsburgh become a more powerful media hub. From the film tax debate to retaining young talent, this program explores the next steps in building Hollywood East.
Living With Mental Illness Campaign
WQED is embarking on a multi-platform project that explores behavioral health issues in collaboration with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.  It features a direct-to-web vignette series and a thirty-minute documentary on anxiety.
Bundle of Nerves: Our Anxiety Epidemic (documentary)
Premieres  Thursday, December 3 at 8pm, encores Monday December 7 at 7:30pm.
Anxiety is among the most common, yet under-reported of all behavioral health issues. Forty million Americans suffer from anxiety and panic disorders – overwhelming worrying resulting in physical symptoms such as pounding heart, chest pain, shortness of breath and nausea.  Through personal stories of those affected, this documentary examines the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment. It also spotlights innovative initiatives that explore the issue in vulnerable populations, such as efforts to address anxiety disorders among Carnegie Mellon University students.
Living With Mental Illness Webisodes
People living with bipolar disorder, schizophreniadepression and obsessive compulsive disorder share their personal stories of challenge, treatment and quality of life. Experts on those illnesses discuss diagnosis, treatment and success stories.
Webisode Premieres:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – online now at
Bipolar Disorder – Online now at
Depression – Online Monday, October 26
Schizophrenia – Online Monday, November 30

Filmmakers Corner.  Saturdays at 9pm beginning November 14
The seventh season of Filmmakers Corner premieres with host Minette Seate showcasing two new works that made their debut at WQED’s first ever outdoor Movie Night in September.
iQ: smartparent: Learning with GamesPremieres Thursday, November 12 at 8:30pm
iQ: smartparent: The Maker Movement in SchoolsPremieres Thursday, November 19 at 8pm
iQ: smartparent: Girls and MediaPremieres Thursday, December 17 at 8pm

WQED Sessions 
(direct to web)
Premieres at in early November, with new installments every two weeks.
A series of webisodes exploring Pittsburgh’s vibrant and eclectic music scene.  Each installment showcases a stand-out performance by an artist or band and includes interviews with the performers.
Live From Nied’s Hotel (documentary)
Premieres Thursday, December 10 at 8pm and rebroadcasts Monday, December 14 at 7:30pm.
It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside Nied’s Hotel in Lawrenceville has evolved from a friendly neighborhood tavern to an entertainment destination.  Country performer Slim Forsythe weaves viewers through this engaging musical program featuring the Beagle Brothers, Molly Alphabet and Slim, both onstage and off.
Portrayal & Perception, a groundbreaking 12-part documentary series that offers alternative portrayals of African American men and boys than are commonly found in commercial media, will rebroadcast beginning in December on Thursdays at 7:30pm.
About WQED
WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 151 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including three Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster.  WQED changes lives by creating and sharing outstanding public media that educates, entertains, and inspires.  It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED World; WQED Create; WQED Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online at; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive ( and iQ: smartmedia, WQED’s Educational initiative (

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