Monthly Highlights - December 2017

Montana On My Mind 

Montana on My Mind celebrates the unique beauty and spirit of the last best state. Inspired by the best-selling book, "Montana on My Mind," this program combines stunning film with inspiring quotes, music and commentary by Michael S. Sample. Including magnificent scenery, people, places and events, this program will leave you with an unforgettable portrait of Montana. Airs Friday, 12/1 at 11am, Saturday, 12/2 at 6:30pm, Monday, 12/4 at 2am, Thursday, 12/7 at 7pm, Friday, 12/8 at 12:30am, Saturday, 12/9 at 3am 

Beartooth Highway 

Winding its way through pristine mountain air and majestic, snow-capped peaks, Montana's magnificent Beartooth Highway was described as "America's most beautiful roadway" by Charles Kuralt. You'll see why in this video tour travelling along the 69-mile scenic route from its beginning in Red Lodge, Montana, to its spectacular finish at the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Airs Friday, 12/1 at 10:30am, Friday, 12/8 at 3am 

Why We Love Backroads of Montana: Fans Celebrate 25 Years

Backroads of Montana viewers take us through a quarter century of stories featuring our state's people, places and events. The Backroads crew visited Montana farmers' markets this past summer and spoke to more than 50 fans about the impact of the show, their favorite and most memorable characters, the show's recognizable theme song and why they love the show so much. Airs Saturday, 12/2 at 5pm, Wednesday, 12/6 at 12:30pm, Friday, 12/8 at 3:30am 

Yellowstone in Four Seasons 

Yellowstone has four seasons that can change at any time. Summer is for eating, fall is for mating, winter is for surviving and spring is for re-birth. But the vast common ground of any visit to Yellowstone, regardless of the season, is this: Mother Nature has worked millions of years to sculpt this grand treasure, and her finest work is on display for us all to appreciate and enjoy. Yellowstone's splendor lies in its solitude, it's grandness, it's complexity, and it's simplicity. For thousands of years, this real life drama has performed the same four-act play over and over again. Airs Monday, 12/4 at 11am, Friday, 12/8 at 2am, Saturday, 12/9 at 4:30am, Saturday, 12/9 at 2:30pm 

C. M. Russell and the American West: I Got the Cream (No. 101)

At age 16 Charles M. Russell leaves his home in St. Louis to make his way as a cowboy in Montana. He meets mountain men, wranglers, and settles into a job as a nighthawk with the horses. His talents with drawing, sculpting and stories make him a popular companion at the campfire. A tough winter inspires a drawing that will make CMR famous. Airs Monday, 12/4 at 7pm, Wednesday, 12/6 at 1:45am, Saturday, 12/9 at 3:30pm 

C. M. Russell and the American West: Sum of the Parts (No. 102) 

Charlie Russell gives up his spurs and lariat for brushes and paint. He also gives up the cowboy "sporting life" when he meets Nancy Cooper, a young woman who will make sure the world recognizes Charlie as a real artist. Airs Tuesday, 12/5 at 7pm, Thursday, 12/7 at 2:30am, Saturday, 12/9 at 5:15pm 

Silence & Solitude: Yellowstone's Winter Wilderness 

Yellowstone National Park is visited by millions of people, yet winter in Yellowstone is something few people ever experience. Silence and Solitude: Yellowstone's Winter Wilderness is a mystical tour of winter in Yellowstone National Park. Winter, Yellowstone's longest season, creates a landscape of majestic beauty, bitter cold, and extreme danger, where endurance is the game and survival is the prize. Airs Tuesday, 12/5 at 11am, Saturday, 12/9 at 1:30pm 

C. M. Russell and the American West: My Medicine is Strong Now (No. 103)

Charles M. Russell's art expands in technique, color, storytelling and, thanks to Nancy, value. The American Indian point of view often dominates his canvases while he helps Hollywood build the myth of the West on film. Airs Monday, 12/11 at 8pm, Wednesday, 12/13 at 2am 

11th & Grant with Eric Funk: Christmas Favorites (No. 706)

Featuring traditional and original music, musicians from across Montana return to the studio of 11th & Grant performing their Christmas favorites. Host Eric Funk plays piano alongside Jack Taylor on the acoustic bass and Mike Gillan on the drums as the "house band. " Other performers returning are Jake and Jeni Fleming, Elizabeth Croy and Julie Gosswiller, Kelly Roberti, MJ Williams and Ann Tappan, Don Stone, Jeremy Morton, Kris Klone, Tim Drackert and Julia Yates and Ashly Holland. Airs Thursday, 12/14 at 7pm, Monday, 12/25 at 10:30pm 

Backroads of Montana: Alder Gulch to Plentywood (No. 119)

Tour the Christenot family mill near Alder Gulch and take a ride on the steam train between Virginia City and Nevada City. After a stop to tempt your sweet teeth at the Parrot Confectionary in Helena, marvel at snow geese flocking in thousands at Freezout Lake, near Choteau, and at the creations of Plentywood inventor Pat Tange. Finally, tour the historic Northern Pacific railroad depot in Livingston. Airs Saturday, 12/16 at 5pm 

Montana Ag Live: Land Reappraisals Explained (No. 4804)

Richard Browning with the Montana Department of Revenue will field questions concerning the 2017 Agricultural Land re-appraisal, and look at possible natural disaster property tax relief. Tax questions? Tune in! Airs Sunday, 12/17 at 11am 

Voices of Fire 

Voices of Fire explores the role wildfires play on the Western landscape. How will the ranchers and the ecosystem rebound from the tragic Soda Fire and what can be done to prevent another Soda Fire in the future? The film uses the Soda Fire as a case study to discuss how to manage and prevent future wildfires in the area. Airs Sunday, 12/17 at 10am 

11th & Grant with Eric Funk: Christmas with Philip Aaberg (No. 906)

Philip Aaberg performs original holiday music and spirited Christmas favorites on 11th & Grant. Pristine silences and melodic expanses paint an audible portrait of the sweeping Montana landscape. Airs Thursday, 12/21 at 7pm, Monday, 12/25 at 3pm 

Mall and the Night Visitors 

We think of Christmas as a family holiday bringing together loved ones to express the joy of giving and sharing. For those who have no family, though, Christmas may not always be cheering. This affecting drama by Montana's own Vigilante Players reminds us that these people exist, and that sharing and loving can pull us all through a season that has become a commercialized extravaganza. Airs Saturday, 12/23 at 8:02pm, Sunday, 12/24 at 1pm 

Backroads of Montana: Augusta to Wisdom (No. 120)

We visit a Big Hole Valley family that's been haying together for generations, hear and elk bugle near Moiese, meet a small-town guitarist who has crisscrossed Montana performing for more than 70 years, learn the history of a one-of-a-kind bridge near Augusta, and drop in on a woman who reports the news from Sweet Grass. Montana native William Marcus hosts the program from the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls.
Airs Saturday, 12/23 at 5pm 

Montana Ag Live: Those Pesky Weeds in Public Spaces (No. 4805)

Joshua Wagoner, Region 4 Fish Wildlife and Parks Maintenance Supervisor, will be here to keep us up-to-date on weed issues along Montana rivers and parks. Airs Sunday, 12/24 at 11am 

Aging Out: Autism in Montana 

Each year, more children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, but the framework of care drastically changes for them after adolescence. The tidal wave of children transitioning into adulthood leaves many families on a search for help and structure. Follow Montana families as they recognize their fears and explore their options for the future. Airs Thursday, 12/28 at 7pm, Sunday, 12/31 at 10am 

Backroads of Montana: Anaconda to Comertown (No. 121)

This episode takes us up the slopes with a long-time ski instructor near Anaconda, introduces us to the art of glass blowing in Townsend, shows us a new monument to Native American soldiers at the Little Big Horn Battlefield in Crow Agency and takes us to a reunion in the nearly forgotten northeastern Montana town of Comertown. Montana native William Marcus hosts the program from the Chief Plenty Coups State Park near Pryor. Airs Saturday, 12/30 at 5pm 

Montana Ag Live: The Changing Face of Agriculture (No. 4806)

Dean Folkvord of Wheat Montana Farms will talk about production and marketing issues surrounding Montana's booming pea and lentil production. Learn why Montana's agricultural landscape has changed so dramatically. Airs Sunday, 12/31 at 11am 

Monthly Highlights

Each month, MontanaPBS presents new programs and favorites from the past that have been produced in the state. For a detailed schedule with airdates and descriptions of the upcoming Montana programs, view the featured Monthly Highlights.

Future Productions

MontanaPBS stations KUSM-TV/Bozeman and KUFM-TV/Missoula are always hard at work on new stories for our viewers. View a listing of the productions that are in our program pipeline.

Production Services

KUFM-TV and KUSM-TV offer facilities and professional television Production Services for individuals or organizations interested in producing a program.


Improved and more economical television production technologies, such as the digital video (DV) format, have made it easier than ever before for individuals to create their own programs for potential broadcast. MontanaPBS encourages these Independent Producers, and in some cases we may be able to provide some assistance on your project. Visit our Independents page for more information.