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WCVE Examines Wilder's Rise

Who Wilder is and how he got where he wanted to be are deserving of study, and "Wilder: An American First," a WCVE-produced documentary, does a bang-up job of examining Wilder's life and career.

The documentary has a lot going for it beyond the finely tuned script by Bill Reifenberger. Narrated by Blair Underwood, the program presents a compelling portrait of — in the words of political analyst Larry Sabato — a contentious, mean and tough politician. "That's why he made history," Sabato says.

Much of the documentary's credit should go to producer and director Mason Mills, who flawlessly and imaginatively assembled evocative music by Corey Harris with brilliant original camerawork by Melina Lagios for a program that is worthy of national accolades.

With this one program, WCVE-TV demonstrates its maturity and its value to the public it serves. "Wilder: An American First" is what public television ought to be. — Don Dale

"Wilder: An American First" premieres on WCVE, Channel 23, on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. For a schedule of additional airings, go to

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