The Milwaukee PBS series “Around the Corner with John McGivern” begins its 9th season in 2020, kicking off with a focus on the Story Hill neighborhood of Milwaukee.
Story Hill roughly encompasses the area from Doyne Park in the north to Miller Park in the south, and I-94 in the east to Calvary Cemetery in the west. Settled in the 1840s, the neighborhood is perched on a bluff overlooking downtown and the Menomonee Valley. Erhard Brielmaier’s 1899 Calvary Cemetery Chapel was actually built on the highest point of the city.
After more than 100 episodes, Emmy Award-Winning Actor John McGivern finally explores living, working, and playing in this unique community for his show. McGivern was familiar with the neighborhood because he likes to drive around the streets of the area to admire the homes. He felt their architecture was something out of a fairy tale.
“Story Hill has certainly been on our radar for 9 years. We live in Milwaukee, we have friends who live in Story Hill who love it, but it’s small and mostly residential,” said Lois Maurer, Producer and Director of Around the Corner with John McGivern. “Until I did the research, I wasn’t sure if there were enough storylines beyond Bluemound Avenue to create a robust episode. Once I started talking to people and walking around, it didn’t really take long to learn that this episode would be interesting and fun – and it is.”
Part of the episode takes place at the historic Calvary Cemetery & Mausoleum, the oldest existing Roman Catholic cemetery in Milwaukee. Co-founder of the City of Milwaukee and its first mayor, Solomon Juneau, is buried there along with Patrick Cudahy, industrialist and founder of the Patrick Cudahy meat packing company, founder of the Miller Brewing Company Frederick Miller, and Matthew Keenan, a local politician who helped to establish the Old Soldiers Home for returning Civil War veterans to recover.
“What I loved most about Calvary was the Mausoleum, and getting insider the rotunda that has not been open to the public for so many years. It’s the resting place of so many historic figures that we know as Milwaukee residents,” said McGivern. “Milwaukee’s Catholic History can be also found and studied on these holy grounds.”
McGivern is really proud of the 9th season, and felt that the show keeps getting better. He said that it has been the best job he has ever had. Looking ahead to the full season, McGivern was excited about the lineup containing shows that depart from the usual formula.
“Season 9 has a few episodes that are not ‘location centered.’ The episode called ‘Then and Now’ gives us a look back on places and businesses and how they’ve changed to stay relevant and important through the years,” added McGivern. “Our last episode of the season is called ‘John McGivern’s Christmas Traditions.’ We had a great time honoring what makes the holiday so special in Milwaukee.”
The Christmas show is based on what the holiday season – and in some ways, the city where he grew up – holds for McGivern. It is expected to be the most anticipated episode of the year, and a classic holiday re-run each December in the years to come. New episodes of “Around the Corner with John McGivern” air at 7:00 p.m. Thursdays on WMVS Channel 10.1 in Milwaukee. The Story Hill episode premieres on February 6.
Season 9 episodes include: Menasha (February 13), Marinette (February 20), New Berlin (February 27), Milwaukee Then & Now (March 5), Janesville (March 12), Shawano (March 19), Ashland (March 26), Jackson Park (April 2), Brewery & Deer Districts (April 9), Marshfield (April 16), Beaver Dam (April 23), and John’s Christmas Traditions (April 30).
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