What’s up doc? WTVP to air new Bugs Bunny special

Transcendence Broadcasting and PBS station WTVP/Peoria are taking a hard look at that “wascally wabbit.” On With The Show!, a look at the cultural impact of Bugs Bunny during the last 80 years will air this fall and next spring.

“We’re very excited to be moving forward with WTVP Remote and pleased that we can air award-winning content like the Bugs Bunny documentary from Transcendence,” said Lesley Matusek, president and CEO of WTVP/Peoria PBS.

The film’s producers worked with Matusek and her colleagues William Baker and Sara Horn on the educational distribution strategy for the project, which includes broadcasting this November and December and next March too during National Music Month, an idea conceived of by Horn at WTVP. 

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The Bugs Bunny documentary film was funded, in part, by the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Association of Independents in Radio. The 30-minute documentary explores Bugs Bunny’s 80-year career, starting in 1940, and continuing through today.

The film features images of the cartoon star, as well as clips of Michael Jordan and Bill Murray, and comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, who were influenced by the character created by Warner Bros. Cartoons) and voiced originally by Mel Blanc.

What is more, the show includes 12 classical music works, by artists from Chopin to Wagner, which were featured in the Bugs Bunny cartoons.

“Many of us learned much of what we know about classical music from Bugs Bunny cartoons,” says Nancy Bruening-Koprowski, an Emmy-nominated and Telly Award-winning producer of the documentary at Transcendence Broadcasting, located in Urbana. “That was the inspiration for the show to document the profound impact that these cartoons have had over the generations. They are not just for kids – they’re for us all.”

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Darius White, executive director of the Urbana Business Association, noted that Transcendence hired a number of local actors for the project, including Carol ZuHone, and Coy Wentworth, who provided the voice of Bugs Bunny in the opening credits and in the closing credits. “The local talent in this film is just amazing,” said White.