PBS Confirms Premiere Date for HAMILTON’S AMERICA, a Behind-the-Scenes Special on the Making of the Tony Award-Winning Broadway Phenomenon and Centerpiece of PBS Arts Fall Festival
MASTERPIECE Offers New Seasons of “Poldark” and “Indian Summers”
Renée Fleming Performance to Headline PBS TCA Press Tour Sessions Also Featuring Josh Radnor, John Singleton and Aidan Turner, andTony Award-winner Sophie Okonedo
Election and History Specials Bring New Insights Into Past and Present
PBS’ fall 2016 primetime schedule is rich in politics, arts, drama and political history, covering a span from the American Revolution to the upcoming Presidential election. FRONTLINE’s acclaimed series “The Choice 2016”returns on September 27 with an in-depth look at this year’s presidential candidates, while THE CONTENDERS – 16 FOR ’16, debuting September 13, looks back at previous elections through the stories of former candidates. History and politics carry over into the arts with “Hamilton’s America” from GREAT PERFORMANCES, an intimate look at the making of the wildly successful Broadway production of Hamilton, winner of 11 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, which kicks off the sixth season of the PBS ARTS FALL FESTIVAL on October 21. Fall 2016 also brings the highly–anticipated return of “Poldark” on MASTERPIECE (date TBA), whose Season 2 continues the story of Captain Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) in a love story set in windswept Cornwall of the late 1700s. On September 6, PBS presents 9/11 INSIDE THEPENTAGON, a documentary that goes behind the scenes at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and airs in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the attack [VIEW CLIP]. On September 20, Ken Burns’s DEFYING THE NAZIS: THE SHARPS’ WAR tells the moving story of an American couple who rescued hundreds trying to escape the Nazis [VIEW CLIP].
Image: (L) MASTERPIECE “Poldark,” Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark. © Robert Viglasky/Mammoth Screen for MASTERPIECE. (R) GREAT PERFORMANCES “Hamilton’s America,” Phillipa Soo and Lin-Manuel Miranda. © Joan Marcus
As part of PBS’ commitment to education, the fall season will kick off with “SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION”, a week of primetime programming focused on the challenges facing America’s education system. Starting Monday, Sept.12, PBS will lead a national dialogue on-air, online and across communities, exploring ideas and solutions to improve outcomes for all of America’s youth. National broadcast programs include POV “All the Difference,” TED TALKS “Education Revolution,” [VIEW CLIP] FRONTLINE “The Diploma Mill,” (w.t.), NOVA “School of the Future,” CRAFT IN AMERICA “Teachers” and TIME FOR SCHOOL. Funding for these programs is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), in partnership with PBS, as part of the public media initiative, “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen.”
On October 25, “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” on AMERICAN MASTERS celebrates the life of the acclaimed, and often controversial, TV writer and producer. In BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE, which debuts in two-parts on November 15 and November 22, acclaimed scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the last 50 years of African-American history, looking at culture, politics and an ever-changing racial landscape to explore the remarkable progress, daunting setbacks and deep contradictions of black America. ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, a new feature film starring Martin Sheen and based on the iconic book by L.M. Montgomery, will air on Thanksgiving night, November 24.
As part of PBS’ partnership with NPR to cover the 2016 elections, the 2016 Campaign Connection site offers a round-up of election coverage from across public media. FRONTLINE’s “The Choice 2016” and THE CONTENDERS – 16 FOR ’16 are part of the PBS ELECTION 2016 lineup, which brings together venerable news and public affairs shows with new programs and specials to offer viewers information and insights about the 2016 elections, the candidates and key issues for voters. PBS NEWSHOUR, WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL and PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND will provide distinctive coverage of the ongoing national, state and local campaigns, as well as presidential and vice presidential debates. On election night, PBS NEWSHOUR will offer live coverage of national and local results.
“PBS’ fall programming truly stands out for its amazing variety, quality and diversity,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS’ Chief Programming Executive and General Manager. “Like the artists who populate our Friday primetime cultural programs this fall, PBS brings new perspectives to stories both well-known and untold. PBS viewers will discover everything from joyous musical creations to thoughtful approaches to presidential elections, learn from biographies of acclaimed Americans and find inspiration even in history’s darkest hours.”
MASTERPIECE enhances PBS’ Sunday night drama block with the September 11 debut of CHURCHILL’S SECRET, with Emmy® Award-winner Michael Gambon as Winston Churchill in an all-star production based on a little-known incident in Churchill’s illustrious life. Following CHURCHILL’S SECRET on September 11 is INDIAN SUMMERS, set during the tumultuous period of British Colonialism in the 1930s. Rachel Griffiths and Art Malik join Julie Walters, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, and Nikesh Patel for Season 2 of the picturesque series. POLDARK, starring Aidan Turner in a love story set in windswept Cornwall in the late 1700s, returns for a second highly-anticipated season (date TBA).
The PBS Arts Fall Festival kicks off on October 21, and continues with a number of new programs on Friday nights throughout the fall. Joining “Hamilton’s America” from GREAT PERFORMANCES are Imelda Staunton as the iconic Momma Rose in a British revival of the classic American musical “Gypsy” and “Shakespeare Live! From the Royal Shakespeare Company.” LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER returns to the festival this year with “Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater” and pianist “Lang Lang’s New York Rhapsody.” Full broadcast dates and several other programs that are part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival will be announced later. SOUNDBREAKING: STORIES FROM THE CUTTING EDGE OF RECORDED MUSIC, an eight-episode series that explores how cutting edge technology combines with human artistry to create modern recorded music, premieres on November 14. ART IN THE 21ST CENTURY, hosted by Claire Danes and produced by ART21 premieres a new season on September 16.
PBS will unveil many of these new shows at the Television Critics Association Press Tour July 28 and 29 with a range of stars from the worlds of arts and politics. Talent appearing at the TCA include Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes, Rufus Sewell and Daisy Goodwin for MASTERPIECE “Victoria”; Aidan Turner, Heida Reed and Eleanor Tomlinson for Season 2 of “Poldark” on MASTERPIECE; Ken Burns for DEFYING THE NAZIS: THE SHARPS’ WAR; McKinley Belcher III, Gary Cole, Hannah James andJosh Radnor for MERCY STREET Season 2; Tom Sturridge,Sophie Okonedo and award-winning director Dominic Cooke forGREAT PERFORMANCES “The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses”; and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE. A panel introducing THE CONTENDERS – 16 FOR ’16 will feature series producer Carlos Watson (host of the weekly PBS talk show POINT TAKEN) and several of the politicians who appear in the series, which showcases the memorable presidential and vice presidential campaigns of Howard Dean, Michael Dukakis, Ralph Nader and John McCain, among others. PBS will also welcome Kenya Barris, creator and executive producer of black-ish, and Oscar-nominated filmmaker John Singleton on a panel for THE TALK. PBS is delighted to feature a special performance by celebrated soprano and music ambassador Renée Fleming. The star of many PBS productions, Ms. Fleming most recently was featured in PBS’ National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC. Her next project, which she curated, will be the broadcast of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “Bel Canto” on GREAT PERFORMANCES (airdate TBA). Other talent and performers will be announced later.
A chronological listing of Fall 2016 PBS programs follows, grouped by month and premiere date:
SEPTEMBER ON PBS:
POV “The Birth of Saké” – Go behind the scenes at Japan’s Yoshida Brewery, where a brotherhood of artisans, ranging from 20 to 70, spend six months in nearly monastic isolation as they follow an age-old process to create saké, the nation’s revered rice wine.Monday, September 5, 10-11 p.m. ET
9/11 INSIDE THE PENTAGON – On September 11, 2001 at 9:37 a.m. American Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon killing 184 people. What happened behind the walls of the Pentagon is a largely untold chapter in history. Fifteen years later, survivors and first responders shed light on that tragic day. Tuesday, September 6, 8-9 p.m. ET
AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS: THE NEW DECIDERS– Learn how Asian-American, black millennial, Arab-American, and Latino evangelical voters are exerting their growing strength and influence in this 2016 election special about power and politics, demographics and democracy. Tuesday, September 6, 10-11 p.m. ET
CHURCHILL’S SECRET ON MASTERPIECE – Michael Gambon (The Singing Detective, Harry Potter) stars as Winston Churchill in this dramatization of Churchill’s life-threatening stroke in the summer of 1953, when he was prime minister for the second time. His illness and battle to recover were kept secret from the world. Lindsay Duncan (Birdman) plays Churchill’s wife Clementine, and Romola Garai (The Hour) is the remarkable young nurse who cared for him. Sunday, September 11, 8-10 pm ET
INDIAN SUMMERS ON MASTERPIECE – It’s 1935 in Simla—an Indian retreat for British colonials set in the Himalayas. An assassination attempt on the Viceroy Lord Willingdon (Patrick Malahide), and the surprise arrival of Lord Hawthorne (James Fleet, Outlander), puts Ralph’s (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) future in the balance. Meanwhile, Cynthia’s (Julie Walters) Royal Simla Club plays host to an important royal guest, the Maharaja Maritpur (Art Malik, Upstairs Downstairs) and his elegant and mysterious mistress Sirene (Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters). Sundays, September 11-November 20, 10-11 p.m. ET Continue reading →