PBS Announces Winter/Spring 2011 Lineup Celebrating Those Who Dared to Be First

Posted by PBS Publicity on

NOVA Moves to New Wednesday Night Slot Debuting With
David Pogue’s “Making Stuff” on January 19

New Wednesday Night Line-up Delves Into Science and Exploration

This Winter/Spring 2011 season, PBS celebrates True Originals — innovators, artists, scientists, political leaders and ordinary citizens who dared to advance, challenge, improve, invent and explore. From the inspiring stories of those who risked their lives for a cause to the early television pioneers to the innovators who seek to make things better, PBS presents a new season of original programs that enrich lives and expand horizons.

Premieres January 3, 2011
Pack a snack, grab a compass and head out for adventure with the energetic and enthusiastic creature exploring brothers, Martin and Chris Kratt in the new PBS KIDS GO! series WILD KRATTS.

Sundays, January 9-30, 2011, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET
The miniseries that took the UK by storm comes to PBS. Described by the Brit press as “...more scandal and costume envy than an episode of ‘Gossip Girl’” (Marie Claire UK) and “makes almost everything else... seem bland and two-dimensional” (The Times of London). Created by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), “Downton Abbey” depicts the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them, set at their Edwardian country house in 1912. Featuring an all-star cast including Hugh Bonneville (MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Miss Austen Regrets”), Dame Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern. Laura Linney hosts.

AMERICAN MASTERS “Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides”
Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET
Meet the man who pulls off a movie where his character is simply known as “The Dude.” Called “the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor that has ever lived” by über-critic Pauline Kael, this film profiles Jeff Bridges, an Oscar-winner who embodies traits far beyond brilliance as an actor.

Tuesdays, January 18-February 8, 2011, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Where would TV be without “Star Trek,” “Columbo,” “Romper Room” or “Gunsmoke”? The series returns for a look at the inception of four popular genres: science fiction, crime dramas, local kids’ TV and westerns.

NOVA “Making Stuff”
*NEW NIGHT* Wednesdays, January 19-February 9, 2011, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
NOVA kicks off its new night on Wednesdays with the premiere of the four-part miniseries, “Making Stuff.” What’s in the lab today could be in your life tomorrow. Join The New York Times technology columnist David Pogue as he discovers how the “stuff” in our world is becoming stronger, smaller, cleaner and smarter.

NOVA scienceNOW
Wednesdays, January 19-February 23, 2011, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Leading into NOVA, each episode of the upcoming season of NOVA scienceNOW explores one of six “big” science questions: “Can We Make It to Mars?”; “Can We Live Forever?”; “How Does the Brain Work?”; “How Smart are Animals?”; “Where did I Come From?”; and “What’s the Next Big Thing?”

NOVA “Smartest Machine on Earth”
Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
NOVA investigates the world of artificial intelligence and profiles the computer that could be the “Smartest Machine on Earth.” Known as “Watson,” this IBM supercomputer is so advanced it’s pursuing the first-of-its-kind challenge competing against “Jeopardy!” champions to prove its uncanny ability to mimic the human thought process. This program is the culmination of a special NOVA three-hour primetime block on February 9 dubbed as “The Smartest Night on TV”: NOVA scienceNOW’s “How Smart Are Animals?” at 8:00 pm ET, followed by NOVA’s “Making Stuff Smarter” at 9:00 pm ET, concluding with NOVA’s “Smartest Machine on Earth” at 10:00 pm ET.

Sundays, February 13-27, 2011, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET
William Boyd adapts his acclaimed 2002 novel about a man — at various times a writer, lover, prisoner of war and spy — making his often precarious way through the 20th century. Matthew MacFadyen, Gillian Anderson, Hayley Atwell, Kim Cattrall and Jim Broadbent star. Laura Linney hosts.

AMERICAN MASTERS “Troubadours: James Taylor, Carole King and the California Scene” and GREAT PERFORMANCES “Harry Connick Jr. in Concert on Broadway”
Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET and 9:30-11:00 p.m. ET
Join three American masters and three great performers for a night of amazing stories and music. James Taylor and Carole King are the subjects of an all new AMERICAN MASTERS and Harry Connick Jr. graces the stage for GREAT PERFORMANCES.

*ENCORE PRESENTATION* Sunday-Thursday, April 3-7, 2011, 8:00 p.m. ET
On the 150th anniversary of the beginning of America’s Civil War, PBS re-broadcasts Ken Burns’s entire landmark 1990 series. Burns’s epic documentary brings to life America’s most destructive — and defining — conflict.

MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Upstairs Downstairs”
Sundays, April 10-24, 2011, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
An updated version of one of the most-loved and most-honored series in television history, with a new cast of characters and Jean Marsh reprising her Emmy-winning role as Rose. The cast also includes the original series co-creator Dame Eileen Atkins (MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Cranford”), Keeley Hawes (“MI-5”), Ed Stoppard and Art Malik (“The Jewel in the Crown”). The script is by Emmy-nominee Heidi Thomas (MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Cranford”). Laura Linney hosts.

Tuesdays, April 19-May 10, 2011, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Travel with Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. across Latin America to explore what happens when African and Hispanic worlds meet. Four-part series.

NATURE “Bears of the Last Frontier” (w.t.)
Sundays, May 8-22, 2011, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Take a spin with adventurer and bear biologist Chris Morgan as he motorcycles deep into the Alaskan wild to explore the amazing resiliency and adaptability of bears through five dramatic ecosystems.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 10:00 p.m-12:00 a.m. ET
She evolved from pampered princess to polarizing politician in the most dangerous country on earth. Accused of rampant corruption, imprisoned, then exiled abroad, Benazir Bhutto was called back to Pakistan in 2007 as her country’s best hope for democracy only to be struck down by assassins. Witness this amazing true story of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto by Duane Baughman.

Monday, May 16, 2011, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s powerful and inspirational story of the more than 400 black and white men and women who, using non-violent tactics, risked their lives to challenge segregated travel facilities in the South in 1961.

For images, video and additional up-to-date information on the PBS Winter/Spring 2011 season, visit PBS PressRoom.

About PBS
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 118 million people through television and nearly 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet.

– PBS –

Cara White, CaraMar Publicity, 843-881-1480; cara.white@mac.com
Carrie Johnson, PBS, 703-739-5129; cjohnson@pbs.org
Clare Bender, PBS, 703-739-8681; cmbender@pbs.org

For images and additional up-to-date information on this and other PBS programs, visit PBS PressRoom at pbs.org/pressroom.