PBS

PBS Announces Winter/Spring 2018 Schedule

Last Updated by Susan Timcheck on

Ann Curry - WE'LL MEET AGAIN, Courtesy of ©photo by David Turnley; James Baldwin in the crowd. March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963, Washington, Courtesy of © Dan Budnik - All Rights Reserved; VICTORIA SEASON 2 ON MASTERPIECE, Courtesy of ©ITVStudios2017 for MASTERPIECE; Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Lewis, Courtesy of Pinewood Television, SunnyMarch TV and MASTERPIECE for BBC One and MASTERPIECE

 

- “Victoria” Returns in Season 2 on MASTERPIECE -

 

- Other Highlights Include New Series WE’LL MEET AGAIN

with Ann Curry and “Little Women” on MASTERPIECE -

 

Tony Bennett, Jenna Coleman, Benedict Cumberbatch,

Michael Gambon, Tom Hughes, Kelly Macdonald, Nas, Diana Rigg, Emily Watson and More Light Up the Screen on PBS

Benjamin Bratt, Bill Nye and Two-Time Oscar-nominee Emily Watson to Attend PBS Presentations During the Winter Television Critics Press Tour

 

ARLINGTON, VA; December 6, 2017 PBS today announced its Winter/Spring 2018 schedule lineup, which includes the much-anticipated second season of MASTERPIECE’s hit series “Victoria” (Sundays, January 14-February 25),starring Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes and, this season, Dame Diana Rigg. Also coming from MASTERPIECE is “Little Women” (Sundays, May 13-20) with Emily Watson, Angela Lansbury, Dylan Baker and Michael Gambon in this new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s timeless classic, and “The Child in Time” (Sunday, April 1), based on Ian McEwan’s acclaimed novel and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kelly Macdonald.

Additional highlights include the debut of the new series WE’LL MEET AGAIN (Tuesdays, January 23-February 27) with Ann Curry, which explores some of history’s most dramatic events through the personal stories of those who experienced them, reuniting people whose lives intersected at pivotal moments (view clip here). NATURE’s three-part miniseries “Animals with Cameras” (Wednesdays, January 31-February 14) is a fascinating look at the secret lives of animals, filmed where no human cinematographers can go.

The arts continue to shine on PBS with the premiere of TONY BENNETT: THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS GERSHWIN PRIZE FOR POPULAR SONG (Friday, January 12); GREAT PERFORMANCES concerts from the groundbreaking artists Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hip (Friday, February 2) and will.i.am, as he reunites with the Black Eyed Peas for Landmarks Live in Concert: A GREAT PERFORMANCES Special (Friday, April 13); and “Live From Lincoln Center Presents at the Appel Room” (beginning Spring 2018), a concert miniseries that puts a spotlight on Stephanie J. Block, Sutton Foster, Leslie Odom Jr., and Andrew Rannells with four new episodes, one for each performer, illuminating their journeys to musical stardom, revisiting favorite songs and offering glimpses of future projects. 

PBS will also be home to supersized event programming this season, with the nine-part CIVILIZATIONS (Tuesdays, April 17-May 15, June TBA), which tells the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day — for the first time on a global scale — and THE GREAT AMERICAN READ (Tuesday, May 22), which kicks off a national campaign to choose “America’s Best-Loved Book.”

PBS will honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and recognize the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination with a slate of programs that celebrate his legacy, including the Academy Award-nominated film from INDEPENDENT LENS, “I Am Not Your Negro” (Monday, January 15). The film examines the lives and successive assassinations of three of James Baldwin’s close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Programs airing around Dr. King’s birthday and in honor of Black History Month include AMERICAN MASTERS “Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, about the A Raisin in the Sun playwright (Friday, January 19), INDEPENDENT LENS “Winnie, about the wife of Nelson Mandela (Monday, February 5) and an encore broadcast of AMERICAN MASTERS “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, about the activist, poet and author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Friday, February 16). In April — the anniversary month of Dr. King’s assassination — PBS presents encore broadcasts of Dr. Henry Louis Gates’ BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE (Tuesday, April 3 and Wednesday, April 4) and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “Roads to Memphis” (Wednesday, April 4).


PBS will present its Winter/Spring programming slate during presentations at the Television Critics Association Press Tour on Tuesday, January 16, and Wednesday, January 17, and will include appearances by Angela Lansbury, Emily Watson, Maya Hawke, Annes Elwy, Willa Fitzgerald and Kathryn Newton from MASTERPIECE’s “Little Women, plus Benjamin Bratt and activist Dolores Huerta, PBS icon Bill Nye, acclaimed director Stanley Nelson and more.

The PBS Winter/Spring season includes many additional shows, series and specials, with most program descriptions listed below. More announcements about PBS specials and thematic programs will be made in the coming weeks, including programs for Earth Day and Memorial Day. Please check full listings below. For more information on all programs, visit pressroom.pbs.org.

 

PROGRAM LISTINGS FOR PBS WINTER/SPRING 2018

 

TOP SEASON PICKS

SEASON 2 PREMIERE:  MASTERPIECE “Victoria” (Sundays, January 14-21, 9-11 pm, January 28-February 25, 9-10 pm ET) The dazzling series returns with Jenna Coleman as the feisty rookie monarch, Tom Hughes as her smoldering consort, Prince Albert, Rufus Sewell as her former prime minister and close friend Lord Melbourne, and Dame Diana Rigg joining the acting ensemble. Season 2 takes place against the backdrop of the early years of the Industrial Revolution, when society is changing as fast as the queen’s growing family.

 

MASTERPIECE “Little Women” (Sundays, May 13, at the special time of 8-9 pm ET; May 20, at the special time of 8-10 pm ET) As engaging today as in 1868, Louisa May Alcott’s story follows sisters Jo (Maya Hawke), Meg (Willa Fitzgerald), Beth (Annes Elwy) and Amy (Kathryn Newton) who, together with Laurie (Jonah Hauer-King), journey to adulthood. The cast also includes Emily Watson, Angela Lansbury, Dylan Baker and Michael Gambon.

 

SERIES PREMIERE:  WE’LL MEET AGAIN (Tuesdays, January 23-February 27, 8-9 pm ET)Join Ann Curry for a new series featuring dramatic reunions of people whose lives crossed at pivotal moments. View history through their eyes and hear stories of heroism, hope and the forging of unbreakable bonds.

 

SERIES PREMIERE:  CIVILIZATIONS (Tuesdays, April 17-May 15, 8-9 pm ET; June TBA)Explore the power of art from the earliest civilizations to the present, for the first time on a global scale. The series reveals the role art and the creative imagination have played in the forging of humanity, and introduces new generations to works of beauty, ingenuity and illumination.

 

SERIES LAUNCH EVENT:  THE GREAT AMERICAN READ (Kickoff Show Tuesday, May 22, 8-10 pm ET)  Examine the power, passion and joy of reading, gauged through America’s 100 best-loved books chosen by the public. The multi-part series features reflections from everyday Americans, as well as figures in the entertainment, sports, news and literary worlds, culminating in the first national vote to choose “America’s Best-Loved Book.”

 

NATURE “Animals with Cameras” (Wednesdays, January 31-February 14, 8-9 pm ET) Witness the secret lives of animals as never before as this three-part series uncovers truly unprecedented behavior. See a side of the animal kingdom where human cameramen can’t go and animals become the cinematographers.

 

PBS MONTH-BY-MONTH SCHEDULE

 

JANUARY 2018

INDEPENDENT LENS (Mondays)

This continuing series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers.

INDEPENDENT LENS kicks off the New Year with:

“The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin” (Monday, January 1,10:30 pm-midnight ET) Meet the frank and funny creator of the groundbreaking Tales of the City and follow his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South to a gay rights pioneer whose work has inspired millions. With Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis and Ian McKellen.

 

“I Am Not Your Negro” (Monday, January 15, 9-10:30 pm ET) An Academy Award nominee, the film envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, a revolutionary and personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Additional season information here: INDEPENDENT LENS

 

30TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON PREMIERE: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE (Tuesdays)

This continuing series explores the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present. Television’s most-watched history series, acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, has been honored with every major broadcast award.

“Into the Amazon” (Tuesday, January 9, 9-11 pm ET) Discover the remarkable story of the perilous 1914 journey of Theodore Roosevelt and Brazilian explorer Candido Rondon into the dark and deadly heart of the Amazon rainforest. Featuring the voices of Alec Baldwin, Wagner Moura and Jake Lacy.

Additional season information here: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

 

NOVA (Wednesdays at 9 pm)

The premier science series on PBS explores the science behind the headlines.

“Black Hole Apocalypse” (January 10, 9-11 pm ET) Join astrophysicist and author Janna Levin on a mind-bending journey to the frontiers of black hole research. Discover how scientists observe black holes as they form and reveal new clues to the strangest and most extreme objects in the universe.

Additional information about upcoming episodes here: NOVA

 

TONY BENNETT: THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS GERSHWIN PRIZE FOR POPULAR SONG (Friday, January 12, 9-10:30 pm ET) Enjoy an all-star tribute to the legendary Tony Bennett, the 2017 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The evening, hosted by Bruce Willis, will feature performances by Bennett, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Michael Feinstein, Chris Botti, Wé McDonald, Vanessa Williams, Lukas Nelson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Savion Glover, Gloria Estefan and Stevie Wonder, with Wynton Marsalis as a presenter.

 

SEASON 2 PREMIERE: MASTERPIECE “Victoria” (Sundays, January 14-21, 9-11 pm, January 28-February 25, 9-10 pm ET)  The dazzling series returns with Jenna Coleman as the feisty rookie monarch, Tom Hughes as her smoldering consort, Prince Albert, and Dame Diana Rigg joining the acting ensemble. Season 2 takes place against the backdrop of the early years of the Industrial Revolution, when society is changing as fast as the queen’s growing family.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC (Wednesday, January 17, 10-11 pm ET) Witness stories of people and communities affected by the opioid epidemic, along with information from experts and those on the frontlines. Learn how the nation got into this situation and hear possible solutions and directions for dealing with the crisis.

 

NATURE (Wednesdays at 8 pm ET)

This continuing series explores the splendors and compelling stories of the natural world from all over the globe.

“Arctic Wolf Pack”(Wednesday, January 17, 8-9 pm ET) Discover the white wolf, one of the most hardened predators on the planet, in Ellesmere Island’s unforgiving ice and snow. In a fight for survival, these roaming hunters must travel far from the den to feed their cubs, putting them at risk.  

Additional information here: NATURE

 

AMERICAN MASTERS (Fridays)

This continuing series explores the lives and creative journeys of America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants.

“Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart”(Friday, January 19, 9-11 pm ET) Explore the life and work of the A Raisin in the Sun playwright and activist who played a significant role in the civil rights movement. LaTanya Richardson Jackson narrates. Anika Noni Rose is the voice of Hansberry. 

Additional season information here: AMERICAN MASTERS

 

SERIES PREMIERE:  WE’LL MEET AGAIN (Tuesdays, January 23-February 27, 8-9 pm ET) Join Ann Curry for a new series featuring dramatic reunions of people whose lives crossed at pivotal moments. View history through their eyes and hear stories of heroism, hope and the forging of unbreakable bonds.

 

SECRETS OF THE DEAD  “Scanning the Pyramids”(Wednesday, January 24, 10-11 pm ET) Travel with the scientific team granted unprecedented access by the Egyptian government to solve a 4,500-year-old mystery: what lies within the Great Pyramid at Giza. Using non-invasive technologies, they make a historic discovery.

 

QUEEN ELIZABETH’S SECRET AGENTS (Sundays, January 28-February 11, 10-11 pm ET) Uncover the secret state that helped keep Queen Elizabeth I in power for more than 40 years. During a time when Britain was divided, unstable and violent, the world’s first secret service, run by father-son team William and Robert Cecil, was born.

 

IMPOSSIBLE BUILDS  (Wednesdays, January 31-February 25, 10-11 pm ET) Learn about the creation of some of the world’s most ambitious and technologically advanced buildings. From subaquatic homes to futuristic towers and pencil-thin skyscrapers, see how these previously impossible structures are taking shape.

 

FRONTLINE (Tuesdays, January-February 2018, Dates TBA)

Experience powerful investigative storytelling that answers only to you. From criminal justice to politics to global issues, the reporting of PBS’ flagship public affairs documentary series takes you inside the controversial, complex stories shaping our times.

“Exodus: The Journey Continues” (Tuesday, January 23, 9-11 pm ET) Hear intimate stories of refugees and migrants caught in Europe’s tightened borders. Amid the ongoing migration crisis, the film follows personal journeys over two years, as countries become less welcoming to those seeking refuge.

Additional season information here: FRONTLINE

 

FEBRUARY 2018

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES (Fridays)

This continuing series is television’s longest-running performing arts anthology and features the best in music, dance and theater.

“Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hop"  (Friday, February 2, 9-10 pm ET) Witness the groundbreaking hip-hop artist perform a symphonic rendition of his seminal debut album Illmatic with the National Symphony Orchestra. Nas paints a densely textured lyrical portrait of life in a New York City public housing project.

Additional season information here: GREAT PERFORMANCES

 

INDEPENDENT LENS (Mondays)

This continuing series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers.

 

“Winnie” (February 5, 10-11:30 pm ET) Explore the life of Winnie Mandela and her struggle to bring down apartheid, with intimate insights from those closest to her and testimony from the enemies who sought to extinguish her radical capacity to shake up the order of things.

 

“Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities” (February 19, 9-10:30 pm) Explore the pivotal role that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played in shaping American history, culture and national identity.

Additional season information here: INDEPENDENT LENS

 

POV

The longest-running television showcase featuring the work of the world’s best contemporary-issue independent filmmakers. The season lineup (previously announced) continues this fall.

“Do Not Resist” (Monday, February 12, 10-11:30 pm ET) Director Craig Atkinson puts viewers in the center of the action in this vital and influential exploration of the rapid militarization of the police in the United States. Winner, Best Documentary Feature Award, 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

Additional season information here: POV

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES “Movies for Grownups Awards with AARP The Magazine” (Friday, February 23 at 9 pm ET)

Broadcast for the first time ever, AARP The Magazine’s Movies for Grownups® Awards were established to celebrate and encourage filmmaking with unique appeal to movie lovers with a grownup state of mind—and recognize the inspiring artists who make them. Helen Mirren will receive the 2017 Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award at the 17th annual Movies for Grownups Awards, co-produced by Great Performances

 

AMERICAN CREED (Tuesday, February 27, 9-10 pm ET) Condoleezza Rice and David M. Kennedy cross party lines to ask what ideals we share. Stories of unlikely activists including baseball's Joe Maddon, author Junot Diaz and Marine Tegan Griffith show communities striving to come together across divides.

 

MARCH 2018

 

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BROWN BUFFALO (Friday, March 23, 9-10 pm ET) Explore the life of radical Chicano countercultural icon Oscar Zeta Acosta — the basis for Dr. Gonzo in Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas — in this fresh and genre-defying film that weaves archival footage with dramatized portrayals.

 

CALL THE MIDWIFE, Season 7  (Sundays, March 25, 8-10 pm, April 1-May 6, 8-9 pm ET) Poplar welcomes Lucille Anderson, the first West Indian midwife to be featured as a series regular. Tested as never before, the nuns and nurses face challenging issues, from leprosy, tokophobia and stroke to Huntington’s chorea and unmarried mothers.

 

INTO THE NIGHT (Monday, March 26, 9-11 pm ET) Learn how an astrophysicist, preacher, philosopher and artisanal mortician grapple with universal questions of mortality. Weaving science, cryonics, near-death stories and green burials, this film invites us to rethink our place in the universe.  

 

INDEPENDENT LENS “Dolores” (March 27, 9-11 pm ET) Meet the indomitable Dolores Huerta, who tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Cesar Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant — and unheralded — feminist activists of the 20th century.

 

APRIL 2018

 

MASTERPIECE“The Child in Time” (Sunday, April 1, 9-10:30 pm ET) A moment of distraction triggers a crisis in the lives of a happy, successful British couple in Ian McEwan’s haunting tale of a lost child and redeemed love, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire).

 

MASTERPIECE “Unforgotten” (Sundays, April 8-May 13, 9-10:30 pm ET) Nicola Walker (Last Tango in Halifax) and Sanjeev Bhaskar (Indian Summers) star as police officers investigating the cold-case murder of a boy whose diary implicates four seemingly unconnected couples in a thriller that The Guardian (UK) hailed as “so much more than a satisfying murder mystery.”

 

SERIES PREMIERE:  CIVILIZATIONS (Tuesdays, April 17-May 15, 8-9 pm ET; June TBA) Explore the power of art from the earliest civilizations to the present, for the first time on a global scale. The series reveals the role art and the creative imagination have played in the forging of humanity, and introduces new generations to works of beauty, ingenuity and illumination.

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES (Fridays)

This continuing series is television’s longest-running performing arts anthology and features the best in music, dance and theater.

 

will.i.am − Landmarks Live in Concert: A Great Performances Special (Friday, April 13, 10-11 pm ET) Join will.i.am at London’s Royal Albert Hall as he reunites with the Black Eyed Peas for the first time on stage in more than a decade. The fun-filled event captures the Emmy and Grammy-winning artist, writer and producer in his “second” hometown.

 

POV “Bill Nye: Science Guy” (Wednesday, April 18, 10-11:30 pm ET) Follow Bill Nye, once the host of the popular kids show, as he seeks to change the world through science. He’s shedding the “Science Guy” costume with the goal of creating a more scientifically literate world.

 

LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER PRESENTS (Fridays)

This continuing series celebrates performances by the world’s finest artists on Lincoln Center’s legendary stages.

“Live From Lincoln Center Presents at The Appel Room” (Spring 2018) A four-part special presentation features musical stars Stephanie J. Block, the show-stopping Tony-nominated performer featured in Lincoln Center Theater’s Falsettos as well as Wicked; Sutton Foster, a two-time Tony winner with special guest Jonathan Groff; Leslie Odom, Jr., the 2016 Tony Award-winner for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his legendary performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton; and Andrew Rannells, Grammy-winner for his performance as Elder Price in The Book of Mormon.

Additional season information here: LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER

 

MAY 2018

 

THE JAZZ AMBASSADORS (Friday, May 4,10-11 pm ET) The Cold War and civil rights collide in this remarkable story of music, diplomacy and race. Beginning in 1955, when America asked its greatest jazz artists to travel the world as cultural ambassadors, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and their racially diverse band members faced a painful dilemma: How could they represent a country that still practiced Jim Crow segregation? Leslie Odom, Jr. narrates.

 

MASTERPIECE “Little Women” (Sundays, May 13, at the special time of 8-9 pm ET; May 20, at the special time of 8-10 pm ET) As engaging today as in 1868, Louisa May Alcott’s story follows sisters Jo (Maya Hawke), Meg (Willa Fitzgerald), Beth (Annes Elwy) and Amy (Kathryn Newton) who, together with Laurie (Jonah Hauer-King), journey to adulthood. The cast also includes Emily Watson, Angela Lansbury, Dylan Baker and Michael Gambon.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS (Fridays)

This continuing series explores the lives and creative journeys of America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants.

“Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” (Friday, May 18, 9-11 pm ET) Discover Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr’s secret identity. One of the world’s most beautiful women was also an inventor who designed the basis for secure Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. In “Bombshell,” Lamarr reveals this astonishing story in her own words.

 

SERIES LAUNCH EVENT: THE GREAT AMERICAN READ (Kickoff Show Tuesday, May 22, 8-10 pm ET) Examine the power, passion and joy of reading, gauged through America’s 100 best-loved books chosen by the public. The multi-part series features reflections from everyday Americans, as well as figures in the entertainment, sports, news and literary worlds, culminating in the first national vote to choose “America’s Best-Loved Book.”

 

NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT  (Sunday, May 27, 8-9:30 pm ET) Join co-hosts Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna for the 29th broadcast of this night of remembrance honoring the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country. The concert airs live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol before an audience of hundreds of thousands, millions at home, and to our troops around the world via American Forces Network.

 

CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT (Tuesday, May 29, 8-10 pm ET) Examine the origin, history and impact of the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here ever to become U.S. citizens. The first in a long line of acts targeting the Chinese for exclusion, it remained in force for more than 60 years.

 

About PBS

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CONTACTS:

Michae Godwin, PBS, 703-739-8483, mmgodwin@pbs.org

Cara White / Mary Lugo, CaraMar, Inc.

cara.white@mac.com; lugo@negia.net

For further information and photos visit http://www.pbs.org/pressroom.