PBS Joins Legendary Producers, Award-Winning Actors, Journalists and Popular Newcomers to Bring the American Public the Best Music, Drama and Debate in Fall 2003
Martin Scorsese, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, Lily Tomlin, Tom Hanks, Don Cheadle, Alex Kingston, Bryant Gumbel, Gwen Ifill, Christiane Amanpour, Ken Burns, Keira Knightley, Sam Neill, Hans Matheson, Adam Beach, Peter Fonda, Wes Studi, Eve Ensler and Many Others Lend Their Talents to PBS
This fall, PBS features the best of drama, music, public affairs, nature and independent documentaries. Engaging programming from award-winning producers and directors includes: Martin Scorsese's THE BLUES, a seven film series; Robert Redford's second Tony Hillerman AMERICAN MYSTERY! special entitled A THIEF OF TIME; Ken Burns' whimsical road-trip HORATIO'S DRIVE, featuring narration by Tom Hanks; a provocative mini-series MATTERS OF RACE, a new season of INDEPENDENT LENS, hosted by Don Cheadle, featuring 29 titles as well as new seasons of returning favorites - NOVA, FRONTLINE, NATURE, AMERICAN MASTERS, EXXONMOBIL MASTERPIECE THEATRE, GREAT PERFORMANCES - and a variety of holiday entertainment.
Premieres September 28, 9:00 p.m. ET
Under the guiding hand of executive producer Martin Scorsese, THE BLUES is a series of seven impressionistic and iconoclastic films premiering as part of "Year of the Blues." The films capture the essence of blues music and delve into its global influence - from its roots in Africa to its inspirational role with today's top artists - with each director exploring the music through his own personal connections. Films premiere 9:00 p.m. ET through October 4:
- "Feel Like Going Home" (9/28) directed by Martin Scorsese
- "The Soul of a Man" (9/29) directed by Wim Wenders
- "The Road to Memphis" (9/30) directed by Richard Pearce
- "Warming by the Devil's Fire" (10/1) directed by Charles Burnett
- "Godfathers and Sons" (10/2) directed by Marc Levin
- "Red, White & Blues" (10/3) directed by Mike Figgis
- "Piano Blues" (10/4) directed by Clint Eastwood
HORATIO'S DRIVE: AMERICA'S FIRST ROAD TRIP
Premieres Monday, October 6, 9:00 p.m. ET
Produced and directed by Ken Burns, this is a film about America's first cross-country automotive trip. Horatio Nelson Jackson, a retired Vermont doctor living in San Francisco, was outraged to hear fellow diners at a club bad-mouth the "horseless carriage," so he wagered that he could cross the country by car in under three months. Dr. Jackson purchased a 20-horsepower, open-seated Winton touring car and took off across the U.S. Jackson's letters to his wife from the road, voiced by Tom Hanks, follows this quirky odyssey, which attracted national attention. The automotive team's - which included Bud the dog - arrival in New York (after 63-and-a-half-days on the road) ushered in a century in which the automobile would utterly transform American life.
Season Premiere Thursday, October 9, 9:00 p.m. ET
FRONTLINE continues to present hard-hitting, investigative documentaries focused on critical issues facing the nation from within its borders as well as important global topics. This fall, FRONTLINE presents a three-part series on the state of American medicine.
Season Premieres Tuesday, October 14, 10:00p.m. ET
Hosted by acclaimed actor/director and champion of independent filmmaking Don Cheadle, the new fall/winter season features 29 evenings of independent documentaries, features and shorts taking viewers on a cross-cultural tour of humanity. Dramas include Carlos Avila's "Foto Novellas," Tracy Droz Tragos lament for a father lost in Vietman in "Be Good, Smile Pretty," and Mei-Juin Chen and Martha Burr's "Shaolin Ulysses: Kung Fu Monks in America."
A THIEF OF TIME, AN AMERICAN MYSTERY! SPECIAL
Premieres Sunday, November 16, 9:00 p.m. ET
Following up on the PBS hit SKINWALKERS, Navajo tribal policemen Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee are back for a second thrilling AMERICAN MYSTERY! case, based on the bestselling novel by Tony Hillerman and starring Adam Beach, Wes Studi and Peter Fonda. An archaeologist-turned-pottery poacher thinks she has cracked the secret of the vanished Anasazi culture, when she herself vanishes. As other poachers start dropping dead, Leaphorn and Chee must piece together a case as complicated as the mysteriously decorated pots that seem to motivate the killer.
Additional Monthly Highlights:
Premieres Wednesdays, September 3-24, 2003, 8:00 p.m. ET
This groundbreaking four-part documentary series follows David Suzuki as he embarks on a worldwide, eye-opening journey in search of a new vision of earth and humankind's place on it. Filmed over two years, the series travels across Canada and the United States, and to Brazil, India, Peru, South Africa, England, Bali and Australia to talk with the best minds of the age. Philosophers, scholars, priests and scientists including E.O. Wilson, Ary Goldberger, Brian Goodwin, Wade Davis, Stephen Lansing, Elaine Ingham and James Lovelock share their work and experience and reveal the meaning behind their discoveries.
"Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan and the Blacklist: None Without Sin"
Premieres Wednesday, September 3, 9:00 p.m. ET
Director Elia Kazan (On The Waterfront, East of Eden, A Streetcar Named Desire, Gentleman's Agreement, A Face in the Crowd) was among Hollywood's most respected filmmakers. But in 1952, when he "named names" before the House Un-American Activities Committee, he destroyed careers and relationships. One of those destroyed relationships was with esteemed playwright Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman, A View From the Bridge, The Crucible). Best friends and collaborators for many years before Kazan's testimony, Miller didn't speak to him for a decade afterward. Exploring their personal and artistic relationship, the program is a palpable examination of one of the darkest times in our nation's cultural history.
"The Center of the World"
Premieres September 8, 9:00 p.m. ET
In the eighth episode of Ric Burns' acclaimed "New York: A Documentary Film," AMERICAN EXPERIENCE presents a compelling portrait of the rise and fall of an international symbol of American economic power, the World Trade Center. To understand the impact of September 11, 2001, "The Center of the World" reaches back to 1946 when the idea of building a world trade center in lower Manhattan was first conceived. It chronicles the construction of the towers and explores the astonishing expansion of American economic power during the second half of the 20th century. Turning again to many of the men and women who helped shape the first seven episodes of the series - Mike Wallace, Pete Hamill, Kenneth Jackson and Ada Louise Huxtable among them - the film explores the physical, economic and symbolic aftermath of the attack. "The Center of the World" also examines what Americans can learn from the recovery effort - about who they are and who they will be. David Ogden Stiers narrates.
Season Premieres Monday, September 15, 8:00 p.m. ET
Specialists from the country's leading auction houses - Christies, William Doyle Galleries, Skinner and Sotheby's - and independent dealers from across the nation travel throughout the United States offering free appraisals of antiques and collectibles. ANTIQUES ROADSHOW cameras watch as owners recount tales of family heirlooms, yard sale bargains and long-neglected items salvaged from attics and basements, while experts reveal the fascinating truths about these finds. The seventh season features stops in Cleveland, Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Hot Springs, Arkansas. Dan Elias hosts the fall season and new host Lara Spencer (Good Morning America correspondent) joins the series' eighth season in January 2004.
FLASHPOINTS USA WITH BRYANT GUMBEL AND GWEN IFILL
Second Installment Premieres Tuesday, September 16, 9:00 p.m. ET
Bryant Gumbel and Gwen Ifill, two of the most respected names in journalism, co-host this innovative quarterly series of one-hour news and public affairs specials. Focusing on timely issues permeating American life, FLASHPOINTS USA goes to the communities where these hot zones coalesce -their flashpoints.
MATTERS OF RACE
Premieres Tuesday-Wednesday, September 23-24, 2003, 9:00 p.m. ET
This timely series and outreach project challenges its audience to reconsider the architecture of race, its role in American democracy and its relationship to power in America. Using personal memoirs, autobiographies, interviews and letters from several leading authors, the series explores the complex demands of the country's rapidly changing multiracial and multicultural society. Through the voices and stories of Americans young and old, MATTERS OF RACE shows how lessons from that struggle can inform the way citizens imagine the new America and how they prepare society and themselves for the new century.
"Dying to Leave"
Premieres Thursday, September 25, 9:00 p.m. ET
Every year, an estimated two to four million people are shipped in containers, shepherded through sewage pipes, secreted in car chassis and ferried across frigid waters. Others travel on legitimate carriers but with forged documents. An alarming number of these migrants end up in bondage, forced to work as prostitutes, thieves or laborers in sweatshops. "Dying to Leave," a two-hour special, charts the scope, course and context of the new boom in irregular migration. The film captures the voices of those who pulled up roots, took flight and risked all, and puts a human face on what might otherwise be seen as statistical, overwhelming and remote. Focusing on the harrowing stories of a half dozen migrants from different parts of the world, the special looks into the dire circumstances that drove desperate individuals from their homes.
EXXONMOBIL MASTERPIECE THEATRE
Premieres Sunday, October 12, 9:00 p.m. ET
In the first century A.D, Britain's Boudica, the vengeful warrior queen, came within a stone's throw of bringing Nero's Rome to its knees. "Warrior Queen" reunites actress Alex Kingston with screenwriter Andrew Davies, who scripted "Moll Flanders." Kingston's acclaimed performance in that popular EXXONMOBIL MASTERPIECE THEATRE miniseries led to her starring role as Dr. Elizabeth Corday in "ER."
Premieres Wednesday, October 15, 8:00 p.m. ET
This three-hour special explores the many myths that surround the Churchill legend, revealing the complexity of the real man who was soldier, adventurer, politician, author and arguably the greatest Englishman of the 20th century. Advisor to the series is Churchill's granddaughter, Celia Sandys, author of two major accounts of her grandfather's life. Her unique access and insight into the public and private records of Churchill's life, coupled with previously unseen family photographs and new film material, lend insight into one of the world's most remarkable men. Sir Ian McKellen narrates.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SPECIAL "Inside Mecca"
Premieres Wednesday, October 22, 8:00 p.m. ET
With 1.3 million believers, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. Over 80 percent of its believers live outside the Middle East, but once a year adherents from across the globe converge on Mecca, the birthplace of Muhammad, for Hajj, the largest, most dramatic display of religious fervor in the world. As Muslims ask pardon for their sins and renew their spiritual commitment, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC takes its cameras inside Mecca to capture the exclusive story of the rites and rituals of this fantastic event and the vigils and holy places denied to those of other faiths.
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA: THE BATTLE FOR THE ARAB WORLD
Premieres Wednesday, October 22, 9:00 p.m. ET
The story of T.E. Lawrence is one of courage and guilt, betrayal and triumph. The British Army officer's role in the unification of the Arab tribes against the Turks during World War I endeared him to a generation of Bedouins but also set in motion a chain of events that Lawrence would be powerless to stop - events that would profoundly shape Arab-Western relations for generations to come. Filmed in England and throughout the Middle East, and including rare archival footage, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA: THE BATTLE FOR THE ARAB WORLD draws upon eyewitness accounts of Arabs, Westerners and Lawrence himself to tell the poignant and dramatic tale of one of the 20th century's most influential yet enigmatic figures.
NOVA "The Elegant Universe"
Premieres Tuesday, October 28, 8:00 p.m. ET
String Theory: It's the Holy Grail of physics - the search for ultimate law and order in the universe. And in the last few years, excitement has grown among scientists as they have pursued a revolutionary, mind-boggling new approach to unifying nature's forces. Physicist Brian Greene has a rare gift for conveying physics in vivid everyday images, a gift that has turned his recent book, The Elegant Universe, into a mighty bestseller. Now Greene brings his talent and vitality to television for the first time. A highly innovative Matrix-like production style makes the surreal world of string theory spring to life on the screen.
Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET
NATURE kicks off a slate of new programs with a two-part special on the "Kalahari"(w.t.) -from swirling hot sands that host an unseen abundance of life including butterflies, termites and locusts to rain-swollen deltas that provide habitat for crocodiles and eagles - airing November 2 and 9. The series' new season also explores white sharks, wild stallions and the ways in which animals teach humans.
EXXONMOBIL MASTERPIECE THEATRE
Premieres Sunday, November 2, 9:00 p.m. ET
This lavish new adaptation of Boris Pasternak's epic love story set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution is scripted by celebrated screenwriter Andrew Davies. Starring Hans Matheson (Mists of Avalon) as the dreamy poet-physician, Yury Zhivago; Keira Knightley (Bend It Like Beckham, Pirates of the Caribbean) as the love of his life, Lara Antipova; and Sam Neil (Jurassic Park, The Piano) as politico Victor Komarovsky, Lara's seducer and stalker, this new version is closer to Pasternak's original text than David Lean's famous 1965 feature film.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SPECIAL
"Inside Special Forces"
Premieres Wednesday, November 5, 8:00 p.m. ET
On September 18, 2002, the Pentagon announced a plan to consolidate control of most of the global war on terrorism under the U.S. Special Operations Command, signaling an intensified covert approach to the next phase in the battle against al Qaeda and other international terrorist groups. In an exclusive special, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC goes deep into the secret world of U.S. Special Operations. With unprecedented access, "Inside Special Forces" profiles the members of this elite military unit from the home front to the front line of the war on terror around the world.
REPORTING AMERICA AT WAR
Premieres Wednesday November 5, 9:00 p.m. ET
Illuminating myriad tensions and contradictions at work in a democracy at war, producer Stephen Ives examines the role of American journalists in the pivotal conflicts of the last 100 years through the experiences of noted journalists such as Walter Cronkite, David Halberstam and Christiane Amanpour. "The Romance of War" is the title of the first episode; episode two is entitled "Which Side Are You On?" (November 12).
"Wright Brothers' Flying Machine"
Premieres Tuesday, November, 11, 8:00 p.m. ET; Encore December 16, 8:00 p.m. ET, the exact 100th anniversary of the first flight.
NOVA celebrates the centennial of man's first controlled, sustained and powered flight. To bring the Wrights' technological genius to life, NOVA features authentic replicas of their brilliantly conceived craft, as shown in thrilling test flights. The climax is the construction and hopeful maiden flight of a replica Wright 1911 Model B, the pinnacle of the brothers' accomplishments and the world's first practical passenger-carrying flying machine, with all the essential technical features of today's aircraft.
Premieres Veteran's Day, Tuesday, November 11, 9:00 p.m. ET
From Bull Run to Mogadishu, AMERICAN VALOR takes a moving and compelling look at America's military heroes - the brave soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen whose actions have earned them the country's highest recognition, the Medal of Honor. Stories of the recipients unfold through newsreel footage, photographs, military art and interviews. To date, the Medal of Honor has been bestowed upon 3,440 individuals, only one woman among them - a Civil War doctor.
Monday and Tuesday, November 17-18, 9:00 p.m. ET
To mark the 40th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE reprises "The Kennedys," a dramatic portrait of America's most famous political family and their repeated pursuit of the presidency. The all-new companion Web site (pbs.org/amex/kennedys), launching in July 2003, will feature an interactive Kennedy family tree; interviews with historian Robert Dalleck on JFK and journalist Adam Clymer on Ted Kennedy; historic documents from the Kennedy FBI files; a gallery of photos taken at the family's Hyannis Port compound and more.
"Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?"
Thursday, November 20, 9:00 p.m. ET
On Thursday, FRONTLINE marks the 40th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination with an encore broadcast of "Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?" - an investigative biography of the man at the center of the political crime of the century. The three-hour documentary traces Oswald's life from his boyhood to that fateful day in Dallas, November 22, 1963.
ONSTAGE AT THE KENNEDY CENTER: THE MARK TWAIN PRIZE
Premieres Wednesday, November 26, at 9:00 p.m. ET
A salute to Lily Tomlin, the 2003 recipient of the most prestigious prize for American humor, the 90-minute special will feature classic film and television clips, tributes and comic performances from an all-star cast of Tomlin's friends and colleagues.
"What I Want My Words to Do to You"
Premieres Tuesday, December 16, 9:00 p.m. ET
Taking an unprecedented look into the minds and hearts of the women inmates of New York's Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, this film follows a writing workshop led by playwright Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues). Throughout the film, they delve into and expose the most terrifying places in themselves as they grapple with the nature of their crimes and their own culpability. The film culminates in an emotionally charged prison performance of the women's writing by acclaimed actresses Mary Alice, Glenn Close, Hazelle Goodman, Rosie Perez and Marisa Tomei.
"Get the Fire! Young Mormon Missionaries Abroad"
Premieres Tuesday, December 23, 10:00 p.m. ET
At age 19, young Mormon men are expected to put their daily lives on hold and devote two years to spreading their faith throughout the world. They go in pairs to live in different towns and countries, with one task: to talk about God to everyone they meet. Produced by Nancy du Plessis, "Get the Fire!" follows three young missionaries from the time they receive their mission calls until they finish their 22-month missions in Germany.
CHRISTMAS AT BAYLOR (w.t.)
Premieres Tuesday, December 23, 9:00 p.m. ET; Encore presentation Thursday, December 25, 9:00 p.m. ET
The performing ensembles of Baylor University present a celebration of the holiday that highlights some of America's favorite Christmas selections, including "Hear the Bells on Christmas Day," "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," "What Child Is This" and "O Holy Night."
ARTHUR'S PERFECT CHRISTMAS
Wednesday, December 24, 8:00 p.m. ET
Plans are under way in Elwood City for the best holidays ever as Arthur, D.W., their family and friends make preparations for perfect gifts, perfect parties and perfect family traditions for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and even "Baxter Day" (Buster and his mom's special celebration). The only problem is, just like in real life, perfection is hard to attain, and things start to fall apart.
"The Nutcracker from the Royal Ballet"
Wednesday, December 24, 9:00 p.m. ET
Since its first production in St. Petersburg more than a century ago, The Nutcracker's charming story, dazzling choreography and magnificent score have combined to make it one of the most popular and enduring ballets the world over. Treasured not only by traditional ballet audiences but by generations of children who have participated in its productions, this perennially beloved tale of holiday enchantment returns to GREAT PERFORMANCES in Sir Peter Wright's unique version from the beautifully restored Covent Garden Opera. The acclaimed cast includes Ivan Putrov as the Nutcracker, Alina Cojocaru as Clara and Sir Anthony Dowell as the toy and clockmaker Herr Drosselmeyer.
LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER
"New York Philharmonic New Year's Eve Gala"
Wednesday, December 31, 8:00 p.m. ET
Sir Andrew Davis conducts the New York Philharmonic in this concert with soprano RenŽe Fleming. The program includes Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun," Ravel's "ShŽhŽrazade," selections from Bizet's Carmen and French opera arias, and the overture to Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld.
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