PBS Offers Expansive Slate of New Programming This Summer
– Programs Traverse the Globe with New Arts Specials, a Major New Series, Gavel-to-Gavel Convention Coverage, Independent Films, and a Celebration of British Culture –
ARLINGTON, VA; April 26, 2012 – PBS unveiled today an expansive summer line-up featuring a diverse array of new programming. Shows premiering this summer include the PBS ARTS SUMMER FESTIVAL, a seven-part celebration saluting arts and culture from the Middle East to South Texas; the debut of MARKET WARRIORS, a major new series that focuses on nationwide treasure hunts for flea market finds; QUEEN & COUNTRY and MICHAEL WOOD’S STORY OF ENGLAND, two shows that highlight British history and tradition just in time for the 2012 Olympic Games; and PBS ELECTION 2012, which includes full primetime coverage of the Republican and Democratic Conventions from PBS NEWSHOUR.
New episodes of PBS favorites also debut this summer, including a star-studded gala on A CAPITOL FOURTH; compelling independent documentaries from INDEPENDENT LENS and POV, now celebrating its 25th anniversary; new investigations on HISTORY DETECTIVES; new MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! productions; and updates to vintage episodes of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
“PBS and our stations will provide a truly amazing range of programs this summer, including an impressive selection of brand new shows,” said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger. “From showcasing artistic expression and culture with the PBS Arts Summer Festival, to the debut of a major new series on flea market adventures, to in-depth election coverage, the summer schedule is bursting with new content. Plus, viewers can bring PBS with them on vacation this summer with our ever-expanding programming on the PBS Video site and our mobile apps.”
New Series Premieres:
MARKET WARRIORS Treasure hunters embark on an antiques adventure in MARKET WARRIORS, a new series from the producers of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, the hit PBS series and forerunner of television’s antiques and collectibles genre. In MARKET WARRIORS, expert shoppers scour flea markets across the country for vintage valuables, selling their finds at auction with an eye towards maximizing profit. In each episode, four pickers travel to different markets across the country to purchase items with a set amount of money, and use their knowledge and skills to see who can make the most profit at auction. Producer: WGBH Boston. Mondays, premiering July 16, 9:00 p.m. ET
QUEEN & COUNTRY and MICHAEL WOOD’S STORY OF ENGLAND The PBS mega-hit MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Downton Abbey” made all things British hip in America. Amid the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and following closely on the heels of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration, PBS presents two new series that focus on Her Majesty and the history of her country.
- QUEEN & COUNTRY, a four-part series, focuses on the sudden rise and incredible longevity of Queen Elizabeth. From London to Liverpool, Westminster Abbey to Western Australia, join newsman Sir Trevor McDonald for a look at the traditions and institutions surrounding the country’s second-longest monarchy. Producer: Colonial Pictures. Sundays, July 1-22, 8:00 p.m. ET
- MICHAEL WOOD’S STORY OF ENGLAND, a unique and enlightening four-part series hosted by historian Michael Wood, relates the 2,000-year-old history of England as seen through the people – not the rulers – of the small town of Kibworth, Leicestershire. Join Wood as he recovers the lost history of the town’s first 1,000 years, charts its experiences during centuries of political and social upheaval and addresses its current status as a growing, multicultural village. Producer: Maya Vision International for BBC. Tuesdays, July 3-17, 8:00 p.m. ET
Continuing Specials and Series, in premiere order:
PBS ARTS SUMMER FESTIVAL PBS keeps its attention on the arts with the seven-part PBS ARTS SUMMER FESTIVAL, giving viewers front-row seats and backstage passes to the very best arts programming. Following the first PBS Arts festival last fall, this new season, beginning June 29, includes a series of independent films that highlight a diversity of artistic disciplines and subjects. The kick-off film, MARIACHI HIGH, is the heart-warming and heart-wrenching story of South Texas student musicians whose award-winning Mariachi band is a source of civic pride and rigorous discipline.
The Festival closes August 10 with a spectacular concert celebrating Tanglewood Music Festival’s 75th Anniversary. Located in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, Tanglewood is one of the world's most beloved music festivals. The performance, a presentation of GREAT PERFORMANCES, will feature appearances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), the Boston Pops, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra — led by conductors John Williams, Keith Lockhart and Andris Nelsons — and iconic Tanglewood artists Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Peter Serkin and James Taylor. The wide-ranging program, which will be taped on July 14, will include Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”; Leonard Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from On the Town; selections from the Great American Songbook; Franz Joseph Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D, 2nd and 3rd movements; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Andante cantabile for cello and strings; Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, for violin and orchestra; Maurice Ravel’s “La Valse”; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy.
The PBS ARTS SUMMER FESTIVAL schedule follows. (Note: More details available in a separate PBS ARTS release at pbs.org/pressroom.)
•MARIACHI HIGH, June 29, 2012, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Producers: Kelly Sheehan and Ilana Trachtman
•ISLAMIC ART: MIRROR OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD, July 6, 2012, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Directors and producers: Robert Gardner, Michael Wolfe and Alex Kronemer
•JOHN LEGUIZAMO'S TALES FROM A GHETTO KLOWN, July 13, 2012, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Producer: Ben DeJesus
•HOMECOMING: THE KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY PRESENTS JOYCE DiDONATO, July 20, 2012, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Producers: Randy Mason, Angee Simmons and James Arntz
•HAVANA, HAVANA!, July 27, 2012, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Producer: David Grubin
•THE BARNES COLLECTION, August 3, 2012, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Producers: Glenn Holsten and Trudi Brown
•GREAT PERFORMANCES “Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration,” August 10, 2012, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Producers: John Walker and Mitch Owgang. Series Producer: Bill O’Donnell. Executive Producer: David Horn.
A CAPITOL FOURTH Celebrate America’s birthday with A CAPITOL FOURTH, the country’s favorite Independence Day tradition. Featuring unrivaled performances from some of the country’s best-known musical artists and topped off with the nation’s greatest fireworks display, A CAPITOL FOURTH airs live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands. Producer: Capital Concerts. Wednesday, July 4, 8:00 p.m. ET; rpt. 9:30 p.m. ET
Election News from America’s “Most-Trusted Source”:
PBS ELECTION 2012 PBS’ on-air and online news and public affairs programs — PBS NEWSHOUR, FRONTLINE, WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL and NEED TO KNOW — together provide intelligent, independent and in-depth coverage and analysis of the 2012 presidential campaigns, the candidates and the key issues affecting voters. A recent study by Public Policy Polling showed that PBS remains American viewers’ most-trusted news source on television. This summer, PBS will provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of the conventions as well as ongoing, up-to-the-minute coverage of election news.
- PBS NEWSHOUR, hosted by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, takes viewers on the road for the presidential conventions (RNC in Tampa, Fl, August 27-30, and DNC in Charlotte, NC, September 4-6) and to the presidential and vice-presidential debates. Producer: MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. Weeknights
- NEED TO KNOW “Campaign 2012” covers important issues affecting voters, including immigration, healthcare, education, jobs, the environment and the economy, with political experts reporting from key states. Producer: WNET New York. Fridays, 8:30 p.m. ET
- WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL AND NATIONAL JOURNAL will wrap up top political news stories of the week with some of Washington’s most renowned journalists, including three special broadcasts from the campaign trail. Producer: WETA Washington, DC. Fridays, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Additionally, CHARLIE ROSE and TAVIS SMILEY will feature election-related guests and content.
New Episodes from Ongoing Series in premiere order:
FRONTLINEcontinues to present timely, compelling and engaging investigative documentaries that explore the stories and issues of the times, including a two-hour special devoted to the impact of AIDS on the African-American community. Producer: WGBH Boston. Tuesdays, 10:00 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS PBS’ Emmy Award-winning weekly series INDEPENDENT LENS, hosted by actress Mary-Louise Parker, continues with two new documentaries, one about Olympic weightlifter Cheryl Haworth and the other about the unforgettable moment in history when AIDS devastated San Francisco in 1981. Producer: ITVS. Thursdays, June 14 at 10:00 p.m. ET and July 26, 9:00 p.m. ET
INSIDE NATURE’S GIANTS Watch veterinary specialists and biologists dissect some of the most fascinating animals on the planet to uncover their evolutionary secrets. INSIDE NATURE’S GIANTS, which The New York Times calls “illuminating,” premieres two exciting new programs. Producer: Windfall Films. Wednesdays, June 20-27, 10:00 p.m. ET
- “Giant Squid”: Examine one of the biggest, yet most mysterious animals on Earth — the giant squid, a deep-sea animal that has never been observed in the wild.
- “Camel”: Brave the baking desert with scientists Mark Evans and Joy Reidenberg as they dissect a camel to uncover the features that allow it to adapt and thrive in the dry desert environment.
POV Beginning its 25th season on PBS and featuring seven new shows, the award-winning POV (Point of View) is the longest-running showcase to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. Witness the epic story of an exiled Tibetan Buddhist master, hear about a documentary that helped indict a former dictator, take an amusing and touching look at the obsession with romance novels and more. Producer: American Documentary. Thursdays, beginning June 21, 10:00 p.m. ET
“My Reincarnation” – Season premiere Thursday, June 21, 2012, 10:00 p.m. ET
Filmed over 20 years by acclaimed documentarian Jennifer Fox, “My Reincarnation” chronicles the epic story of exiled Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Western-born son, Yeshi. With intimate access to both the family and the Dalai Lama, Fox distills a decades-long drama into a universal story about love, transformation and destiny.
MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! This summer, MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! presents the best British mysteries. Producer: WGBH Boston. Sundays, beginning July 1, 9:00 p.m. ET
“Endeavour”: The back story to famed detective Inspector Morse; Shaun Evans stars as Endeavour Morse, the rookie constable who plans to resign until a murder occurs that only he can solve. July 1
“Inspector Lewis”: Kevin Whately returns for a fifth season as Inspector Lewis. He and his young partner DS Hathaway (Laurence Fox) continue to solve cases in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford. July 8-29
- “The Soul of Genius” – July 8 When the body of an obsessive Oxford English professor is discovered ritually buried, Lewis and Hathaway are set upon a seemingly impossible quest to uncover the truth. James Fleet (“Little Dorrit”) and Celia Imrie (“Cranford”) guest star.
- “Generation of Vipers” – July 15 Suspicions abound as Lewis and Hathaway investigate the death of a lovelorn Oxford professor. Was her death caused by an embarrassing internet leak or something much more sinister? Toby Stephens (“Jane Eyre”) guest stars.
- “Fearful Symmetry” – July 22 Lewis and Hathaway are drawn into a darker side of Oxford while investigating the murder of a suburban babysitter.
- “The Indelible Strain” – July 29 A controversial American academic is found strangled after a guest lecture at Oxford, leading Lewis and Hathaway to narrow down a list of motives that includes politics, ambition and vengeance in order to find their culprit.
“Wallander”: In three new episodes, Kenneth Branagh returns to his Emmy-nominated role as the soul-searching Swedish cop. September 9-23
- “An Event in Autumn” – September 9A disturbed young woman falls from a ferry. Wallander suspects suicide until the body of another female turns up in his garden. Saskia Reeves (“Page Eight”) guest stars.
- “The Dogs of Riga” – September 16Murdered drug-runners from Latvia turn up in a boat in Swedish waters, sending Wallander to Riga to probe a series of torture killings. Rebekah Staton (“Tess of the D’Urbervilles”) guest stars.
- “Before the Frost” – September 23A religious cult bent on violent retribution brings Wallander together with his estranged daughter Linda. Jeany Spark (“Sherlock”) guest stars.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW PBS’ classic series ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is brought up-to-date with a six-part series that travels back to some of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW’s earliest episodes. “Vintage Roadshow” revisits Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, San Francisco, Secaucus and Houston to bring viewers updated — and unexpected — appraisal values and fascinating new factoids! Producer: WGBH Boston. Mondays, 8:00 p.m. ET
HISTORY DETECTIVES HISTORY DETECTIVES celebrates 10 years of tracking down the facts behind the folklore. In the new season, the five inquisitive detectives research an amazing story around the most valuable item in the show’s history — a guitar that may have belonged to Bob Dylan. From a pre-Revolution powder horn to an early transistor radio, the stories behind attic stashes and thrift store finds tell our nation’s story. Producer: Lion Television and Oregon Public Broadcasting. Tuesdays, beginning July 17, 9:00- p.m. ET
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