Stories of Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness This July on PBS

Posted by PBS Publicity on

As the summer heats up, so does the new programming on PBS this July. From the shores of Lake Wobegon to the stars and stripes in the nation's capital to a British murder mystery across the pond, PBS spans the country and the globe to give viewers a front row seat to exciting new biographies, music specials, mysteries and documentaries.

In order of airdate:

Start the holiday on the shores of Lake Wobegon with GREAT PERFORMANCES "Garrison Keillor's Independence Day Special: A Prairie Home Companion at Tanglewood," airing on PBS Sunday, July 2, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET. The Independence Day weekend telecast of "A Prairie Home Companion," a radio series heard by more than four million listeners each week over National Public Radio stations, features special guest Meryl Streep, one of the stars of the 2006 Robert Altman adaptation of the long-running program. Contact: Bill Grayson, Thirteen/WNET, Tel.: 212/560-3053; Fax: 212/560-3012; grayson@thirteen.org.
Program Web site: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/

HISTORY DETECTIVES, airing all new episodes in July on PBS Mondays, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET, continues to explore American mysteries using the latest investigative technology. A team of super sleuths uncovers a unique piece of early Coca-Cola advertising, unravels a map mystery connected to the Civil War siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and discovers the roots of an immigrant strike at a textile mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Contact: Stephanie Baumoel, Feren Communications, Tel.: 212/983-9898; Fax: 212/697-1807; stephanieb@ferencomm.com.
Program Web site: http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/

The celebration concludes in grand fashion with A CAPITOL FOURTH (2006), airing on PBS Tuesday, July 4, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET, featuring a musical extravaganza topped by a dazzling display of fireworks over the Washington Monument. The July 4 festivities will air live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, with host Jason Alexander and everyone's favorite red muppet from SESAME STREET, Elmo! America's biggest birthday celebration will feature some of the country's best known and award-winning musical artists performing with the National Symphony Orchestra. Contact: Kristina Hallman, Capital Concerts, Tel.: 202/537-5199; khallman@starpower.net.
Program Web site: http://www.pbs.org/capitolfourth/

Grab your barrel and head to NIAGARA FALLS, airing on PBS Wednesday, July 5, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET. The film is more than the celebration of a natural wonder; it's a study of human achievement and human folly on an epic scale. It's a tale of affable lunacy and high drama, danger and desire. The awesome Niagara Falls was the nation's first great symbol, an emblem of a vast, untamed continent of beauty and limitless resources. The fate of that beauty and bounty is the focus of the film. Contact: Darwin McPherson, WNED, Tel.: 716/845-7000 ext. 329; Fax: 716/845-7036; dmcpherson@wned.org

The long-running MYSTERY! series continues with the new "Miss Marple, Series II," airing on PBS Sundays, July 9-July 16, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET and July 23, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET. The first case, "The Moving Finger," is the tale of dashing Jerry Burton, who, after a serious motorcycle accident, arrives in a sleepy village with his sister to recuperate when they discover a poison-pen writer is at large in the village. "The Sittaford Mystery" finds Miss Marple waiting out a blizzard at Sittaford House, a remote mansion on the moors. The long snowy night turns deadly when the owner, a politician (played by Timothy Dalton, aka James Bond), is found with a knife in his chest and a mysterious smile on his face. Contact: Ellen Dockser, WGBH, Tel.: 617/300-5338, ellen_dockser@wgbh.org.
Program Web site: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/mystery/marple/

Journalism with an international perspective, WIDE ANGLE, returns for its fifth season on PBS beginning Tuesday, July 11, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET. The acclaimed series delivers up-to-the-minute reports from global hotspots to give American television viewers a unique forum for understanding the complex, often dramatic, sometimes explosive and always relevant stories that are shaping the present and future of the world. Contact: Deirdre Branley, Thirteen/WNET New York, Tel.: 212/560-3130; Fax: 212/560-2926; branley@thirteen.org.
Program Web site: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/

Inspired in part by JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU: OCEAN ADVENTURES, President Bush recently named the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a national monument and the world's largest protected marine area. Two new shows in July also have conservation themes (http://www.pbs.org/aboutpbs/news/200600616_kurenationalmonument.html). Take to the seas and discover the problems threatening two of the ocean's greatest creatures in JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU: OCEAN ADVENTURES, airing on PBS Wednesdays, July 12-19, 8:00-9:00 p.m. "Sharks at Risk" explores the declining population of sharks, showing that sharks have more to fear from humans than we do from them. "The Gray Whale Obstacle Course" uncovers the man-made difficulties gray whales face when migrating over 12,000 miles from Mexico to the Arctic Circle. Contact: Yoonhyung Lee, KQED, Tel.: 415/553-3338; ylee@kqed.org.
Program Web site: http://www.pbs.org/kqed/oceanadventures/

Today's undersea drama gives way to another aquatic mystery in SECRETS OF THE DEAD "The Sinking of the Andrea Doria," airing on PBS Wednesday, July 26, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET. Was it fog, equipment or human folly that caused two ships to collide? SECRETS OF THE DEAD explores the cause of the crash that sank the luxury ship just off the shores of Nantucket. Contact: Caroline Oman, Thirteen/WNET, Tel.: 212/560-3057; Fax: 212/560-3012; oman@thirteen.org.
Program Web site: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/case_andreadoria/clues.html

The pioneer of television biographies, AMERICAN MASTERS presents three new programs airing on PBS Wednesdays, July 12-26, 9:00 p.m. ET. "Woody Guthrie: Ain't Got No Home" reveals how Guthrie's mix of uniquely patriotic song and traditional oral history was central to the folk music revival. Next is "Marilyn Monroe: Still Life," which explores Monroe's life in photographs, as she created, and curated, her own image. Finally, "Walter Cronkite: Witness to History" ends July with the story of "The Most Trusted Man in America." Covering events from the first trip to the moon to the Vietnam War, his credo of fast, accurate and unbiased news reporting remains an inspiring achievement. Contact: Lisa Batchelder, Thirteen/WNET, Tel.: 212/560-2074; Fax: 212/560-2926; batcheld@thirteen.org.
Program Web site: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/

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