The Gift Theatre artistic director and co-founder Michael Patrick Thornton proudly announces its 2014 season featuring two…
PBS ANNOUNCES SUMMER SEASON OF CAPTIVATING PROGRAMMING
PBS today unveiled a summer line-up that features a diverse array of new programming. A summer of intrigue presents new episodes of MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! productions: “Inspector Lewis, Series VI,” “Endeavour, Series 1,” “The Lady Vanishes” and “Silk.” A number of new specials also premiere this season, including a multi-platform commemoration of the March on Washington and THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD, a three-part series that examines the legacy and charts the remarkable life of a man who changed the world forever. PBS also takes viewers on journeys through some of England’s most storied homes in SECRETS OF HENRY VIII’S PALACE, SECRETS OF ALTHORP – THE SPENCERS and SECRETS OF CHATSWORTH. PBS favorites returning this summer include a star-studded A CAPITOL FOURTH to celebrate Independence Day and engrossing documentaries from INDEPENDENT LENS and POV.
Viewers receive an insider’s perspective of theater and film with the premiere of two specials: ANNIE: IT’S THE HARD-KNOCK LIFE, FROM SCRIPT TO STAGE, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at a production number from Annie, “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” from the earliest creative discussions through opening night; and SIDE BY SIDE, an in-depth look at digital and photochemical film creation, hosted by film star Keanu Reeves. SECRETS OF THE DEAD returns with enthralling new episodes, including “Ultimate Tut,” a comprehensive look at the little-known facts about the “Boy King” Tutankhamen, and “Bones of the Buddha,” a mystery that unravels conflicting stories surrounding the location of the Buddha’s remains.
“PBS and our stations will offer entertaining and thought-provoking programs this summer, highlighted by new episodes of popular specials and series,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “From fascinating new specials from SECRETS OF THE DEAD on Buddha and the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen, to the return of the beloved A CAPITOL FOURTH celebration and a sixth season of MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!’s ‘Inspector Lewis,’ it promises to be an exciting and captivating summer on PBS.”
Following is a chronological look at PBS’ summer primetime programming, including new specials and miniseries, new episodes from ongoing series, continuing specials and series, and encore presentations of past specials.
THIS JUNE ON PBS
PBS kicks off a summer of intrigue with a new season of MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! “Inspector Lewis, Series VI.” June also showcases new films from INDEPENDENT LENS and POV, a backstage look at the Great White Way with ANNIE: IT’S THE HARD-KNOCK LIFE, FROM SCRIPT TO STAGE and a trip back in time with SECRETS OF HENRY VIII’S PALACE.
MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! “Inspector Lewis, Series VI”
Kevin Whately returns as Inspector Lewis for the sixth season of the popular series. He and his young partner, DS Hathaway (Laurence Fox), continue solving cases in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford. Sundays, June 16-30, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET
- · “Down Among the Fearful” – June 16
When a psychic is found murdered, Inspector Lewis and DS Hathaway discover that the victim is really an Oxford psychology research fellow. As they probe further, the truth behind the psychic’s double life unravels, revealing numerous suspects.
- · “The Ramblin’ Boy” – June 23
With DS Hathaway on holiday, Inspector Lewis is assigned a new partner to investigate the discovery of an elderly man’s body in a field. Finding that the man had already been embalmed, the inquiry leads to a funeral home and those connected to it, including one of Lewis’ former colleagues. Peter Davison (“Doctor Who”) guest stars.
- · “Intelligent Design” – June 30
Lewis and Hathaway are called in to examine the brutal death of a chemistry professor — recently released from prison — who may be connected to the discovery of a murdered Oxford student lost for 15 years. As more casualties and suspects emerge, Lewis considers his future on the force. Edward Fox (“Miss Marple,” “Foyle’s War”) guest stars.
PBS’ Emmy Award-winning weekly series INDEPENDENT LENS, hosted by actor Stanley Tucci, concludes with “The Revolutionary Optimists,” which follows lawyer-turned-social entrepreneur Amlan Ganguly, who has transformed some of the poorest slums of Kolkata, India, by empowering children to become leaders in improving health and sanitation. Using street theater, dance and data as their weapons, the children have cut malaria and diarrhea rates in half, increased polio vaccination rates and turned garbage dumps into playing fields. Monday, June 17, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET – Season finale
The beauty and grace of African-American funerals are brought to life through the eyes of Harlem funeral director Isaiah Owens. The documentary takes an up-close look at the rarely seen world of undertaking in the black community, drawing on a rich palette of tradition, history and celebration. By Christine Turner. Monday, June 24, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
ANNIE: IT’S THE HARD-KNOCK LIFE, FROM SCRIPT TO STAGE
It’s been 35 years since the little orphan Annie first stepped onto a Broadway stage. The show-stopping musical Annie, its characters and its songs are timeless and classic, and for the musical’s return to Broadway, this documentary offers a memorable behind-the-scenes look at every step of the production number “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” from the earliest phases of discussion among the creative team, rehearsals with actors, to opening night. Friday, June 28, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
SECRETS OF HENRY VIII’S PALACE
Behind the royal pleasure palace Hampton Court’s grand façade, opulent rooms and hidden corners lie the dark secrets of storied kings and queens. The palace is forever scarred by the story of Henry VIII and his many wives. This extraordinary place also was home to the grand Baroque and Georgian eras. Sunday, June 30, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
THIS JULY ON PBS
PBS programming in July is steeped in history and secrets. After a re-airing of the 1985 Ken Burns film THE STATUE OF LIBERTY and a film about the journeys of explorers Lewis and Clark, PBS welcomes the star-studded 2013 edition of the popular Independence Day special, A CAPITOL FOURTH. Global history and religion get the spotlight in a full night dedicated to Buddha, anchored by a fascinating new SECRETS OF THE DEAD episode, “Bones of the Buddha,” which unravels the controversy surrounding the leader’s sacred remains. The episode is preceded by THE BUDDHA, acclaimed filmmaker David Grubin’s documentary about the mysterious Indian sage who famously gained enlightenment as he sat beneath a tree. Another SECRETS OF THE DEAD premiere, “Ultimate Tut,” sheds new light on King Tutankhamen. More royal secrets are uncovered in two specials, SECRETS OF ALTHORP – THE SPENCERS and SECRETS OF CHATSWORTH. July also takes viewers behind the scenes of the Third Reich in NAZI MEGA WEAPONS (w.t.) and into a cultural mecca in the woods of western Massachusetts for a GREAT PERFORMANCES look at Jacob’s Pillow.
The award-winning POV (Point of View) is the longest-running showcase to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. Mondays, June 24 – August 26 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
- · “Special Flight” – July 1, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Made in Switzerland, the film is a dramatic account of the plight of 25 undocumented foreigners at the Frambois detention center in Geneva, Switzerland, and of the wardens who struggle to reconcile humane values with the harsh realities of a strict deportation system. By Fernand Melgar.
- · “Herman’s House” – July 8, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET
The film takes the viewer inside the unlikely 12-year friendship between Herman Wallace, possibly the longest-serving prisoner in solitary confinement in the United States, and artist Jackie Sumell. Imprisoned in 1967 for a robbery he admits, Wallace was subsequently sentenced to life for a killing he vehemently denies. Imagining his “dream home,” a game proposed by Sumell, became an interrogation of justice and punishment in America. By Angad Singh Bhalla.
- · “Only the Young” – July 15, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET
Follow three unconventional Christian teenagers coming of age in a small Southern California town. Skateboarders Garrison and Kevin, and Garrison’s on-and-off girlfriend, Skye, wrestle with the eternal questions of youth: friendship, true love and the promise of the future. Their lives are also touched by the distress signals of contemporary America — foreclosed homes, abandoned businesses and adults in financial trouble. By Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims.
- · “High Tech, Low Life” – July 22, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET
Trail two of China’s first citizen-reporters as they document the underside of the country’s rapid economic development. A search for truth and fame inspires young vegetable seller “Zola” to report on censored news stories from the cities, while retired businessman “Tiger Temple” chronicles the struggles of rural villagers. Land grabs, pollution, rising poverty, local corruption and the growing willingness of ordinary people to speak out are grist for these two bloggers who navigate China’s evolving censorship regulations and challenge the boundaries of free speech. By Stephen Maing.
- · “Neurotypical” – July 29, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Explore autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioral differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the “neurotypical” world — the world of the non-autistic — revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human. By Adam Larsen.
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
This 1985 Ken Burns film explores the creation and history of the remarkable Statue of Liberty and what she represents to all Americans. Narrated by David McCullough, the film traces the development of the monument — from its conception to its fascinating and often controversial construction to its final dedication — and offers interviews with a wide range of Americans, including former New York governor Mario Cuomo and the late authors James Baldwin and Jerzy Kosinski, Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and playwright Arthur Miller, among others, to explore the meaning of the Statue of Liberty. Tuesday, July 2, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
A CAPITOL FOURTH
The beloved PBS annual celebration welcomes back Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron (“Dancing With the Stars”) to host America’s national Independence Day celebration live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Bergeron leads an all-star cast performing in and around this musical and fireworks extravaganza, which has become America’s favorite birthday party. With 20 cameras positioned around the city, viewers at home are front-and-center for the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. A CAPITOL FOURTH also airs on National Public Radio and to U.S. troops around the world on the American Forces Network. Thursday, July 4, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET; rpt. 9:30-11:00 p.m. ET
SECRETS OF ALTHORP – THE SPENCERS
Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer, takes viewers on a personal tour around the noble manor that is his family’s home, Althorp House, the childhood home and final resting place of Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales. Nineteen generations of Spencers have presided over this grand estate for more than 500 years and produced politicians, military heroes, dukes and duchesses. One day it may also furnish Britain with a king: Diana’s son, Prince William. Sunday, July 7, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
SECRETS OF CHATSWORTH
Throughout its 500-year history, Chatsworth has been home to notable inhabitants, among them the trio of 5th Duke of Devonshire, his wife, Lady Georgiana Spencer, and Lady Elizabeth Foster, all of whom, history tells us, co-habited in a love triangle. King Edward VII enjoyed many shooting parties on the estate, and it was home to Billy Cavendish, heir of the 10th Duke of Devonshire, who wooed and wed the sister of future U.S. president John F. Kennedy. Sunday, July 14, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! “Endeavour, Series 1”
Before Inspector Morse, there was the rookie Detective Constable Endeavour Morse, fed up with police work and ready to nip his career in the bud by handing in his resignation. That is, until a murder turned up that only he could solve. Shaun Evans stars as the young Detective Constable Endeavour Morse, before his signature red Jaguar but with his deductive powers already running in high gear. Sundays, July 7-28, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET
- · “Girl” – July 7
DC Morse (Shaun Evans) and DI Thursday (Roger Allam) investigate burgled gas meters, the sudden death of a young secretarial student and a string of post office robberies, confounding the solution to a pair of violent murders. Could Morse’s future on the force be in jeopardy?
- · “Fugue” – July 14
Morse and Thursday are confronted with a new breed of murderer, as a string of Oxford homicides continues with no end in sight. The entire police department is working round the clock and a special expert comes on to assist, but Morse’s love of opera may be the key to stopping the killing …
- · “Rocket” – July 21
A royal visit to a family-owned munitions factory begins as a proud occasion for the people of Oxford, but the joyous day ends with murder. Morse delves into the family’s murky past, as well as his own, as he attempts to uncover the culprit before more lives are lost.
- · “Home” – July 28
While studying for his upcoming sergeant’s exam, Morse investigates the hit-and-run death of an eminent Oxford professor. The pressure mounts with his father’s illness and the appearance of an enemy threatening to reveal aspects of Inspector Thursday’s past. In the end, Morse must choose between the responsibilities of his job and loyalty to his mentor.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, sent by President Thomas Jefferson to find the fabled Northwest Passage, led the most important expedition in American history — a voyage of danger and discovery from St. Louis to the headwaters of the Missouri River, over the Continental Divide to the Pacific. It was the United States’ first exploration of the West and one of the nation’s most enduring adventures. Filmmaker Ken Burns tells the remarkable story of the entire corps — not just the two famous captains, but the young army men, French-Canadian boatmen, Clark’s African-American slave and the Shoshone woman Sacagawea, who brought along her infant son. Hal Holbrook narrates. Tuesdays, July 9-16, 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET
SECRETS OF THE DEAD
Part detective story, part true-life drama, SECRETS OF THE DEAD explores some of the most iconic moments in history to debunk myths and shed new light on the events.
- · “Ultimate Tut” – Wednesday, July 10, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
This two-part special combines the latest evidence from a team of archaeologists, anatomists, geologists and Egyptologists to build the ultimate picture of the “Boy King” Tutankhamen. Blending 3D graphics, stylized reconstruction and action-adventure forensic investigation, the programs take a 21st-century approach to ancient history, following new scientific research and presenting fresh insights into how Tutankhamen was buried, why his tomb was the only one to remain intact and the enduring enigma around how he died.
- · “Bones of the Buddha” – Tuesday, July 23, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
A huge stone coffer uncovered in Northern India in 1898 contained five reliquary jars, one of which bore an inscription that seemed to say it contained the remains of the Buddha himself. But doubt and scandal have hung over this amazing find. For some, the whole thing is an elaborate hoax. For others, it is no less than the final resting place of the leader of one of the world’s great religions, a sage who died nearly 2,500 years ago. Renowned historian Charles Allen sets out to solve this mystery, once and for all.
Two-and-a-half millennia ago, a new religion was born in northern India, generated from the ideas of a single man, the Buddha, a mysterious Indian sage who famously gained enlightenment while he sat under a large fig tree. The Buddha never claimed to be God or his emissary on earth. He said only that he was a human being who, in a world of unavoidable pain and suffering, had found a kind of serenity that others could find, too. This documentary by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin tells the story of his life. Richard Gere narrates. Tuesday, July 23, 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET
NAZI MEGA WEAPONS (w.t.)
In a quest for world domination, the Nazis built some of the biggest and deadliest pieces of military hardware and malevolent technology in history. This new six-part series recounts World War II from a unique new perspective, uncovering the engineering secrets of iconic megastructures, telling the stories of the engineers who designed them and revealing how these structures sparked a technological revolution that changed warfare forever. Wednesdays, July 17-31, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
GREAT PERFORMANCES “Dancing at Jacob’s Pillow: Never Stand Still”
Filmed at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts, this film features thrilling performances and revelatory conversations with renowned choreographers and dancers, including Judith Jamison, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Suzanne Farrell and Frederic Franklin, as well as one of the last interviews with the iconic Merce Cunningham. Narrated by acclaimed choreographer Bill T. Jones, the film interweaves the story of Jacob’s Pillow as a generator for creativity with the history of dance in America, and features never-before-seen footage and images from the Pillow’s extensive archives, including those of dance pioneer Ted Shawn, who purchased the farm in 1931.Friday, July 26, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
THIS AUGUST ON PBS
Primetime in August spotlights two new MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! productions (one a modern legal drama, the other a new look at a Hitchcock classic) and two independent films from the series POV, along with several new specials. The comprehensive three-part series THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD traces the often-misunderstood religious leader, and SIDE BY SIDE, with Keanu Reeves, provides an enthralling look at technological advances in the film industry. In addition, PBS will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington with a multi-platform campaign to be announced at a later date.
GREAT PERFORMANCES “Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2013”
Led by guest conductor Lorin Maazel, the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic presents its annual open-air concert, this year saluting “Wagner & Verdi,” in the magnificent gardens of Austria’s Imperial Schönbrunn Palace. Tenor Michael Schade is the featured soloist. Selections at press time include music from Aida, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Otello, Tristan und Isolde and La Forza del Destino. Friday, August 2, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! “The Lady Vanishes”
A young socialite (Tuppence Middleton) suspects foul play when a woman inexplicably disappears from a train. This new adaptation of the classic thriller, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock and based on Ethel Lina White’s 1936 novel The Wheel Spins, also stars Keeley Hawes (“Upstairs Downstairs”) and Tom Hughes (“Page Eight”). Sunday, August 18, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET
Israeli filmmaker Ra’anan Alexandrowicz pulls off a tour-de-force examination of the system of military administration used by Israel since the Six Day War of 1967. In a series of candid interviews, Israeli judges, prosecutors and legal advisers, who helped devise the occupation’s legal framework, paint a complex picture of the Middle East conflict and the balance among political interests, security and human rights that has come with it. By Ra’anan Alexandrowicz and Liran Atzmor. Monday, August 19, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET
THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD
This new three-part series charts the extraordinary story of a man who, in little more than 20 years, changed the world forever. In a journey that is both historical and relevant today, host Rageh Omaar documents Muhammad’s life from his humble beginnings in Mecca, to his struggles with accepting his prophetic role, his flight to Medina, the founding of the first Islamic constitution and his subsequent military and political successes and failures — and to his death and his legacy. Tuesday, August 20, 8:00-11:00 p.m. ET
- · “The Seeker”
Omaar examines the world into which Muhammad was born, his marriage to his first wife, Khadijah, as well as his first revelations and the profound impact they had on his life and on the lives of those closest to him.
- · “Holy Wars”
Omaar shines a light on key events in Muhammad’s life, including the Night Journey to Jerusalem, his departure from Mecca and the eight-year war with the Meccan tribes.
- · “Holy Peace”
Omaar investigates key events during the later part of Muhammad’s life, including the introduction of the moral code known as Shari‘a and the concept of jihad.
MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! “Silk”
This modern, fast-paced legal drama that follows the rivalries, passions and intrigues of criminal law stars Maxine Peake (“Little Dorrit”) and Rupert Penry-Jones (“MI-5”) as rival barristers. Written by Peter Moffat (“Criminal Justice”). Sundays, August 25-September 8, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
This first-hand account of life and nonviolent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village where Israel is building a security fence, was nominated for an Oscar®. The filmmakers follow one family’s evolution over five years, witnessing a child’s growth from newborn into a young boy who observes the world unfolding around him. The film is a Palestinian-Israeli-French co-production. By Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi. Monday, August 26, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET
SIDE BY SIDE
This new special, hosted and co-produced by film star Keanu Reeves, investigates the history, process and workflow of both digital and photochemical film creation. Reeves gets an insider’s perspective on the industry’s most basic delivery system, marveling at what artists have accomplished with emulsion film and digital pixels, and exploring how their needs and innovations have helped push filmmaking in new directions. Friday, August 30, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
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