PBS Sets Mid-Season 2017 Schedule
Lineup Showcases New Drama, Arts, History and Nature Programs in 2017
Major New Arts Strand LANDMARKS LIVE IN CONCERT from
New VICTORIA on MASTERPIECE and MERCY STREET Anchor Drama-filled January
Also, SHERLOCK on MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! Returns
ARLINGTON, VA; December 1, 2016 – PBS unveiled today a strong 2017 winter/spring season lineup that includes the January 15 premiere of the seven-part drama “Victoria” on MASTERPIECE (watch the trailer) about the early years and fraught relationships of the 19th-century teenage queen; the much-anticipated returns of “Sherlock” on MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! on New Year’s Day and the second season of PBS’ original American drama series MERCY STREET (watch the trailer) on January 22. For the first time, PBS is announcing a major new arts strand, LANDMARKS LIVE IN CONCERT, part of GREAT PERFORMANCES, which features performances by Alicia Keys on January 20 and Brad Paisley on January 27. Also in the line-up beginning February 1 is a new NATURE series called SPY IN THE WILD, A NATURE MINISERIES, a John Downer Production for BBC, PBS and THIRTEEN Productions LLC; the three-part, six-hour film “The Great War” airs on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE April 10, as well as the tandem premieres of “Oklahoma City” and “Ruby Ridge” on February 7 and February 14, respectively; Africa’s Great CIvilizations from Henry Louis Gates, Jr. starts February 27, AMERICAN MASTERS “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” premieres on February 21 and a GERSHWIN PRIZE special honoring Smokey Robinson airs on February 10; and much more.
Throughout early 2017, PBS offers an abundance of new and returning drama, history and science programs. Spring brings the sixth season of the acclaimed drama CALL THE MIDWIFE beginning April 2, followed by the final season of “Home Fires” on MASTERPIECE. On March 26, “To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters” on MASTERPIECE is a special that chronicles how Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte’s genius for writing romantic novels was, against all odds, recognized in a male-dominated 19th-century world. A preview of VIETNAM, the highly anticipated new film from award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, airs May 28.
“Our winter/spring 2017 schedule represents the very best of PBS,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS’ Chief Programming Executive and General Manager. “We’re delivering new seasons of our award-winning Sunday dramas, awe-inspiring science and nature programs, deep dives into history and up-to-the-minute takes on current events that will leave viewers informed and entertained.”
PBS’ winter/spring 2017 programs are typically available to stream each morning after broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and PBS apps for iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. Select programs can also be streamed on Passport, a benefit for local PBS station donors that offers extended access to a rich library of public television programming.
Sunday nights remain PBS’ most-watched nights, and Sundays in January feature the premieres of four new and returning series. The long-awaited “Sherlock” on MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! will premiere in the U.S. on the same date as BBC One’s broadcast on January 1. Starting January 15, “Victoria” on MASTERPIECE stars Jenna Coleman as the titular queen. The seven-part series follows her ascension to the throne in 1837 at 18, through her relationship with her first prime minister and intimate friend Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell), as well as her courtship with and marriage to Prince Albert (Tom Hughes).
On January 22, MERCY STREET Season Two premieres, pushing the drama beyond the hospital walls and picking up where season one ended. The show chronicles the chaos in Alexandria, Virginia; the complicated lives of Dr. Foster (Josh Radnor), Nurse Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and the Mansion House staff; the increasingly precarious position of the Green family; and the changing world of the burgeoning black population. Joining the Sunday lineup on January 22 is a new three-part series, SECRETS OF THE SIX WIVES, which follows popular English historian Lucy Worsley as she travels back to the Tudor court to witness some of the most dramatic moments in the lives of notorious King Henry VIII’s numerous spouses.
For PBS’ celebration of Black History Month, the music special SMOKEY ROBINSON: THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS GERSHWIN PRIZE FOR POPULAR SONG, hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, honors the famed singer/songwriter — a rhythm and blues icon — on February 10. THE TALK – RACE IN AMERICA provides a unique perspective, through six independent producers, on how black and Hispanic families counsel their kids to stay safe if they are stopped by the police. The two-hour film airs February 20. AMERICAN MASTERS“Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise,” the first documentary feature about the incomparable poet, memoirist and civil rights activist, airs February 21.
A spate of powerful documentaries and new independent films continues with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s new documentary series AFRICA’S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS on February 27, bringing little-known yet epic stories of to life, detailing African kingdoms and cultures. INDEPENDENT LENS brings “Birth of a Movement” on February 6, exploring race relations and representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood; “TOWER,” a reflection on the fateful 1966 massacre on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, airing February 14; and “Newtown” on April 3, which reflects on the Connecticut town’s rebuilding after the 2012 school shooting. On January 10, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE recalls a deadly 1980 nuclear accident on U.S. soil with “Command and Control” (fresh off an acclaimed theatrical run), and on February 7, “Oklahoma City” revisits the 1995 bombing by Timothy McVeigh that killed 168 people in Oklahoma City. The following week, on February 14, “Ruby Ridge” recounts the birth of the militant militia movement.
The countdown to the presidential inauguration begins on January 3 with FRONTLINE “President Trump,” a one-hour examination of the key moments that shaped President-elect Donald Trump’s bid for the White House. Interviews with advisors, business associates and biographers reveal how Trump transformed himself from real estate developer to entertainer to president. On January 17-18, FRONTLINE presents “Divided States of America,” a pre-inauguration reflection on the Obama presidency. The two-part series looks at the deep divisions in our country and examines the issues that President-elect Trump will inherit. Following the inauguration, FRONTLINE on January 24 will air “Trump’s Road to the White House,” a one-hour special that will explain how Donald Trump defied expectations to win the presidency by rallying millions of supporters and defeating adversaries.
In April, PBS honors commentator CHARLIE ROSE with a 25th anniversary special that looks back at the news icon’s two-and-a-half decades on public television – and recounts his most noteworthy segments.
Highlighting Wednesday night’s science and natural history offerings beginning February 1 is SPY IN THE WILD, A NATURE MINISERIES that uses state-of-the-art robot technology to spy on the surprising behavior of animals in the wild. CITY IN THE SKY on February 8 is a three-part, BBC-co-produced series that looks at the people, the infrastructure and the technology that keep aloft the “virtual metropolis” of more than 100,000 commercial and private flights that crisscross the world daily.
AMERICAN MASTERS “James Beard: America’s First Foodie” premieres on May 19, launching several other chef-focused documentaries and specials. Also noteworthy beginning May 2 is THE VICTORIAN SLUM (w.t.), in which several modern-day people move into a re-created Victorian slum in London’s East End to experience life as their ancestors did 150 years ago.
A chronological listing of winter/spring 2017 PBS programs follows, grouped by month and premiere date:
JANUARY ON PBS:
“Sherlock” on MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! – Season 4 of the hit drama begins with the mercurial Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), back once more on British soil, as Doctor Watson (Martin Freeman) and his wife, Mary (Amanda Abbington) prepare for their biggest challenge yet: becoming parents. Premieres Sunday, January 1, 9-10:30 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “Best and Most Beautiful Things” – An unforgettable young woman, legally blind and on the autism spectrum, goes on a journey of self-discovery in this celebration of outcasts everywhere. Monday, January 2, 10-11 p.m. ET
AMERICAN MASTERS “By Sidney Lumet” – Journey through the life’s work of the socially conscious director of Serpico, 12 Angry Men and Network through film clips and a never-before-seen interview. With candor, humor and grace, film legend Sidney Lumet (1924-2011) reveals what matters to him as an artist and as a human being. Tuesday, January 3, 8-10 p.m. ET
FRONTLINE “President Trump” – Examine the key moments that shaped President-elect Donald Trump. Interviews with advisors, business associates and biographers reveal how Trump transformed himself from real estate developer to entertainer to president. Tuesday, January 3, 10-11 p.m. ET
NOVA “Vampire Sky Tombs” – The Himalayas were among the last places on Earth that homo sapiens came to inhabit. Now, join an international team of scientists as they climb to the world’s highest tombs to unearth secrets of the people who settled these extreme environments. Wednesday, January 4, 9-10 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “Containment” – Explore attempts to plan for a radioactive future and the startling failure to manage waste in the present. Left over from the Cold War are a hundred million gallons of radioactive sludge, covering a vast amount of land. Monday, January 9, 10-11:30 p.m. ET
COMMAND AND CONTROL: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – Learn the terrifying truth behind one of America’s most dangerous nuclear accidents — the deadly 1980 incident at an Arkansas Titan II missile complex — in this chilling, minute-by-minute account of this long-hidden story. Tuesday, January 10, 9-11 p.m. ET
NATURE “Snowbound: Animals of Winter” – From the shelter of our homes, snow looks magical, but it’s a harsh reality to many animals. Snow means freezing temperatures, which these animals must endure for many months. Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan meets some of the world’s most iconic snow animals across the globe, from the penguins of Antarctica to the bison of Yellowstone and the Arctic fox. Wednesday, January 11, 8-9 p.m. ET
NOVA “The Nuclear Option” – Five years after the Fukushima disaster, the future of nuclear power is in question. Join engineers as they embark on an unprecedented cleanup and investigate new nuclear technologies that would prevent future meltdowns. Wednesday, January 11, 9-10 p.m. ET
GREAT PERFORMANCES “Bel Canto The Opera” – In December 2015, Lyric Opera of Chicago premiered an opera adaptation of the best-selling book by Ann Patchett. Curated by Lyric’s creative consultant Renée Fleming, Bel Canto tells a gripping contemporary story inspired by the months-long hostage crisis at the Japanese ambassador’s house in Lima, Peru, over the course of 1996-97. Featuring a score by gifted young Peruvian composer Jimmy López, with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. Conducted by Lyric music director Sir Andrew Davis and directed by Kevin Newbury. Friday, January 13, 9 p.m.-12 a.m. ET
“Victoria” on MASTERPIECE – This drama follows Victoria (Jenna Coleman, “Doctor Who”) from the time she becomes Queen in 1837 at age 18 through her relationship with her first prime minister and intimate friend, Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell), and her courtship with and marriage to Prince Albert (Tom Hughes). Famous for her candor and spirit, she was the first woman who seemed to have it all: a passionate marriage and the job ruling the world’s most important nation. Sundays, January 15, 9-11 p.m. ET, January 22-March 5, 9-10 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “What Was Ours” – A young Northern Arapaho journalist and a teenage powwow princess travel with an Eastern Shoshone elder to reclaim their tribe’s lost artifacts. Monday, January 16, 10-11 p.m. ET
FRONTLINE “Divided States of America” – Days before the inauguration of the 45th American president, FRONTLINE premieres a documentary miniseries that looks back at events during the Obama presidency that revealed deep divisions in our country, and examines the America its new President will inherit. Tuesday-Wednesday, January 17-18, 9-11 p.m.
ALICIA KEYS – LANDMARKS LIVE IN CONCERT: A GREAT PERFORMANCES SPECIAL – The new series premieres with a native New Yorker from Hell’s Kitchen, Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Keys. Her collaboration with Jay Z, “Empire State of Mind,” automatically became the city’s newest anthem. In this debut LANDMARKS LIVE special, recorded over a one-year period, Keys’ love affair with New York continues as she performs in notable locations all around town, including the city’s famous Circle Line harbor tour, the Unisphere in Queens and Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Friday, January 20, 9-10 p.m.
MERCY STREET – Allegiances blur and loyalties shift as the ongoing war pushes the drama beyond the hospital — following the growing chaos at Alexandria’s Mansion House, the precarious position of the Green family and the changing situation of the burgeoning black population. Starring Josh Radnor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Gary Cole, Donna Murphy, McKinley Belcher and Patina Miller. Sundays, January 22-March 5, 8-9 p.m. ET; rpt. Thursdays, January 26-March 9, 9-10 p.m. ET
SECRETS OF THE SIX WIVES – Historian Lucy Worsley time-travels to the Tudor court to witness some of the most dramatic moments in the lives of Henry VIII’s six spouses. Combining drama and historical sources, with her own commentary, Worsley offers insights into a world run by men, where the king had ultimate power and each queen found unique methods of exerting her influence. Sundays, January 22-February 5, 10-11 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “The Witness” – In 1964, Kitty Genovese was repeatedly stabbed on the street in Queens, New York. Soon after, the media asserted that 38 neighbors watched but did nothing to help. This film follows the efforts of Kitty’s brother as he re-examines his sister’s life and death. Monday, January 23, 10-11:30 p.m. ET
RACHEL CARSON: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – The inspiring story of the scientist whose groundbreaking writings revolutionized our relationship to the natural world. This moving and intimate portrait features Mary-Louise Parker as the voice of Rachel Carson. Tuesday, January 24, 8-10 p.m. ET
FRONTLINE “Trump’s Road to the White House” – Learn how Donald Trump defied expectations to win the presidency. Through interviews with key players, the film shows how Trump rallied millions of supporters and defeated adversaries, and whom he’s taking into the White House with him. Tuesday, January 24, 10-11 p.m. ET
BRAD PAISLEY – LANDMARKS LIVE IN CONCERT: A GREAT PERFORMANCES SPECIAL – Country music superstar Brad Paisley returns to his roots in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains for a special outdoor concert at West Virginia University. As the hit-maker behind 23 number one singles and the winner of just about every country music award imaginable, Paisley brings his unique skills as a singer songwriter, guitarist and entertainer back to his home state as well as to viewers everywhere. Friday, January 27, 9-10 p.m.
POV “Seven Songs for a Long Life” – At Strathcarron, a remarkable Scottish hospice center, patients face pain, uncertainty and the possibility of life’s end with song and humor. Four years in the making, “Seven Songs” includes a hit parade of tunes belted out by patients and caregivers alike between reflections on life, love and mortality. The film illuminates a journey we will all take eventually and shows how the songs we love best can help guide us. Monday, January 30, 10-11 p.m. ET
THE RACE UNDERGROUND: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – America’s first subway, in Boston, overcame a litany of engineering challenges, the greed-driven interests of businessmen and the great fears of its citizenry to create a rapid transit system soon replicated throughout the country. Tuesday, January 31, 9-10 p.m. ET
FRONTLINE “Iraq After ISIS” – Follow on-the-ground reporting from Iraq to see what’s happening in areas where ISIS has been ejected. Through rare access, investigate the powerful militias and growing sectarianism shaping Iraq. Also, a reporter’s journey into the battle for Mosul. Tuesday, January 31, 10-11 p.m. ET
FEBRUARY ON PBS:
SPY IN THE WILD, A NATURE MINISERIES – In the most innovative series NATURE has ever presented, the five-part SPY IN THE WILD employs more than 30 animatronic “spy cameras” disguised as animals to secretly record behavior in the wild. These “spy cameras” reveal that animals have emotions and behavior similar to humans — specifically, a capacity to love, grieve, deceive, cooperate and invent. Featured spy creatures include spy hippo, spy organgutan, spy bushbaby, spy cobra, spy sloth and many more. The robotic look-alikes will infiltrate the natural world to film surprising behavior including: spy baby crocodile getting a ride inside the mouth of a real crocodile as she gathers her babies up for safety; spy squirrel discovering how real squirrels use intellect to overcome nut thieves; and much more. Wednesdays, February 1-March 1, 8-9 pm ET
NOVA “Search for the Super Battery” – Join renowned gadget geek and host David Pogue as he sets out on a quest to discover how batteries work and uncover what the future has in store for our gadgets, our lives and even our planet. Wednesday, February 1, 9-10 p.m. ET
LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER “Mostly Mozart Festival” (w.t.) – Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts celebrates the 50th anniversary of its Mostly Mozart Festival, one of the world’s major music festivals and a beloved New York tradition. With its visionary programming, the Mostly Mozart Festival celebrates the genius of Mozart while making it accessible to new and traditional concertgoers. The special will honor the milestone season with highlights from the more than 50 exceptional events, which occurred over five weeks this summer. Friday, February 3, 9-11 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “Birth of a Movement” – Learn how D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film The Birth of a Nation unleashed a battle still being waged today over race relations and representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood. Featuring Spike Lee, Reginald Hudlin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and others. Monday, February 6, 10-11 p.m. ET
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “Oklahoma City” – Chronicles the rise of the extremist militia movement, from Ruby Ridge to Waco, that led to the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in American history — the 1995 bombing by Timothy McVeigh that killed 168 people in Oklahoma City. Tuesday, February 7, 9-11 p.m. ET
NOVA “Ultimate Cruise Ship” – Weighing 54,000 gross tons and stretching over two football fields, the Seven Seas Explorer is no ordinary boat. Join pioneering shipbuilders as they endeavor to build the ultimate cruise ship. Wednesday, February 8, 9-10 p.m. ET
CITY IN THE SKY – A unique metropolis hovers above the earth — an airborne “city” that comprises the more than 100,000 flights that crisscross the world daily. This film explores the hidden army of experts working to keep this city aloft and uncovers the extraordinary engineering and technology that make it tick. Wednesdays, February 8-22, 10-11 p.m. ET
SMOKEY ROBINSON: THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS GERSHWIN PRIZE FOR POPULAR SONG – An all-star tribute to singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson, the 2016 recipient of the coveted Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, hosted by Samuel L. Jackson. Friday, February 10, 9-10:30 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America” – African-American musician Daryl Davis has a peculiar passion — meeting and befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan in an attempt to change their minds and forge racial conciliation, one person at a time. Monday, February 13, 10-11:30 p.m. ET
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “Ruby Ridge” – The 1992 FBI siege at Ruby Ridge that helped launch the modern militia movement is examined through eyewitness accounts, including Randy Weaver’s daughter and federal agents involved in the deadly confrontation. Tuesday, February 14, 9-10 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “TOWER” – In August 1966, a deadly mass shooting at the University of Texas left 16 dead. Combining archival footage with rotoscopic animation, this film reframes the events of that day, when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others. Tuesday, February 14, 10-11:30 p.m. ET
NOVA “Secrets of Origami” – Origami. The century-old tradition of paper folding is now at the heart of a scientific revolution. Scientists are discovering that folding is a powerful tool to explore the limits of science. Engineers and designers are now adopting origami designs to conquer space or reshape the world around us. From aircraft design to protein folding to micro-robots, join NOVA to discover how the age-old art of origami is transforming our world. Wednesday, February 15, 9-10 p.m. ET
GREAT PERFORMANCES “New York City Ballet in Paris” – New York City Ballet makes a triumphant return to Paris in an all-Balanchine program of dazzling ballet masterpieces. Set to music by Charles Gounod, Walpurgisnacht Ballet embodies a neoclassical choreography, ending with a surging climax that sends its 24 ballerinas soaring across the stage “like dancing out a fever” (The New York Times). The evening culminates with La Valse, with music of Maurice Ravel. In it, a young woman is simultaneously horrified and fascinated by her own vanity and finds herself strangely drawn to a figure of death. Friday, February 17, 9-10 p.m. ET
THE TALK – RACE IN AMERICA – In the wake of recent tragic and fatal events between people of color and law enforcement, a nationwide conversation is taking place between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how they need to present themselves if they are stopped by the police. This story reflects not only the deeply troubled community relationships at a grass roots level, but the ever-widening gap between majority-minority populations in the United States. THE TALK – RACE IN AMERICA will explore solutions and examine how communities are working together to change the conversation. Monday, February 20, 9-11 p.m. ET
AMERICAN MASTERS “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” – This is the first documentary feature about the incomparable Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014), best known for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The film weaves her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos that paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America’s most defining moments. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana, to her inauguration poem for President Bill Clinton, the film takes an incredible journey through the life of a true American icon. Features a remarkable series of interviews with friends and family, including Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Alfre Woodard, Cicely Tyson, Quincy Jones, Hillary Clinton, John Singleton and Dr. Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson. Tuesday, February 21, 8-10 p.m. ET
NOVA “Killer Trains” – NOVA investigates how trains can be agents of tragic destruction, dissecting the most infamous accidents, unraveling how the laws of physics stack the deck against trains and exploring how creative innovations are bringing about a revival in train tech. Wednesday, February 22, 9-10 p.m. ET
GREAT PERFORMANCES “New York City Ballet Symphony in C” – New York City Ballet makes a triumphant return to Paris with a grand classical showpiece by George Balanchine, Georges Bizet’s Symphony in C, which sparkles with more than 50 dancers covered in Swarovski crystals. Next, the polished simplicity and emotional interplay of the rarely seen Sonatine, to the music of Maurice Ravel, evokes the elegance of the original French NYCB dancers for whom Balanchine originally created the work. Friday, February 24, 9-10 p.m. ET
AFRICA’S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS – Henry Louis Gates, Jr. provides a new look from an African perspective at African history, traversing the dawn of mankind to the dawn of the 20th century. The series is a breathtaking and personal journey through history that includes evidence of the earliest human culture and art, arguably the world’s greatest ever civilizations, and some of the world’s earliest writing. Gates travels throughout the vast continent of Africa to discover the true majesty of its greatest civilizations and kingdoms. Monday-Wednesday, February 27-March 1, 9-11 p.m. ET
MARCH ON PBS:
INDEPENDENT LENS “The Bad Kids” – Life in a remote Mojave Desert high school where extraordinary educators believe empathy and life skills, more than academics, give at-risk students a command of their own futures. Monday, March 20, 10-11:30 p.m. ET
“To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters” on MASTERPIECE – Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, all unmarried, faced a bleak future. Unable to rely on their alcoholic brother or near-blind father to provide for them, they worked as governesses to privileged and often unruly children. This is the story of how — against all odds — their genius for writing romantic novels was recognized in a male-dominated, 19th-century world. Sunday, March 26, 9-11 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “Ovarian Psycos” – Ride with the East LA bicycle crew Ovarian Psycos and explore the impact of the group’s unique brand of feminism as they confront injustice, racism and violence. Monday, March 27, 10-11 p.m. ET
DEAD RECKONING: WAR, CRIME AND JUSTICE FROM WW2 TO THE WAR ON TERROR – An unprecedented three-part series examines the evolution of postwar justice in investigating genocide, ethnic cleansing and other atrocities, and in prosecuting the perpetrators. The series looks at how laws and mechanisms for international justice were created in the wake of war crimes committed by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, the obstruction of postwar justice during the Cold War, the rise of sexual violence against civilians and the revitalization of postwar justice over the past two decades in several conflict zones. Tuesday, March 28, 8-11 p.m. ET
NATURE “Yosemite” (w.t.) – Yosemite Valley is a land forged in wildfire and sculpted by water; the delicate balance of these two elements is essential to the creatures and trees that call this land home. But with climates changing and temperatures rising, the Sierras are under siege. Water is scarcer and the threat of fire is more common. Scientists, experts and adventurers trudge through mountains of snow, climb trees as tall as buildings and soar high in the air to discern just how these global changes are affecting one of America’s greatest wildernesses. Wednesday, March 29, 8-9 p.m. ET
GREAT PERFORMANCES “Dudamel Conducts Tangos Under the Stars with the LA Phil” – Under the baton of its renowned music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil returns to the Hollywood Bowl for an evening of Latin music. The concert repertoire features “Four Dances From Estancia” by Alberto Ginastera, “Tangazo” by Astor Piazzolla and a selection of three tangos by Piazzolla: “La Muerte del Angel,” “Adios Nonino” and “Libertango.” Also featured is the world premiere of Lalo Schifrin’s Concierto de la Amistad. Friday, March 31, 9-10:30 p.m. ET
APRIL ON PBS:
CALL THE MIDWIFE – It’s now 1962 and times are changing, from the beacon of the contraceptive pill and the shadow of infamous gangsters the Krays to the new welfare policies introduced by the government. Back in Poplar, when the rather austere Sister Ursula is appointed the new head of Nonnatus House, Sister Julienne finds herself demoted and working back alongside the midwives as an ordinary member of staff. She is not the only one to face challenges closer to home. As they strive to help mothers and families cope with the demands of childbearing, disability, disease and social prejudice, our beloved medics must make choices – and fight battles – of their own. Season 6 sees them laugh together, cry together, and pull together, supporting each other as never before. Sundays, April 2-May 21, 8-9 p.m. ET
“Home Fires” on MASTERPIECE – In the series’ final season, Great Britain stands alone against German forces. The Battle of Britain rages in the skies overhead and, with daily air-raids, the threat of invasion and defeat is palpable. For some of Great Paxford’s women, the war throws off peacetime limitations, allowing them to flourish in unexpected ways. As Britain finds itself increasingly beleaguered, the tightknit community will be tested as never before. Sundays, April 2-May 7, 9-10 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “Newtown” – Explore the aftermath and resilience of a community devastated by the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, which took the lives of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut. Monday, April 3, 9-10:30 p.m. ET
JESUS OF ROME (w.t.) – The final week of Jesus’ life — known as Holy Week — stands at the very center of Christianity. But what do we know about what happened in the prevailing months? New evidence, gathered from archaeology, Roman historians, Jewish texts and insights into the Gospels, suggests that Roman politics led to the series of events that resulted in the crucifixion. Based on The Lost Gospel by investigative journalist Simcha Jacobovici and Professor Barrie Wilson, this two-hour drama documentary will present new insights into the iconic Easter events and uncover the Roman power politics that ultimately led to the last days of Jesus. Tuesday, April 4, 8-10 p.m. ET
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Great War” – Chronicles how WWI transformed America, through the stories of African-American and Latino soldiers, feminist activists, Native-American “code talkers” and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten. Monday-Wednesday, April 10-12, 9-11 p.m. ET
NATURE “Puerto Rico: The Island That Rains Frogs” (w.t.) – Puerto Rico is a tropical island infused with unique natural wonders, but the native wildlife is threatened with extinction. Meet a charismatic group of scientists dedicated to saving Puerto Rico’s “enchanting” animals like manatees, parrots, coqui frogs and turtles. Wednesday, April 12, 8-9 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “SEED: The Untold Story” – Passionate seed keepers around the world are determined to protect humanity’s 12,000-year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94 percent of seed varieties have disappeared. Monday, April 17, 10-11 p.m. ET
NATURE “H Is For Hawk: The Next Chapter” (w.t.) – Helen MacDonald’s international best-selling book H Is for Hawk told the story of a grieving daughter who found healing in the form of Mabel, a goshawk. The goshawk is one of Mother Nature’s own fighter jets, capable of finding and killing its prey with the speed of a lightning bolt. For the first time after Mabel’s death, MacDonald tries again to train another one of these secretive birds of prey and intimately explore their lives in the wild forests they call home. Wednesday, April 19, 8-9 p.m. ET
NOVA “Holocaust Escape Tunnel” – In the heart of Lithuania, a Holocaust secret lies buried. A team of archaeologists probes the ruins of a Nazi death camp to find the truth behind tales of a tunnel dug by desperate Jewish prisoners and their daring escape. Wednesday, April 19, 9-10 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “The Last Laugh” – Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Carl Reiner and other Jewish comics and thinkers discuss the provocative question of whether any topic — including the Holocaust — should be off-limits in comedy. Monday, April 24, 10-11:30 p.m. ET
NATURE “The Making of an Ancient Forest” (w.t.) – Forests are far more complex than previously imagined. This documentary, filmed in 4K, travels deep into the remote forests of the Kalkalpen National Park in Austria — the largest area of wilderness in the Alps. The dramatic cycle of growth and decay in the long-abandoned and unmanaged forest now rules the landscape. What appears at first to be devastation and destruction is in fact part of the fundamental process of the forest’s regeneration and reversion to its natural, primeval state. Wednesday, April 26, 8-9 p.m. ET
NOVA “Death Dive to Saturn” – As the Cassini space probe’s mission nears its end, it will attempt one last daring maneuver — diving between the innermost ring and top of Saturn’s atmosphere. Explore the risks involved in this daring task, and discover the many wonders of Saturn’s system that Cassini has revealed over the years. Wednesday, April 26, 9-10 p.m. ET
NOVA “Chernobyl Entombed” (w.t.) – An international team of engineers races to construct a gargantuan dome to contain the lingering radioactive materials and crumbling remains of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, decades after being the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Wednesday, April 26, 10-11 p.m. ET
MAY ON PBS:
INDEPENDENT LENS “National Bird” – The dramatic journey of three former soldiers turned whistleblowers who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. Monday, May 1, 10-11:30 p.m. ET
THE VICTORIAN SLUM (w.t.) – As in classic series like COLONIAL HOUSE and FRONTIER HOUSE, a group of modern-day people will move into a re-created Victorian slum in London’s East End to experience life as their ancestors did 150 years ago. As participants work to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, they will live through five decades of turbulent history and social change. Tuesdays, May 2-30, 8-9 p.m. ET
NATURE “Dolphins: Spy in the Pod” (w.t.) – Dolphins are known to be among the most social animals on the planet, forming tightly knit pods of family units. Through unique footage from 13 ingenious “spy” cameras, including animatronic squid, a robotic turtle and even a dolphin “double agent,” view the complex, unexpected and often humorous two-hour adventure of these iconic sea mammals. Wednesdays, May 3-10, 8-9 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “The Prison in Seven Landscapes” – Explore how America’s prison system, which has the highest incarceration rate in the world, is shaping all facets of life, not only for those in prisons, but for those connected by proximity, money, family and work. Monday, May 8, 10-11 p.m. ET
“King Charles III” on MASTERPIECE – The hit Broadway show King Charles III, starring Tim Pigott-Smith, is adapted for television. A 2016 Tony nominee for Best Play, the drama imagines Prince Charles’ ascension to the throne following Queen Elizabeth’s death. Sunday, May 14, 9-11 p.m.
INDEPENDENT LENS “Forever Pure” – See what happened when two Muslim players joined Israel’s most popular and controversial soccer team. Through the story of one tumultuous season in the life of this famed club, the film offers a dramatic window into modern Israeli society. Monday, May 15, 10-11:30 p.m. ET
NOVA “Secrets of the Shining Knights” (w.t.) – What was it like to be a knight in shining armor and how was that armor manufactured in medieval times? NOVA joins experts and master armorers as they re-engineer Greenwich armor, some of the greatest ever made, and then put it to the test. Wednesday, May 17, 9-10 p.m. ET
AMERICAN MASTERS “James Beard: America’s First Foodie” – Experience a century of food through the life of one man, James Beard (1903-1985). A cookbook author, journalist, television celebrity and teacher, Beard helped to pioneer and expand the food media industry into the billion-dollar business it is today. Written and directed by Elizabeth Federici. Produced by Elizabeth Federici and Kathleen Squires. Friday, May 19, 9-10 p.m. ET
“Dark Angel” on MASTERPIECE – Dispensing death from the spout of a warm teapot, Joanne Froggatt plays the notorious Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton, Britain’s first female serial killer. Sunday, May 21, 9-11 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “They Call Us Monsters” – The journey of three young offenders residing in the Compound, a facility that houses Los Angeles’ most violent juvenile offenders. They each face adult sentences for their crimes, sometimes decades if not hundreds of years in prison. Monday, May 22, 10-11:30 p.m. ET
NOVA “Spirit of St. Louis” (w.t.) – Follow an intrepid team of aircraft engineers as they set about constructing a replica of Charles Lindberg’s Spirit of St. Louis … and then endeavor to retrace Lindberg’s historic — but perilous — flight. Wednesday, May 24, 9-10 p.m. ET
AMERICAN MASTERS “Jacques Pépin – The Art of Craft” – The American story of chef Jacques Pépin, a young immigrant with movie-star looks, a charming Gallic accent and a mastery of cooking and teaching so breathtaking he became an early food icon — joining James Beard and Julia Child among the handful of Americans who transformed the way the country views the world of chefs, restaurants and food. Friday, May 26, 9-10 p.m. ET
NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT – Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna host the 28th 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 NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY 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. Sunday, May 28, 8-9:30 p.m. ET; rpt. 10-11:30 p.m. ET
PBS PREVIEWS: THE VIETNAM WAR – Takes a look at creation of the upcoming epic from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick: THE VIETNAM WAR. Featuring interviews with the filmmakers, behind-the-scenes footage, and exclusive clips from the series, this program will give viewers an advance look at this Fall’s most anticipated film. Sunday, May 28, 9:30-10 p.m. ET
INDEPENDENT LENS “Farmer Veteran” – U.S. Army combat veteran Alex Sutton copes with severe PTSD after multiple deployments in Iraq, and hopes that a life of farming will give him purpose and a place to heal. Monday, May 29, 9-10 p.m. ET
POV “Almost Sunrise” – Suicide among veterans has reached epidemic proportions. Often it’s the result of what mental health professionals call “moral injury” — the transgression of deeply held beliefs during wartime. Former soldiers Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, haunted by their own combat experiences, take a 2,700-mile trek on foot across America, seeking redemption, acceptance and a way to close the moral chasm opened by war. Monday, May 29, 10-11:30 p.m. ET
NOVA “Flint” (w.t.) – Investigate how the water disaster in Flint has brought to light a disturbing truth about the vulnerabilities of water systems across the country. Discover the delicate intricacies of water chemistry, the biology of lead poisoning and the engineering challenge of replacing this ravaged infrastructure. Wednesday, May 31, 9-10 p.m. ET