GREAT PERFORMANCES to Feature THE KING AND I, KINKY BOOTS, and More; Full PBS Fall Lineup
PBS today unveiled its fall slate including new performance specials from Great Performances.
Great Performances brings viewers the broadcast premieres of "Broadway's Best" every Friday night, beginning November 1 with "42nd Street," the Broadway fable of a star-struck chorus girl dreaming of her big break.
"Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I" on November 8, Lincoln Center Theater's Tony Award-winning revival of the beloved musical classic inspired by the true story of a British school teacher in the royal court of Siam starring Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe.
They continue with "Red" on November 15, the Tony Award-winning play starring Alfred Molina as painter Mark Rothko and Alfred Enoch as his assistant as they clash over the murals for New York's Four Seasons restaurant.
"Much Ado About Nothing" on November 22, The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park modern interpretation of Shakespeare's romantic classic featuring Danielle Brooks and Grantham Coleman and directed by Tony Award-winner Kenny Leon.
"Kinky Boots" on November 29, the 2013 Broadway blockbuster about an unexpected duo joining forces to create an extraordinary line of shoes featuring music and lyrics by Pop icon Cyndi Lauper and a book by Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein.
More from the Fall Lineup
For its fall season, PBS will also highlight cultural and thematic programming, including Hispanic Heritage Month-with a new film co-presented by AMERICAN MASTERS and VOCES about the life and career of Raúl Juliá (Friday, September 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET)-along with special films for Veterans Day and Native American Heritage Month.
"PBS is the most prolific platform for documentaries, with more than 200 hours per year," said Perry Simon, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming, PBS. "This fall, we are showcasing first-rate programs featuring award-winning directors, diverse storytellers, hard-hitting investigations and untold stories, solidifying our status as America's premier destination for documentary film. We are also excited about our programs representing the best in news, arts, drama, history and Science - this fall has something for everyone."
Anchoring the fall PBS schedule is the two-week premiere of the highly anticipated 16-hour documentary COUNTRY MUSIC on Sunday-Wednesday, September 15-18, 8:00 p.m. ET and Sunday-Wednesday, September 22-25, 8:00 p.m. ET. Directed by Ken Burns, this special event is an exploration of country music-from its roots in ballads, hymns and the blues to its mainstream popularity-and highlights the unforgettable characters and storytellers who made it "America's music." Beginning the night of the premiere, the entire eight-episode film will also be available on PBS Passport through February 28, 2020.
In advance of the premiere, PBS will debut a two-hour special, COUNTRY MUSIC: LIVE AT THE RYMAN, A CONCERT CELEBRATING THE FILM BY Ken Burns, on Sunday, September 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Hosted by Burns, the show features performances and appearances by celebrated musicians Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens, Vince Gill, Kathy Mattea, Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam and more. Additionally, PBS will present encores of AMERICAN MASTERS"Charley Pride: I'm Just Me," on Thursday, September 19 at 9:00 p.m. ET and SOUNDBREAKING "The Art of Recording" on Thursday, September 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET, along with AUSTIN CITY LIMITS"Chris Stapleton/Turnpike Troubadours" on Saturday, September 14 and "Willie Nelson" on Saturday, September 21 (check local listings).
In October, RETRO REPORT ON PBS, a new weekly one-hour magazine series, hosted by journalist Celeste Headlee and artist Masud Olufani and featuring New Yorker humorist Andy Borowitz, goes BEYOND THE HEADLINES to understand the present by revealing the past. By exploring often surprising historical roots and debunking widely believed myths, the program, airing Mondays-Tuesdays, October 7-29 at 9:00 p.m. ET, gives viewers a fresh perspective and a more complete picture of today's most important stories.
FRONTLINE delivers tough investigative journalism, taking viewers inside controversial and complex stories currently shaping our times. "The Crown Prince" on Tuesday, October 1, 9:00 p.m. ET, investigates the rise of the young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his vision for the future, his handling of dissent, and the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. "For Sama" on Tuesday, November 19, 10:00 p.m. ET, is an intimate and visceral documentary about a mother's experience during the Syrian war, as she determines whether to flee or stay. This critically acclaimed film, produced by Channel 4 News/ITN Productions for Channel 4 and WGBH/FRONTLINE, is the 2019 winner of the Cannes Film Festival Best Documentary Award, and the Documentary Feature winner at the 2019 SXSW Feature Film Grand Jury Awards.
From independent producers, INDEPENDENT LENS "Made in Boise" airing Monday, October 28, 10:00 p.m. ET, goes inside the lives of four surrogates in Boise, Idaho and the intended parents whose children they carry. The film follows the women as they navigate the rigors of pregnancy and the mixed feelings of their own families, who struggle to understand their choice to risk the physical and emotional complications of carrying babies for someone else. POV "The Feeling of Being Watched" on Monday, October 14 at 10:00 p.m. uncovers one woman's quest to investigate and uncover one of the largest pre-9/11 counterterrorism probes conducted on domestic soil, right in her suburban Chicago hometown.
In November, COLLEGE BEHIND BARS debuts on Monday, November 25 and Tuesday, November 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET. The four-part documentary film series, directed by award-winning filmmaker Lynn Novick, produced by Sarah Botstein, and executive produced by Ken Burns, explores the transformative power of education through the eyes of incarcerated men and women trying to earn college degrees. Shot over four years in maximum and medium security prisons in New York State, the series examines America's failure to provide meaningful rehabilitation for the over two million men and women living behind bars.
MASTERPIECE will continue to enthrall audiences with period and modern British dramas, including the fifth and final season of "Poldark," premiering on Sunday, September 29, 9:00 p.m. ET. Aidan Turner returns as the heroic Ross Poldark, Eleanor Tomlinson revisits her role as Demelza and Jack Farthing stars as George Warleggan. Beginning the night of the September 29 broadcast premiere, all eight episodes of Season 5 will be available on PBS Passport. Seasons 1-4 are also available for catch-up streaming. Additionally, from MASTERPIECE, "The Durrells in Corfu" returns for a fourth and final season of the heartwarming dramedy on Sunday, September 29, 8:00 p.m. ET, and new miniseries "Press," beginning Sunday, October 6, 10:00 p.m. ET and set in London, explores the current turbulent media landscape and the ethical dilemmas that journalists and editors face each day.
PBS will showcase some of the best programs of its upcoming season at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour on July 29 and 30. During its two days, PBS will present a diverse array of talent from arts, entertainment, news, Science and history, and showcase independent producers with award winning documentaries. Those appearing on panels include six-time Olympic medalist and heptathlon world-record holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee for XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM(PBS KIDS); Henry Louis Gates, Jr., actress Justina Machado and comedian Sasheer Zamata for FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR; Ken Burns, Rosanne Cash, Dwight Yoakam and Marty Stuart for COUNTRY MUSIC; For "Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation" from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Barak Goodman and original Woodstock co-creator Joel Rosenman; and comedian Andy Borowitz for RETRO REPORT ON PBS. James Beard Award-winning Chef Marcus Samuelsson for NO PASSPORT REQUIRED, along with Chef Vivian Howardfor SOUTH BY SOMEWHERE. National Correspondent Amna Nawaz joins us for PBS NEWSHOUR, and for MASTERPIECE "Sanditon"Theo James, actor (Divergent movies; "Mr. Pamuk" in Downton Abbey); Rose Williams, actor (Curfew); and Andrew Davies, writer and executive producer (Pride & Prejudice, Les Misérables).
Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy