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Smithsonian Channel Announces Premieres For May 2020

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Smithsonian Channel Announces Premieres For May 2020

Smithsonian Channels' May programming features the premiere of "An American Aristocrat's Guide To Great Estates," an all-access pass into Great Britain's most magnificent homes, hosted by Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke.

Sunday, 5/3

SPY WARS WITH DAMIAN LEWIS: MERCHANT OF DEATH

(New episode) - 8 p.m. ET/PT
After the fall of the Soviet Union a new Russia emerged - one of chaotic capitalism where businessmen stepped in to rule the economy. One of those men was Viktor Bout, and he would become one of the MOST INFAMOUS Russian businessmen in history and known as the Merchant of Death. A former spy, Bout became the world's most dangerous arms dealer, a man responsible for the deaths of millions worldwide. His is a tale of greed and immorality that led to one of the most audacious undercover sting operations ever conducted.

Sunday, 5/3

WORLD OF WEAPONS: THE AMBUSH

(New episode) - 9 p.m. ET/PT

Attacking the enemy in an ambush is a devastating advantage at war. The Ambush explores weapons that stayed undetected until their very strike revolutionized warfare. The caltrop brought down the cavalry when it made entire battlefields impassible. Being able to load and fire a rifle from a lying position made a huge difference during warfare. The insidious landmine weakens every leftover moral of the enemy's army. What if future soldiers' cover becomes invisibility?

Monday, 5/4

SECRETS UNLOCKED: EGYPT'S LOST CITY

(New episode) - 8 p.m. ET/PT

Ramesses II was Egypt's greatest pharaoh. As a warrior-king who brought stability to the kingdom, he oversaw its biggest building program since the Pyramids, a thousand years earlier. For Egyptologists, a great mystery has hung over the reign of one of Egypt's greatest builders - how did his magnificent capital city, Pi-Ramesse, simply disappear?

Monday, 5/4

SECRETS UNLOCKED: THE PHARAOH IN THE SUBURBS

(New episode) - 8:30 p.m. ET/PT

The surprising discovery of a giant colossus in a Cairo suburb has sent shockwaves around the archaeological world. New investigations are revealing this statue to depict an almost unknown pharaoh. The sculpture's scale and size could rewrite our understanding of over a century of ancient Egyptian history.

Monday, 5/4

RACE TO VICTORY: WWII EUROPE

(Special premiere) - 9 p.m. ET/PT

By January 1945, it's apparent Germany will be defeated, but instead of winding down, the war enters its bloodiest, most chaotic phase. As the Allies close in, everything accelerates. In Race to Victory: WWII Europe, color footage reveals the destruction of entire cities, the close-up faces of desperate citizens and the horrific discovery of the Dachau concentration camp. Gripping moments include the last V-2 attack on London - hitting the Stepney district - and the haunting home movies of Hitler's companion, Eva Braun.

Sunday, 5/10

SPY WARS WITH DAMIAN LEWIS: EXODUS

(New episode) - 8 p.m. ET/PT
In 1968, 20-year-old Dani Limor was recruited by Mossad, Israel's Intelligence Service, which had built a formidable reputation for its global operations. To this day, virtually all Limor's assignments remain classified, but their successes made him one of Mossad's top field agents and a legend in global intelligence circles. This is the story of how Mossad sent Limor and other undercover agents into enemy territory in one of the most daring rescue missions in the history of espionage.

Sunday, 5/10

WORLD OF WEAPONS: DEADLY INVENTIONS

(New episode) - 9 p.m. ET/PT

Wars become even bloodier as new technologies keep evolving. An international team of experts tests the deadliest weapons upgrades in the history of warfare. Designed to penetrate solid armor, the Scorpio makes use of the power of torsion. With the long sword, European knights slaughter their opponents on the medieval battlefield and Henry's rifle changed future wars with a revolutionary design: the lever action. Looking forward, a futuristic image of a combat robot army can be the next generation of infantry.

Sunday, 5/10

WORLD OF WEAPONS: CIVILIANS ON THE BATTLEFIELD

(New episode) - 10 p.m. ET/PT

Oftentimes civilians suffer from waging a war - in this episode, experts track down three weapons that were used to recklessly attack civilian populations. With no regard for civilian casualties, the trebuchet hurls heavy stones against solid castle walls. Deploying biological weapons is a chance to conquer a fortress without destroying it. Designed to put an end to World War II, the atomic bomb embodies fear and terror to this day. Now, a cyber war could be most devastating, affecting everyone's reality.

Monday, 5/11

SECRETS UNLOCKED: RIDDLE OF PETRA

(New episode) - 8 p.m. ET/PT

The 2,000-year-old ruins of the ancient city of Petra have captured the world's imagination. Now, thanks to startling new evidence, experts are on the brink of solving an enduring mystery: what led to the abandonment of this grand and elaborate city?

Monday, 5/11

SECRETS UNLOCKED: AMERICA'S LOST PYRAMID

(New episode) - 8:30 p.m. ET/PT

1,000 years ago, a great civilization built a thriving metropolis in the heart of NORTH AMERICA on the banks of the Mississippi. The city of Cahokia was an economic and religious dynamo - but it disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived. What happened to North America's first empire?

Wednesday, 5/13

RATTLESNAKE ROAD TRIP

(Special premiere) - 8 p.m. ET/PT

Rattlesnakes are the iconic reptiles of the southern U.S., but despite their fearsome reputation, these snakes continue the fight for their place in the wild. Enter Jules Sylvester, snake wrangler, who's on a rattler road trip through THE WILD WEST - fact-finding, myth-busting and rescuing wayward rattlers along the way.

Sunday, 5/17

PRIVATE LIVES OF THE MONARCHS: NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

(Season premiere) - 8 p.m. ET/PT

The season premiere examines the life of one of France's self-appointed emperor, a man who started with nothing, acquired everything, and lost it all again. Join Borman as she traces the life of this first Emperor of France, a workaholic and military genius of vaulting ambition who had a stunning rise and fall from power. To understand Napoleon the man, Borman visits the palaces from where he ran his empire, uncovering his private relationships and string of affairs, and reveals how the "man of destiny" coped with humiliating defeat.

Sunday, 5/17

AN AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT'S GUIDE TO GREAT ESTATES: INVERARAY CASTLE

(Series premiere) - 9 p.m. ET/PT
Host Julie Montagu travels to a remote corner of the country to visit a family that has been at the heart of British history for centuries. The Duke and Duchess of Argyll are raising their three children at the legendary home of the Campbell clan, a spectacular Gothic castle on the edge of Loch Fyne in the Scottish Highlands. Exploring its 80 rooms, Julie discovers echoes of clan warfare, has a close encounter with one of its five ghosts and sees how the Duke and Duchess preserve 800 years of family history. She learns THE CODE for how to tell an aristocrat's rank from his or her coronet. And she gets to test her mettle at caber tossing in the famous Highland Games, which began as a way for Campbell chieftains to find their best soldiers.

Monday, 5/18

SECRETS UNLOCKED: STONEHENGE MYSTERY

(New episode) - 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stonehenge is a 5,000-year-old mystery. Despite years of investigation, archaeologists can't agree about why or how this stunning and mysterious monument was built. Some argue that one of the world's most famous monuments, with its careful alignment to the midwinter solstice, was a giant calendar or observatory, or a cathedral to some unknown gods. But now the discovery and dating of an ancient mass-grave at the Stonehenge site is indicating that the site began as a Neolithic graveyard.

Monday, 5/18

SECRETS UNLOCKED: HUNT FOR ATLANTIS

(New episode) - 8:30 p.m. ET/PT

The island of Atlantis vanishing beneath the waves is one of the greatest myths of the ancient world. Described by the Greek philosopher Plato, Atlantis was initially thought to be a cautionary fable. But could the lost civilization have been inspired by real events?

Wednesday, 5/20

DINOSAUR COLD CASE

(Special premiere) - 8 p.m. ET/PT

It's the ultimate cold case. A Canadian miner working in Alberta's oil sands hits a large, strange object. But this is no ordinary jumble of fossilized bones. It's one of the world's most perfectly preserved dinosaurs - 18 feet long with head, shoulder spikes, and skin. From the front, it looks as if it was walking around yesterday. Scientists determine that it's a new species of armored dinosaur and name it Borealopelta. But how did it die? And why is it so far from home?

Sunday, 5/24

PRIVATE LIVES OF THE MONARCHS: EDWARD VIII (new episode) - 8 p.m. ET/PT
A monarch who sat on the throne for less than a year, Edward VIII is forever remembered as a man who brought about one of the greatest crises in modern British history. Known for his affair and marriage to American divorcée Wallis Simpson, abdication of the throne and rumored friendship with Adolf Hitler, Borman goes behind the royal pomp and pageantry to reveal the private life of Edward VIII, before, during, and after his abdication.

Sunday, 5/24

AN AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT'S GUIDE TO GREAT ESTATES: FLOORS CASTLE

(New episode) - 9 p.m. ET/PT


Julie crosses the border into Roxburghshire, Southeast Scotland, to visit the magnificent Floors Castle - one of the nation's finest listed buildings, sitting among 52,000 acres of Scottish countryside. Once a grand estate employed with a full-time household staff running into hundreds, now operates with a fraction of that number. Julie tours some of the castle's grandest rooms and joins THE RESIDENT butler, Richard, to help with some of the multiple duties he performs daily, from polishing some of THE FAMILY silver to a masterclass in correctly laying a formal dining table. With the Duke of Roxburghe, Julie attends the estate's annual horse trials that draws hundreds of riders to compete across the categories of dressage, show jumping and cross-country racing.

Monday, 5/25

SECRETS UNLOCKED: BOG BODIES

(New episode) - 8 p.m. ET/PT

Across Europe a series of murder victims lie buried in the earth. 2,000-year old natural mummies, these are the so-called "Bog Bodies." Today, these remains are revealing shocking tales of human sacrifice in which the victims seem to have willingly met their fates.

Monday, 5/25

SECRETS UNLOCKED: HEADLESS GLADIATORS OF YORK

(New episode) - 8:30 p.m. ET/PT

It was one of grizzliest finds in modern archaeology. The decapitated remains of 80 battle scarred skeletons, ritualistically buried 2,000 years ago in the Historic City of York. Could these men be Gladiators? If so, it could rewrite the history of the Roman occupation of Britain.

Sunday, 5/31

PRIVATE LIVES OF THE MONARCHS: PRINCESS MARGARET

(New episode) - 8 p.m. ET/PT

Princess Margaret, younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, was a fashion icon, a drinker, a smoker and someone who completely broke the royal mold. Adored by the British tabloids, she was also a deeply misunderstood figure - Borman investigates Margaret's private life and reveals how her widely publicized love affairs unfairly eclipsed her dedication and contributions to the affairs of state. The episode details the real reasons her marriage broke down and uncovers a secret that was only revealed after her death.

Sunday, 5/31

AN AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT'S GUIDE TO GREAT ESTATES: HOLDENBY HOUSE

(New episode) - 9 p.m. ET/PT

In this episode, Julie travels to Northamptonshire to explore one of England's most historically significant properties, Holdenby House. Owners James and Karen Lowther have been running the estate for over thirty years, during which time they have funded work on virtually every part of the house - from replacing the roof to renovating the scores of museum-grade artworks. During her two-day visit, Julie learns about the "living history" educational program, attracting thousands of school children every year to Holdenby. She tries her hand at the ancient art of falconry, delves into the home's collection of period couture clothing and discovers how to safely clean grand antique oil paintings.


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