PBS Announces Winter Spring 2013 Lineup

The Crawley family’s fate hangs in the balance when MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Downton Abbey, Season 3” returns in January. A bonanza of new dramas and documentaries — and the return of several other hit series — means a powerful winter/spring season for PBS. PBS will pick up season two of the runaway British hit CALL THE MIDWIFE on Sundays throughout the spring, along with “Mr. Selfridge,” a new drama from MASTERPIECE, continuing the celebrated night of destination dramas. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s bold new series THE ABOLITIONISTS premieres in January; MAKERS: WOMEN WHO MAKE AMERICA, a three-hour special about the role of women in shaping America over the last 50 years, premieres in February; Ken Burns’s film THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE airs in April; and in May, CONSTITUTION USA with Peter Sagal looks at the U.S. Constitution — how it works and how it doesn’t.

Other high-profile programs include an intimate portraits of Mel Brooks and Philip Roth from AMERICAN MASTERS; new seasons of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW andMARKET WARRIORS; and the return of the best independent films to Monday nights, with POV’s “Reportero” and INDEPENDENT LENS’ “Soul Food Junkies” leading a crop of acclaimed titles. A new season of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION, narrated by Ryan Seacrest, begins, and new “Exploration Wednesday” science and nature programs feature NATURE’s “Attenborough’s Life Stories” and NOVA’s “Earth From Space” and “Australia’s First 3 Billion Years”. PBS’ ongoing commitment to arts programming on Fridays offers SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED, a star-studded new series about Shakespeare’s greatest works.

Key talent slated to appear during PBS presentations at the Television Critics’ Association Press Tour on January 14 and 15 include Mel Brooks and Philip Roth (Roth via satellite) for AMERICAN MASTERS; Jeremy Irons for SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED; Jeremy Piven for MASTERPIECE “Mr. Selfridge”; Peter Sagal for CONSTITUTION USA; Pam Ferris, Helen George and Jessica Raine for a new season of CALL THE MIDWIFE; Alfre Woodard for INDEPENDENT LENS; Ken Burns for CENTRAL PARK FIVE; David Sutherland for KIND-HEARTED WOMAN; and many others.

“Our winter/spring season features the exciting return of many fan favorites bursting with exceptional, new content that builds on our recent successes,” said John F. Wilson, Senior Vice President and Chief TV Programming Executive, PBS. “In early 2013, we’ve created our strongest nightly lineups yet, which will keep viewers tuned to PBS for the high-quality programming we provide.”

Winter/Spring 2013 Highlights

Sunday, January 6, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
It may be more famous now than any time in its 1,300-year history as the setting of “Downton Abbey,” but England’s Highclere Castle has its own stories to tell. In its heyday, Highclere was the social epicenter of Edwardian England. See how all the inhabitants of Highclere lived, from the aristocrats who enjoyed a life of luxury to the army of servants toiling “below stairs.” Also find out how the current inhabitants, Lord and Lady Carnarvon, spend $1 million in annual upkeep funds and what life in a fairytale castle is like today.

MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Downton Abbey, Season 3”
Sundays, January 6 to February 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET 
The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate. The international hit, written by Julian Fellowes, stars Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville, with guest star Shirley MacLaine. “Downton Abbey, Season 3” is a Carnival/Masterpiece co-production.

POV “Reportero”
Monday, January 7, 2013, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Follow a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. In Mexico, close to 50 journalists have been slain or have vanished since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderón came to power and launched a government offensive against the country’s powerful drug cartels and organized crime. As the drug war intensifies and the risks to journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced?

Tuesdays, January 8-22, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
Vividly bringing to life the epic struggles of the men and women who fought to end slavery, THE ABOLITIONISTS tells the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Brown. Fighting body and soul, they led the most important civil rights crusade in American history. What began as a pacifist movement became a fiery and furious struggle that forever changed the nation. Black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy, these passionate anti-slavery activists tore the nation apart in order to form a more perfect union.

INDEPENDENT LENS “Soul Food Junkies” 
Monday, January 14, 2013, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Filmmaker Byron Hurt sets out to learn more about soul food and its relevance to black cultural identity. As he discovers, the relationship between African Americans and high-fat, calorie-rich traditional dishes such as ribs, grits and fried chicken is culturally based, deeply rooted, complex and often deadly. “Soul Food Junkies” puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine its positive and negative consequences.


Tuesdays, January 15 to February 5, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
The third season of this Emmy-nominated series boasts interviews with legendary stars and never-before-seen images about iconic television shows and programming genres that continue to influence the medium today.
January 15: “Funny Ladies” features the first standup comediennes to appear on television, including Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White and Marla Gibbs. The episode covers Lucille Ball’s breakthrough on “I Love Lucy,” television’s most enduring variety star, Carol Burnett, and features interviews with contemporary actresses including Tina Fey and Margaret Cho. January 22: “Primetime Soaps” explores the nighttime soap frenzy with interviewees Larry Hagman, Joan Collins, Linda Evans, Diahann Carroll, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Michele Lee, Joan Van Ark and Donna Mills.January 29: “Superheroes” crosses many eras and features in-depth interviews with Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Lynda Carter, Lou Ferrigno, William Katt and others. It also includes comments from Robert Culp about his show “The Greatest American Hero,” recorded just days before he passed away. February 5:“Miniseries” surveys programs that rank among the top-rated episodes in television history; they were major events that captured the nation’s imagination. Interviewees are stars LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr., Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, John Amos, Georg Stanford Brown, Ed Asner, Peter Strauss, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown.

NATURE “Attenborough’s Life Stories” 
Wednesdays, January 23 to February 6, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
In honor of Sir David Attenborough’s 60th anniversary on television, this three-part miniseries focuses on three fields that Attenborough feels have been transformed most profoundly: filmmaking, science and the environment. Richly illustrated with the sequences that Attenborough has spent 60 years capturing, new interviews in which he revisits the content, stories and locations that were featured in his landmark series, and packed with the personal anecdotes of the BBC’s most accomplished raconteur, “Attenborough’s Life Stories” is a singular synopsis of a unique half-century plus.

Fridays, January 25 to February 8, 2013, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

This compelling series tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. Six episodes combine history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis and the personal passions of celebrated hosts Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Trevor Nunn, Joely Richardson and David Tennant. Episodes includeMacbeth With Ethan Hawke” (1/25, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET), in which the classic “Scottish play” goes under the microscope, and “The Comedies With Joely Richardson” (1/25, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET), which explores why two gender-bending plays, Twelfth Night and As You Like It, remain among the most popular. The series also includes Richard II With Derek Jacobi” (2/1, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET), “Henry IV & Henry V With Jeremy Irons” (2/1, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET), Hamlet With David Tennant” (2/8, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) and The Tempest With Trevor Nunn” (2/8, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET).

NOVA “Earth From Space”  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
“Earth From Space” is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms them into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustain life on earth. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to a magnetic field bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

INDEPENDENT LENS “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”
February 25, 2013, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET
This is the inside story of a dissident Chinese artist who blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her film is a detailed portrait of one of China’s most compelling public figures.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 8:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Review the story of how women, including Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Ellen DeGeneres, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters and Katie Couric, have helped shape America over the last 50 years — through one of the most sweeping social revolutions in our country’s history — in pursuit of their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity and personal autonomy. The documentary builds on an unprecedented multi-platform video experience from PBS and AOL: MAKERS.com.

POV “Girl Model”
Sunday, March 24, 2013, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Go beneath the facade of the modeling industry by following two people whose lives intersect because of it. Ashley is a deeply conflicted American model scout, and 13-year-old Nadya, plucked from a remote Siberian village and promised a lucrative career in Japan, is her latest discovery. As the young girl searches for glamour and an escape from poverty, she confronts the harsh realities of a culture that worships youth—and an industry that makes perpetual childhood a globally traded commodity. Official Selection of the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and Toronto International Film Festival.


Sundays, March 31 to May 19, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
CALL THE MIDWIFE, written by Heidi Thomas and based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth, returns for a second series. Extended to eight episodes, BBC One’s most successful new drama since ratings began sees the return of all its well-loved characters as well as some new faces. Nonnatus House opens its doors to warmly welcome the audience back into 1950s East End London and continues to follow Poplar’s community of exceptional midwives and nursing nuns. The new series stays true to its roots — viewers can expect to see more births, babies and bicycling, plus blossoming romance from an unexpected quarter.

NOVA “Australia’s First 3 Billion Years” 

Wednesdays, April 10 to May 1, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
Of all continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. NOVA’s four-part miniseries takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from high-energy host and geologist Richard Smith, meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids. Join NOVA on the ultimate Outback road trip, an exploration of the history of the planet as seen through the mind-altering window of the Australian continent.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
This new film from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles the Central Park Jogger case, for the first time from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice.


Tuesdays, May 14-21, 2013, 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET
Breathing new life into the traditional civics lesson, Peter Sagal (host of NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me) travels across the country on a customized Harley-Davidson to find out where the U.S. Constitution lives, how it works and how it doesn’t; how it unites us as a nation and how it has nearly torn us apart. Sagal introduces some major constitutional debates today and talks with ordinary Americans and leading constitutional experts about what the Constitution actually says and what it means, the dramatic historical events and crises that have defined it, and why all this matters.

AMERICAN MASTERS “Mel Brooks” (w.t.)
Monday, May 20, 2013, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET
“Mel Brooks” (w.t.) profiles the larger-than-life, yet very private comedy giant. He has never authorized a biography and has requested that his friends not talk about him, making his participation in this AMERICAN MASTERS film a genuine first. Features new interviews with Brooks, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Cloris Leachman, Carl Reiner and Joan Rivers.


Sundays, March 31 to May 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET
Enjoy a dramatization of the real-life story of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the flamboyant and visionary American founder of the famous London department store that revolutionized the modern shopping experience. Created by Andrew Davies (“Little Dorrit”), the program features Jeremy Piven in his first television role since the hit series “Entourage.” “Mr. Selfridge” is an ITV Studios and MASTERPIECE coproduction.


(Listed chronologically by premiere date, with multipart series, such as NOVA, listed under first air date.)


Tuesday, January 1, 2013, 2:30-4:00 and 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET: “From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2013” rings in the New Year with special host Julie Andrews and the Vienna Philharmonic, under the baton of guest conductor Franz Welser-Möst, at the opulent Musikverein. The program features everyone’s favorite Strauss Family waltzes and the dancing of the Vienna City Ballet. Tuesday, January 1, 2013, 9:30-11:00 p.m. ET“Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” combines interviews and extensive performance footage to explore how and why the Broadway musical has proven to be fertile territory for Jewish songwriters. Friday, January 4, 2013, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET“Paul Simon’s Graceland Journey” follows Simon on his return to South Africa to reunite and perform with several of the musicians involved in the original Graceland album, capturing Simon’s unique homecoming journey. Friday, May 3, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET“The Paul Taylor Dance Company in Paris”presents two of Taylor’s enduring masterworks: Brandenburgs, first performed in 1988 to music from Bach’s Brandenburg concertos #3 and #6; and his 2008 ballet Beloved Renegade, set to Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria” and inspired by the life and work of poet Walt Whitman.

Wednesdays, January 2 to February 6, 2013, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
From the ocean abyss to snow-covered summits, this ambitious series paints a detailed picture of the struggles and amazing intimacy required to survive around volcanoes. Spectacular scenery provides the backdrop for the extraordinary animals and plants that have learned to adapt to life on fire. Fragile and engaging, these creatures teach us lessons in survival in a world as fascinating as it is dangerous. Episodes include “Icelandic Volcanoes” (1/2), in which the seemingly incongruous pairing of fiery mountains and icy landscapes masks a hidden menace, and“Volcano Doctors” (1/9), where daredevil geologists traveling the world to assess where the next eruptions may occur.  Other episodes include “The Surprise Salmon” (1/16), “Phoenix Temple” (1/23), “Ash Runners” (1/30) and “Pioneers of the Deep” (2/6).

Wednesdays, continuing series, 9:00 p.m. ET
January 2: “Doomsday Volcanoes” uses CGI to take viewers inside the geological monsters Hekla and Laki and meet atmospheric scientists who are working to understand just how devastating an eruption could be — not just for air travel but for the global food supply and for Earth’s climate. January 9: “Decoding Neanderthals”explores a range of intriguing new evidence for Neanderthal self-expression and language, all pointing to the fact that we may have seriously underestimated our mysterious, long-vanished human cousins. January 23: “Rise of the Drones”reveals the amazing technologies that make drones so powerful.  January 30: “Who Killed Lindbergh’s Baby?” investigates efforts to determine what really happened to Lindbergh’s baby — and why. February 6: “Building Pharaoh’s Chariot” joins teams of archaeologists, engineers, woodworkers and horse trainers to build and test two highly accurate replicas of Egyptian royal chariots. February 20: “Ancient Computer”follows the ingenious detective work that revealed the truth about an ancient Greek device: an astonishingly sophisticated astronomical calculator and eclipse predictor.April 3: “Alien Planets Revealed” takes viewers on a journey of the imagination as NOVA “builds” aliens from the ground up. May 8: “Predators in Your Backyard”follows scientists who are undertaking a simple, but frightening, action: returning apex predators such as coyotes, bears and panthers to their natural environments.

Mondays, beginning January 7, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET; rpt. Thursdays, beginning January 10, 2012, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW premieres its 17th season in January 2013, featuring yet another million-dollar find! The 10-time Emmy Award nominated series presents episodes from Corpus Christi, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Cincinnati, Ohio; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Seattle, Washington. In each one-hour ROADSHOW episode, people submit their antiques and collectibles for free appraisals from the country’s leading auction houses and independent dealers. ANTIQUES ROADSHOW captures the excitement of a treasure hunt, lessons in history and design, and heart-warming personal stories.

Mondays, beginning January 7, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
From the producers of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, MARKET WARRIORS follows the antiques pickers, joined by new picker Benedicta “Bene” Raia, on treasure hunts nationwide as they scour flea markets for antiques and vintage valuables with an eye toward selling their finds for profit at auction. Over the course of nine new one-hour episodes, viewers will enjoy an up-close look at the fierce competition and obstacles the pickers face in the marketplace each week, and make their best guesses about who will come out ahead at the end of each episode. Episodes for the season were filmed at flea markets across the country, including Walnut, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; New Milford, Connecticut; Long Beach, California; Chantilly, Virginia; Greenwich, New York; Oronoco, Minnesota; Rochester, Minnesota.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET: HENRY FORD: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE paints a fascinating portrait of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century. Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ETSILICON VALLEY: AMERICAN EXPERIENCEtells the story of the pioneering scientists who transformed rural Santa Clara County into the hub of technological ingenuity we now know as Silicon Valley. The film spotlights the creativity of the young men who founded Fairchild Semiconductor and in particular the brilliant, charismatic young physicist Robert Noyce.

Wednesdays, continuing series, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
February 13“Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo” captures the story of the descendants of ancient buffalo and wolves in thrilling cinematic glory by a lone filmmaker who has followed them for more than 20 years. April 17: “The Dark World of the Eel” (w.t.) takes on the mystery of the eel, shedding light on the animal and the strange behavior it inspires in those who seek to know it. May 1“Majestic Horses”(w.t.) is the story of the world-famous Lipizzaner stallions — from their origins in ancient times to the almost unknown drama of their rescue in 1945. May 8: “The Secret Life of Deer” (w.t.) outfits deer with night vision cameras and GPS tracking equipment that reveal the hidden world of white-tailed deer in a whole new light, allowing us to see them not as common backyard creatures, but as intelligent, affectionate family members. May 15: “Dust and Stripes” (w.t.) tells the story of a spectacular annual migration through the eyes of the participants — zebras — documenting their journey across an otherworldly landscape, revealing their trials and triumphs as well as the fascinating social bonds that hold zebra families together.


Friday, February 22, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET“Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock and Roll” uncovers the life, music and influence of African-American gospel singer and guitar virtuoso Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973).Friday, March 29, 2013, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET“Philip Roth: Unmasked” explores the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Philip Roth (b. 3/19/1933) in honor of his 80th birthday. Monday, May 20, 2013, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET: “Mel Brooks” (w.t.) profiles a larger-than-life, yet very private, comedy giant. He has never authorized a biography and has requested that his friends not talk about him, making his participation in this AMERICAN MASTERS film a genuine first. Features new interviews with Brooks, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Cloris Leachman, Carl Reiner, and Joan Rivers.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
The elephant, Earth’s most charismatic and majestic land animal, today faces market forces driving the value of its tusks to levels once reserved for gold. This groundbreaking National Geographic special goes undercover to expose the criminal network behind ivory’s supply and demand. It also demonstrates how the elephant, with its highly evolved society, keen intelligence, ability to communicate across vast distances and to love, remember and even to mourn, is far more complex than ever imagined. More revelations are sure to follow, but only if the outspoken and courageous crime investigators and conservationists showcased in this program prevail.

TBA – March
Comedian Jerry Lewis, onstage at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, tells stories of his eight-decade career through narrative and musical performances, with video montages from his television and film appearances — including rare, never-before-seen clips from his personal and private vaults. Lewis surveys his early success in show business, his years with Dean Martin as half of the most popular comedy duo in entertainment history and his launch to solo superstardom and recognition as a philanthropist. A renowned humanitarian, Lewis is the only entertainer ever to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Monday-Tuesday, March 25-26, 2013, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
This special gives space and breadth to our nation’s education reform debate by giving the audience a first-hand view of what happens in a school that meets the needs of the most challenged students in new and sometimes non-traditional ways. Observe a tireless team of teachers and school leaders dealing with the usual antics of teenagers and the changing tides of a fast-moving administration that is responding to pressures from outside partners, politicians and forces in the community. A surprising and dramatic end to the school year sheds light on both the extraordinary challenges and opportunities today’s public schools face.

Monday-Tuesday, April 1-2, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET
In a special two-part series that illuminates the epidemic of child sexual abuse on Native-American reservations and the growing scandal of some tribes’ failure to protect those children, acclaimed filmmaker David Sutherland  (“The Farmer’s Wife,” “Country Boys”) profiles Robin Charboneau, a 32-year-old divorced single mother and Oglala Sioux woman living on North Dakota’s Spirit Lake Reservation. Sutherland follows Charboneau over three years as she struggles to raise her children, Darian and Anthony, further her education, heal the wounds of sexual abuse she suffered as a child and battle alcoholism. At the same time, she fights in tribal court with her ex-husband for custody of the children, even after he’s convicted of sexually molesting his own daughter and another child. Charboneau’s quest to heal her family, find a new man to love her and help guide her children, earn a degree in social work and return to her reservation to help prevent the abuse of women and children leads her on a journey of discovery, heartbreak and, ultimately, redemption. The program is a co-presentation of FRONTLINE and INDEPENDENT LENS.

Friday, May 10, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
Follow ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro over the course of a musical season. Enjoy dynamic performances before sold-out crowds, intimate moments of life on the road and visits to Shimabukuro’s native Hawai’i, where he has risen from local hero to international star.

Sunday, May 26, 2013, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET; rpt. 9:30-11:00 p.m. ET
This annual broadcast is a night of remembrance featuring an all-star line-up of dignitaries, actors and musical artists in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra. The program airs live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, and to our troops around the world on the American Forces Network.