PBS Announces Winter/Spring 2018 Schedule
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PBS today announced its Winter/Spring 2018 schedule lineup, which includes the much-anticipated second season of MASTERPIECE’s hit series“ Victoria” (Sundays, January 14-February 25),starring Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes and, this season, Dame Diana Rigg. Also coming from MASTERPIECE is “Little Women” (Sundays, May 13-20) with Emily Watson, Angela Lansbury, Dylan Baker and Michael Gambon in this new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s timeless classic, and “The Child in Time” (Sunday, April 1), based on Ian McEwan’s acclaimed novel and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kelly Macdonald.
Additional highlights include the debut of the new series WE’LL MEET AGAIN (Tuesdays, January 23-February 27) with Ann Curry, which explores some of history’s most dramatic events through the personal stories of those who experienced them, reuniting people whose lives intersected at pivotal moments (view clip here). NATURE’s three-part miniseries “Animals with Cameras” (Wednesdays, January 31-February 14) is a fascinating look at the secret lives of animals, filmed where no human cinematographers can go.
The arts continue to shine on PBS with the premiere of TONY BENNETT: THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS GERSHWIN PRIZE FOR POPULAR SONG (Friday, January 12); GREAT PERFORMANCES concerts from the groundbreaking artists Nas (Friday, February 2) and will.i.am, as he reunites with the Black Eyed Peas for Landmarks Live in Concert: AGREAT PERFORMANCESSpecial (Friday, April 13); and “Live From Lincoln Center Presents at the Appel Room” (beginning Spring 2018), a concert miniseries that puts a spotlight on Stephanie J. Block, Sutton Foster, Leslie Odom Jr., and Andrew Rannells with four new episodes, one for each performer, illuminating their journeys to musical stardom, revisiting favorite songs and offering glimpses of future projects.
PBS will also be home to supersized event programming this season, with the nine-part CIVILIZATIONS (Tuesdays, April 17-May 15, June TBA), which tells the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day — for the first time on a global scale — and THE GREAT AMERICAN READ (Tuesday, May 22), which kicks off a national campaign to choose “America’s Best-Loved Book.”
PBS will honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and recognize the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination with a slate of programs that celebrate his legacy, including the Academy Award-nominated film from INDEPENDENT LENS, “I Am Not Your Negro” (Monday, January 15). The film examines the lives and successive assassinations of three of James Baldwin’s close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Programs airing around Dr. King’s birthday and in honor of Black History Month include AMERICAN MASTERS “Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart,” about the A Raisin in the Sun playwright (Friday, January 19), INDEPENDENT LENS “Winnie,” about the wife of Nelson Mandela (Monday, February 5) and an encore broadcast of AMERICAN MASTERS “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise,” about the activist, poet and author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings(Friday, February 16). In April — the anniversary month of Dr. King’s assassination — PBS presents encore broadcasts of Dr. Henry Louis Gates’ AND STILL I RISE: BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK (Tuesday, April 3 and Wednesday, April 4) and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “Roads to Memphis” (Wednesday, April 4).
PBS will present its Winter/Spring programming slate during presentations at the Television Critics Association Press Tour on Tuesday, January 16, and Wednesday, January 17, and will include appearances by Angela Lansbury, Emily Watson, Maya Hawke, Annes Elwy, Willa Fitzgerald and Kathryn Newton from MASTERPIECE’s “Little Women,” plus Benjamin Bratt and activist Dolores Huerta, PBS icon Bill Nye, acclaimed director Stanley Nelson and more.
The PBS Winter/Spring season includes many additional shows, series and specials, with most program descriptions listed below. More announcements about PBS specials and thematic programs will be made in the coming weeks, including programs for Earth Day and Memorial Day.
TOP SEASON PICKS
SEASON 2 PREMIERE: MASTERPIECE “Victoria” (Sundays, January 14-21, 9-11 pm, January 28-February 25, 9-10 pm ET) The dazzling series returns with Jenna Coleman as the feisty rookie monarch, Tom Hughes as her smoldering consort, Prince Albert, Rufus Sewell as her former prime minister and close friend Lord Melbourne, and Dame Diana Rigg joining the acting ensemble. Season 2 takes place against the backdrop of the early years of the Industrial Revolution, when society is changing as fast as the queen’s growing family.
MASTERPIECE “Little Women” (Sundays, May 13, at the special time of 8-9 pm ET; May 20, at the special time of 8-10 pm ET) As engaging today as in 1868, Louisa May Alcott’s story follows sisters Jo (Maya Hawke), Meg (Willa Fitzgerald), Beth (Annes Elwy) and Amy (Kathryn Newton) who, together with Laurie (Jonah Hauer-King), journey to adulthood. The cast also includes Emily Watson, Angela Lansbury, Dylan Baker and Michael Gambon.
SERIES PREMIERE: WE’LL MEET AGAIN (Tuesdays, January 23-February 27, 8-9 pm ET) Join Ann Curry for a new series featuring dramatic reunions of people whose lives crossed at pivotal moments. View history through their eyes and hear stories of heroism, hope and the forging of unbreakable bonds.
SERIES PREMIERE: CIVILIZATIONS (Tuesdays, April 17-May 15, 8-9 pm ET; June TBA) Explore the power of art from the earliest civilizations to the present, for the first time on a global scale. The series reveals the role art and the creative imagination have played in the forging of humanity, and introduces new generations to works of beauty, ingenuity and illumination.
SERIES LAUNCH EVENT: THE GREAT AMERICAN READ (Kickoff Show Tuesday, May 22, 8-10 pm ET) Examine the power, passion and joy of reading, gauged through America’s 100 best-loved books chosen by the public. The multi-part series features reflections from everyday Americans, as well as figures in the entertainment, sports, news and literary worlds, culminating in the first national vote to choose “America’s Best-Loved Book.”
NATURE “Animals with Cameras” (Wednesdays, January 31-February 14, 8-9 pm ET) Witness the secret lives of animals as never before as this three-part series uncovers truly unprecedented behavior. See a side of the animal kingdom where human cameramen can’t go and animals become the cinematographers.