-Offerings Include New Dramas, Arts & Performance, History, and Election Coverage-
HARTFORD, Conn. (Aug. 11, 2016) – Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) is pleased to announce that it will feature a number of exciting new PBS programs in fall 2016 and winter 2016-2017. This wide range of programs includes explorations of politics, the arts, drama, social issues, and more.
In the realm of politics and election coverage, Frontline’s acclaimed series “The Choice 2016” returns on Sept. 27 with an in-depth look at this year’s presidential candidates, while the new series The Contenders – 16 for ’16, debuting Sept. 13, looks back at previous U.S. elections through the stories of former candidates. Additionally, as part of PBS’ and NPR’s election coverage partnership, the 2016 Campaign Connection website offers a round-up of election coverage from across public media.
History and politics carry over into the arts with “Hamilton’s America” from Great Performances, an intimate look at the making of the wildly successful Broadway production of Hamilton. This program kicks off the sixth season of the PBS Arts Fall Festival on Oct. 21. The festival continues with additional new programs later in the season, including the Great Performances presentations of the classic American musical Gypsy, as well as Shakespeare Live! From the Royal Shakespeare Company. The festival underscores PBS’ and CPTV’s ongoing commitment to giving audiences a front row-seat and backstage pass to the best arts performances found anywhere. Other programs that are part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival will be announced soon.
Plus, the beloved series Masterpiece enhances CPTV’s Sunday night drama block with new offerings. Sundays starting Sept. 11, see Season 2 of “Indian Summers,” a picturesque drama set during the tumultuous period of British Colonialism in 1930s India. Then, on Sept. 18, Masterpiece premieres “Churchill’s Secret,” with Emmy® Award winner Michael Gambon as Winston Churchill in an all-star production based on a little-known incident in Churchill’s life. Finally, Aidan Turner returns Sept. 25 for Season 2 of “Poldark,” a love story set in windswept Cornwall in the late 1700s.
Additionally, as part of PBS’ and CPTV’s commitment to education, Spotlight Education will be featured this fall, a week of programming on CPTV, as well as CPTV4U and CPTV Sports, focused on the challenges facing America’s education system. Starting Monday, Sept.12, PBS will lead a national dialogue on-air, online, and across communities, exploring ideas and solutions to improve outcomes for all of America’s youth. National broadcast programs include POV’s “All the Difference,” TED Talks’ “Education Revolution” [click here to view a clip], Frontline’s “A Subprime Education,” NOVA’s “School of the Future,” Craft in America’s “Teachers,” and Time for School. Funding for these programs is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), in partnership with PBS, as part of the public media initiative “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen.”
Additional programs airing starting this fall include 9/11 Inside the Pentagon, a documentary that goes behind the scenes at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the attack [click here to view a clip]. Then, on Sept. 20, Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War, co-directed by Ken Burns, tells the moving story of an American couple who rescued hundreds of people trying to escape the Nazis [click here to view a clip]. On Oct. 25, “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” on American Masters celebrates the life of the acclaimed, and often controversial, TV writer and producer. Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music, a series exploring how technology combines with human artistry to create modern music, premieres Nov. 14. In Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, which debuts in two parts on Nov. 15 and Nov. 22, acclaimed scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the last 50 years of African-American history, looking at culture, politics, and an ever-changing racial landscape [click here to view a clip]. Finally, Anne of Green Gables, a new feature film starring Martin Sheen and based on the iconic book by L.M. Montgomery, will air on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 24.
A chronological list of these and other new PBS programs coming in fall 2016 and winter 2016-2017 follows, grouped by month and premiere date:
SEPTEMBER 2016 ON CPTV
“Indian Summers,” Season 2 on Masterpiece – Sundays, Sept. 11-Nov. 20 at 10 p.m.
It’s 1935 in Simla, an Indian retreat for British colonials set in the Himalayas. An assassination attempt on the Viceroy Lord Willingdon (Patrick Malahide) and the surprise arrival of Lord Hawthorne (James Fleet, Outlander) put Ralph’s (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) future in the balance. Meanwhile, Cynthia’s (Julie Walters) Royal Simla Club plays host to an important royal guest: the Maharaja Maritpur (Art Malik, Upstairs, Downstairs) and his mysterious mistress Sirene (Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters).
9/11 Inside the Pentagon – Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 9 p.m.
On Sept. 11, 2001, at 9:37 a.m., American Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon, killing 184 people. What happened behind the walls of the Pentagon is a largely untold chapter in history. Fifteen years later, survivors and first responders shed light on that tragic day.
“Churchill’s Secret” on Masterpiece – Sunday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m.
Michael Gambon (The Singing Detective, Harry Potter) stars as Winston Churchill in this dramatization of Churchill’s life-threatening stroke in the summer of 1953, when he was prime minister for the second time. His illness and battle to recover were kept secret.
Spotlight Education Programs:
- POV – “All the Difference” – Monday, Sept. 12 at 10 p.m.
Accompany two African-American teens from the South Side of Chicago on their journey to achieve their dreams of graduating from college.
- Frontline – “A Subprime Education” – Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 10 p.m.
In a one-hour special, Frontline presents two films that build on its education reporting. First, get a fresh look at the troubled for-profit college industry. Reports of predatory behavior and fraud and the implosion of the education chain Corinthian Colleges are explored. Then, “Omarina’s Story” shows how an innovative program to stem the high school dropout crisis has affected one girl’s journey.
- TED Talks – “Education Revolution” –Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 11 p.m.
Explore innovative approaches to education with hosts Baratunde Thurston and Sara Ramirez. Speakers including Anna Deavere Smith and Sal Khan discuss the school-to-prison pipeline, the impact of micromanaging kids, and transforming struggling students into scholars.
- NOVA – “School of the Future” – Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 9 p.m.
In a new age of information, rapid innovation, and globalization, how can we prepare our children to compete? Discover how the new science of learning can help us reimagine the future of education for all children.
- Craft in America – “Teachers” – Thursday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. (on CPTV4U)
Follow artists committed to passing on their skills and passion for craft to new generations. Featured are Barbara Teller Ornelas, Lynda Teller Pete, Therman Statom, Mark Mitsuda at Punahou School, and Linda Sikora at Alfred University.
- Time for School – Thursday, Sept. 15 at 9 p.m. (on CPTV4U)
This update to the award-wining documentary project visits seven classrooms in seven countries and offers a glimpse of seven extraordinary children struggling to get what all Americans take for granted: a basic education. The film will catch up with these children, who are now adults, to see how their lives have turned out.
- American Graduate Day – Saturday, Sept. 17 at 2-6 p.m. (on CPTV Sports)
The fifth annual American Graduate Day will air live from Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City. American Graduate Day is a live broadcast that focuses on organizations and individual champions keeping kids on the path to graduation.
- PBS NewsHour Weekend Special Edition – Saturday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. (on CPTV4U)
A special edition of the show focuses on the various ways schools and teachers are trying to improve student performance and engagement.
The Contenders – 16 for ’16 – Tuesdays, Sept. 13-Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.
This eight-part series reveals the humanity, twists of fate, and surprising mistakes behind 16 of the most compelling and tumultuous presidential campaigns in modern history. The contenders will revisit the past 50 years of presidential election history and show how previous campaigns are still influencing politics.
Forces of Nature – Wednesdays, Sept. 14-Oct. 5 at 8 p.m.
This four-part science series explores the fundamental forces that shape our very existence. Co-produced with the BBC, the series tells compelling and emotional human and animal stories that illustrate the mysterious forces that shape the universe itself.
POV – “Kingdom of Shadows” – Monday, Sept. 19 at 11 p.m.
Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz takes an unflinching look at the hard choices and destructive consequences of the U.S.-Mexico drug war. Witness the human side of the conflict through the eyes of a U.S. drug enforcement agent, an activist nun in Mexico, and a former Texas smuggler.
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War – Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m.
With narration taken completely from the couple’s journals, this documentary, co-directed by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky, tells the previously untold story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, an American minister and his wife from Wellesley, Mass., who committed to a life-threatening mission to save imperiled Jews and refugees in Nazi-occupied Europe.
“Poldark,” Season 2 on Masterpiece – Sundays at 9 p.m. beginning Sept. 25 with a two-hour premiere at a special time of 8 p.m.
Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Heida Reed return as Poldark, Demelza, and Elizabeth, respectively. Follow their complicated love triangle against the breathtaking backdrop of 18th-century Cornwall in the new season of the popular romantic saga, based on the novels by Winston Graham.
Frontline – “The Choice 2016” – Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m.
Frontline’s acclaimed series “The Choice” returns with a film investigating what has shaped the two presidential candidates, where they came from, how they lead, and why they want to take on one of the most difficult jobs imaginable. From veteran filmmaker Michael Kirk, “The Choice 2016” investigates formative moments in the candidates’ lives through interviews with those who know them best, providing in-depth, trustworthy reporting and powerful new insights.
OCTOBER 2016 ON CPTV
Willie Velasquez: Empowering the People – Monday, Oct. 3 at 11 p.m.
With his rallying cry of “Su Voto es su Voz” (“Your Vote Is Your Voice”), Willie Velasquez started a grassroots movement that would change the nation’s political landscape and pave the way for the growing power of the Latino vote.
NOVA – “Great Human Odyssey” – Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 9 p.m.
Walk in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors as scientists trace the paths that led us out of Africa and around the world. From snowy Siberia to remote Pacific islands, discover how humans survived and thrived in every corner of the planet.
POV – “From This Day Forward” – Monday, Oct. 10 at 11 p.m.
When Sharon Shattuck’s father came out as transgender, Sharon was in middle school. Her father’s transition to female was difficult for her mother to accept, but her parents stayed together. As the Shattucks reunite to plan Sharon’s wedding, she seeks a deeper understanding of how their family survived intact.
America by the Numbers: The New Deciders – Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m.
Learn how Asian-American, black millennial, Arab-American, and Latino evangelical voters are exerting their growing strength and influence in this 2016 election special about power, politics, demographics, and democracy.
Nature – “Super Hummingbirds” (w.t.) – Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.
Through high-speed camerawork and breakthrough new science, enter the fast-paced world of hummingbirds. They possess super powers that enable them to fly backwards and upside-down and float in mid-air. And for the first time, see them mate, lay eggs, fight, and raise families in intimate detail.
“The Durrells in Corfu” on Masterpiece – Sundays at 8 p.m. starting Oct. 16
Based on Gerald Durrell’s autobiographical book My Family and Other Animals, this six-part series follows an unconventional family’s attempt at a new life in the natural paradise of Corfu, Greece. Keeley Hawes (Upstairs, Downstairs) stars as a widow struggling to keep her family afloat as she navigates her own love life, her children’s coming-of-age stories, and the expectations of her traditional English family.
POV – “Hooligan Sparrow” – Monday, Oct. 17 at 11 p.m.
Intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows activist “Hooligan Sparrow” and her band of colleagues to southern China to seek justice for six elementary school girls allegedly sexually abused by their principal. The activists face interrogation, harassment and imprisonment. As Sparrow champions girls’ and women’s rights, the filmmaker becomes a target, too.
Tesla: American Experience – Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 9 p.m.
Meet Nikola Tesla, the genius engineer and tireless inventor whose technology revolutionized the electrical age of the 20th century. Although eclipsed in fame by Edison and Marconi, it was Tesla’s vision that paved the way for today’s wireless world.
Nature – “My Congo” (w.t.) – Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m.
Vianet Djenguet has lived half his life in Europe, yet his heart still lies in his homeland, his Congo. As a wildlife cameraman, Vianet is returning to his roots to reveal the beauty and majesty of his country and the people within. His journey will be one of self-discovery as he travels up the Congo River toward his ancestral home, meeting weird and wonderful characters along the way, both animal and human.
PBS Arts Fall Festival Presentation:
- Great Performances – “Hamilton’s America” – Friday, Oct. 21 at 9 p.m.
This feature-film documentary brings history to vivid life through the contemporary perspective of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s revolutionary hip-hop musical Hamilton. The story of Alexander Hamilton is most remembered for its dramatic conclusion, in which Hamilton was killed in a duel by Vice President Aaron Burr, but his immeasurable contributions to modern society have largely been forgotten. Hamilton’s America provides intimate access to Miranda and his colleagues during the two years leading up to the Broadway opening of the Tony Award-winning smash hit musical about Hamilton’s life.
POV – “Thank You for Playing” – Monday, Oct. 24 at 11 p.m.
When Ryan Green, a video game programmer, learns that his young son Joel has cancer, he and his wife begin documenting their emotional journey with a poetic video game, “That Dragon, Cancer.” See how a cathartic exercise evolved into a critically acclaimed work of art in this moving film.
American Masters – “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” – Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 9 p.m.
Largely responsible for the explosion of bold American television in the 1970s, writer/producer Norman Lear’s name is synonymous with the sitcom. With unprecedented access to Lear, his work, and his massive personal archives, the program combines stories from his turbulent childhood and early career with his groundbreaking TV success (“All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times,” “Maude”) and social activism.
Nature – “The Giraffe Ark” (w.t.) – Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m.
What does it take to relocate a herd of wild giraffes in Africa? One man, his family, and a band of enthusiastic helpers are about to find out. Their journey will take them across the wild heart of Uganda, crossing the mighty Nile River. The cargo is particularly precious, as these are no ordinary giraffes, but the world’s rarest.
POV – “What Tomorrow Brings” – Monday, Oct. 31 at 11 p.m.
Step inside the very first girls’ school in a small Afghan village. Never before have fathers here allowed their daughters to be educated; now the Taliban threatens. The film traces the interconnected stories of students, teachers, village elders, and parents.
NOVEMBER 2016 ON CPTV
The Battle of Chosin: American Experience – Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 9 p.m.
Revisit this pivotal 1950 Korean War battle through the eyewitness accounts of participants. Hear the harrowing story of bloody combat and heroic survival in the first major military clash of the Cold War.
Nature – “The Story of Cats” – Wednesdays, Nov. 2 & 9 at 8 p.m.
Cats are among the most feared and revered creatures on the planet. They are one of the most studied mammals in the world, yet only now is their real identity being understood – from their incredible hunting abilities to their unique physiology and remarkable behaviors. Join Nature in an epic two-part event to journey across the globe, tracking down the origins of these diverse creatures.
NOVA – “Treasures of the Earth” – Wednesdays, Nov. 2, 9 & 16 at 9 p.m.
Explore how precious gems, metals, and energy resources are forged under extraordinary circumstances deep within the earth, and discover how their unique properties have helped lift humanity from the Stone Age to the stars.
PBS NewsHour: Election Night – Tuesday, Nov. 8, live starting at 8 p.m.
Watch live coverage of election results, co-anchored by PBS NewsHour‘s Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff.
PBS Arts Fall Festival Presentation:
- Great Performances – “Gypsy” – Saturday, Nov. 12 at 9 p.m.
Oscar-nominee Imelda Staunton (familiar to U.S. audiences as “Dolores Umbridge” in the Harry Potter franchise and “Octavia Poole” in the Cranford series) stars in London’s recent hit revival of Gypsy. Starring as “Momma Rose,” Staunton triumphs as the ultimate stage mother who will stop at nothing to ensure that her daughter wins the “star spot.” Powerfully delivering the many classic songs by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, Staunton has wowed both critics and audiences. Lara Pulver (“Irene Adler” from the hit series Sherlock) also stars.
Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music – Weeknights at 10 p.m., Nov. 14-23
This eight-part series takes an in-depth look at the art of music recording and how it’s evolved, from the Beatles’ groundbreaking use of multi-track technology, to the synthesized stylings of Stevie Wonder. The last project of legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin, the program features exclusive, original interviews, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Joni Mitchell, Roger Waters, and more.
Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise – Tuesdays, Nov. 15 & 22 at 8 p.m.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. looks at the last 50 years of African-American history — from Stokely Carmichael to Barack Obama, James Brown to Beyoncé — charting the remarkable progress made, and raising hard questions about the obstacles that remain.
Anne of Green Gables – Thursday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m.
A new adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel tells the story of Anne Shirley, a precocious orphan placed in the care of uptight Marilla Cuthbert and her brother, Matthew, played by acclaimed actor Martin Sheen. Neither Anne nor Marilla could anticipate the effect they’d have on each other’s lives.
DECEMBER 2016 ON CPTV
Great Performances – “The Hollow Crown: The Wars of The Roses” – Sundays, Dec. 11, 18 & 25 at 9 p.m.
Following the four-part “The Hollow Crown,” “The Wars of the Roses” continues the epic saga with three more lavish film adaptations of Shakespeare’s history plays: Parts I and II of Henry VI (shown in two parts) and Richard III. Together, they span rebellion in France, the rise and fall of Joan of Arc, England’s Civil War, and the dynastic murders culminating in the infamous reign of Richard III.
– “Henry VI, Part 1” − War rages and divisions within the English court threaten the crown. Young Henry VI causes outrage by marrying Margaret of Anjou; the scene is set for civil war. Tom Sturridge, Sophie Okonedo, and Hugh Bonneville star.
– “Henry VI, Part 2” − Bitter rivalries erupt. The feeble King Henry is overshadowed by Queen Margaret. Edward IV takes the throne, but youngest brother Richard has his eyes on the crown. Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Sturridge, Sophie Okonedo, and Keeley Hawes star.
– “Richard III” − In his quest for the crown, Richard plans the murder of his brother George. After the death of Edward IV, Richard’s path to the throne is clear, except for the princes in the tower. Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, and Phoebe Fox star.
Egypt’s Treasure Gardens – Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 10 p.m.
Egypt is home to many of the most famous archaeological treasures on Earth. But over the last five years, Egypt has suffered a tumultuous revolution, and tourist numbers have plummeted. Follow efforts to bring Egypt back from the brink, to keep its heritage safe, and to persuade tourists to visit the country again.
PBS Arts Fall Festival Presentation:
- Great Performances – “Shakespeare Live! from the Royal Shakespeare Company” – Sunday, Dec. 25 (Time TBA)
The Royal Shakespeare Company hosts a glittering jubilee party – and the world is invited. “Shakespeare Live!” celebrates the international legacy of Shakespeare in all the performing arts, from opera to ballet to musical theater, from The Bard’s hometown of Stratford-on-Avon. Iconic characters, speeches, and scenes from Shakespeare’s plays are featured, and participants include Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, and more.
Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2016 – Sunday, Dec. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Join the Nonnatus community to celebrate the holidays in a new special.
JANUARY 2017 ON CPTV
“Victoria” on Masterpiece – January 2017 (Dates & times TBA)
The eight-hour drama follows Victoria (Jenna Coleman) from the time she becomes Queen in 1837 at the age of 18 through her relationship with Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell), her first prime minister and intimate friend, and her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert (Tom Hughes).
“King Charles III” on Masterpiece – January 2017 (Dates & times TBA)
The hit Broadway show King Charles III is adapted for television. A 2016 Tony® nominee for Best Play, King Charles III imagines Prince Charles’ ascension to the throne following Queen Elizabeth’s death.
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About Connecticut Public Broadcasting
The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN) is home to CPTV, WNPR, and the Learning Lab. CPTV is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including original documentaries, public affairs and educational programming. WNPR is an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. The Learning Lab serves high school seniors through a partnership with Hartford Public Schools and the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School. It is also home to the Institute for Advanced Media, a program that provides the men and women of our armed forces and adult learners an opportunity to learn skills necessary for the 21st century digital media workplace. For more information, visit cpbn.org.