ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PBS announced today a summer schedule of programming spanning generations and genres. From examinations of our nation’s history to our connections to the animal kingdom, and escapes to Britain’s courtrooms and countryside, PBS offers diverse series and specials for all viewers. Returning favorites this summer include the second season of “Endeavour” on MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!, perennial Independence Day celebration A CAPITOL FOURTH and engrossing documentaries from POV, including the season premiere film “When I Walk.” New specials, including AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “Freedom Summer” and a documentary on the infamous AL CAPONE (w.t.) bring the past to life.
“From acclaimed returning series to new thought-provoking specials, this summer offers a fresh slate of programs that will have audiences tuning in night after night to PBS,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “We have hit a strong programming stride year-round, and built a dedicated home on PBS member stations for a vast array of new, quality programming across our key genres of drama, science and natural history, history, arts and independent film.”
British dramas and comedies continue to hold court Sunday nights on PBS. David Tennant opens the MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! season with “The Escape Artist” on June 15. A double-dose of Derek Jacobi — with the Season 2 premiere of the dramedy LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX and the new comedy VICIOUS, also starring Ian McKellen — joins the second season of MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! “Endeavour” to create a winning lineup beginning on Sunday, June 29.
PBS stays committed to presenting timely programming with films that look at history, both distant and up-to-the-minute. Fifty years later, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s “Freedom Summer,” premiering on Tuesday, June 24, looks back at the violent summer of 1964 in Mississippi, when over 700 student volunteers joined civil rights organizers and local citizens to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in one of the nation’s most segregated states. The Monday, June 16 premiere of the documentary AMERICAN PHAROAH follows the Egyptian National Football Team, its American coach Bob Bradley, and its quest to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. On Tuesday, June 17, Emmy-winning actress Patricia Clarkson narrates a behind-the-scenes program of Ken Burns’s upcoming family epic, THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY.
SECRETS OF UNDERGROUND LONDON premieres Sunday, June 22, following its popular predecessors with a look into one of England’s most storied landmarks. The long-running HISTORY DETECTIVES returns Tuesdays in July in a new format called HISTORY DETECTIVES SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS: hour-long episodes that look in-depth at major international “cold cases.” Also returning is SECRETS OF THE DEAD on Wednesdays, with enthralling new episodes including “The Other Mona Lisa,” a look at the analysis of a rumored secret Leonardo da Vinci painting that depicts a younger version of his iconic model. On Friday, August 8, for the first time on film, THE ROYAL PAINTBOX gives viewers an extremely rare glimpse at artwork produced by British royal family members over the centuries.
In addition, the PBS Online Film Festival returns for the third year beginning Monday, June 16 through Thursday, July 31. The Festival will feature more than 25 short films from INDEPENDENT LENS, POV, and will include works from, and collaborations with diverse public television producers including, Center for Asian American Media, Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), Vision Maker Media, National Black Programming Consortium (NPBC) and Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC).
For more information and descriptions of the full schedule, please visit: http://www.pbs.org/about/news/archive/2014/summer-season-2014/