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Pasadena, CA (August 2, 2009) - Shakespeare's immortal "To Be, Or Not To Be" takes on a whole new meaning (and medium) as classical stage and screen actor David Tennant reprises the role of Hamlet for an upcoming television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company's (RSC) 2008 stage production of the classic. The production will be presented by GREAT PERFORMANCES on a to-be-determined air date in 2010 on PBS.

"Whether playing Hamlet on GREAT PERFORMANCES or hosting MASTERPIECE CONTEMPORARY for PBS, David Tennant brings exceptional talent to any stage or screen," said John F. Wilson, PBS Chief TV Programming Executive. "Consistently named as one of the most influential people in show business by the British media, we're looking forward to an American audience getting to know him better for his breadth of roles."

Best known for his performance in the title role of the popular British TV series Doctor Who since 2005, Tennant is making his debut in October as the host of MASTERPIECE CONTEMPORARY on PBS. His many other credits include his recent portrayal of Barty Crouch Junior in the big-screen blockbuster Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Tennant has also received numerous awards from the theatre community for his lead roles in several Shakespearean productions and other classic plays.

Acclaimed by The Guardian as "the best Hamlet in years," Tennant's performance was praised by the UK paper as the work of "a superb actor - supported by one of the best RSC ensembles in living memory." Veteran stage and screen actor Patrick Stewart returns to the cast as Claudius in the screen version, which is directed by Gregory Doran, who also returns to reprise his stage direction of the production (in 2001, Doran directed the dynamic television adaptation of the RSC's Macbeth). Co-produced by Illuminations Television and the RSC for the BBC, in association with Thirteen for WNET.ORG and NHK, the adaptation recreates the tone and atmosphere of the stage production in a film-style interpretation shot in HD on location at St. Joseph's College in Mill Hill, London. The production is produced for television by John Wyver and Sebastian Grant.

GREAT PERFORMANCES is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers, and PBS. For GREAT PERFORMANCES, Bill O'Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

Visit GREAT PERFORMANCES online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.

New York public media company WNET.ORG is a pioneering provider of television and web content. The parent of Thirteen, WLIW21 and Creative News Group, WNET.ORG brings such acclaimed broadcast series and websites as Great Performances, Worldfocus, Nature, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Wide Angle, Secrets of the Dead, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Visions, Consuelo Mack WealthTrack,Wild Chronicles, Miffy and Friends, and Cyberchase to national and international audiences. Through its wide range of channels and platforms, WNET.ORG serves the entire New York City metro area with unique local productions, broadcasts, and innovative educational and cultural projects. In all that it does, WNET.ORG pursues a single, overarching goal - to create media experiences of lasting significance for New York, America, and the world. For more information, visit www.wnet.org.

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Jitin Hingorani, WNET

Gloria Park, WNET