PBS Announces Slate of New Programs for 2007 Including First-Ever "FRONTLINE" and "AMERICAN EXPERIENCE" Collaboration on "The Mormons"
PBS Fall Campaign Focuses on Six Acclaimed Series as Centerpiece
PBS Press Tour, Pasadena, CA; July 26, 2006 - PBS senior vice president, John F. Wilson announced today the first-ever collaboration from two of the most recognized and renowned series on PBS - FRONTLINE and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE for "The Mormons" (working title) premiering in April 2007. Along with stand-out new mini-series and programs coming from NATURE, MASTERPIECE THEATRE, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW and NOVA airing throughout the fall and beyond, PBS kicks off each week, Sunday - Tuesday, with the best television has to offer.
Beginning this fall, PBS will initiate a tune-in campaign driving home the Sunday - Tuesday night schedule featuring these six regularly scheduled icon series that collectively and consistently deliver on viewer's diverse interests. Companion Web sites for these programs will be available at www.pbs.org.
"Season after season, night after night, PBS offers the most thought-provoking programs on television," said John Wilson. "In particular, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights, with six of the most heralded series on television, are a benchmark for creative, entertaining and stimulating programming."
Building on the momentum of strong fall seasons for each series (see PBS fall season release and individual series releases), PBS is announcing the following highlights from Winter/Spring 2007 including:
Sunday Nights: NATURE at 8:00 p.m. followed by MASTERPIECE THEATRE at 9:00 p.m.
NATURE "Dogs That Changed the World" (two one-hour programs, Spring 2007)
Dogs display the greatest diversity in size, shape and behavior of any mammal in the world. And yet, from the tiniest Chihuahua to the largest St. Bernard, all dogs have descended from a common ancestor, the wolf. How did the 300 breeds of dog recognized today come to be so different? And how and why has the modern dog secured a place in history as one of the best loved animals on our planet?
"Dogs That Changed the World" features scientists who have discovered the answers to these questions by piecing together, for the first time ever, the complex puzzle of canine evolution and design.
MASTERPIECE THEATRE "Jane Eyre" (two two-hour programs, January 2007)
A new adaptation of Charlotte Bront�'s beloved gothic novel about the passionate courtship between a governess and her tortured master. Directed by Susanna White ("Bleak House"), the cast includes Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia) and newcomer Ruth Wilson as the young and grown Jane respectively, and Toby Stephens (son of Maggie Smith; The Queen's Sister, Cambridge Spies) as Mr. Rochester.
Monday Nights: ANTIQUES ROADSHOW at 8:00 p.m. followed by AMERICAN EXPERIENCE at 9:00 p.m.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW "Salt Lake City" (Spring 2007)
Airing in conjunction with the special presentation on "The Mormons," (working title), ROADSHOW travels to Salt Lake City to look at memorabilia from the West and early days of the Mormon Church in three all new episodes.
"The Mormons" (working title)
AN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE - FRONTLINE Special Presentation (two 90-minute episodes, April 2007)
The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints is one of America's fastest growing religions, and its influence circles the globe. The church has 11 million members today and over half of them live outside the U.S. Yet the birth of Mormonism and its history is one of America's great neglected narratives. This three-hour documentary brings together FRONTLINE and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE in their first co-production to provide a searching portrait of this fascinating but often misunderstood religion. Produced by award-winning filmmaker Helen Whitney ("Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero," "John Paul II: The Millennial Pope"), the film will explore the richness, the complexities, and the controversies of the Mormons' story as told through interviews with leaders and members of the church, with leading writers and historians, and with supporters and critics of the Mormon faith.
Tuesday Nights: NOVA at 8:00 p.m. followed by FRONTLINE at 9:00 p.m. (selected markets 10:00 p.m.)
NOVA "Forgotten Genius" (one two-hour program, February 2007)
His house was firebombed. A scandalous affair got him fired in the middle of the Depression. The doors of academia were slammed in his face, since no one expected an African American to rise higher than teaching high school. Yet Percy Julian overcame every obstacle to become a world-class scientist, a self-made millionaire, and a civil rights pioneer. NOVA presents his dramatic life story in a two-hour "Lives in Science" biography.
Produced in the lavish style of NOVA's Emmy Award-winning "Galileo's Battle for the Heavens," Percy Julian's gripping and largely unknown story is full of vivid period reenactments based on newly accessible family archives and interviews with dozens of Julian's colleagues and relatives.
"Intelligent Design on Trial" (working title) (one-two hour episode, Spring 2007)
On September 26, 2005, a group of citizens, scientists and lawyers gathered in the tiny town of Dover, Pennsylvania, for a landmark trial. At the heart of the case was a simple question: Did the Dover school board violate the First Amendment when they asked high school biology teachers to discuss Intelligent Design and characterize evolution as "just a theory"? Using exact testimony to recreate key moments of the trial, NOVA will explore the science behind this hotly contested subject.
A FRONTLINE - AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Special Presentation
"The Mormons" (working title) continues on Tuesday in the FRONTLINE slot.
PBS is a media enterprise that serves 354 public noncommercial television stations and reaches almost 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is a leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of other educational services. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.
Carrie L. Johnson, 703/739-5129, email@example.com