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PBS’ Summer Season Features an Around-the-World “Summer of Adventure” With Stops in China, Cuba, Ireland and More

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The Story of China: Actors in the Civic Hall in Huizhou
Credit: Courtesy of Mick Duffield

– Other Highlights Include a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s THE VIETNAM WAR, Top-Notch Drama, a PBS FOOD Feast, Including the Return of The Great British Baking Show and a Voyage to Outer Space –

 

ARLINGTON, VA; April 19, 2017 PBS travels the globe, from China to Havana and beyond, to give viewers a sweeping look at many of the most fascinating places on Earth. The season also brings the premiere of PRIME SUSPECT: TENNISON ON MASTERPIECE, which follows the early career of the beloved detective, and season three of GRANTCHESTER. PBS visits the kitchens of some of the world’s most renowned chefs in a food-themed programming block to please every palate.

PBS PREVIEWS:  THE VIETNAM WAR (May 28) will offer a sneak peek at Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s upcoming documentary series that premieres this fall, giving viewers an introductory look at the 10-episode film and featuring interviews with the filmmakers, behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive clips from the landmark series.

Kicking off the season, “PBS Summer of Adventure” presents several new limited series that take viewers to some of the world’s most amazing places and cultures. This strong lineup of history, science and natural history programming debuts with THE STORY OF CHINA (June 20-July 11) with historian/host Michael Wood, followed by BIG PACIFIC (June 21-July 12), a look at the ocean’s rare and dazzling creatures; BBC co-production GREAT YELLOWSTONE THAW (June 21-July 5) with Smithsonian’s Kirk Johnson, who explores the dramatic seasonal changes that affect the park’s wildlife; NATURE’S GREAT RACE (July 12-26), a BBC co-production, in which scientific teams utilize new technology to track animals of the Arctic wilderness and African bush; WEEKEND IN HAVANA (July 18), featuring a glimpse of the beauty of the city that only recently re-opened to Americans; RARE – CREATURES OF THE PHOTO ARK (July 18-August 1), renowned photographer Joel Sartore’s quest to document and save animals at risk of extinction; and IRELAND’S WILD COAST (August 2), Emmy award-winning cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson’s journey along his homeland’s rugged Atlantic coast.

“This summer, PBS transports viewers to a world of exotic locales, suspenseful drama and sumptuous culinary wonders,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming at PBS. “It will be a true summer of adventure that promises to give our viewers access to some of the most creative, inspiring and educational programming of the season.”

PBS continues its tradition of quality Sunday night dramas with the return of Reverend Sidney Chambers in GRANTCHESTER SEASON 3 ONMASTERPIECE on June 18. Joining the lineup on June 25 is PRIME SUSPECT: TENNISON ON MASTERPIECE, a new three-part drama portraying the early career of one of television’s most iconic detectives,  Jane Tennison. Sunday, July 16, marks the premiere of REMEMBER ME, starring Michael Palin as the sole witness to the violent death of a young woman at his residential care home.

Later in the summer, PBS looks to the stars with two new specials: NOVA“Solar Eclipse” premieres August 21 as scientists observe the first total solar eclipse to traverse the U.S. mainland in more than a generation; THE FARTHEST - VOYAGER IN SPACE on August 23 shows viewers how NASA’s epic Voyager missions revolutionized our understanding of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and their dazzling moons and rings.

From Julia Child to Martha Stewart, PBS has a long history of presenting groundbreaking, entertaining and educational cooking shows to American viewers. The tradition continues with a block of food-themed programs led by American Masters “Chefs Flight,” airing May 19 and 26, honoring celebrated chefs Jacques Pépin, Julia Child, Alice Waters and James Beard with one-hour documentaries on each. Season five of Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, airing on PBS stations through July, introduces treasured recipes from the Arabian Gulf. 

PBS also highlights amateur chefs by welcoming back fan favorite THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW (June 16) for Season Four, the most recently aired season of the hit show in the UK. FOOD DELICIOUS SCIENCE (May 17) examines the food we eat, right down to the molecular level, by celebrating the physics, chemistry and biology that lie hidden inside every tasty bite.

Two holiday specials join the PBS schedule, with the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT (May 28), honoring men and women in uniform, and A CAPITOL FOURTH (July 4), commemorating the country’s 241st birthday, live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

PBS’ Summer 2017 schedule includes many more shows, specials and series, including the sixth annual PBS Online Film Festival. Please check full listings below. For more information on any summer programs, visit pressroom.pbs.org.

 

PBS SUMMER 2017 LISTINGS

Top Picks

SUMMER OF ADVENTURE

Kicking off the season, “PBS Summer of Adventure,” presents several new limited series that expose viewers to some of the world’s most amazing places and cultures.  

 

THE STORY OF CHINA

Tuesdays, June 20-27 and July 11, 8-10 pm ET

Travel with historian and host Michael Wood as he surveys the 4,000-year story of the world’s oldest continuous state, from prehistory to the present. To understand this global superpower, suggests Wood, you must look at its history.

 

BIG PACIFIC

Wednesdays, June 21-July 19, 8-9 pm ET

Plunge into the Pacific with researchers and cinematographers and see the ocean’s rare and dazzling creatures in a way never before seen on television. Filmed in cinematic 4K, the program examines an ocean that covers a third of the Earth’s surface.

 

GREAT YELLOWSTONE THAW

Wednesdays, June 21-July 5, 9-10 pm ET

Journey with Kirk Johnson to Yellowstone, where wolves, grizzlies, beavers and great gray owls survive one of the greatest seasonal changes on the planet. As the temperature swings 140 degrees, cameras capture how the animals cope.

 

NATURE’S GREAT RACE

Wednesdays, July 12-26, 9-10 pm ET

Traverse the Arctic wilderness and African bush as scientific teams utilize new technology to track caribou, zebras and elephants as they overcome obstacles and face fearless predators on their epic journeys.

 

       WEEKEND IN HAVANA

Tuesday, July 18, 8-9 pm ET

Join Geoffrey Baer as he travels to Havana, where dancers, musicians, architects and writers invite him into their lives to experience the color, culture and history of a beautiful and seductive city only recently re-opened to Americans.

 

RARE – CREATURES OF THE PHOTO ARK

Tuesdays, July 18-August 1, 9-10 pm ET

Discover the diversity, beauty and value of thousands of animal species at risk of extinction, and travel the globe with renowned photographer and Photo Ark founder Joel Sartore in his quest to save them.

 

IRELAND’S WILD COAST

Wednesday, August 2, 8-10 pm ET

Join Emmy-winning wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson on an authored journey along Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coast, providing insights into the wild animals and wild places of the island he calls home.

 

Summer Specials

PBS PREVIEWS: THE VIETNAM WAR

Sunday, May 28, 9:30-10 pm ET and others

This program takes a look at creation of the upcoming series from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick: THE VIETNAM WAR. Featuring interviews with the filmmakers, behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive clips from the series, this sneak peek will give viewers an advance look at the fall’s most anticipated film.

 

NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT

Sunday, May 28, 8-9:30 pm ET; rpt. 10-11:30 pm ET

The 28th broadcast of this night of remembrance honors the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country.

 

THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW Season 4

Fridays, June 16 and August 4, 9-11 pm ET, and June 23-July 28, 9-10 pm ET

Follow 12 amateur bakers in their quest to be named Britain’s best. As judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood create 30 new challenges to test their skill and creativity, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are with them every step of the way.

 

“Cake”

Friday, June 16, 9-10 pm ET

Meet the 12 bakers as they tackle a back-to-basics British classic, a popular cake with a fatless sponge and tricky chocolate work. The showstopper is sophisticated and high-end. With this cake, there’s nowhere to hide.

 

“Biscuits”

Friday, June 16, 10-11 pm ET

Follow the 11 remaining bakers tasked with making 24 elaborately decorated biscuits; a biscuit that requires perfect piping; and a biscuit structure that demands precision baking—and reveals a little more about each of the contenders.

 

“Bread”

Friday, June 23, 9-10 pm ET

See how the bakers tackle three of Paul’s toughest challenges ever: preparing a sweet dough with a twist; avoiding a burnt bottom and a soggy top; and using three different flours to create a huge showstopper centerpiece.

 

“Batter”

Friday, June 30, 9-10 pm ET

Join nine bakers for the first-ever batter week. They prepare a British favorite that demands a uniform bake across the batch; a technical challenge that requires a perfect pastry, sweet filling and delicate icing; and a showstopping Spanish classic.

 

“Pastry”

Friday, July 7, 9-10 pm ET

See how eight bakers handle three types of pastry. For the signature, it’s breakfast time, Danish style. Then, the technical is a classic British tart. The bite-size showstopper is a pastry notoriously difficult to make and even trickier to bake.

 

“Botanical”

Friday, July 14, 9-10 pm ET

Monitor the remaining seven as they strive to give their bakes maximum botanical taste. The signature demands sharp citrus flavors; the technical, a leafy challenge; and the final, three tiers of flavored sponges and stunning floral designs.

 

“Desserts”

Friday, July 21, 9-10 pm ET

Learn why sweet challenges mean a bitter end for one baker as the six battle for a spot in the quarter final. The signature has them rolling out their skills; the technical is a tricky French dessert; the showstopper is a bit of a mousse marathon.

 

“Tudor Week”

Friday, July 28, 9-10 pm ET

Follow the five remaining bakers as they attempt to re-create dishes fit for the Tudors. The signature is a savory stuffed pie; the technical is an unusual Tudor biscuit that has the bakers tied up in knots; the showstopper is a marzipan spectacle.

 

Patisserie”

Friday, August 4, 9-10 pm ET

Join the four remaining bakers in the semi-final as they bash and fold pastry to achieve perfect lamination; make yeast cake with a fruity top and delicate chocolate work; and prepare a multiple mini-cake bake. Which three will make it to the final?

 

“The Final”

Friday, August 4, 10-11 pm ET

Find out who will be crowned the winner after the finalists wrestle with meringues, undertake a British classic with only one recipe instruction and no measurements, and tackle one of the most complex challenges ever seen on the series.

 

A CAPITOL FOURTH (2017)

Tuesday, July 4, 8-9:30 pm ET; rpt. 9:30-11 pm ET

On July 4, America’s national Independence Day celebration kicks off the festivities for our country’s 241st birthday with a star-spangled party and all-star salute. A CAPITOL FOURTH airs live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol before an audience of hundreds of thousands, millions at home and to our troops around the world via American Forces Network.

 

Drama

THE TUNNEL: SABOTAGE

Thursdays, June 15-August 3, 9-10 pm ET (check local listings)

Trail Elise (Clémence Poésy) and Karl (Stephen Dillane) as they investigate the abduction of a French couple from the Eurotunnel, leaving behind their young daughter. The case is complicated by a plane crash in the Channel, killing all on board.

 

GRANTCHESTER SEASON 3 ON MASTERPIECE

Sundays, June 18, 9-10 pm ET, June 25-July 30, 9-10 pm ET

James Norton (“Happy Valley”) dons his priestly collar and Robson Green (“Reckless”) his rumpled raincoat for a new season as the improbable crime-fighting team, Reverend Sidney Chambers and Inspector Geordie Keating—bringing justice and spiritual nourishment to early 1950s England.  

 

MY MOTHER AND OTHER STRANGERS ON MASTERPIECE

Sundays, June 18-July 16, 8-9pm

Set in rural Northern Ireland during World War II, this drama follows Rose Coyne (Hattie Morahan, Sense and Sensibility) and her family as the US Army sets up a base nearby. Rose finds herself acting as peacekeeper between the disgruntled locals and the airbase … and drawn to a handsome young captain (Aaron Staton, Mad Men).

 

PRIME SUSPECT: TENNISON ON MASTERPIECE

Sundays, June 25-July 9, 10-11:30 pm ET

This cinematic three-part drama portrays the early career of one of television’s most iconic detectives, Jane Tennison—the role that established Dame Helen Mirren as a household name in the groundbreaking MASTERPIECE series “Prime Suspect.” Stefanie Martini stars.

 

ENDEAVOUR SEASON 4 ON MASTERPIECE

Sundays, August 20-September 10, 9-10:30 pm ET

Shaun Evans returns for a fourth season as the young Endeavour Morse, before his signature red Jaguar but with his deductive powers already running in high gear. 

 

REMEMBER ME

Sundays, July 16-30, 10-11 pm ET

Watch Michael Palin’s portrayal of pensioner Tom Parfitt, who stages a fall in his eerie Yorkshire home in order to escape into residential care, leading to a chilling and macabre mystery.

 

Science 

NOVA “Solar Eclipse” (w.t.)

Monday, August 21, 9-10 pm ET; encore Wednesday, August 23, 8-9 pm ET

Join scientists and citizens alike as they observe the first total solar eclipse to traverse the US mainland in more than a generation. Discover the storied history of eclipse science and follow current, cutting-edge research into the solar corona. Airs just hours after the eclipse.

 

THE FARTHEST - VOYAGER IN SPACE

Wednesday, August 23, 9-11 pm ET

Celebrating the 40th anniversary, learn how NASA’s epic Voyager missions, launched in 1977, revolutionized our understanding of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and their dazzling moons and rings. In 2012, Voyager 1 left our solar system and ushered humanity into the interstellar age.

 

Arts and Independent Film

LANDMARKS LIVE IN CONCERT

Fridays, June 23-July 28, 10-11 pm ET

Tune into a pop music performance series from GREAT PERFORMANCES. Chad Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, hosts the series and conducts one-on-one interviews with the artists, exploring their favorite locations around each “landmark.”  The full roster of featured artists and airdates to be announced.

 

POV - Series Premiere

Mondays, June 26-August 28, 10 pm ET (except June 26)

The award-winning POV features the work of America’s best contemporary-issue independent filmmakers.

 

“Dalya’s Other Country/4.1 Miles”

June 26, 9:00-11 pm ET

 

“Dalya’s Other Country”

In 2012, Dalya and her mother Rudayna fled Aleppo for Los Angeles as war took over. Months before, Rudayna learns a secret that destroys her marriage, leaving her single at midlife. Arriving in LA, Dalya enrolls as the only Muslim at Holy Family Catholic High School. Can mother and daughter remake themselves while holding on to their Islamic traditions?

           

“4.1 Miles”

Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a captain in the Greek Coast Guard, is caught in the struggle of refugees fleeing the Middle East and traveling the short distance from the coast of Turkey to the island of Lesbos. Despite limited resources, the captain and his crew attempt to save lives during the immense humanitarian crisis.

 

“The War Show”

July 3

In March 2011, radio host Obaidah Zytoon and her circle of friends join the street protests against President Bashar al-Assad, as the Arab Spring reaches Syria. But as the regime’s violent response spirals the country into a bloody civil war, their hopes for a better future will be tested by violence, imprisonment and death.

 

“Last Men in Aleppo”

July 10

After five years of war in Syria, the remaining citizens of Aleppo are readying themselves for siege. Through the volunteers known as the White Helmets, experience firsthand the daily life, death and struggle in the streets of the city.

 

“Presenting Princess Shaw”                                                     

July 17

Princess Shaw placed her dreams on YouTube. Then they became a reality. This is the extraordinary true story of an aspiring musician, down on her luck, who inspired internationally famous YouTube artist Kutiman to create a magical collaboration that would bring her music to a whole new audience.

 

“Memories of a Penitent Heart”

July 24

Combining a wealth of recently discovered home movies and written documents, this is a documentary that cracks open a Pandora’s box of unresolved family drama, both a cautionary tale about the unresolved conflicts wrought by AIDS and a nuanced exploration of how faith is used and abused in times of crisis.

 

“Joe’s Violin”

July 31

During a drive to donate musical instruments to public schools, 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joseph Feingold offers his beloved violin, which he has played for more than 70 years. The instrument goes to the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls, where young musician Brianna Perez is inspired to befriend her benefactor.

 

“Shalom Italia”

July 31

Explore the relationship between Jews and Italy, following three Italian-born Jewish brothers who travel from Israel to their ancestral home in Tuscany to search for the cave in the countryside in which their family hid to escape the Nazis more than 70 years ago.

 

“Tribal Justice”

August 21

Two Native-American judges reach back to traditional concepts of justice in order to reduce incarceration rates, foster greater safety for their communities and create a more positive future for their youth.

 

“Raising Bertie”

August 28

View an intimate portrait of three African-American boys coming of age in rural North Carolina. This powerful vérité film weaves the young men’s stories together as they try to define their identities; they navigate unemployment, institutional racism, violence, first love, fatherhood and estrangement from family members and mentors.

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES “La Traviata”

Friday, August 25, 9-11:30 pm ET

Hear Sonya Yoncheva sing the tragic courtesan Violetta in Verdi’s classic, with Michael Fabiano as her ardent lover Alfredo and Thomas Hampson as his disapproving father Germont, in a revival of Willy Decker’s staging conducted by Nicola Luisotti.

 

About PBS

PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

 

Contacts:

Michae Godwin, PBS, 703-739-8483, mmgodwin@pbs.org

John Michael Kennedy, Goodman Media International, 212-576-2700, pbsprogramming@goodmanmedia.com