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MYSTERY! to Offer More Hillerman and Summertime Sleuthing

Hollywood CA, January 10, 2003 -- Crime solvers Chee and Leaphorn are back on the case. Following up on the success of SKINWALKERS: AN AMERICAN MYSTERY! SPECIAL, PBS and WGBH plan to adapt more of Tony Hillerman's popular Navajo police novels. SKINWALKERS' November premiere was acclaimed by critics and seen by approximately twelve million viewers.* The first American title in MYSTERY!'s 22-year history, SKINWALKERS is one of a series of novels by Mr. Hillerman featuring Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, Navajo police officers.

"I think the success of SKINWALKERS proves that a good story knows no cultural boundaries," said Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. "Whether British or American -- a well-told mystery pleases everyone."

"Tony Hillerman's mysteries are more than engaging 'whodunits' -- they also take us inside the captivating world of the Navajo people where mystery and mysticism meet in a contemporary, compelling setting," said PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell. "Incorporating Tony Hillerman's popular American thrillers under the established genre of MYSTERY! on PBS has captured new viewers while also appealing to the essential and loyal fans of British mysteries continuing in this long-running series.

The next Hillerman title in the American MYSTERY! series is A Thief of Time. Like SKINWALKERS, it is executive produced by Robert Redford and Ms. Eaton. Alice Arlen, known for penning the feature films Silkwood and The Weight of Water, will write the script.

PBS also announced plans to continue MYSTERY! as a summer series in 2003. Titles will include new episodes of the popular miniseries Hetty Wainthropp with Patricia Routledge; The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries with Diana Rigg; Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley Mysteries; and a new MYSTERY!, Dead Gorgeous, based on the Peter Lovesey novel.

Funding for SKINWALKERS was provided by PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Carlton International.

National sponsorship of MYSTERY! is provided by public television viewers. MYSTERY! is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.

Jan McNamara, PBS

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