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Dallas, TX, May 21, 2007- MASTERPIECE THEATRE has good news for Jane Austen's millions of fans: PBS' beloved British drama series will broadcast adaptations of all of Austen's six novels, plus a new drama based on her life. It's the first time in television history that her books have been broadcast as a complete collection.

Beginning in January 2008 on PBS, MASTERPIECE THEATRE is inviting viewers to tune in on Sunday nights for "The Complete Jane Austen": new presentations of Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Sense and Sensibility. The lineup will also include the acclaimed Emma starring Kate Beckinsale, and Pride and Prejudice, the Emmy award- winning miniseries that made Colin Firth a heartthrob.

Miss Austen Regrets, a true story based on Jane Austen's own letters and diaries, will be part of the four-month marathon.

"Once we sealed the deal on the four new Austen adaptations, we decided we had to complete the package with Emma and Pride and Prejudice," says MASTERPIECE THEATRE executive producer Rebecca Eaton. "The biopic Miss Austen Regrets is the frosting on the cake: an intimate portrait of the remarkable woman behind these wonderful stories."

Almost 200 years after her death, Jane Austen's popularity continues to soar, with two feature films about her slated for 2007, and numerous books and articles analyzing her appeal.

"MASTERPIECE THEATRE is the perfect fit for this ground-breaking television event," said John Wilson, Sr. Vice President and Chief TV Programming Executive for PBS. "I know that I'm saving my Sundays in January for this incredible collection of Jane Austen stories, as I know millions of MASTERPIECE and Austen fans will do as well."

Four of the titles, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Pride and Prejudice, were adapted by celebrated screenwriter Andrew Davies, whose Bleak House on MASTERPIECE THEATRE was one of the most acclaimed television dramas of 2006.

"Presenting Austen's novels consecutively is a brilliant idea because they reinforce each other, and they're not too long," says Davies. "Airing all of Dickens would take five years!"

Mansfield Park is a coproduction of Company Productions and WGBH Boston. Persuasion is a Clerkenwell Films production for ITV in association with WGBH Boston. Northanger Abbey is a coproduction of Granada and WGBH Boston. Sense and Sensibility and Miss Austen Regrets are coproductions of the BBC and WGBH Boston. Pride and Prejudice is a coproduction of the BBC and A&E. Emma is a coproduction of Granada and A&E.

MASTERPIECE THEATRE has been presented on PBS by WGBH since 1971. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers provide funding for MASTERPIECE THEATRE.

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Ellen Dockser
WGBH Boston