By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol
11:18 AM CDT, October 23, 2013
Mark Jan. 19 in your calendar, folks. That's the date "Sherlock" returns to PBS.
The network Wednesday announced its winter/spring schedule, which also reminds fans that Season 4 of "Downton Abbey" will air at 8 p.m. CT Jan. 5 through Feb. 23. In the new season, Crawley family members are at odds over how to deal with the estate, and Mary struggles after the death of her husband.
Hopefully Season 3 of "Sherlock" will answer the burning question we were left with so long ago: How did Sherlock survive that fall? Its three adventures starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, air at 9 p.m. CT Jan. 19 through Feb. 2.
Other highlights include the March returns of "Call the Midwife" and "Mr. Selfridge" and the April premiere of the mystery series "The Blecthley Circle."
Read more about these shows and the enrtire PBS schedule below. All times are Central. UPDATE: This lineup was updated via PBS press release on Dec. 4.
on "Masterpiece Classic"
8 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 5-Feb. 23
Season 4 of the international hit finds aristocrats coping with last season's shocking finale. Change is in the air as three generations of the Crawley family have conflicting interests in the estate. Paul Giamatti appears alongside the beloved returning ensemble that includes Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, guest star Shirley MacLaine and many others. A Carnival/MASTERPIECE co-production.
9 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 19-Feb. 2
Benedict Cumberbatch ("The Fifth Estate," "Star Trek Into Darkness") and Martin Freeman ("The Hobbit," "The Office UK") return as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in three new 90-minute episodes — "The Empty Hearse" (January 19), "The Sign of Three" (January 26) and "His Last Vow" (February 2) — of the contemporary reinvention of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic, written and created by Steven Moffat (Dr. Who) and Mark Gatiss (Game of Thrones). The Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated "Sherlock" has been a television sensation since the first season aired in 2010.
9 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 8-22
This new three-part series follows a modern expedition that re-creates Sir Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic expedition. A crew of five intrepid explorers led by renowned adventurer, scientist and author Tim Jarvis in a replica of the original explorers' lifeboat, uses only the tools and supplies Shackleton's team used. When his ship The Endurance was crushed by ice and sank, Shackleton's heroic leadership in the face of almost certain death saved the lives of 27 men stranded more than 500 days.
9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29
Told for the first time in his own words, this is the intimate and revealing story of Stephen Hawking. Viewers join him at home with his nursing team; in San Jose as he wows a packed theatre; meeting a team of technicians who hope to speed up his communication system; and hosting a party for family and friends. HAWKING tells a life's journey, from boyhood underachiever to PhD genius, from healthy Oxford rowing team member to a prognosis of just two years to live, and surviving several close brushes with death.
on "American Masters"
8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21
The series' 200th episode features interviews with 150 subjects, including J.D. Salinger's friends, colleagues and members of his inner circle who have never before spoken on the record, as well as film footage, photographs and other material that has never been seen. Famous names of all stripes talk about Salinger's influence on their lives, their work and the broader culture, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, Martin Sheen, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal and many more. This film is the first work to go beyond the Catcher in the Rye author's meticulously built-up wall to reveal his childhood, painstaking work methods, marriages and the secrets he left behind after his death in 2010.
on "Independent Lens"
9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13
Legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman goes back to school for this intimate and sprawling film. "At Berkeley" is a revealing documentary about the University of California at Berkeley, the oldest and most prestigious member of a ten-campus public education system and one of the finest research and teaching facilities in the world.
on "Great Performances"
8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31
In "Barrymore," 83-year-old stage and screen legend Christopher Plummer portrays another titan of theater and film from an earlier age, the illustrious--and notorious--John Barrymore. This acclaimed film adaptation of William Luce's 1997 play is set in 1942 during the final months of Barrymore's life. On the stage of a Broadway theater, the famously combative star struggles to recreate his performance in Shakepeare's Richard III, recalling the highs and lows of his remarkable life and career in the process.
The Amish: Shunned
on "American Experience"
7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4
Filmed over one year, "The Amish: Shunned" follows seven former members of the Amish community as they reflect on decisions to leave one of the most tightly knit communities in the U.S. Estranged from family, ex-Amish find themselves struggling to make their way in modern America. Interwoven through the stories are voices of Amish men and women who remain staunchly loyal to their traditions and faith. They explain the importance of obedience, the strong ties that bind their communities together and the pain they endure when a loved one falls away.
9 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 5-26
As urban space shrinks, we build higher and faster than ever before, creating a new generation of skyscrapers. Super skyscrapers are pushing the limits of engineering, technology and design to become greener, stronger, smarter and more luxurious than their predecessors. This four-part series follows the creation of four extraordinary buildings, showcasing how they will revolutionize the way we live, work and protect ourselves from potential threats.
Sting: The Last Ship
on "Great Performances"
8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21
Rock ‘n’ roll Renaissance man Sting has embarked on a new venture, The Last Ship, a musical play for which he has written original music and lyrics. Exploring a range of universal themes, The Last Ship dramatizes the impact of the demise of the ship-building industry in Sting’s home town of Wallsend, England, which for so long had dominated and shaped the city’s community life. Having grown up in the shadow of the Swan Hunter Shipyard, Sting was deeply affected by the subject, which inspired him to emerge from a decade-long absence from songwriting to produce over a dozen new songs for the Broadway bound show, a collaboration with the Tony-winning duo of writer John Logan (Red, Skyfall screenplay) and director Joe Mantello (Wicked, Other Desert Cities). In an exclusive performance recorded at New York City’s Public Theater, Sting performs an intimate concert of highlights from the show, providing a narrative outline for the musical as well as revealing the autobiographical underpinnings for the songs.
Call The Midwife
7 p.m. Sundays, March 30-May 18
The third season of "Call The Midwife" takes viewers back to East London. It's now 1959, the eve of the Swinging 60s. The winds of change are sweeping through the country and the residents of Nonnatus House face some momentous changes of their own.
on "Masterpiece Classic"
8 p.m. Sundays, March 30-May 18
Season 2 of the popular series starring Jeremy Piven as the flamboyant American entrepreneur who founded London's famous Selfridge's department store picks up in 1914, as the store celebrates its fifth anniversary. The acclaimed cast includes Frances O'Connor, Aisling Loftus, Katherine Kelly, Gregory Fitoussi, Amanda Abbington and Tom Goodman-Hill. The series is based on Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead. An ITV Studios and MASTERPIECE co-production.
Story of the Jews
7 p.m. Tuesdays, March 25-April 1
This epic five-part series follows noted historian, author and critic Simon Schama as he explores the Jewish experience from ancient times to the present day in this new five-part series. Episodes focus on biblical times ("The Beginning"); medieval times ("Among Believers"); the enlightenment ("A Leap of Faith"); shtetl culture and its mark on the modern world ("Over the Rainbow"); and the post-holocaust era ("Return"). Co-produced by WNET/Thirteen and the BBC.
Pioneers of Television
7 p.m. Tuesdays, April 8-29
More than 200 breakthrough stars bring their stories to life in season four of this Emmy-nominated documentary series. Each episode melds compelling new interviews with irresistible clips to offer a fresh take on TV's biggest celebrities. Featured stars in this season's four new episodes ("Standup to Sitcom," "Doctors and Nurses," "Acting Funny" and "Breaking Barriers") include Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Roseanne Barr, Bill Cosby, Tim Allen, Ray Romano, Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, Diahann Carroll, Howie Mandel, Bob Newhart and many more.
7 p.m. Wednesdays, April 9, 23, 30
NATURE this month covers animal prosthetics, Japanese macaque monkeys and wild mule deer. "Bionic Animals" (w.t.) (April 9) reveals that prosthetics made possible by the latest engineering and technology are enabling disabled animals to survive. "Snow Monkeys" (w.t.) (April 23) profiles the Japanese macaque, or snow monkey, an intelligent species known for unusual behaviors, including communal bathing in hot springs and rolling snowballs for fun. In "Touching the Wild" (w.t.) (April 30), Joe Hutto ("My Life as a Turkey") literally enters deer society, crossing the species divide and tapping into a new understanding of these elusive animals.
Inside Animal Minds
8 p.m. Wednesdays, April 9-23
We have all gazed into a creature's eyes and wondered: What is it thinking about? What does it know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In the three-hour "Inside Animal Minds," NOVA explores these breakthroughs through the eyes of three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins.
Your Inner Fish
9 p.m. Wednesdays, April 9-23
How did the human body become the complicated, quirky and amazing machine it is today? This cutting-edge scientific adventure reveals a startling truth: hidden within the human body is a story of life on Earth, and the legacy of animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. Based on the best-selling book by Neil Shubin, "Your Inner Fish" travels from Africa to the Arctic Circle to uncover the 3.5 billion year history of the human body--and how a colorful cast of ancient characters made us who we are today.
The Bletchley Circle
9 p.m. Sundays, April 13-May 4
"The Bletchley Circle" returns for a second season, following four ordinary women with the extraordinary ability to break codes, a skill honed during World War II when they worked undercover at Bletchley Park, site of the United Kingdom's main decryption establishment. The women use their code-breaking skills to solve crimes in post-war London.
A Fragile Trust
on "Independent Lens"
9 p.m. Monday, April 13
Samantha Grant’s film tells the shocking story of Jayson Blair, a promising young African-American reporter for The New York Times, caught plagiarizing the work of other reporters and supplementing his own reporting with fabricated details. The ensuing media frenzy left a major blemish on the long history of the Times. The fact that Blair is African-American was emphasized repeatedly as accounts of the “Blair Affair” served up sordid details in a tale of deception, drug abuse, racism, mental illness, hierarchy, white guilt and power struggles. Accusations of favoritism, lowered standards for minorities and racism in the newsroom were hotly debated by pundits, while minority journalists said they felt as if their work was suddenly under the microscope because of Blair’s flagrant lies.
8 p.m. Tuesday, April 15
Ken Burns’s "The Address" tells the story of a tiny school in Putney, Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to memorize, practice and recite the Gettysburg Address. In its exploration of Greenwood, whose students, boys ages 11-17, all face a range of complex learning differences, the film also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address.
on "Independent Lens"
8 p.m. Tuesday, April 21
Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America's most creative and defiant music. The music of Muscle Shoals has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. At its heart is Rick Hall, who brought black and white together in Alabama's cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations. In this joyful film, Greg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals' magnetism and mystery, and why it remains influential today.
on "Independent Lens"
9 p.m. Monday, May 5
This documentary covers Muhammad Ali’s toughest bout, his battle to overturn his five-year prison sentence for refusing U.S. military service. The film traces a formative period in Ali’s life, one unknown to young people and neglected by those who remember him as a boxer but overlook how controversial he was when he first took center stage. Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning civil rights, religion and wartime dissent. This film zeroes in on the years 1967 to 1970, when Ali lived in exile within the U.S., stripped of his heavyweight belt and banned from boxing, sacrificing fame and fortune on principle.
Coming Back with Wes Moore
7 p.m. Tuesdays, May 13-27
Meet returning U.S. veterans as they welcome cameras into their homes and their lives in this three-part special programmed in time for Memorial Day. Hosted by combat veteran and The New York Times best-selling author Wes Moore, the series tells personal stories of an exceptional group of people, the challenges they face and their courageous efforts to overcome obstacles as they work to readjust to life back home.
National Memorial Day Concert
7 p.m. Sunday, May 25
Join co-hosts Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise for the 25th anniversary broadcast of this iconic event that offers a tribute to our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country. Broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the night of remembrance features an all-star line-up with the National Symphony Orchestra before an audience of hundreds of thousands, millions at home and beamed to troops around the world on the American Forces Network.
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