Arizona PBS Announces 2015 Fall Programming Lineup

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"Indian Summers on Masterpiece" premieres Sunday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m.

PHOENIX – (Sept. 4, 2015)

Arizona PBS’ fall 2015 primetime schedule offers landmark programming in all genres — from drama to the performing arts to groundbreaking nature and science programs — including eight new series, more than a dozen new documentaries, and new seasons of 12 returning favorites.

Thursdays, beginning Sept. 3, Arizona PBS showcases antiques and historical artifacts hidden throughout Arizona, including a painting worth nearly $1 million, in the second season of the locally produced series “Arizona Collectibles.” In addition, “Cronkite News,” the news division of Arizona PBS, returns Sept. 8, providing viewers with award-winning coverage from across Arizona and reports from the nation’s capital.

“We at Arizona PBS are pleased to deliver a strong and diverse selection of captivating programs for our fall lineup,” said Nancy Southgate, Arizona PBS associate general manager. “Our fall season has it all, from riveting dramas that take viewers on a journey through history like ‘Indian Summers’ and ‘Home Fires’ on ‘Masterpiece,’ to comedic adventures such as Phil Rosenthal’s culinary explorations in ‘I’ll Have What Phil’s Having,’ to engrossing educational programs such as ‘The Brain with David Eagleman’ and star-studded live performances in the return of the PBS Arts Fall Festival, hosted by Gloria Estefan — this season has no limits.”

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the end of the Civil War, Arizona PBS presents a remastered, high-definition version of producer/director Ken Burns’ groundbreaking and award-winning film “The Civil War.” The documentary will be rebroadcast over five consecutive nights Sept. 7-11, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of its original broadcast in 1990. Also in September, “Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise” documents the revival of Mozambique’s national park after years of civil war in that country. Arizona PBS also explores the natural history of the U.S. and the globe with “NOVA: Making North America” and “Earth’s Natural Wonders.”

In October, Arizona PBS premieres season four of its original series “ArtBeat Nation,” which features in-depth profiles of arts and culture all across the country. In addition, the fifth annual PBS Arts Fall Festival, hosted by Grammy-winning singer Gloria Estefan, premieres Oct. 9 with new programs including “Billy Elliot: The Musical,” from “Great Performances,” “Kern & Hammerstein’s Show Boat” from “Live From Lincoln Center,” and other specials, such as “First You Dream – The Music of Kander & Ebb” and “Unity – The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson.” Also airing in October is “The Brain with David Eagleman” (watch a clip here.) In the three-part series, the scientist and YouTube sensation explores the synapses and impulses that make up humanity’s endlessly fascinating and most complex organ. 

“PBS has the very best shows this fall, from historic dramas to true-life mysteries to extraordinary live performances and more,” said Beth Hoppe, chief programming executive and general manager at PBS. “It’s a season that highlights what we do best as we revisit Ken Burns’ seminal masterpiece film, introduces new epic series like ‘Indian Summers,’ and surprises us with fresh takes on things we thought we knew, like the legacy of Walt Disney. When viewers want to be entertained, learn, laugh and cry, all week long, they turn to PBS.”

SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS: Dramas with a comedy nightcap rule Sunday nights. The nine-part “Indian Summers on Masterpiece” premieres Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. with Golden Globe Award-winning actress Julie Walters in the dramatic retelling of the twilight of British rule in India. “Home Fires on Masterpiece” premieres on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. with a riveting look at a rural English village on the verge of the Second World War. “The Widower,” based on the true story of the charming killer Malcolm Webster, premieres Oct. 4 at 9 p.m.   MONDAY HIGHLIGHTS:  Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” makes its high-definition debut Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. Arizona PBS’ ongoing commitment to independent film continues with provocative and moving stories from “Independent Lens,” including “India’s Daughter.” Fall weeknights continue with entertainment legend Walt Disney and his magical legacy on “American Experience,” Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. Treasures keep coming on “Antiques Roadshow” this fall with new episodes in Albuquerque and Chicago, beginning Sept. 28, and the travelogue “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” follows “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal on a culinary expedition from Hong Kong to Barcelona and also premieres Sept. 28 at 9 p.m.

TUESDAY HIGHLIGHTS: Tuesdays this fall bring new perspectives on America’s culture, its early settlers and its current events. On Nov. 24, “The Pilgrims: American Experience,” explores the converging forces, circumstances, personalities and events that propelled English settlers across the Atlantic in 1620. “Frontline” uncovers the latest in America’s war on drugs, immigration reform, the hunt for the Pan Am flight 103 bombers and much more.

WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS: “Think Wednesday” is home to extraordinary science and nature programming on Arizona PBS, including “The Brain with David Eagleman,” which premieres Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. and tells the ultimate story of why we feel and think the things we do. A new season of the heartwarming, science-grounded series “Nature” premieres Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. with “Nature’s Miracle Orphans” and continues with a focus ranging from wild elephants to domesticated pets. “Earth’s Natural Wonders” and the three-part series “NOVA: Making North America” will premiere Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.

THURSDAY HIGHLIGHTS: Thursdays welcome the return of the Arizona PBS original series “Arizona Collectibles” premiering Sept. 3, offering viewers a glimpse into history by showcasing a variety of precious antiques and historical heirlooms from decades past, followed by season two of “The Great British Baking Show” at 8 p.m.

FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS: Arts anchor primetime Fridays with the fifth annual PBS Arts Fall Festival, hosted by Grammy-winner Gloria Estefan. The festival begins Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. and showcases titles such as “Unity – The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson,” in which musicians from all over Latin America reimagine 16 of Jackson’s hits (including “Smooth Criminal,” “I Want You Back” and “Billie Jean”) and “Live From Lincoln Center: Kern & Hammerstein’s Show Boat” on Oct. 16 starring Vanessa Williams and “Downton Abbey” star Julian Ovenden. The festival’s decidedly musical bent is highlighted by “Great Performances: Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” airing Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. and “First You Dream – The Music of Kander & Ebb,” airing Nov. 20 at 8 p.m.


Arthur & George on Masterpiece – Martin Clunes (“Doc Martin”) stars as world-famous author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in this three-part adaptation of Julian Barnes’ acclaimed novel that follows the separate but intersecting lives of two men: a half-Indian son of a vicar who is framed for a crime he may not have committed; and Doyle, who investigates the case. – Sundays, Sept. 6-20, 7-8 p.m.

The Civil War 25th Anniversary – Producer and director Ken Burns’ award-winning film “The Civil War” will rebroadcast over five consecutive nights this month, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of its 1990 premiere. This is the first time the film will be in high definition, further enhancing the vision of Burns and his cinematographers Allen Moore and Buddy Squires more than 25 years ago. — Monday-Friday, Sept. 7-11, 8-10:30 p.m.

Walt Disney: American Experience – Walt Disney was uniquely adept at art as well as commerce, a master filmmaker who harnessed the power of technology and storytelling. This new two-part, four-hour film offers an unprecedented look at Disney’s complex life and enduring legacy, featuring rare archival footage from the Disney vaults, scenes from some of his greatest films and interviews with biographers, animators and artists who worked on early films, including Snow White, and the designers who helped turn his dream of Disneyland into reality. – Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 14-15, 8-10 p.m.

American Masters: “Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey” – Discover the remarkable life and work of Pedro E. Guerrero, a Mexican American born and raised in segregated Mesa, Arizona, who had an extraordinary, international photography career. Using Guerrero’s words and images, the program explores his collaborations with three of the most iconic American artists of the 20th century: Frank Lloyd Wright and sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson. This film is a special co-presentation with VOCES. – Friday, Sept. 18, 8-9 p.m.

POV:  “Cutie and the Boxer” – An Oscar®-nominated reflection on love, sacrifice and the creative spirit, this candid New York tale explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed “boxing” painter Ushio Shinohara and artist Noriko Shinohara. – Friday, Sept. 18, 11 p.m. to 12 a.m.

“Don’t Tell Anyone” (“No Le Digas a Nadie”) – Meet immigrant activist Angy Rivera, the country’s only advice columnist for undocumented youth. In a community where silence is often seen as necessary for survival, she steps out of the shadows to share her own parallel experiences of being undocumented and sexually abused. — Monday, Sept. 21, 11 p.m. to 12 a.m.

“Art and Craft” – The jig is up for art forger Mark Landis, who has donated his expert copies to museums for 30 years. But stopping isn’t simple. This cat-and-mouse caper uncovers the universal in one man’s search for connection and respect. – Friday, Sept. 25, 9-10:30 p.m.

On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam – Examine the Latino experience during a war that placed its heaviest burden on working-class youth and their communities. Framing the documentary are memoirs of two siblings, Everett and Delia Alvarez, who stood on opposite sides of the Vietnam War, one as a POW and the other protesting at home. – Tuesday, Sept. 22, 9-10:30 p.m.

Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise – Experience the inspiring rebirth of an African wilderness through the eyes of Emmy-winning wildlife cameraman Bob Poole. Darting lions, wrestling crocs, facing down angry elephants — it’s all part of a day’s work as he joins the battle to re-wild a legendary national park. — Tuesdays, Sept. 22-Oct. 6, 7-9 p.m.

Nature: “Nature’s Miracle Orphans” – Growing up in the wild is always rough — and young animals rely on their parents to protect and nurture them through the dangerous early phase of life. But how do young animals survive when they’ve lost their mothers? This heartwarming, emotional series follows the work of animal rescue centers around the world and introduces the extraordinary people who have devoted their lives to helping all kinds of wild orphans get back on their feet. – Wednesdays, Sept. 23-30, 7-8 p.m.

American Masters: “The Women’s List” – Hear from 15 women who created and defined contemporary American culture in the newest chapter of filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ “List” series (“The Boomer List,” “The Black List,” “The Latino List,” “The Out List”). This film features interviews with Madeleine Albright, Gloria Allred, Laurie Anderson, Sara Blakely, Margaret Cho, Edie Falco, Betsey Johnson, Alicia Keys, Aimee Mullins, Nancy Pelosi, Rosie Perez, Shonda Rhimes, Wendy Williams and Nia Wordlaw. – Friday, Sept. 25, 8-9 p.m.

Indian Summers on Masterpiece – Julie Walters plays the glamorous doyenne of an English social club in the twilight of British rule in India. The lavish nine-part series explores the collision of the English ruling class and local people agitating for Indian independence. The two sides alternately clash and merge in intricate games of power, politics and passion. Also starring are Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Jemima West, Nikesh Patel, Roshan Seth and Lillete Dubey. —Sundays, Sept. 27-Nov. 15, 8-9 p.m. and Nov. 22, 8-10 p.m.

I’ll Have What Phil’s Having – Journey with Phil Rosenthal, creator of the TV hit “Everybody Loves Raymond,” as he learns from the chefs, vendors, culinary leaders and style-setters who keep their communities’ traditions alive and create new ones. Rosenthal visits kitchens on and off the well-worn gastronomic path, leading viewers from one of the least expensive Michelin-starred restaurants in Asia to a Los Angeles bakery training former gang members. – Mondays, Sept. 28-Nov. 2, 9-10 p.m.

E.O. Wilson – Of Ants and Men – An exploration of the remarkable life and groundbreaking ideas of biologist E.O. Wilson, founder of the discipline of sociobiology, world authority on insects and Pulitzer-prize winning writer on the subject of human nature. In Wilson, we see an endearing personality who is one of the great scientists and thinkers of our time. – Wednesday, Sept. 30, 8-10 p.m.

OCTOBER ON ARIZONA PBS POV: “Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case” – This stunning dissection of the persecution of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei explores how the government’s attempts to silence him have backfired and turned him into an irrepressible voice for free speech and human rights around the globe. —Friday, Oct. 2, 9-10 p.m.

The Widower – This drama is the true story of Malcolm Webster, a nurse by profession and, on the surface, a perfect gentleman: well-spoken, personable and charming. He’s also a spendthrift and killer. He marries, and attempts to kill, a succession of women to cash in their life insurance policies. – Sundays, Oct. 4-18, 9-10 p.m.

“Big Birds Can’t Fly”— This is the unique story of flightless birds. They say a bird is three things — feathers, flight and song. But what happens when you’re a bird who can’t fly, who can’t sing and whose feathers are closer to fluff? Is this an evolutionary joke? Flightless birds include ostriches, emus, rheas, cassowaries and kiwis; all have evolved independent of each other on different continents. — Wednesday, Oct. 7, 7-8 p.m.

“Soul of the Elephant”— Ironically, every dead elephant with its ivory intact is a reason to celebrate. It means an elephant died of natural causes, not bullets, snares or poison, and a soul was allowed to be celebrated and mourned by its herd. Award-winning filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert start with the remains of two bull elephants and, through a series of key flashbacks, look at the lives they would have led, the dramas they may have seen, their great migrations for water with their families and their encounters with lions and hyenas. —Wednesday, Oct. 14, 7-8 p.m.

“Pets: Wild at Heart” – From the award-winning team that brought us “Earthflight” and “Penguins: Spy in the Huddle” comes a revolutionary look at our pets. Our pets may seem familiar, but they exist alongside us in a secret world of wild behavior and natural abilities that we hardly recognize. This two-part series explores this parallel existence with all the techniques that have been perfected in past “spy” shows, including high-definition spy cameras, night vision cameras, drones, miniature on-board cameras and digital high-speed cameras. – Wednesdays, Oct. 21-28, 7-8 p.m.

PBS Arts Fall Festival – Hosted by Gloria Estefan, the festival programming includes:

Unity – the Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson, created by Tony Succar and featuring Latin superstars as Tito Nieves, Jon Secada and Obie Bermúdez. — Oct. 9, 8-9 p.m.

Live from Lincoln Center “Kern & Hammerstein's Show Boat,” the groundbreaking musical about love and heartbreak, performed by the New York Philharmonic and featuring Vanessa Williams, and Julian Ovenden (of “Downton Abbey”). — Oct. 16, 8-10 p.m.

Great Performances: “Billy Elliot: The Musical” — Oct. 23, 8-11 p.m.

Live from Lincoln Center: “Elfman: Tim Burton Film Music” celebrating the 30 year collaboration of the filmmaker and composer. — Oct. 30, 8-10 p.m.

The Brain with David Eagleman – Neuroscientist David Eagleman explores the human brain in an epic series that reveals the ultimate story of us, why we feel and think the things we do. This ambitious project blends science with innovative visual effects and compelling personal stories, and addresses some big questions. By understanding the human brain, we can come close to understanding humanity. — Wednesdays, Oct. 14-Nov. 18, 9-10 p.m.

NOVA: “Nepal Earthquake”— On April 25, 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake ripped through Nepal, causing catastrophic damage, shaking Mount Everest, and leaving thousands dead. “NOVA” tells the story of this chilling disaster and unwraps the science behind Earth’s deadly quakes. –Wednesday, Oct. 28, 8-9 p.m.


Earth’s Natural Wonders – Explore the most extraordinary places on the planet in this three-part series. Visit six continents to learn how these natural wonders evolved and hear rarely told stories about the challenges their inhabitants face. — Wednesdays, Nov. 4-18, 7-8 p.m.

NOVA: “Making North America” – This unprecedented, 3-part series presents a bold and sweeping biography of our homeland. How was it built? How did life evolve? How did the landscape shape us? Host Kirk Johnson embarks on an epic road trip to uncover the clues just beneath our feet. – Wednesdays, Nov. 4-18, 8-9 p.m.

Eddie Murphy: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize – This special honors comedian and actor Eddie Murphy, the latest recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. From the stage of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, a lineup of the biggest names in comedy salutes the 18th recipient of the humor prize. – Monday, Nov. 23, 8-9:30 p.m.

The Pilgrims: American Experience — Acclaimed filmmaker Ric Burns explores the converging forces, circumstances, personalities and events that propelled a group of English men and women west across the Atlantic in 1620. With distinct and riveting personal histories, passionate religious beliefs and the will to survive — even through violent means — these first immigrants reveal the history of our nation’s beginnings. – Tuesday, Nov. 24, 7-9 p.m.

Independent Lens:
“India’s Daughter” –This film pays tribute to the remarkable short life of Jyoti Singh and documents the brutality of her gang rape and murder in Delhi in December 2012. Recently banned in India, the powerful documentary explores the compelling human stories behind the incident and examines the root causes of violence against women in India. – Monday, Nov. 16, 11 p.m. to 12 a.m.

“Stray Dog” – “Winter’s Bone” director Debra Granik’s stereotype-shattering documentary focuses on Ron “Stray Dog” Hall as he caravans on his motorcycle from his rural Missouri home to Washington, D.C., with his fellow vets to pay tribute to his fallen brothers at the Vietnam Memorial. Back home, Ron and his Mexican wife, Alicia, help her two newly arrived teenage sons find their place in America. “Stray Dog” is at once a powerful look at the veteran experience, a surprising love story and a fresh exploration of what it takes to survive in the hardscrabble heartland. – Monday, Nov. 9, 11 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Dates and Times TBA:

Independent Lens: “No More Babies for Life” — Investigate the plight of Mexican-American women who were coercively sterilized at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and 1970s. Many spoke no English and were urged to have surgical procedures — often based on little more than the question “More babies?” The film follows a group of mothers, young Chicana lawyers and a whistle-blowing doctor who dared to stand up to powerful institutions in the name of justice. 

PBS LearningMedia, a digital library of more than 100,000 resources for educators and students, will offer classrooms a host of educational resources, including video clips and interactives that inspire learning, from “Gorongosa Park,” “The Brain with David Eagleman,” “American Epic,” “Ken Burns’ Civil War,” “Earth’s Natural Wonders,” and “NOVA: Making North America.” Ken Burns will also speak directly to students in classrooms around the nation about the “Civil War” in an educational webinar hosted by PBS LearningMedia this fall.

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