September 2-7 @ 8pm – The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (series)
A 12-hour, six-part documentary series directed by Ken Burns and co-produced with his longtime colleague, Dayton Duncan, who also wrote the script, is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone. As such, it follows in the tradition of Burns's exploration of other American inventions, such as baseball and jazz.
September 4 @ 7pm – Earthflight: A Nature Special Presentation (series)
Take a breathtaking voyage with the world’s birds, soaring across six continents, witnessing spectacular animal migrations and great natural wonders, swooping down to interact with life-and-death dramas on land and at sea. This miniseries employs state-of-the-art technology and sophisticated camera techniques to show the world from the amazing aerial perspective of a bird’s-eye view.
September 5 @ 7:30pm – Rigs to Reefs: Tower of Life
Produced by The Gulf of Mexico Foundation and Shell the documentary, “Rigs To Reef” features Dr. Quenton Dokken as he takes the viewer underwater into the “Towers of Life” offshore. Dr. Dokken interviews various stakeholders underwater using full face masks and wireless transmitters. Also featured are marine biologists, oil and gas representatives, commercial fisherman, educators and law makers all working to find a way to sustain and maintain these artificial reefs so that future generations may enjoy the benefits of the natural and economical productivity of the Gulf of Mexico.
September 9 @ 9pm – POV: Ping Pong
Call this old age, extreme edition: Eight players with 703 years among them compete in the Over 80 World Table Tennis Championships in China’s Inner Mongolia. British players Terry, 81, who has been given a week to live, and Les, 91, a weightlifter and poet, are going for the gold. Inge, 89, from Germany, has used table tennis to paddle her way out of dementia. And Texan Lisa, 85, is playing for the first time. “Ping Pong” is a wonderfully unusual story of hope, regret, friendship, ambition, love — and sheer human tenacity in the face of aging and mortality.
September 10 @ 7pm – American Masters: Billie Jean King
The series’ first profile of a sports figure commemorates the 40th anniversaries of the famous Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs battle of the sexes tennis match and the launch of the Women’s Tennis Association. King presents her own story, with perspective from Rosie Casals, Chris Evert, Venus Williams, Gloria Steinem, Riggs’ son Larry and others.
September 11 @ 8pm – NOVA: Ground Zero Supertower
NOVA returns to Ground Zero to witness the final chapter in an epic story of engineering, innovation and the perseverance of the human spirit: the completion of One World Trade Center, the skyscraper rising 104 stories and 1,776 feet from the site where the Twin Towers once stood. In this update of NOVA’s Emmy-nominated special “Engineering Ground Zero,” which featured extraordinary behind-the-scenes access to the struggles of the engineers and architects working at 1 WTC and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, NOVA goes inside the construction of the new tower’s final floors and the installation of its soaring, 800-ton spire and beacon. But 1 WTC isn’t the only engineering marvel taking shape here: NOVA goes underground to see the construction of a multi-billion-dollar museum that will house artifacts from 9/11.
September 12 @ 8pm – Infinity Hall Live (series)
This concert series celebrates the music and energy of groundbreaking American artists. The acoustically perfect Infinity Music Hall, a historic 130-year-old venue in Norfolk, Connecticut, provides an intimate setting for engaging, authentic and heartfelt performances by an eclectic group of musicians. Candid interviews with band members provide a window into their motivations, their inspirations and their unique styles. Performers this season include: Tori Amos, Cowboy Junkies, Fountains of Wayne, Ben Taylor and more.
September 17 @ 7pm – Latino Americans (series)
Actor Benjamin Bratt narrates this landmark six-hour series, the first major television documentary series to chronicle the rich and varied history of Latinos, who have for the past 500-plus years helped shape what is today the United States and have become the country’s largest minority group.
September 17 @ 9pm – Frontline: Egypt in Crisis
It took 80 years to rise to power, but now, after only 12 months, the Muslim Brotherhood has been ousted by its longtime foe — the Egyptian military. In a special FRONTLINE examines the rise and rapid fall of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. How did the Brotherhood lose control? Could the U.S. have done anything to alter the course of events in Egypt? With unique access to the Brotherhood’s leadership, FRONTLINE follows the Islamist movement as it plots its next move.
September 20 @ 8pm – Great Performances: The Hollow Crown (series)
This ambitious four-part miniseries assembles four of Shakespeare’s history plays — Richard II, Henry IV, Parts I & II, and Henry V — into a single chronological narrative. The original “Game of Thrones” has inspired bold film adaptations with a cast of leading British and Hollywood talent including Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Patrick Stewart, John Hurt, Julie Walters, David Suchet, Michelle Dockery and David Morrissey.
September 23 @ 8pm – Genealogy Roadshow (series)
Follow a diverse cast of participants on an emotional journey that uses history and science to uncover their fascinating family stories. Each individual’s past will link to a larger community history, revealing the rich cultural tapestry of America. The programs feature participants from four American cities — Nashville, Austin, Detroit and San Francisco — who want to explore a genealogical mystery.
September 30 @ 9pm – Independent Lens: Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey
For Arnel Pineda, the past five years have been the stuff of dreams. Neal Schon, guitarist for the iconic rock band Journey, saw a YouTube video of the aspiring Filipino singer and flew him to San Francisco to audition for the band. The rest is history. But Pineda’s personal journey had just begun. He wasn’t prepared for the grueling physical and emotional strains that come with fronting a rock band on a whirlwind world tour. Can a man who has overcome many obstacles — orphaned at 12, living on the streets, no music training — deal with the demands of his newfound fame?