Featured Program Calendar

September 2014 – TV Programming Highlights

Sept. 4 @ 8pm – Rick Steves Special: The Holy Land, Israelis & Palestinians Today
The hour-long RICK STEVES' SPECIAL: THE HOLY LAND, ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS TODAY weaves together both the Israeli and the Palestinian narratives to better understand a place that is, for a third of humanity, literally holy land. The crossroads for three great religions, the Holy Land has been coveted and fought over for centuries. Host Rick Steves visits the major sights, but delves deeper to better understand and empathize with both peoples. In Israel, he goes from the venerable ramparts of Jerusalem to the vibrant modern skyline of Tel Aviv. In Palestine, by harvesting olives near Hebron, visiting a home in Bethlehem, and popping into a university in Ramallah, he comes to know a land few tourists visit. And all along the way, he learns about security walls, disputed settlements, and the persistent challenges facing the region as Israelis and Palestinians learn to coexist peacefully.

Sept. 5 @ 9pm – American Masters: Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll
Discover the life, music and influence of the African-American gospel singer and guitar virtuoso Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973). During the 1940s-60s, she introduced the spiritual passion of her gospel music into the secular world of rock ’n’ roll, inspiring some of its greatest stars, including Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.

Sept. 9 @ 8pm - : ROBIN WILLIAMS REMEMBERED – A PIONEERS OF TELEVISION SPECIAL
In celebration of award-winning comedian, the one-hour special will feature Williams’ last full-length television interview, including never-before-seen footage of his comments on life and work, tributes by those who knew and worked with him closely in all phases of his career, and clips from iconic moments throughout his career. Williams shares stories about his first stand-up act, his desire to be a serious dramatic actor and his tireless efforts to entertain U.S. troops overseas. The program also includes an exclusive, sit-down interview with his former co-star Pam Dawber (“Mork & Mindy”), where she publicly shares, for the first time on camera since his death, her memories of working with Williams.

Sept 9 @ 9pm – Frontline – Ebola Outbreak
From the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak, FRONTLINE follows health officials tracking the deadly disease and trying to stop its rampant spread. With special access to teams fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone, the film shows how the outbreak is endangering health- care workers, overwhelming hospitals and getting worse. Also this hour, FRONTLINE investigates accounts that members of the Nigerian military have been committing atrocities in the fight against Boko Haram – the Islamist militants who kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in April. Amid worldwide pressure to find the girls, FRONTLINE uncovers shocking videos showing arrests, torture and summary executions of alleged Boko Haram suspects.

Sept. 11 @ 8pm – F.S. Key and the Song that Built America
F.S. KEY AND THE SONG THAT BUILT AMERICA celebrates the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key's writing of America's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." Key, a constitutional lawyer, famously penned the lyrics following the 12-hour bombardment of Ft. McHenry in September 1814. Against a backdrop of history, and through the eyes of Key's loving wife Polly (played by Deborah Hazlett), the film highlights Key’s personal life, legal career and artistic development. The documentary covers Key's major cases (including the Aaron Burr conspiracy), his vehement opposition to the War of 1812, his enlistment in the militia, his participation in the ill-fated defense of Washington, D.C., and his penchant for poetry and art.

Sept. 13 @ 9pm – Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem
The valiant defense of Fort McHenry on the night of September 13, 1814, during the Battle of Baltimore inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” His message 200 years ago and the poem he set to music quickly spread and became the rallying cry for the new nation. Today, “The Star Spangled Banner” plays a central part in our everyday lives, but it wasn’t until 1931 that Congress declared it our national anthem. On the occasion of the anthem’s 200th birthday, GREAT PERFORMANCES and Maryland Public Television present an entertainment event on the beautiful Baltimore Harbor front to commemorate the anthem’s creation and the courageous battle that inspired it.

Sept. 14 to Sept. 20, 7pm-11pm each night – The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
Ken Burns’s seven-part documentary weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics. The 14-hour series marks the first time their individual stories have been woven into a single narrative.

Sept. 21 @ 7pm & 8:30-pm – Masterpiece Mystery! Miss Marple Season 7 (series)
Acclaimed British actress Julia McKenzie (“Cranford”) returns as spinster sleuth Miss Marple in three new episodes of the popular Agatha Christie’s “Miss Marple” series.

Sept. 23 @ 7pm – Finding Your Roots (season two)
From AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES (2006) through the first season of FINDING YOUR ROOTS (2012), Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has been helping people identify relatives hidden for generations. Professor Gates employs a team of genealogists and the world’s leading geneticists to uncover the origins of a diverse group of 30 guests. Each of the 10 episodes will feature three guests bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden, link, as Gates treks through layers of ancestral history, uncovers secrets and surprises, and shares life-altering discoveries.

Sept. 26 @ 8pm – Live from Lincoln Center: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The New York Philharmonic’s acclaimed production of Stephen Sondheim’s iconic musical thriller, staged in March 2014 to a sold-out crowd at Avery Fisher Hall, tells the story of the eponymous barber who, with his romantically inclined landlady, Mrs. Lovett the piemaker, seeks vengeance on what he considers a merciless world. The remarkable cast features bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in the title role and Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lovett, with Christian Borle and more. Audra McDonald serves as host.

Sept. 29 @ 9pm: PBS is pleased to announce to stations that, working with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, PBS will be the broadcast home for the 2014 Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony. The 27th annual Hispanic Heritage Awards recipients will be announced soon, and will be presented with their awards during a ceremony on stage at the historic Warner Theater in Washington, DC. The awards are unique in that celebrities take the stage alongside physicians, scientists, educators, innovators, public officials, and community and business leaders.

Sept. 30 @ 8pm – Makers (series)
Six new documentaries in the MAKERS project feature groundbreaking American women in different spheres of influence: war, comedy, space, business, Hollywood and politics. Each program will profile prominent women and relate their struggles, triumphs and contributions as they reshaped and transformed the landscape of their chosen vocations.

Sept. 30 @ 9pm – Frontline: Bigger Than Vegas
FRONTLINE investigates the explosive growth of Macau as the gambling capital of the world, and how major American casinos conduct business there. Correspondent Lowell Bergman, in collaboration with the Investigative Reporting Program at U.C. Berkeley, shows how hundreds of billions of dollars make their way to Macau’s gaming tables, despite China’s currency controls, and how, in some cases, Chinese mobsters are part of the action.