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PBS September Programming Shines

PBS programming serves all ages and ethnicities around the globe. It continues to contribute to the Renaissance of artistry and Reformation of content via ever-improving and accessible technologies.

USA Today encouraged readers to watch the final hour of Big Blue Live on PBS on September 2. IdeaStream also recommended that viewers “Join scientists, animal behaviorists and other experts in a live TV broadcast to view the once endangered, now thriving ecosystem of Monterey Bay, California, where nature’s most charismatic marine creatures gather to feed on an abundance of food.” TV Worth Watching states that Big Blue Live Blue has “…been an interesting experiment, this idea of presenting live coverage of marine animals congregating at California’s Monterey Bay.” PBS partnered with the BBC to present this three-day live event captured by cameras under, on top of, and over the water.

"Big Blue Live" offers a fascinating look at God's creations in and under the water; Photo Courtesy of PBS.

“Big Blue Live” offers a fascinating look at God’s creations in and under the water; Photo Courtesy of PBS.

PBS also has a slate of some of the finest television programming for this fall. Promising programming includes “Walt Disney” on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, “Indian Summers” on MASTERPIECE, Ken Burns’ THE CIVIL WAR, the KENNEDY CENTER MARK TWAIN PRIZE and more.

“PBS has the very best shows this fall, from historic dramas to true-life mysteries to extraordinary live performances and more,” says Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “It’s a season that highlights what we do best as we revisit Ken Burns’s 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 or the musicians profiled in AMERICAN EPIC….”

Friday, September 4, on PBS’ POV program AMERICAN MASTERS, “Althea” recounts the life and achievements of the groundbreaking African-American tennis player Althea Gibson. A decade before Arthur Ashe, Althea Gibson (1927-2003) emerged as the unlikely queen of the segregated tennis world of the 1950s. She was the first African American to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals (precursor of the U.S. Open). The documentary film explores her life as she was mentored by boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and others, who are interviewed for the film.

"Arthur and George" give famous mystery author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle a mystery of his own; Photo Courtesy of PBS.

“Arthur and George” give famous mystery author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Martin Clunes) a mystery of his own; Photo Courtesy of PBS.

Sunday, September 6, on PBS’ ARTHUR & GEORGE on MASTERPIECE, Martin Clunes (“Doc Martin”) stars as world-famous author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a three three-part adaptation of Julian Barnes’ acclaimed novel that follows the intersecting lives of two men. One of the men is the half-Indian son of a vicar who is framed for a crime he may not have committed, and Doyle investigates the case.

Monday, September 7, Ken Burns’ THE CIVIL WAR has its high-definition debut to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the end of the Civil War. PBS presents a re-mastered, high-definition version of producer and director Ken Burns’ groundbreaking and award-winning film, airing five consecutive nights. This coincides with the 25th anniversary of its original broadcast in 1990.

Monday, September 14, PBS presents “Walt Disney” on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. This program provides an unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America’s most enduring and influential storytellers in Walt Disney in a new two-part, four-hour film.

"Walt Disney" honors the life and legacy of the man behind the mouse; Photo Courtesy of Variety.

“Walt Disney” honors the life and legacy of the man behind the mouse; Photo Courtesy of Variety.

Friday, September 18, AMERICAN MASTERS presents “Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey.” Viewers will see the remarkable life and work of Guerrero, an American-born Mexican who was raised in segregated Mesa, Arizona, who had an extraordinary international photography career. With Guerrero’s words and images, the program presents his collaborations with three of the most iconic American artists of the 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright and sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson.

On Tuesdays in September, starting September 22, GORONGOSA PARK: REBIRTH OF PARADISE is scheduled on PBS. This is a three-part adventure series showing September 22–October 6, 2015. PBS is slated to offer the entire series across all streaming platforms.  GORONGOSA PARK documents the revival of Mozambique’s national park after years of civil war.

Wednesday, September 23, PBS begins the heartwarming, science-grounded series NATURE that premieres with “Nature’s Miracle Orphans” and continues with a attention to various species from wild elephants to domesticated pets.

"Indian Summer" gives award-winning actress Julie Walters a chance to shine in Colonial India; Photo Courtesy of PBS.

“Indian Summers” gives award-winning actress a chance to shine in Colonial India; Photo Courtesy of PBS.

Sunday, September 27, PBS’  9-part “Indian Summers” on MASTERPIECE begins with Golden Globe Award-winning actress Julie Walters. This series dramatically retells of the twilight of British rule in India. Set against the sweeping grandeur of the Himalayas and tea plantations of Northern India, the drama presents the rich and explosive story of the decline of the British Empire as modern India is birthed. The story is told from the British and Indian sides of the experience. It starts in the summer of 1932, when Indians dream of independence and the British are clinging to power. In the foothills of the Himalayas is Simla, and each summer, the British power-brokers are posted here to govern during the summer months.

Wednesday, September 30, PBS presents E.O. WILSON – OF ANTS AND MEN, an exploration of the remarkable life and groundbreaking ideas of biologist E.O. Wilson. He was founder of the discipline of sociobiology, world authority on insects, and Pulitzer-prize winning writer on the subject of human nature. In Wilson, viewers will see an endearing personality and one of the great scientists and thinkers of our time.

These are just some of the many educational, entertaining television programs slated for September on PBS. Viewers should check times and days for PBS programs online at PBS.org and their local affiliate Web sites.

PBS’ online LearningMedia also provides a digital library of more than 100,000 resources for educators and students, including video clips and various kinds of interactive programming.

PBS has over 350 member stations that provide viewers around the globe opportunities to explore and learn through television and online content. Each month, as PBS reaches nearly 109 million people on television and over 28 million people online, it provides entertaining, educational, and edifying programming from the worlds of science, history, nature, visual arts, performing arts and more.

Written by Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies), dianehoward.com