Look what's coming to Blue Ridge PBS!
American Masters - Mel Brooks: Make a Noise
Monday, May 20 at 9:00pm
This program profiles the larger-than-life, yet very private comedy giant. He has never authorized a biography and has requested that his friends not talk about him, making his participation in this AMERICAN MASTERS film a genuine first. Features new interviews with Brooks, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Cloris Leachman, Carl Reiner and Joan Rivers.
Tuesdays at 8:00pm
Television's most-watched history series, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has been hailed as "peerless" (Wall Street Journal), "the most consistently enriching program on television" (Chicago Tribune) and "a beacon of intelligence and purpose" (Houston Chronicle). On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America's past and present. In January, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE explores the West.
Visit the companion website at pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/
May 7 - “Jesse James”
The story of Jesse James remains one of America's most cherished tales ... and one of its most fictitious. James, so the legned goes, was a western outlaw, though, in fact, he never went west; America's Robin Hood, though he robbed from the poor as well as the rich; a gunfighter, though his victims were almost always unarmed. Less heroic than brutal, James was a member of a vicious band of Missouri guerrillas during the Civil War. With a life steeped in violence and bloodshed, he met what was perhaps the most fitting end.
May 14 – “Annie Oakley”
This is the story of the star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, the young woman who thrilled audiences around the world with her daring shooting feats. While her act helped fuel turn-of-the-century nostalgia for the vanished, mythical world of the American West, the legend of Annie Oakley had little to do with the real Annie. Although famous as a western sharpshooter, Oakley lived her entire life east of the Mississippi. A champion in a man's sport, Oakley forever changed ideas about the abilities of women, yet she opposed female suffrage. Her fame and fortune came from her skill with guns, a concept that was counter to her Quaker upbringing.
Constitution USA with Peter Sagal
Tuesdays at 9:00pm
Breathing new life into the traditional civics lesson, Peter Sagal (host of NPR’s “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me”) travels across the country on a Harley Davidson to find out where the U.S. Constitution lives, how it works and how it doesn’t; how it unites us as a nation and how it has nearly torn us apart. Sagal introduces some major constitutional debates today and talks with ordinary Americans and leading constitutional experts about what the Constitution actually says and what it means, the dramatic historical events and crises that have defined it, and why all this matters.
May 7 – “A More Perfect Union”
Explore the Constitution’s most striking and innovative feature: its resilient brand of federalism.
May 14 – “It’s a Free Country”
Examine what most Americans consider the Constitution’s most important feature: the Bill of Rights.
May 21 – “Created Equal”
Learn about the far-reaching changes created by the Fourteenth Amendment.
May 28 – “Built to Last?”
Consider the systems that have kept the Constitution healthy for more than 225 years.
Wednesdays at 8:00pm
NATURE has been the benchmark of natural history programs on television, capturing the splendors of the natural world from the African plains to the Antarctic ice. The series has won more than 600 honors from the television industry, parent groups, the international wildlife film community and environmental organizations, including 10 Emmys, three Peabodys and the first award given to a television program by the Sierra Club. Find out more about NATURE at pbs.org/wnet/nature/
May 1 – Legendary White Stallions”
Hear the story of the world-famous Lipizzaner stallions, from their origins in ancient times to the almost unknown drama of their rescue in 1945. The film, which focuses on the bond that develops between horse and rider, begins at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Here the perfect harmony between horse and rider, as well as the beauty and power of the magnificent white stallions, is celebrated in their impressive performance. Their carefully choreographed movements were originally intended for war. Then, only the strongest and most athletic of the horses were chosen. The Lipizzaner stallion was bred for its courage, strength and character, but the horse is also gentle, sensitive and exceptionally responsive to praise.
May 8 – The Private Life of Deer”
From coast to coast, some 30 million white-tailed deer make their home in the United States. Deer are the most highly studied mammals in the world, but does the typical homeowner with deer in the yard know how long deer can live? When they sleep? How many babies a doe can have each year? Enter the hidden world of white-tailed deer outfitted with night-vision cameras and GPS tracking equipment to see them not as common backyard creatures, but as intelligent, affectionate family members.
May 15 – “Great Zebra Exodus”
When thunderclouds begin to gather over Botswana’s Kalahari each year, 20,000 zebras get itchy feet. As the first fat raindrops hit the dust, southern Africa’s biggest animal migration gets underway. In a never-ending quest for grass and water, the striped herds undertake an annual epic trek across the vast lunar landscape of the Kalahari’s Makgadikgadi Pans. See the story of this spectacular annual migration through the eyes of a single zebra family: a stallion, his three mares and their offspring. Documenting their journey across this otherworldly landscape, the film reveals their trials and triumphs as well as the fascinating social bonds that hold zebra families together.
May 22 – “The White Lions”
This is the story of two remarkable and extremely rare white lion cubs on their journey to adulthood. Both are female, sisters born as white as snow in May 2009 in South Africa’s Kruger Park. Growing up on the savanna, they must overcome not only the same survival challenges that all young lion cubs must face, they must also overcome the threats their high visibility brings.
May 29 - “The Himalayas”
The Himalayan mountain system is the planet’s highest and home to the world’s tallest peaks. NATURE explores the diversity of wildlife and habitats of this mountain chain starring the mysterious snow leopard.
Thursday Night Mysteries!
DCI Banks - Thursdays at 9:00pm
Based on the bestselling novels by Peter Robinson, DCI Banks is a gritty detective series that stars Stephen Tompkinson as the tenacious and stubborn Chief Inspector Alan Banks; Andrea Lowe as the feisty and headstrong Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot.
May 2 – “Strange Affair”
When DCI Alan Banks receives a disturbing message from his brother Roy, he drops everything to find him, just as new recruit DI Helen Morton finds evidence linking Banks to the body of a murder victim.
May 9 – “Dry Bones that Dream”
DCI Alan Banks and DI Helen Morton must learn to reconcile their conflicting policing styles and personalities while trying to unravel the increasingly puzzling murder of a local accountant who has been leading a secret double life.
May 16 – “Innocent Graves”
When a teenage schoolgirl is found strangled, Banks and his team quickly identify their prime suspect. But the closer Banks seemingly moves towards a conviction, the more the course of the investigation distances him from Helen.
Masterpiece Mystery! - Thursdays at 10:30pm
May 2 – “Wallander: The Man who Smiled”
An old friend contacts Wallander (Kenneth Branagh) with the belief that his father has been murdered, but subsequent events convince Wallander that there might be more to the case.
May 9 – “Wallander: The Fifth Woman”
Two seemingly unconnected cases leads Wallander (Kenneth Branagh) to believe he is on the trail of a serial killer bent on revenge.
May 16 – “Poirot XI: Three Act Tragedy”
Poirot (David Suchet) visits his friend Sir Charles Cartwright (Martin Shaw, “Cranford”), who hosts a cocktail party at his home where a local reverend chokes to death. Murder seems impossible, but when a second guest dies under similar circumstances, the Belgian sleuth investigates further. Art Malik (“Upstairs Downstairs”) and Kate Ashfield (“Collision”) co-star.
Thursdays at 9:00pm
May 23 – “Sherlock: A study in Pink”
When an unidentified woman, dressed all in pink, turns up murdered in an abandoned building, Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) must use the science of deduction to catch the killer. Martin Freeman also stars as John Watson.
May 30 – “Sherlock: The Blind Banker”
When a banker is found dead inside his locked apartment, Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) follow the clues that lead to an underground crime gang. But who is the leader pulling the strings?