SILICON VALLEY tells the story of the pioneering scientists and engineers who transformed rural Santa Clara County into the hub of technological ingenuity we now know as Silicon Valley. The film spotlights the creativity of the young men who founded Fairchild Semiconductor, in particular the brilliant, charismatic young physicist Robert Noyce.
Tuesday 2/5 @ 8:00 p.m.
Miniseries still rank among the top-rated programs in television history; they were major events that captured the nation’s imagination. “Roots” was the biggest — interviewed about that groundbreaking series are stars LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr., Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, John Amos, Georg Stanford Brown and Ed Asner. This episode also considers the very first miniseries, “Rich Man, Poor Man,” as stars Peter Strauss and Susan Blakely offer fresh insights.
Tuesday 2/5 @ 7:00 p.m.
“As Goes Janesville” catapults viewers to the front lines of America’s debate over the future of its middle class — a debate that has become a pitched battle over unions in the normally tranquil state of Wisconsin. First, General Motors shuts down Janesville’s century-old plant, causing mass layoffs and exiling residents who must leave in search of work.
Monday 2/4 @ 9:00 p.m.
Things go badly amiss at Downton Abbey. Robert and Cora are not speaking. The servants are shunning Matthew’s mother, Isobel. And Matthew and Robert have fallen out. Bates takes a gamble.
Sunday 2/3 @ 8:00 pm and repeats at 9:00 p.m.
Derek Jacobi returns to a role he played 30 years ago, coaches actors at the Globe in aspects of the play, reveals why it could have cost Shakespeare his life — and shares some of the extraordinary modern political parallels within the play that still resonate as dictators are deposed.
Friday 2/1 @ 9:30 p.m.
Jeremy Irons (who stars as Henry IV in the upcoming new GREAT PERFORMANCES film adaptation) uncovers the enduring appeal of Shakespeare’s “history plays,” from the facts of English history to the father-son drama that Shakespeare created. He discloses what Shakespeare’s sources were — and how he distorted them.
Friday 2/1 @ 10:30 p.m.
“Superheroes” crosses many eras: “Superman” in the 1950s, “Batman” in the ’60s, “Wonder Woman” and “The Incredible Hulk” in the ’70s and “The Greatest American Hero” in the ’80s. The episode features in-depth interviews with Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Lynda Carter, Lou Ferrigno, William Katt and others.
Tuesday 1/29 @ 7:00 p.m.
Witness an ongoing culture war raging in Texas — a tempest in a textbook. The state’s Board of Education has been engaged in a pitched, years-long battle over what belongs (and doesn’t) in public school textbooks. Legislators, educators, parents and students debate the facts and the theories — including what constitutes a fact versus a theory.
Monday 1/28 @ 9:00p.m.
The battle between pro-slavery and free-soil contingents rises to fever pitch. During his raid on Harpers Ferry, John Brown is captured, then executed, becoming a martyr for the cause. Abraham Lincoln is elected president in 1860. Southern states secede, war breaks out and the conflict unexpectedly drags on.
TV: Tuesday 1/22 @ 8:00 pm