She received rave reviews – and a Tony Award – for her performance in Broadway’s revival of "Pippin." Soon she’ll be featured in the next installment of “The Hunger Games.” Tonight you’ll hear how she got from Pageland, South Carolina, to a starring role on Broadway, told in songs ranging from Sondheim to "Sister Act." Friday, March 28 at 8:00 PM
THE BUFFALO KING, a richly textured and momentous film, follows James (Scotty) Philip from his meager upbringing to his success in saving the American bison from extinction. An original preservationist in the 1890s, he disdains the wanton slaughter of buffalo and uses this dark moment in history as a driving force for something greater. Thursday, February 27 at 7:00
NOVA kicks off the fall season with a return to Ground Zero to witness the final chapter in an epic story of engineering, innovation, and the perseverance of the human spirit. “Ground Zero Supertower” examines the new skyscraper, One World Trade Center, rising up 104 stories and 1,776 feet from the site where the Twin Towers once stood. NOVA also goes underground to see another engineering marvel taking shape here: the construction of the National September 11 Memorial Museum that will house almost a thousand artifacts from that devastating day. 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 9/11 Memorial, NOVA goes inside the construction of the tower’s final floors and the installation of its soaring, 408-foot spire and beacon. The greatest test is still to come, though: Will One World Trade Center, a multi-billion dollar supertower, live up to its promise to be safe, beautiful and ahead of its time? Wednesday, February 26 at 8:00 pm
Pope Benedict made history when he announced his resignation, becoming the first pope to step down voluntarily in 600 years. In his wake, he left a bitterly divided Vatican mired in scandals. Is Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis, taming the forces that helped destroy Benedict’s papacy? Is he succeeding in lifting the church out of crisis? Nearly a year in the making, this special two-hour FRONTLINE goes inside the Vatican — one of the world’s most revered and mysterious institutions — to unravel the remarkable series of events that led to the resignation that shook the world. Through interviews with those at the very heart of what happened — cardinals, priests, convicted criminals, police, prosecutors and whistle-blowers — FRONTLINE gives a first-hand account of the final days of Benedict’s papacy and the current battle to set the church on a new path under Francis. Tuesday, February 25 at 8:00 pm
Rock ‘n’ roll Renaissance man Sting has embarked on a new venture, The Last Ship, a musical play for which he has written original music and lyrics. Exploring a range of universal themes, The Last Ship dramatizes the impact of the demise of the ship-building industry in Sting’s home town of Wallsend, England, which for so long had dominated and shaped the city’s community life. Having grown up in the shadow of the Swan Hunter Shipyard, Sting was deeply affected by the subject, which inspired him to emerge from a decade-long absence from songwriting to produce over a dozen new songs for the Broadway- bound show, a collaboration with the Tony-winning duo of writer John Logan (Red, Skyfall screenplay) and director Joe Mantello (Wicked, Other Desert Cities). In an exclusive performance recorded at New York City’s Public Theater, Sting performs an intimate concert of highlights from the show, providing a narrative outline for the musical as well as revealing the autobiographical underpinnings for the songs. Friday, February 21 at 8:00 pm
"Honey badger is bad ass." Those words and corresponding video became a YouTube sensation with 51 million hits. This relentless little creature is one the most fearless animals in the world, renowned for its ability to confront grown lions, castrate charging buffalo, and shrug off the toxic defenses of stinging bees, scorpions, and snakes. Little is known about its behavior in the wild or why it is so aggressive. This film follows three badger specialists in South Africa who take on these masters of mayhem in ways that must be seen to be believed. Wednesday, February 19 at 7:00 pm Saturday, February 22 at 11:00 pm
It would be the "Biggest Thing on Earth," the salvation of the common man, a dam and irrigation project that would make the desert bloom, a source of cheap power that would boost an entire region of the country. Of the many public works projects of the New Deal, Grand Coulee Dam loomed largest in America's imagination during the darkest days of the Depression. It promised to fulfill President Franklin Roosevelt's vision for a "planned promised land" where hard-working farm families would finally be free from the drought and dislocation caused by the elements. Tuesday, February 18 at 7:00
In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad successfully accomplished the enormous engineering feat of building tunnels under New York City's Hudson and East Rivers, connecting the railroad to New York and New England, knitting together the entire eastern half of the United States. The tunnels terminated in what was one of the greatest architectural achievements of its time, Pennsylvania Station. Penn Station covered nearly eight acres, extended two city blocks, and housed one of the largest public spaces in the world. But just 53 years after the station’s opening, the monumental building that was supposed to last forever, to herald and represent the American Empire, was slated to be destroyed. Tuesday, February 18 at 8:00 pm Sunday, February 23 at 11:00 pm
When young women are found murdered amid the chaos of the London Blitz of World War II, brilliant Home Office Pathologist Dr. Lennox Collins (Patrick Kennedy), on his first murder case, and his newly recruited assistant Molly Cooper (Tamzin Merchant) clash with the police over just who the main suspect is. Employing groundbreaking forensic techniques, can Lennox and Molly save a seemingly innocent man from the gallows and prove there may be more to these murders than meets the eye? Sunday, February 16 at 9:15 pm
Founded in 1963, the Royal National Theatre has provided London residents and visitors with some the most thrilling productions in contemporary theater. It has also served as an influential wellspring of talent and creativity, breathing new life into theater classics as well as launching new plays, playwrights, directors and stars on an international stage. On November 2, 2013, the National Theatre celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special gala performance, welcoming home an all-star cast of its alumni to perform excerpts from landmark productions, complemented by archival excerpts from its many groundbreaking productions. The laundry list of alumni performers is stunning to say the least. Guests include Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Dame Maggie Smith, and Sir Derek Jacobi. National Theatre Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner directs. Friday, February 14 at 8:00
Most famous for her seminal novel The Color Purple, writer/activist Alice Walker celebrates her 70th birthday. Born February 9, 1944, into a family of sharecroppers in rural Georgia, she came of age during the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th-century America. Her mother, poverty and participation in the civil rights movement were the formative influences on her consciousness, becoming the inherent themes in her writing. The first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Walker continues to shine a light on global human rights issues. Her dramatic life is told with poetry and lyricism, and includes interviews with Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, Howard Zinn, Gloria Steinem, Sapphire and Walker herself. Thursday, February 13 at 8:00 pm
The dome that crowns Florence’s great cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore—the Duomo—is a towering masterpiece of Renaissance ingenuity and an enduring source of mystery. Still the largest masonry dome on earth after more than six centuries, it is taller than the Statue of Liberty and weighs as much as an average cruise ship. Historians and engineers have long debated how its secretive architect, Filippo Brunelleschi, managed to keep the dome perfectly aligned and symmetrical as the sides rose and converged toward the center, 40 stories above the cathedral floor. To test the latest theories, a team of U.S. master bricklayers will help build a unique experimental model Duomo using period tools and techniques. Will it stay intact during the final precarious stages of closing over the top of the dome? Wednesday, February 12 at 8:00 pm.
Long before Paul Newman and Robert Redford immortalized them on screen, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid captivated Americans from coast to coast. In the 1890s, their exploits robbing banks and trains in the West -- and then seemingly vanishing into thin air -- became national news and the basis of rumors and myth. But who were Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh? How did they come together to form the Wild Bunch gang? And how did they manage to pull off the longest string of successful holdups in history while eluding the Pinkertons, the nation’s most feared detective force? Separating fact from fiction, the latest installment of The Wild West collection explores the last pair of outlaws to flee on horseback into a setting sun. Tuesday, February 11 at 8:00 pm
On April 28, 1881, 21-year-old Henry McCarty, alias Billy the Kid, just days from being hanged for murder, outfoxed his jailors and electrified the nation with the latest in a long line of daring escapes. Just a few weeks later, the notorious young outlaw was gunned down by an ambitious sheriff. The Kid was soon mythologized by a never-ending stream of dime-store romances and later, big-screen dramas. But in all the narratives, Billy the Kid’s real story has been obscured. This program deconstructs the mythology surrounding the infamous desperado. Tuesday, February 11 at 7:00 pm.
Based on the novel by celebrated writer Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden), this is the story of the educated but penniless Emily (Lydia Wilson). During her duties as a lady’s companion for Lady Maria (Joanna Lumley), she meets her employer’s wealthy widower nephew, Lord James Walderhurst (Linus Roache). Accepting his practical if unromantic marriage proposal, Emily finds solace in the company of Walderhurst’s nephew Alec Osborn (James D’Arcy) and his glamorous wife, Hester (Hasina Haque), after Lord James leaves to rejoin his regiment. Emily, alone with the Osborns, increasingly comes under their control. She begins to fear for her life. Sunday, February 9 at 9:00 pm.
The film reveals the full scope of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, a secret spy agency formed by the state to preserve segregation during the 1950s and ‘60s. Granted broad powers, this commission used its network of informants to spy on over 87,000 Americans as it covered up violence and murder in order to preserve the status quo and derail the civil rights movement. Monday, February 10 at 9:00 pm
There are some 120 species of duck, representing a wide variety of shapes, sizes and behaviors. Some are noisy and gregarious, others shy and elusive. They are familiar animals we think we know. But most of us don’t really know these phenomenal, sophisticated creatures at all. This Emmy Award wining program follows a wood duck family as a male and female create a bond, migrate together across thousands of miles, nurture and protect a brood of chicks, then come full circle as they head to their wintering grounds. Wednesday, February 5 at 7:00 pm Saturday, February 8 at 11:00 pm
What is it like to be cut off from your faith and your family? The Amish: Shunned follows seven people who have chosen to leave their closed and tightly-knit communities for the outside world, knowing they can never return. Each has paid deeply for their decision. Estranged form loved ones, these former Amish find themselves struggling to make their way in modern America. Tuesday, February 4 at 8:00 pm
Christopher Plummer recreates his Tony Award-winning role playing the legendary actor John Barrymore in the film adaptation of William Luce's Broadway play. Set in 1942, the production centers on the acclaimed—and notorious— John Barrymore, capturing the star in the final months of his life as he struggles to prepare for a audition to stage a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph, Richard III. January 31. 8:00 pm.
This is the intimate and revealing story of Stephen Hawking’s life. Told for the first time in Hawking’s own words and with unique access to his home and public life, this is the only official biographical account of the world's most famous living scientist. Hawking gives a unique insight into his world, covering his iconic career and struggle with motor neurone disease. His personal journey is one of triumph: having been diagnosed with the disease in 1963 and given two years to live, he has gone on to make incredible scientific discoveries. Featuring interviews with Buzz Aldrin, Richard Branson, Jim Carrey and Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as a host of family members and close friends, the film is a celebration of Hawking's life and offers viewers unprecedented access into his captivating universe. January 29. 9:00 pm.
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