PBS’ Summer Programming Features Comprehensive Election Coverage, New and Returning Drama Series, and Olympic-Themed Specials

– Other Highlights Include Fresh Sunday Night Lineup, And New Science
Series With Stephen Hawking –

summer schedule offers comprehensive election coverage, as well as
specially themed programs around the 31st Olympiad in August
2016. Anchored by live broadcasts of the Republican (July 18-21)
and Democratic
(July 25-28) National Convention activities,
election-themed programs include an encore presentation of six films
from the pbs.org%2Fwgbh%2Famericanexperience%2F&esheet=51324847&newsitemid=20160428005430&lan=en-US&anchor=AMERICAN+EXPERIENCE&index=2&md5=f64b5ec3bc79cd9c3131289d725cb4db” rel=”nofollow”>AMERICAN
award-winning collection “The Presidents,” August
8-18, and a fresh documentary on America’s most prominent address and
historic landmark, THE WHITE HOUSE: INSIDE STORY (view
), on July 12. The recently announced
issues-and-social-media-driven weekly series pbs.org%2Fshow%2Fpoint-taken%2F&esheet=51324847&newsitemid=20160428005430&lan=en-US&anchor=POINT+TAKEN&index=4&md5=37d916d33d2c0f2be4de0b3865eedc36″ rel=”nofollow”>POINT
, hosted by Carlos Watson (premiered April 5), and an
Olympic underdog story in AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Boys of ’36,
on August 2, round out additional summer features (view

Summer on PBS also brings the premiere of new Sunday dramas, including
new episodes of MASTERPIECE
favorites “Endeavour, Season Three” on June 19 and Oxford drama “Inspector
Lewis, The Final Season”
on August 7. The crime series THE TUNNEL
), from the makers of “The Bridge,” involves intrigue and
mystery when a body is found in the Channel Tunnel between England and
France, and premieres June 19; the BBC production DANCING ON THE EDGE follows
a black jazz band in 1930s London and premieres June 26. The hit series VICIOUS,
a comedy with two extremely dramatic leads in Derek Jacobi and Ian
McKellen, returns with a one-night, series finale special on Sunday,
June 19.

“As the national conversation around elections continues throughout the
summer, viewers will get comprehensive coverage and reporting from the
Republican and Democratic National Conventions through award-winning
news and public affairs programs like pbs.org%2Fshow%2Fnewshour%2F&esheet=51324847&newsitemid=20160428005430&lan=en-US&anchor=PBS+NEWSHOUR&index=9&md5=5451bac9a03512dd676f9cb8d14d4090″ rel=”nofollow”>PBS
Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General
Audience Programming. “Also this summer, timed with the start of the
Olympic games in Rio, we are showcasing new documentaries from AMERICAN
and INDEPENDENT LENS about athletes who have
triumphed over adversity to ultimately win the gold. Rounding out the
schedule is a fresh selection of Sunday dramas, and intriguing science
specials, engaging viewers in a variety of informational and
entertaining programming all summer long.”

New, engaging and accessible science programs provide in-depth insights
into the greatest scientific minds in GENIUS BY STEPHEN HAWKING (view
). The six-part series, hosted by Hawking, debuts with
back-to-back episodes May 18 and demonstrates how ordinary people around
the world can grasp history’s greatest scientific discoveries through a
series of large-scale experiments and remarkable demonstrations. On June
22, the conservation-focused special THE GREAT POLAR BEAR FEAST (view
) examines the impact of environmental change on polar bears and
their cubs. The three-part natural history series SUPERNATURE – WILD
), a co-production with the BBC, focuses on animals – from the
quirky leapers to the extraordinary gliders – that push the laws of
physics and live airborne, starting June 29. Also a co-production with
BBC is the documentary film KOKO THE GORILLA WHO TALKS (view
), premiering August 3, features footage from four decades and
examines the relationship between American psychologist Penny Patterson
and the gorilla Koko.

Back this summer is the NATIONAL
, live on May 29, and the popular
Independence Day celebration A
on July 4 (performers to be announced). The
worldwide attention focused on the 2016 Rio Olympics offers viewers a
chance to reflect on the history of that international institution with
specials that show different sides of the Olympics story. On August 2,
two programs examine the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, and it’s impact on
modern-day Olympics. The first is NAZI GAMES – BERLIN 1936 and
then, from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, “The Boys of ’36,
about the American rowing team that triumphed at the 1936 games. The
documentary “T-Rex Her Fight for Gold” introduces
17-year old boxer Claressa “T-Rex” Shields and recounts her rise from
Flint, Michigan, to the first gold medal podium for women’s boxing at
the 2012 London Olympics.

personally selected favorite moments from her long-running comedy series
on June 3.

PBS’ commitment to independent film and documentary is strong this
summer with provocative, moving stories. The award-winning series POV,
now in its 29th season, presents works by the world’s most
talented documentary filmmakers on Monday nights. Highlights include the
Oscar®-nominated “The Look of Silence,” in which an
optometrist confronts the men who killed his brother in the horrific
1965 Indonesian genocide, premiering on June 27, and “Pervert Park,
which examines the life of sex offenders living in the Florida Justice
Transitions trailer park, on July 11. A new season from the venerable FRONTLINE
returns on Tuesday nights, along with several new documentaries from INDEPENDENT

New but previously announced series premiering this summer on PBS
Season Three, uncovering fascinating stories of
diverse Americans in six new cities starting May 17. This time
Albuquerque, Miami, Houston, Boston, Providence and Los Angeles are in
the mix (view
). Starting June 29, the BBC co-production 9 MONTHS THAT MADE
) tells the fascinating story of humans from conception to birth
280 days later, revealing the unbelievable choreography that made each
of us.

A chronological listing of summer 2016 PBS programs follows, grouped by
month and by premiere date:


MASTERPIECE “Wallander, The Final Season” – Kenneth Branagh (My
Week with Marilyn
) returns as Inspector Kurt Wallander in the
Swedish sleuth’s farewell episodes, bringing the beloved,
Emmy®-nominated series to a poignant end. As age catches up with the
peerless crime-solver, he’s getting dangerously careless. Could there be
a connection to his father’s Alzheimers? Based on the novels of Henning
Mankell, the “Wallander” series has been praised as “satisfyingly
twist-filled and chilling in every sense” by Entertainment Weekly.
In the final mysteries, Branagh gives a heartbreaking performance of a
gritty cop starting to lose his grip. – Sundays, May 8-22,
9:00-10:30 p.m. ET

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW A diverse cast of participants takes
an emotional journey that uses history and science to uncover
fascinating family stories, histories and mysteries from Albuquerque,
Miami, Houston, Boston, Providence and Los Angeles. Each individual’s
past reveals a piece of America’s rich cultural tapestry. – Tuesdays,
beginning May 17, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

GENIUS BY STEPHEN HAWKING – Hawking serves as the host and
narrator, inviting viewers to follow along with the journey that unfolds
in each episode, as ordinary people use large-scale experiments and
incredible stunts to come to grips with molecular biology, astrophysics
and even quantum mechanics. – Wednesdays, May 18-June 1, 9:00-10:00
and 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET

Joe Mantegna lead the 27th broadcast of this night of
remembrance honoring the service and sacrifice of American soldiers,
their families and all those who have given their lives. The NATIONAL
MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT airs live from the U.S. Capitol to an audience of
hundreds of thousands, millions at home and American troops around the
world. – Sunday, May 29, 2016, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET; rpt. 9:30-11:00
p.m. ET


her personally selected favorite moments from her long-running comedy
series, including sketches from the first five years of the show
not seen in decades. Friday, June 3, 2016, 9:00-10:30
p.m. ET

VICIOUS After its two-season run, a special series
finale of the comedy follows a year in the lives of Freddie (Ian
McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi) as they navigate married life and
face new adventures. – Sunday, June 19, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

THE TUNNEL When a French politician’s body is found on
the border between the UK and France, detectives Karl Roebuck
(Stephen Dillane) and Elise Wassermann (Clémence Poésy) investigate on
behalf of their respective countries. A serial killer uses elaborate
methods to highlight the moral bankruptcy of modern society. – Sundays,
June 19-August 21, 10:30-11:30 p.m. ET

POINT TAKEN Join the spirited and civil debate
with diverse voices from digital, broadcast and social media communities
discussing key topics. Featured panelists will work out their issues
with charismatic host Carlos Watson. – Tuesdays, June 21-28,
11:00-11:30 p.m. ET

INDEPENDENT LENS “TRAPPED” Go inside the contentious
issue of abortion rights through the story of health care providers and
others in Texas and Alabama who are fighting against controversial new
TRAP laws that are closing clinics. – Monday, June 20, 10:00-11:30
p.m. ET

THE GREEKS Join archaeologists, historians, scientists
and actors for a groundbreaking exploration of the ancient Greeks’
journey to greatness. They changed their world and laid the foundation
for so much of what we still hold dear today. – Tuesdays, June
21-July 5, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET

THE GREAT POLAR BEAR FEAST Investigate the problems
facing a unique population of polar bears due to climate change. At the
heart of the story is an extraordinary event — the annual gathering of
up to 80 polar bears on Barter Island in the Arctic Ocean each
September. – Wednesday, June 22, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

DANCING ON THE EDGE – Follow a drama about a black jazz band’s
experiences in London in the 1930s. Composed of talented musicians, the
band achieves success and secures record deals. But tragedy strikes,
setting off a chain of events that threatens the band’s survival. The
eight-part series stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave, Amistad,
Kinky Boots), John Goodman (“Roseanne,” “Saturday Night Live,” O
Brother, Where Art Thou?
), Janet Montgomery (“Entourage,” “Human
Target,” The Hills Run Red), Angel Coulby (“Merlin”), Wunmi
Mosaku (“Joy”), Tom Hughes (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll),
Joanna Vanderham (MASTERPIECE “The Paradise”) and Matthew Goode
(“Downton Abbey”). – Sundays, June 26-August 14, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

MASTERPIECE “Endeavour, Season 3” Shaun Evans returns
for a third season as the young Endeavour Morse, before his signature
red Jaguar but with his deductive powers already running in high gear.
In four new films, Endeavour must deal with the aftermath of the tragic
events that left him languishing in prison and his senior officer, DI
Fred Thursday (Roger Allam), with a life-threatening injury. – Sundays,
June 19-July 10, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET

POV The award-winning POV (a cinema term for “point of
view”) is the longest-running showcase on television to feature the work
of America’s best contemporary-issue independent filmmakers. – Mondays,
June 27-July 11, 10:00 p.m. ET

  • “The Look of Silence” (6/27)
    In this Oscar®-nominated
    film, winner of more than 50 awards, an optometrist identifies the men
    who killed his brother in the horrific 1965 Indonesian genocide. He
    confronts them while testing their eyesight and demands that they
    accept responsibility.
  • “Pervert Park” (7/11)
    Florida Justice Transitions trailer
    park is home to 120 sex offenders, all battling their own demons as
    they work toward rejoining society. This film considers how the
    destructive cycle of sexual abuse—and the silence surrounding it—can
    be broken.

9 MONTHS THAT MADE YOU Discover the thrilling story of
how humans are made, from the moment of conception to the moment of
birth 280 days later. Follow the gestation process, the most exquisite
biological choreography found in nature, where no two people are the
same, including identical twins. – Wednesdays, June 29-July 13,
10:00-11:00 p.m. ET

SUPERNATURE WILD FLYERS Explore the wonder and science
of one of nature’s greatest innovations—the power of flight.
Cutting-edge camera technology and computer-generated graphics help
explain airborne animals’ remarkable powers and how they work. – Wednesdays,
June 29-July 13, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET


A CAPITOL FOURTH On July 4, America’s national
Independence Day celebration kicks off the festivities for our country’s
240th birthday with a star-spangled party and all-star
salute. A CAPITOL FOURTH airs live from the West Lawn of the U.S.
Capitol before an audience of hundreds of thousands, millions at home
and to our troops around the world via American Forces Network. – Monday,
July 4, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET; rpt. 9:30-11:00 p.m. ET

THE WHITE HOUSE: INSIDE STORY Gain access to America’s
most iconic residence—symbol of our national history and icon of
democracy. From the Oval Office to the family dining room, through
national crises and world wars, the 200-year story of the White House is
the story of America itself. – Tuesday, July 12, 8:00-10:00 p.m.

partnership with NPR will offer gavel to gavel coverage of the 2016
Republican National Convention in Cleveland (July 18-21, 2016) and the
2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (July 25-28, 2016).
National primetime coverage of the conventions will be co-anchored
by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff on PBS and NPR stations, and will also
be available via live streaming. Additional PBS NewsHour reporters and
contributors include PBS NewsHour political director Lisa Desjardins,
correspondent John Yang, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New
York Times 
columnist David Brooks, and Cook Political Report
national editor Amy Walter. NPR contributors include Weekend
Edition host Rachel Martin, senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving,
national political correspondent Mara Liasson, political editor Domenico
Montanaro, and Congressional reporter Susan Davis. PBS NewsHour Weekend
anchor Hari Sreenivasan will preview each convention on the weekend
leading up to the start of events on Monday. Rep: July 18-21,
8:00-11:00 p.m. ET; Dem: July 25-28, 8:00-11:00 p.m. ET


NAZI GAMES – BERLIN 1936 See how the Nazis and the IOC
turned, to their mutual advantage, a relatively small, elitist sports
event into an epic global and mass media spectacle that, despite the
IOC’s determined attempts to forget, continues to this day. – Tuesday,
August 2, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Boys of ’36” – Explore the thrilling
story of the American rowing team that triumphed at the 1936 Olympics in
Nazi Germany. Inspired by #1 best-seller The Boys in the Boat,
the film follows the underdog team that took the nation by storm when
they captured gold. – Tuesday, August 2, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET

INDEPENDENT LENS “T-Rex Her Fight for Gold” – Meet Claressa
“T-Rex” Shields, who rose from the streets of Flint, Michigan, and at 17
won the first Olympic gold medal for women’s boxing in 2012. In this
coming-of-age story, life outside the ring may be an even tougher fight.
Tuesday, August 2, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET

KOKO THE GORILLA WHO TALKS In 1971, Penny Patterson
began teaching sign language to a gorilla named Koko, unaware that this
relationship would define both their lives. More than 40 years later,
the now-famous Koko continues to redraw the line between people and
animals. – Wednesday, August 3, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

MASTERPIECE “Inspector Lewis, The Final Season” Kevin
Whately and Laurence Fox return one last time as Inspector Lewis and
Inspector Hathaway, investigating new cases of murder and other crimes
in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford. – Sundays,
August 7-August 21, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Presidents” (Encore) In
advance of the national election, revisit the lives of six recent
presidents, from JFK to George H.W. Bush, in films from the
award-winning collection. – Monday-Thursday, August 8-11 and 15-18
check local listings

To support the variety of shows debuting in the PBS summer schedule,
will add new lesson plans, essays, and classroom
activities to its collection of over 120,000 educational resources,
accessible to teachers, students and home-schooling families nationwide.
In addition, as part of the overarching PBS Election 2016 initiative,
PBS LearningMedia will continue to curate new content within ELECTION
, an online destination of election-related resources and
information to teach K-12 students about the political process.

About PBS

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