But it must fight behemoths such as Netflix and Amazon, these days, to acquire the best. Phrases such as “the ‘Masterpiece Theatre’ set” are often used as shorthand for older, stodgier TV viewers, the ones who aren’t of great value to advertisers, even if they’re willing to donate to PBS. While celebrating five decades of award-winning television, Masterpiece unveils its slate of the next unforgettable dramas … Callender said the call for change is being heeded, even with “All Creatures Great and Small,” which is based on semiautobiographical books by a veterinarian practicing in a rural English community in the late 1930s. The Public Broadcasting Service also ensures that its programming is reaching viewers, especially younger ones, where and how they watch TV, which increasingly is anywhere but on a stuck-to-the-wall screen. Worse yet, they thought it sounded too high-brow for Americans. Inspector Lewis. Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII in the "Masterpiece" series "Wolf Hall. This month marks the 50th anniversary of Masterpiece, the iconic PBS drama series that sparked America’s infatuation with British television.. Watch Masterpiece videos on demand. Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. The show had been devised and produced by WGBH, the Boston PBS channel, after the 1967 BBC adaptation of John Galsworthy’s “Forsyte Saga” novels had met with unexpected success when the series aired on public television in the States in 1970. The PBS show made period imports viable, and it provided entree into TV for those perhaps more wedded to reading, long before scripted TV became the more challenging and intellectually sound place we know now. LOS ANGELES (AP) — As PBS’ “Masterpiece” marks its 50th anniversary Sunday, the drama and mystery showcase could rest on…. Already familiar with the late Levy’s work because “Masterpiece” had aired an adaptation of her “Small Island” novel in 2010, Simpson said she found “The Long Song” to be “powerful and moving.”. AD It was a significant sensation in the 2010s, as it drew in younger viewers than the usual “Masterpiece” audience, and it finished up the decade with a movie extension that was a box office hit. When “Masterpiece” was under executive producer Rebecca Eaton in the mid-1980s, she “used to be able to sit back” and mull her choice of U.K.-produced shows, Simpson said. And yet, “Downton Abbey.” The Julian Fellowes series, which premiered here in 2011, became the highest-rated “Masterpiece,” and the most-nominated non-US series in Emmy history. PBS Hawai‘i is a top-rated 4 out of 4 star non-profit. While that hasn’t changed, there are ways that you can watch their best series on demand, even without cable. “’Masterpiece’ is important to the PBS system. Masterpiece Turns 50! You've just tried to add this show to My List. The Unseen Alistair Cooke presents a revealing portrait of the longtime Masterpiece Theatre host, one of the most celebrated broadcasters of the 20th century. WTOP.com | Alexa | Google Home | WTOP App | 103.5 FM, ESPN doubles down by expanding MegaCasts to NFL playoffs, ‘The Office’ unveils never-seen footage to celebrate move to Peacock, Dr. Fauci: ‘I vaccinated Santa Claus, he’s good to go’, Maryland state, county lawmakers target ghost guns, Presidential Inaugural Committee ‘very confident’ about security measures, Hogan makes education, pandemic relief a priority in next Md. Tamara Lawrance, who stars as the main character, said every generation believes “things are changing, things are different,” but sees a welcome energy in the British creative community that is building on the past. Masterpiece at shop.pbs.org. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. The show has been on the receiving end of countless parodies over the years, from “Sesame Street” (see: “Monsterpiece Theatre”) to “Saturday Night Live” and “In Living Color.” Parodies of “Downton Abbey” — the “Sesame Street” one is called “Upside Downton Abbey” — practically form a genre of their own. Together with his cool, cerebral partner Hathaway, Lewis tackles murder and mayhem in the seemingly-perfect academic haven of Oxford. The show’s reputation is as a definitively old-school TV establishment, the one at the opposite end of the spectrum from “pop culture,” the rare series that anti-television types are willing to admit to watching. Yes, only one. “I’ve had some terrific, serious conversations in which it’s clear to me that our U.K. producers are as committed as we are” to adding diversity across the board, including in writing, directing and acting, Simpson said. Still, the overall average is good enough to keep me watching and hoping. Yes, PBS has given us many treasures … The revival of “All Creatures Great and Small” on “Masterpiece” (8 p.m., PBS) has been generally well received and But “Masterpiece” executive producer Susanne Simpson says it’s positioned to thrive as it addresses the challenges posed by a changing media industry and increased calls for diversity. 156.8k Followers, 269 Following, 2,324 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from MASTERPIECE | PBS (@masterpiecepbs) website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area. As unlikely as it seems in the age of Netflix’s celebrated “The Crown” and its new multiethnic sensation “Bridgerton,” U.S. networks used to avoid British drama “because the general feeling was nobody could understand the accent,” Eaton recalled. That requires the cooperation of British TV producers, whose industry has faced its own sharp criticism for long minimizing people of color as actors and creators. Based on Andrea Levy’s historical novel of the same name, a finalist for the prestigious Booker literary prize, it tells of a young Black woman’s life in the final years of slavery in Jamaica and its aftermath. “HBO pounced on doing ‘Elizabeth I’ with Helen Mirren, which was a very rude shock because we considered rather comfortably that we owned Elizabeth I,” she said. Email. “Masterpiece” can’t compete with Netflix- or HBO-sized budgets, Simpson said, relying on corporate sponsors Viking and Raymond James and big and small viewer donations (specific figures were not provided). It’s hard to imagine “Bridgerton,” or “The Crown,” two current period hits on Netflix, without “Masterpiece” as a precedent, just as it’s hard to name many news magazines that weren’t somehow shaped by “60 Minutes.”. “Masterpiece” had aired “Elizabeth R,” the 1972 miniseries with Glenda Jackson as the monarch, a perceived stake that HBO blithely ignored. Like most anthology series, the “Masterpiece” output is uneven. PBS’s “Masterpiece” will be 50 years old Sunday, and that’s a most excellent thing. If “Masterpiece” had seemed to some like an antique, the “Downton” phenomenon quickly shut them down. Copyright © 2021 by WTOP. Stream full episodes online. All rights reserved. Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you. Funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by Viking and Raymond James with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series’ future. That includes taking an active role in fostering diversity in projects as they’re being developed, she said, and discovering authentic ways to reflect inclusivity in period dramas, among them 2019’s “Les Miserables” miniseries. But in 1985, there was suddenly “somebody else in the game” besides PBS and the A&E channel, said Eaton, now executive producer at large for “Masterpiece.”. Air Date: Sun, Jan 10, 2021 7:00 PM Facebook. Stream full episodes online. "Masterpiece" streams on PBS.org and the PBS Video app to an audience that skews younger than its broadcast viewership, with nearly 40 percent under the age of 55, according to PBS. Perfect 100% in Accountablility and Transparency. Stream full episodes online. When most nighttime TV dramas turn 50, they usually — oh wait, what’s that? Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber. LinkedIn. PBS Hawai‘i earned the 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar. The showcase also is responding to the growing call for inclusivity in Hollywood screen projects, Simpson said. While PBS may be viewed primarily as a traditional broadcaster, its programs (and educational initiatives) are available online. “Masterpiece” continues its 50th anniversary with a nod to old favorites. “Masterpiece” streams on PBS.org and the PBS Video app to an audience that skews younger than its broadcast viewership, with nearly 40 percent under the age of 55, according to PBS. Pandemic uncertainty brought it to “Masterpiece,” when taping on some of its U.K. shows paused last March and Simpson sought available programs as a safeguard. The goal going forward: to regularly curate and import good British series, many of them starring some of the best up-and-coming British actors — in recent years, for example, Damian Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Carey Mulligan, Tom Hardy, and Keira Knightley — as well as the stalwarts. While PBS may be viewed primarily as a traditional broadcaster, its programs (and educational initiatives) are available online. 784.3k Followers, 299 Following, 4,075 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from PBS (@pbs) One of the most popular drama series in TV history -- Bringing you the best in classic adaptations, mysteries filled with eclectic characters, and provocative contemporary works. “Masterpiece" streams on PBS.org and the PBS Video app to an audience that skews younger than its broadcast viewership, with nearly 40 per cent under the age of 55, according to PBS. MASTERPIECE, PBS' highest-rated ongoing series, is celebrating its 50th anniversary! “I’m so proud of ‘The Long Song’ and being in a cast of people like that, of amazing older Black actors that I grew up watching,” Lawrance said. 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