It’s the 50th anniversary of PBS drama strand Masterpiece next month!
Bringing award-winning British television to American viewers for five decades, Masterpiece is celebrating with an incredible anniversary schedule in 2021.
Watch a preview:
Masterpiece has amassed an impressive 83 Primetime Emmys, 18 Peabody Awards, 7 Golden Globes, and 2 Academy Award nominations over the years.
Masterpiece executive producer Susanne Simpson commented: “Fifty years in, Masterpiece remains the true home for acting royalty. Whether it’s elegant costume dramas, addictive mysteries, or edgy contemporary programs that appeal to an audience of streamers, we have stunning new shows for our anniversary year.”
She added: “We know what our audience expects from Masterpiece: A-list talent, brilliant storytelling, and spectacular settings. We’re excited that our anniversary slate of programming delivers all of that.”
Here’s a look ahead at all the new TV series heading to Masterpiece on PBS over the coming year:
Elizabeth Is Missing
Glenda Jackson (A Touch of Class) won a coveted BAFTA award for her role as a woman in the grip of dementia, searching for her missing friend. The Guardian (London) described her performance as “compelling, unsentimental and altogether magnificent.”
Airs on January 3 at 9/8c
All Creatures Great and Small
This seven-part adaptation of James Herriot’s beloved books about a rural veterinarian drew record-breaking UK audiences, as well as praise such as this from The Times (London): “A charming antidote to all the doom and gloom.” In addition to the esteemed ensemble cast led by newcomer Nicholas Ralph and Samuel West, the series features Dame Diana Rigg in one of her last appearances.
Airs from January 10 at 9/8c
Miss Scarlet & The Duke
Kate Phillips (Peaky Blinders) stars in a six-part mystery as the headstrong, first-ever female detective in Victorian London. Stuart Martin (Jamestown) plays her childhood friend, professional colleague, and potential love interest, Scotland Yard Detective Inspector William Wellington, a.k.a., The Duke.
Airs from January 17 at 8/7c
The Long Song
This three-part miniseries based on Andrea Levy’s award-winning novel about the end of slavery in Jamaica follows July (Tamara Lawrance, King Charles III), an indomitable, young slave who works on a sugarcane plantation with her detestable mistress, Caroline Mortimer (Hayley Atwell, The Avengers). Their lives change with the arrival of the charming new overseer, Robert Goodwin (Jack Lowden, Dunkirk) who sets out to improve the plantation for both the slaves and the mistress. “A beautiful, moving, horrifying adaptation of Levy’s unsimple tale.” —The Guardian (London).
Airs from January 31 at 10/9c
A princess steals the heart of the president of the United States in an epic drama based on the World War II relationship of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Norwegian Crown Princess Martha. Two-time Emmy® nominee Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) stars as Roosevelt, opposite Swedish actress Sofia Helin (The Bridge) as the beautiful, politically astute Martha, who flees the Nazis with her three young children and lives under Roosevelt’s increasingly doting protection. The eight-part series ranges back and forth across the Atlantic as diplomacy, romance, and jealousy embroil Norwegians and Americans alike.
Airs in Spring 2021
An ensemble of great British actors perform Alan Bennett’s classic dramatic monologues. Each story depicts a single ordinary character in a homey setting, whose life has been disrupted by banal, scandalous, criminal, and even miraculous events. “A masterclass in writing and acting … perilously close to magic.” —The Guardian (London)
Airs in Spring 2021
In a drama tinged with humor and heartbreak, Tom Hollander (Baptiste, The Night Manager) and Saskia Reeves (Luther) play a couple who embark on a long-planned grand tour of Europe, despite the wife’s wrenching proclamation that she wants to leave the marriage. The four-part series is based on a novel by best-selling author David Nicholls. The Daily Telegraph (UK) called it a “brilliantly witty and heartfelt drama about a family on the edge.”
Airs in Summer 2021
But that’s not all!
Masterpiece will end its 50th anniversary year with brand new seasons of Call the Midwife, Baptiste, Grantchester, Van der Valk, and Unforgotten in the Fall of 2021.
All Creatures Great and Small is available on DVD on Amazon.