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PBS announces early 2016 lineup

American public broadcaster PBS has revealed its extensive line up for the early months of 2016, offering a slew of imported dramas as well as the latest effort from acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. The two-part documentary, Jackie Robinson, covers the eponymous baseball star life and career as the first African American in the major leagues. The network will also re-air Burn’s beloved The National Parks series in celebration of the institution’s centennial.

Also debuting next year is the final season of British import Downton Abbey, which concludes its run with a eight part sixth and final season. The series, which has already begun to broadcast in the United Kingdom, recently made waves for a particularly gruesome scene that shocked some viewers. So there’s that to look forward to.

Below is a complete listing of the announced shows and air dates, albeit one with plot summaries removed for brevity’s sake.


GREAT PERFORMANCES “From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2016” – Friday, January 1, 2:30-4:00 p.m. and 7:30-9:00 p.m. ET

MASTERPIECE “Downton Abbey, The Final Season” – Sundays, January 3 – February 21, 9:00 p.m. ET; series finale March 6, 9:00 p.m. ET

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW – Mondays, beginning January 4, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

INDEPENDENT LENS “Chuck Norris vs. Communism” – Monday, January 4, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET

FINDING YOUR ROOTS –  Tuesdays, January 5-March 8, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

FRONTLINE “Obama, Netanyahu and the Bomb” (w.t.) – Tuesday, January 5, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

INDEPENDENT LENS “Autism in Love” – Monday, January 11, 10:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

“The Mine Wars” on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – Tuesday, January 12, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

NATURE “Natural Born Hustlers” – Wednesdays, January 13-27, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

“Staying Alive” (1/13)

“The Hunger Hustle” (1/20)

“Sex, Lies & Dirty Tricks” (1/27)

“Bonnie & Clyde” on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – Tuesday, January 19, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET

WILLIE NELSON: GERSHWIN PRIZE – Friday, January 15, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET

MERCY STREET – Sundays, January 17-February 21, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET; rpt. Thursdays, January 21-February 25, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET “Il Trovatore” – Friday, January 22, 9:00p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET

INDEPENDENT LENS “No Mos Bebés (No More Babies)” – Monday, January 25, 10:00-11:00 pm ET

MIKE NICHOLS: AMERICAN MASTERS – Friday, January 29, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET


INDEPENDENT LENS “In Football We Trust” – Monday, February 1, 10:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

“Murder of a President” on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – Tuesday, February 2, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

NOVA “Iceman Reborn” (w.t.) – Wednesday, February 3, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET

INDEPENDENT LENS “A Ballerina’s Tale” – Monday, February 8, 10:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

NOVA “Robots are Coming” (w.t.) – Wednesday, February 10, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET

INDEPENDENT LENS “(T)ERROR” – Monday, February 15, 10:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET

NOVA “Memory” (w.t.) – Wednesday, February 17, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET

AMERICAN MASTERS “Carole King: Natural Woman (w.t.)” – Friday, February 19, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET


AMERICAN MASTERS “Janis: Little Girl Blue” – Friday, February 26, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

INDEPENDENT LENS “Wilhelmina’s War” – Monday, February 29, 10:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET


AMERICAN MASTERS “Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl” – Friday, March 4, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

MASTERPIECE “Mr. Selfridge, Season 4” – Sundays, March/April, dates TBA

FRONTLINE “Once Upon a Crime” (w.t.) – Tuesday, March 29, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET


CALL THE MIDWIFE, Season 5 – Sundays, April 3-May 22, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

JACKIE ROBINSON – Monday-Tuesday, April 11-12, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE – Monday-Tuesday, April 18-19, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA (Encore) – Monday-Saturday, April 25-30, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

MASTERPIECE “Grantchester, Season 2” – Sundays, April/May, dates TBA


INDEPENDENT LENS “Peace Officer” – Monday, May 9, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET

INDEPENDENT LENS “The Armor of Light” – Tuesday, May 10, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW – Tuesdays, beginning May 17, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

THE NINE MONTHS THAT MADE YOU (w.t.) – Wednesdays, May 18-June 1, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET

AMERICAN MASTERS “The Highwaymen: Friends Till the End” (w.t.) – Friday, May 27, 9:00 p.m. ET

NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT – Sunday, May 29, 2016, 8:00-9:30 pm ET; 9:30-11:00 p.m. ET”

About Lawson Kiehne

Lawson Kiehne
Lawson Kiehne is an aspiring Australian writer who is fascinated by everything involving stories. In his spare time he enjoys reading, playing video games and watching films and television and hopes to one day be a published novelist.