The runaway British hit CALL THE MIDWIFE, a new drama that depicts midwifery in 1950s London, kicks off the PBS 2012 fall season with a six-part Sunday-night run that begins September 30. A production of BBC Worldwide and Neal Street Productions, "MIDWIFE further strengthens PBS’ hold on quality Sunday night programs" and launches a fall full of drama — both fictional and real — anchored by Ken Burns’s new documentary THE DUST BOWL, PBS ELECTION 2012 coverage of the presidential campaign including FRONTLINE’s award-winning “The Choice,” and the season two return of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Upstairs Downstairs.”
Sundays continue to be a source of captivating drama for PBS, while strong Wednesday “Exploration” nights feature new episodes of the science series NATURE, NOVA and an updated NOVA scienceNOW, hosted for the first time by tech guru and New York Times reporter David Pogue. Monday nights open with a series of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW specials that lead into the first fall season of MARKET WARRIORS. The award-winning film series INDEPENDENT LENS moves to Mondays at 10 p.m. beginning October 29, creating a new space for independent film that will also be the home for POV’s 2013 season. Friday night PBS ARTS programs include the four-part series VOCES, which highlights Latino and Hispanic arts, and AMERICAN MASTERS “Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance.”
“PBS’ fall schedule, one of our strongest in years, builds on the knowledge that our programming approach is working, bringing in new viewers throughout the week,” says Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO. “Our incredible Sunday night schedule sets the stage for enhanced weeknight viewing, too. Mondays are poised to bring in a diversity of new voices and perspectives with independent films; popular Wednesday nature and science programs will continue to build with a revamped NOVA scienceNOW; and our nightly politics and election coverage will grow as we move toward Election Day and give viewers new perspectives on the issues they care about.”
ALL THE MIDWIFE will premiere on September 30, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. leading into MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Upstairs Downstairs,” transforming Sunday nights into a destination for drama on PBS.
Written by Heidi Thomas (UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS) and directed by Philippa Lowthorpe and Jamie Payne, CALL THE MIDWIFE completed its first season in the UK on BBC ONE in February 2012. Attracting 10.7 million viewers for its peak episode, CALL THE MIDWIFE was the highest-rated BBC new drama launch on record. A second season has been commissioned and will air in the UK in 2013. CALL THE MIDWIFE is a Neal Street production for BBC. Executive Produced by Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road, “The Hollow Crown”) and Heidi Thomas. The series is produced by Hugh Warren (“Survivors”).
Matt Forde, EVP Sales and Co-productions, BBC Worldwide America said, “CALL THE MIDWIFE has been a phenomenal hit in the UK and we expect that its appeal will successfully cross the pond.” He continued, “Public television has historically set the standard for quality programming. We look forward to bringing unique content to PBS and continuing our long and mutually beneficial relationship.”
“CALL THE MIDWIFE is a riveting new series that strengthens PBS as a destination for drama on Sunday nights,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. “We look forward to working with our BBC partners to introduce the story and the characters that were so beloved in Britain to the American audience.”
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