PBS announces British slate of programs to complement London Olympics

With the 2012 London Olympics a mere 55 days from today, PBS has announced a slate of programming that will give not only grant you unprecedented access to the Royal family but will also provide a bit of a glimpse of English history as a run-up to the Games, which begin on Friday, 27 July.

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This is no surprise given the fact that PBS has always been known for being the best source for British programming outside of the BBC ever since the 1974 premiere of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on KERA/Dallas. Aside from the usual brilliance of the flagship PBS series, Masterpiece which will bring the likes of Endeavor, Inspector Lewis and Zen to Sunday nights this summer, public television will up the tradition ante this summer with the following series for your viewing pleasure….

Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work

Premiering Monday, June 11, this four-part series provides an exclusive look inside the modern British monarchy. As she turned 80, Queen Elizabeth II allowed creation of this intimate series, which shows the commonwealth’s most famous family as they travel abroad, work at the palace and meet people from all walks of life. Go behind the velvet curtain and see what life is really like as a member of the family firm.

Queen Victoria’s Empire

Beginning Tuesday, June 19 at 7:00p CT/8:00p ET, this four-part series is both the story of a remarkable time in British imperialism and an engaging portrait of a Queen who ruled over a one-fifth of the world’s population.

Queen and Country

This summer, all eyes are on Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s second longest-reigning monarch, as she marks her Diamond Jubilee this weekend. Beginning Sunday, July 1 at 7:00p CT/8:00p ET, PBS celebrates her 60 years on the throne with Trevor McDonald’s Queen & Country, offering viewers a look at the customs surrounding the monarchy – from Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace to the Queen’s royal visits — and tours of historic royal places.

Michael Wood’s Story of England

Premiering Tuesday, July 3 on PBS, historian Michael Wood filters the 2,000-year history of England through the story of one small town located in the heart of the country: Kibworth, Leicestershire. From the Roman era to the Norman Conquest, the Black Death, the English Civil War, the Industrial Revolution and World War II, the four-part series intertwines the local and national narratives, marking the milestones that changed the town and country forever.

British greatness on PBS doesn’t stop just because the Olympics are over….

Beginning this Fall, as previously reported, two eagerly awaited British series will be a big part of PBS’ Fall schedule. 165 Eaton Place once again opens its doors when Upstairs Downstairs returns with six new episodes beginning Sunday, October 7 as part of the Masterpiece series.


And, beginning the previous Sunday on 30 September, the critically acclaimed and huge audience hit, Call the Midwife comes to PBS. The series, which is based on the best-selling trilogy by the late Jennifer Worth, chronicles birth, life and death bringing mid-20th-century London to life, focusing on the joys and hardships of a group of midwives working in London’s East End.


In: Actors/Actresses,Drama