Ken Burns Doc ‘Benjamin Franklin’ Headed to PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel April 4

A new two-part documentary directed by Ken Burns, Benjamin Franklin, will launch on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel April 4.

The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

The program explores the life and work of one of the most consequential figures in American history — a prolific writer and publisher, a groundbreaking scientist and inventor, a world-renowned diplomat and a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. This dramatic re-creation of Franklin’s mind and world is scripted exclusively with Franklin’s own words, preserved from letters and diaries, bringing to life intimate conversations with the viewer. 

In addition to Emmy-Award winning Mandy Patinkin providing the voice of Franklin, Benjamin Franklin includes interviews with some of the country’s leading scholars of early American history, including Franklin biographer Walter Isaacson, who also served as a senior advisor to the project.

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Franklin, whose life has been celebrated as a quintessential American story, was anything but typical. His 84 years spanned nearly the entirety of the 18th century — an epoch of revolutionary change in science, technology, literature, politics and government — change that Franklin himself helped to advance. He launched the first public library in America, organized a volunteer fire company, and founded an academy that eventually became the University of Pennsylvania. His annual publication, “Poor Richard’s Almanack,” set a model for future humorists such as Mark Twain and contained maxims that are still part of our shared lexicon. There were also his famous experiments with electricity, which led to one of his most important inventions — the lightning rod.

Six New ‘Walter Presents’ Titles Headed to PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in April

This April, PBS Distribution is adding six new international programs from “Walter Presents” to the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel, including “Munch” and “The Mafia Only Kills in Summer.” 

The subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

“Munch”

The French legal drama “Munch” debuts April 15. It follows Gabrielle Munchowski, a lawyer who bends the law to get her way and will stop at close to nothing to defend her clients. Running a law firm with her friend and associate Hubert Bellanger, Munch and her team take on tough cases, defending the innocent and marginal, against all odds. Bold and irreverent, she will cross any line.

The darkly comedic Italian drama series “The Mafia Only Kills in Summer,” based on the film of the same name, debuts April 22. Set in 1970s Sicily, it follows Salvatore, a young boy whose family becomes unintentionally entangled with the Palermo mafia. Nothing escapes the 10-year-old’s gaze as he sees everything going on around him, from the mafia’s oppression and his crazy family dynamic to the magnificence of his first love Alice.

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The British dramatic thriller “The Trick” starts streaming April 22. It’s the true story of Philip Jones, the world-renowned professor and director of climate research at the University of East Anglia who was the eye of an international media storm and victim of cyberterrorism that led to the 2009 Climategate scandal. In November 2009, the IT servers at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K., were hacked and hundreds of emails stolen. Days later the stolen emails were posted online and an international media storm exploded. Jones and his team found themselves in the middle of a major investigation with their 30 years of research being questioned in the first “fake news” attack. “The Trick” charts the professor’s (Jason Watkins) unjustified persecution and the ultimate exoneration of both Jones and the science, while his wife Ruth (Victoria Hamilton) stands fiercely by his side throughout it all.

New Seasons of ‘Antiques Roadshow,’ ‘Poetry in America’ Headed to PBS Living Channel in January

New seasons of “Antiques Roadshow” and “Poetry in America” are among the programs streaming on the PBS Living channel in January. 
 
The subscription rate for PBS Living is $2.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at a subscription rate of $2.99 per month with no additional annual fees. 

Streaming starting Jan. 4 is season 26 of “Antiques Roadshow.” The show reveals more secrets behind family heirlooms and flea market finds, including a spectacular appraisal that marks a series first and a never-before-seen treasure that even wowed their experts. Among the many discoveries this season, fans will see a classic car appraised for the first time ever — due to its Paul Newman-signed dashboard. An unsigned light fixture, rescued after years being stored in a chicken coop, is identified as a custom-made Louis Comfort Tiffany treasure. A 1926 illustration once featured on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post is revealed to be the highest-valued find of the season.

Subscribers can go for jaunts around the countryside of Great Britain in classic cars as antiques experts compete to uncover the most unique finds in four newly released seasons of “Antiques Road Trip,” streaming beginning Jan. 4. Their adventures take them off the beaten path and allow them to indulge their passion for the past, learning about the little-known stories behind some of the greatest events in British history. Intriguing finds in these seasons include a filthy kilim rug, ancient Roman nails, a French sunburst clock, caryatid carvings and more.

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In the “Poetry in America” series, guests read and discuss unforgettable American poems with host Elisa New. The poems in season three take viewers from tight-knit Cuban neighborhoods in Miami to Robert Frost’s green Vermont, from the antebellum South to the cold interstellar bodies of the cosmos. Special guests range from poets to pop stars, ambassadors to young students. The season starts streaming Jan. 22.

Season Eight of ‘Finding Your Roots’ Streaming on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel Jan. 5

Season eight of “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” will start streaming on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel Jan. 5.

The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. During a limited-time promotion Dec. 23 to Jan. 3, the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel will be available to new subscribers for 99 cents per month for two months. 

Exploring the mysteries and surprising revelations hidden within the family trees of popular figures, season eight includes 10 episodes of examinations and ancestral discussions with 21 subjects, including Terry Crews, Tony Danza, Kathryn Hahn, Nathan Lane, John Leguizamo, Leslie Odom Jr., Pamela Adlon, Regina King, André Leon Talley, Erin Burnett, Mario Lopez and Anita Hill, among many others. 
 
In the episode “Activist Roots,” Henry Louis Gates explores the family trees of Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Anita Hill, introducing two women who’ve made profound sacrifices for social justice to the ancestors who made sacrifices for them. 
 
Then, in “Children of Exile,” Henry Louis Gates explores the poignant roots of chef David Chang and actor Raúl Esparza — two men whose families fled their homelands to live in exile, never to return. From war-torn cities in North Korea to shark-infested waters off the shores of Cuba, Gates sets off to recover the stories of individuals who came to America against all odds and built a better life for themselves. 

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Spanning the globe, season eight maps family trees and uncovers lost ancestors from the United States and Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean; as well as Poland, Ireland, Russia and Korea.

Docs on Martin Luther King Jr., American Culture and History Streaming on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in December

Documentaries on Martin Luther King Jr. and American culture and history are among the programs coming to the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in December.

The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. During a special promotional period Dec. 23 to Jan. 3, the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel will be available for new subscribers for 99¢ per month for two months.

In Remembrance of Martin, streaming now, brings together influential figures to discuss the legacy and life of one of Martin Luther King Jr. Coretta Scott King joins the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Julian Bond, Jimmy Carter, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Senator Edward Kennedy, John Lewis, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Andrew Young as they recall King’s career and trace his leadership through the civil rights movement. The film includes portions of King’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech.

President Eisenhower’s granddaughter and Nikita Kruschev’s son give their personal recollections of growing up in Cold War Roadshow, from “American Experience,” which begins streaming Dec. 17. Told through the eyes of historian William Taubman and journalist Peter Carlson, as well as Susan Eisenhower and Sergei Khrushchev, Cold War Roadshow takes a deeply personal look at the often-overlooked human dimensions of the Cold War. The documentary tells the story of one of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of modern history — the unprecedented barnstorming across America in the fall of 1959 by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the world leader of communism and America’s arch nemesis. At the very height of the Cold War, with American schoolchildren practicing duck-and-cover drills, the man who Americans feared could incinerate them in a rain of hydrogen bombs arrived in Washington, D.C. at the invitation of President Eisenhower. For both men, the visit was an opportunity to halt the escalating threats of the Cold War and chart a new course toward peaceful coexistence. For the American press, it was the media blockbuster story of the year.

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POV: Unapologetic, which starts streaming Dec. 28, follows two black political activists who are working and succeeding in leading a movement to transform Chicago. In the program, viewers meet Janaé and Bella, two fierce abolitionists whose upbringing and experiences shape their activism and views on Black liberation. Through their lens, the film provides an inside look into the ongoing movement that transformed Chicago, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of mayor Lori Lightfoot. Unapologetic is an official 2021 selection of TIFF Next Wave.

Other titles coming to the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in December include: Animal Homes Season 1 (“Nature”), Animal Misfits (“Nature”), The Buddha, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension (“Nova”), The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies, Invasion of the Killer Whales (“Nature”), The Iranian Americans, The Lost Diary of Dr. Livingstone (“Secrets of the Dead”), Making Stuff Season 1, Mister Rogers and Me, Operation Bridge Rescue, Panama Canal (“American Experience”), Sacred, The Sagebrush Sea (“Nature”), A Sloth Named Velcro (“Nature”), Snow Monkeys (“Nature”), Super Hummingbirds (“Nature”), Touching the Wild: Living with the Mule Deer of Deadman Gulch (“Nature”),  and Transatlantic Sessions: The Best of Folk Vol. 1.

PBS Bows Discount Deal on PBS Kids, PBS Documentaries and PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channels

PBS Distribution has announced an early Black Friday through Cyber Monday deal for the PBS Masterpiece, PBS Documentaries, and PBS Kids Prime Video Channels. Each channel will be available to new subscribers at a subscription rate of 99 cents per month for two months beginning Nov. 23 and running through Nov. 29.

The standard subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime membership. The standard subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime membership. The standard subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime membership.

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The PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel offers British and international dramas such as “Masterpiece: All Creatures Great and Small” and “Masterpiece: Sanditon,” mystery-thriller series such as “Professor T,” and “Masterpiece: Miss Scarlet and The Duke,” as well as award-winning series from around the globe through “Walter Presents.” On the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel, viewers can stream the entire library of Ken Burns programs, including the new “Muhammad Ali” docuseries. Also available, Frontline’s “A Thousand Cuts” featuring Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist Maria Ressa as well as films from “American Masters,” “Independent Lens,” “Nature” and “Nova.” On the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel, viewers can explore more than 1,400 hours of learning adventures for kids and watch PBS Kids series such as the newly launched series from Sesame Street’s Sonia Manzano, “Alma’s Way.” Other series include “Donkey Hodie,” “Wild Kratts,” “Arthur,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Odd Squad,” “Hero Elementary,” “Elinor Wonders Why,” and the Peabody award winning series “Molly of Denali,” among others.

‘Home Fires,’ More ‘Walter Presents’ Series Among Titles Coming to PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in November

The period drama “Masterpiece: Home Fires,” the Australian drama series “RFDS: Royal Flying Doctor Service” and more “Walter Presents” series are among the titles heading to the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in November.

The subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Two seasons of the series “Home Fires,” based on the novel Jambusters, start streaming Nov. 7. The series opens in August 1939. War with Germany is all but certain, and the citizens of the isolated village of Great Paxford are each facing it in their own way. Men of fighting age are mostly enlisting or waiting to be called. Some of the women are joining the female military services; others already have essential jobs, such as farming; and still others are planning to “dig for victory,” planting gardens to reduce the need for food imports. Since German submarines will be attacking merchant ships, any task that adds to the nation’s self-sufficiency is vital. Frances (Samantha Bond, “Downton Abbey”), whose husband owns a local factory, believes that the Women’s Institute has an important role to play. Joyce (Francesca Annis, “Reckless”), the longtime president of the institute, vehemently disagrees and proposes suspending activities until the war is over. So begins a quarrel that mirrors the fragmentation affecting the wider world. In Great Paxford, this crisis ends up cementing the friendships of a group of women who have their own personal troubles, but who now have a shared mission that will lead them to their finest hour.

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Eight episodes of the drama “RFDS: Royal Flying Doctor Service” start streaming Nov. 11. Based on real-life stories and filmed on location in and around Broken Hill, this series captures the beauty and brutality of Australia’s vast center where doctors, nurses, pilots and support staff of the RFDS (Royal Flying Doctor Service) negotiate the unique challenges of emergency retrievals across some of the most inhospitable places in the country. The series opens with a doctor escaping her past and joining the Royal Flying Doctor Service on a day in which a catastrophic emergency retrieval hits the team personally. Together they will deal with the fallout, while continuing their highly skilled work, fighting the clock and the elements to save people having the worst day of their lives.

Season two of “Walter Presents: The Defence” begins streaming Nov. 19. The Polish series adapted from a renowned crime-thriller novel follows the courageous and rebellious lawyer Joanna Chyłka as she fights for her clients till the bitter end. Season two sees Chyłka go head-to-head with murderers, gangsters, the police and even her own law firm.  After a double murder, Chyłka is assigned to defend the son of a well-known businessman; however, he refuses to say a word to anyone.

Other titles coming to the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in November include “Masterpiece: Dark Angel,” “The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes” seasons one and two, “Walter Presents: A Different View,” “Walter Presents: Madame K,” “Walter Presents: Sisters 1968” and “Walter Presents: The Empress.”

Ken Burns Docuseries ‘Muhammad Ali’ Streaming on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel Sept. 19

Muhammad Ali, a new four-part documentary directed by Ken Burns, will begin streaming on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel Sept. 19.

It will be available in 4K Ultra HD.

The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

The new series, which was in development for six years, was also written and co-directed by Sarah Burns and David McMahon, whose previous collaborations with Burns include The Central Park Five (2012), Jackie Robinson (2016) and East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story (2020).

The film follows the life of one of the most consequential men of the 20th century, a three-time heavyweight boxing champion who captivated billions with his combination of speed, agility and power in the ring, as well as his charm, wit and outspokenness outside of it. At the height of his fame, Ali challenged Americans’ racial prejudices, religious biases and notions about what roles celebrities and athletes play in our society, and inspired people all over the world with his message of pride and self-affirmation.

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Drawing from archival footage and photographs, contemporary music, and the insights and memories of eyewitnesses — including family and friends, journalists, boxers and historians, among many others — the docuseries is a sweeping portrait of an American icon. The series details the story of the athlete who called himself — and was considered by many to be — “the greatest of all time” and competed in some of the most dramatic and widely viewed sporting events in history, including “The Fight of the Century” and “The Thrilla in Manila,” both against his great rival Joe Frazier, as well as “The Rumble in the Jungle,” in which he defeated George Foreman to regain the heavyweight title that was stripped from him seven years earlier.

Muhammad Ali captures Ali’s principled resistance to the Vietnam War, his steadfast commitment to his Muslim faith, and his complex relationships with Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. While largely celebrated today as an icon of American sport and culture, Ali was not always embraced. At times he was reviled by many in America, especially white Americans and members of the media. Ali faced a firestorm of criticism when he said, “I ain’t got nothing against them Viet Cong” — a stance that would result in five years of legal jeopardy and a three-and-a-half-year banishment from boxing.

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Ali’s story is full of contradictions. Despite his ruthlessness in the ring, he was a symbol of peace and pacifism. Though committed to a faith that expected dignified conduct, he was notoriously unfaithful to his wives. A clever showman with unparalleled genius for promotion, he occasionally allowed partners and friends to take advantage of him. Endlessly trumpeting his own greatness, he anonymously donated much of his fortune.

Muhammad Ali includes interviews with Ali’s daughters Hana Ali and Rasheda Ali, his second wife Khalilah Ali, his third wife Veronica Porche, and his brother and confidant Rahaman Ali. Others appearing in the film include activist and former basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, sportswriter Howard Bryant, historian Gerald Early, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, friend and business manager Gene Kilroy, boxing promoter Don King, novelist Walter Mosley, long-time friend Abdul Rahman, and New Yorker editor David Remnick, among others.

Other titles coming to the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in September include American Experience: Citizen Hearst, American Experience: Jimmy Carter, Season 1, American Experience: Reagan, Season 1, American Experience: Supreme Justice: Sandra Day O’Connor, American Masters: Raul Julia: The World’s a Stage, American Masters: Twyla Moves, Discovering Your Warrior Spirit with D.J. Vanas, Frontline: America After 9/11, Frontline: Boeing’s Fatal Flaw, Generation 9/11, Independent Lens: Harvest Season, Lives Well Lived, Nova: Bat Superpowers and Nova: The Cannabis Question.

Episodes of ‘Arthur,’ ‘Hero Elementary’ and ‘Wild Kratts’ Headed to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July

PBS Distribution will be adding new volumes of “Arthur” and “Hero Elementary,” along with a “Wild Kratts” special, to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Due July 2 is Arthur Vol. 24. In one episode, George creates a piece of art for the country-wide art show with the help of guest artist, Kevin Sampson. Also, Arthur must learn how to control his temper after getting angry over a pair of sneakers in “George Scraps His Sculpture/Arthur’s Big Meltdown.” Then, in “The Great MacGrady,” Arthur and his friends find out that Mrs. MacGrady is diagnosed with cancer. The kids must learn how to come together to support each other.

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Starting to stream July 16 is Hero Elementary Vol. 8. In the two-part “Heroes in Space,” Sara is excited to celebrate the full moon viewing with her pals, but they notice that half the moon seems to be gone. Sparks’ Crew flies to the moon to investigate where the other half went. In “Squeak to Me/Team’s Song Theme Song,” Sparks’ Crew wants to make their own theme song. Then, when Sparks’ Crew is looking for their classmates in “Search and Rescue/Secret Lives of Teachers,” the kids are shocked to see their teacher on the weekend outside of school. What happens when a toy train display featuring a model replica of City Town is ruined is explored in “Back on Track/Switcheroo-er.”

Coming July 13 is Wild Kratts: Cats and Dogs. In the special, while on the African savanna, Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt observe lots of wild cats and dogs interacting with each other. Soon, Wild Kratts kids are calling in from all over to ask about these wild animals and whether they’re like their own pets. Zach, who has been secretly listening to all the questions, comes up with a scheme to capture and sell these creatures as “special” pets. The brothers, plus Aviva, Koki, and Jimmy, race to save the wild cats and dogs and protect them so they can live free and in the wild.

Also coming to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July are Let’s Go Luna Vol. 8 and Nature Cat: Ocean Commotion.

Julia Child Episodes, ‘Trading History’ Coming to PBS Living Channel in June

PBS Living subscribers will have access to three classic Julia Child series and “Trading History” on the PBS Living Prime Video and Apple TV channels in June.

The subscription rate for PBS Living is $2.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at a subscription rate of $2.99 per month with no additional annual fees.

Coming June 18 are three seasons of “Baking With Julia Child.” In the series, Julia Child and pastry chefs, bakers and cookbook authors share tips and recipes on home baking. Child bakes chocolate truffle cake, walnut bread, tiramisu, a tropical napoleon, sourdough bread, and a French apple tart with many respected pastry chefs, as well as a wedding cake with Martha Stewart and more.

Season one of “In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs” starts streaming June 22. Child takes an in-depth look at contemporary American cooking along with 26 nationally recognized chefs. Inviting the master chefs into her kitchen, she cooks with the pros, detailing their techniques and dishes for the home cook. She makes lobster with Jasper White, shrimp in spicy coconut sauce with Madhur Jaffrey, a jicama salad with Rick Bayless, and many more recipes with many other chefs.

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Debuting June 29 are 16 season one episodes of “Julia Child: Cooking with Master Chefs.” Julia visits 16 nationally acclaimed master chefs in their own kitchens. Each chef demonstrates distinct techniques, regional recipes and culinary tips which guide home cooks through their favorite recipes. Child makes lobster soufflé with Jacques Pépin, tapenade with Alice Waters, and risotto with wild mushrooms with Lidia Bastianich, among other recipes­.

Due June 15 are six episodes of “Trading History.” The series uncovers intriguing family history through the prism of auction house artifacts and dedicated research teams that go behind the scenes to confirm the authenticity of the item, uncovering biographical information about the finder, the owner and the maker. Each story is told through rare archival materials and is packed with history and facts.