New Season of ‘Frankie Drake Mysteries,’ ‘Secrets of Highclere Castle’ Among Titles Available on PBS Masterpiece Prime Video in July

A new season of “Frankie Drake Mysteries,” the “Worricker Trilogy,” Secrets of Highclere Castle and several “Walter Presents” series are among the titles available on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video channel in July.

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“The Worricker Trilogy”

“The Worricker Trilogy” is David Hare’s spy trilogy that exposes the battles raging inside the intelligence community in the name of security. It stars Bill Nighy as Johnny Worricker, a long-serving MI5 officer whose life, both personal and professional, has just been turned inside out. The three installments of the trilogy are “Page Eight,” “Salting the Battlefield” and “Turks & Caicos,” and each episode features a host of guest stars, including Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Christopher Walken, and Winona Ryder.

In Secrets of Highclere Castle, viewers get the insider story about the famous mansion from the multi Emmy award-winning series “Downton Abbey.” Viewers step inside one of Britain’s best-known manor houses. It may be more famous now than any time in its 1,300-year history as the setting of “Downton Abbey,” but England’s Highclere Castle has its own stories to tell. In its heyday, Highclere was the social epicenter of Edwardian England. Viewers see how all the inhabitants of Highclere lived, from the aristocrats who enjoyed a life of luxury to the army of servants toiling “below stairs.” They also find out how the current inhabitants, Lord and Lady Carnarvon, spend their $1 million in annual upkeep funds, and what life in the castle is like today.

“Walter Presents: Imperial”

“Walter Presents: Imperial” is an Italian series set in 1905. The young and handsome Pietro Neri, from a nearby agricultural town, arrives at the Imperial, a luxury hotel in the Italian Alps. Posing as a waiter, he is there to investigate the mysterious disappearance of his sister Caterina, who also worked at the hotel. But Pietro is unprepared for what awaits him at the Imperial Hotel. On one of his first days there he crosses paths with the beautiful Adele Alibrandi. She is the aristocratic daughter of the hotel’s owner, Donna Vittoria Alibrandi, a woman with her own secrets, lies and crimes who will stop at nothing to keep them hidden. However, the difference in class will not stop Pietro and Adele from falling in love and starting a tumultuous affair, complicating everything for them.

Three Sovereigns for Sarah

Nineteen people were hanged and one man pressed to death, while hundreds went to jail during the witch hysteria of 1692. Three Sovereigns for Sarah is a true story based on transcripts from the Salem Witch Trials and stars Academy Award winners Vanessa Redgrave, Kim Hunter and Phyllis Thaxter. Sarah Cloyce (Redgrave), and her two sisters, are accused of being a witches in 1690s Massachusetts. After the trial, her sisters are found guilty and burned at the stake and Sarah is given a life in prison sentence. For years she is kept in brutal and terrible conditions until her family rescues her, after which she sets about trying to clear her family’s name. With real characters and original transcripts woven into the dialogue, the film is a moving story about three sisters accused of witchcraft and what happened to those who were found guilty.

“Walter Presents: The Hunter”

Based on real events, the Italian series “Walter Presents: The Hunter,” which begins streaming July 10, is the true story of the “hunting season” in Italy during the 1990s. In Palermo, after decades of bloodshed and government officials turning a blind eye to the crime and corruption of the mafia, a new lawyer decides it’s time to go after the two rivaling bosses who have been causing the deaths of criminals and the innocent alike for years. Saverio Barone is a young and ambitious prosecutor who is fighting for what’s right through the legal system. When he reports his own boss as being a part of the mob corruption, his colleagues criticize and blame him for the trouble he causes. Barone is uniquely equipped for the job, with a distinct set of skills that will make him known as “The Hunter.” Thanks to a number of brilliant hunches that he follows, spectacular raids and arrests are made, taking 300 Mafiosi into police custody.

“Frankie Drake Mysteries: Season 3”

In season three of “Frankie Drake Mysteries,” which begins streaming July 17, the ladies of the Drake Detective Agency are back solving the crimes the police can’t handle, from cases in London with new mystery novelist friend Agatha Christie, to a mermaid-themed jazz club, to swanky Toronto private schools, to busy telephone exchanges filled with busybody operators. Mary is still at the police station where her newfound confidence at work and life leave her feeling frustrated with her status as a morality officer and push her toward new professional goals. Meanwhile Flo finishes her classroom portion of medical school and is looking forward to her clinical in-hospital training, all while juggling a long-distance beau and the varied demands of Drake Detective cases. As Trudy’s love life with Bill Peters heats up, she also excels at her investigative work, taking on some truly hair-raising risks as she works to solve cases. And finally, Frankie continues to lead the team with aplomb and ingenuity, while exploring a romantic connection with boxer Moses Page.

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“Walter Presents: The Inner Circle”

Mixing political intrigue with personal drama, the Swedish series “Walter Presents: The Inner Circle,” which begins streaming July 17, is a thriller that plays out over the course of several days as enterprise minister David Ehrling is in the running to become the next prime minister, all while his press officer Lena Nilsdotter attempts to keep his past misdemeanors from prying journalists. Adding to his troubles, David must also juggle the demands of his job with his family life, which is under threat of falling apart.

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“Walter Presents: Rocco Shiavone”

In the Italian series “Walter Presents: Rocco Shiavone,” streaming beginning July 24, due to disciplinary reasons, the unorthodox, weed smoking, foul-mouthed Italian police detective Rocco Schiavone is transferred far from his beloved Rome to the small mountain town of Aosta. The sophisticated but cranky Roman despises the mountains, the cold and the provincial locals as much as he dislikes his superiors and their petty rules. But he loves solving crimes, the only thing that is keeping him from losing his sanity.

“Walter Presents: Hide and Seek”

Finally, the Ukrainian series “Walter Presents: Hide and Seek” streams beginning July 31. In a small industrial town, a father and daughter love playing hide and seek, but during one of their usual playdates, the daughter mysteriously disappears and is nowhere to be found. Later, a video is released that shows the girl holding a sign with an unusual set of numbers, but no one knows what they mean. She becomes the first of several children to disappear without a trace. Two young detectives, Varta Naumova and Maksim Shumov, take on the complex case and their own demons during the investigation. They are total opposites, but both have experienced trauma and this case affects them each on a deep level. They become personally vested in finding the children and apprehending the kidnapper as they confront their pasts.

New Season of ‘Grantchester,’ Doc ‘Titans of the 20th Century’ Among Titles Coming to Disc From PBS in July

Season five of “Grantchester,” the documentary Titans of the 20th Century and American Experience: George W. Bush are among the titles coming to disc and digital in July from PBS Distribution.

Season five of “Grantchester”

In season five of “Grantchester,” available on digital and DVD July 21, it’s 1957, and Will Davenport (Tom Brittney) has settled into his role as the vicar of Grantchester, preaching to a packed church. His best friend, Detective Inspector Georgie Keating (Robson Green), has come to accept (just about) his wife Cathy’s commitment to her job. Mrs. C. happily juggles her roles as the vicarage housekeeper and being a well-to-do married woman, and after a trip to Marrakech, even Leonard has managed to carve out some happiness with Daniel. But Will’s faith will be thoroughly tested as he and Geordie are reminded once more that there’s darkness lurking in their little corner of Cambridgeshire. In addition to Brittney and Green, returning members of the acclaimed ensemble include Tessa Peake-Jones, Kacey Ainsworth and Al Weaver.

American Experience: George W. Bush

Also coming to DVD and digital July 21 is American Experience: George W. Bush, a look at the life and governance of the 43rd president of the United States. The program starts with Bush’s unorthodox road to the presidency through the contested election of 2000, when a Supreme Court ruling resulted in his becoming the president. Then, the film chronicles the tumultuous events, domestically and internationally, that dominated Bush’s eight years in office — the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the subsequent war in Iraq, the search for weapons of mass destruction, Hurricane Katrina, and the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.

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American Experience: Mr. Tornado

Another “American Experience” title is coming to DVD and digital July 21, Mr. Tornado. The Super Outbreak of 1974 was the most intense tornado outbreak on record, tearing a vicious path of destruction across 13 states, generating 148 tornadoes from Alabama to Ontario, damaging thousands of homes, and killing more than 300 people. Meteorologist Tetsuya Theodore “Ted” Fujita spent 10 months studying the tornado outbreak’s aftermath in the most extensive aerial tornado study ever conducted, and through detailed mapping and leaps of scientific imagination, made a series of meteorological breakthroughs. His discovery of “microbursts,” sudden high wind patterns that could cause airplanes to drop from the sky without warning, transformed aviation safety and saved untold numbers of lives.

The documentary The Greatest Bond is coming to DVD and digital July 14. Centered around the Patriot Paws service dog organization based in Dallas, the program follows a group of disabled U.S. veterans who are about to be given a service dog and shows their transformation as the dogs expand the veterans’ world and start to heal them.

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Also due on digital and DVD July 14 is Titans of the 20th Century, a biography of some of the most significant politicians of the time, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin, men who caused and men who cured the worlds most troubled times, from the last shot fired in the First World War to the victory of Mao Zedong. This program is a story of the power to lead and mislead, to inspire and to cause mass destruction. These were men who came from different parts of the world, espoused radically different political doctrines and that seem to have had no common characteristics except an ambition to lead, a taste for power and a belief that they had been chosen by destiny.

American Experience: The Man Who Tried to Feed the World

American Experience: The Man Who Tried to Feed the World debuts on DVD and digital July 28. In 1966, drought and an exploding population confronted India with the imminent threat of a severe famine that many scientists and intellectuals feared was a harbinger of global catastrophes to come. As the world’s population outstripped its ability to produce food, India turned to Norman Borlaug, an unassuming plant breeder from Iowa whose combination of scientific knowledge and raw determination had made him a legend among a small handful of fellow specialists. The Man Who Tried to Feed the World recounts and explores the story of the man who would not only solve India’s famine problem, but also would go on to lead a “Green Revolution” of worldwide agricultural programs estimated to have saved 1 billion lives. He was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work, but spent the rest of his life watching his methods and achievements come under increasing fire.

Season one of “Somewhere South”

Season one of “Somewhere South” comes out on DVD and digital July 28. Celebrity chef, author, restaurateur and award-winning host for the PBS series “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard hosts a culinary journey that explores the cultural twists on classic dishes and new traditions that are being formed in the American South. Howard examines some of the popular dishes that unite us all — dumplings, hand pies, porridge and many others — and speaks on how these dishes change from culture to culture. In North Carolina, she tries the collard sandwich, a staple of Lumbee Indian cuisine in the Carolinas. Then she goes to West Virginia to eat pepperoni rolls, a dish inspired by coal miners. Howard travels to Charleston, where rice is king, and enjoys grits along with other rice dishes that are among the favorites of South Carolina’s bustling food scene.

VIral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations

Finally, Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations comes out on DVD and digital July 28. Antisemitism in the United States and Europe is rising and worsening in ways not seen since the 1930s. It comes in the forms of vandalism, social media abuse, assault and murder. Emmy-winning filmmaker Andrew Goldberg and producer Diana Robinson explore its infectious behavior by traveling through four countries to speak firsthand with victims, witnesses and antisemites, interviewing subjects including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Fareed Zakaria, George Will, Deborah Lipstadt and others. With opening narration by Julianna Margulies, the film examines the far right in the United States and how it has incited such acts as the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Then moving to the far left in England, the documentary explores the traditionally anti-racist Labour party conflating Israel and Jews, causing tremendous harm to the Jewish community. In France, the program delves into the seemingly endless wave of violence against Jews by Islamists and radicals.

‘Masterpiece: The Press’ and ‘Animal Babies’ Among Titles on DVD and Digital From PBS in October

Masterpiece: The Press, American Masters: Raul Julia and Animal Babies: First Year on Earth are among the titles on DVD and digital from PBS Distribution in October.

Due Oct. 22 is Masterpiece: The Press, about the committed and passionate characters behind the daily news at two fictional rival newspapers. Set in the world of newspapers in London — its past riven by hacking scandals, its present at the mercy of the digital age and the 24-hour news cycle, its future uncertain — the drama explores the current, turbulent media landscape and the ethical dilemmas that journalists and editors face each day.

Available now is American Masters: Raul Julia: The World’s a Stage, a revealing portrait of the charismatic, groundbreaking actor’s journey from his native Puerto Rico to 1960s New York City, to prominence on Broadway and in Hollywood. Filled with passion, determination and joy, Juliá’s brilliant and daring career was tragically cut short by his untimely death 25 years ago at age 54. Told in his own voice through archival interviews and in the words of those who knew him best, the film traces Juliá’s personal and professional life while showcasing performances from his collaboration with Joseph Papp’s The Public Theater to his successful cinematic career. His best-known roles include the history-making productions of Titus AndronicusTwo Gentlemen of Verona with Clifton Davis, The Taming of the Shrew with Meryl Streep and The Threepenny Opera, the Broadway musical Nine, and films such as Kiss of the Spider WomanMoon Over ParadorRomeroPresumed Innocent and The Addams Family. The program includes interviews with Anjelica Huston, Edward James Olmos, Rita Moreno, James Earl Jones, Sonia Braga, Rubén Blades and Esai Morales, illuminate his impact as an artist. In addition, actors John Leguizamo, Jimmy Smits, Andy Garcia and others.

Also available now is Magical Land of Oz, a three-part series that explores the depths of Australian animal life as unique species navigate extremes on land and sea. Cameras capture the continent’s diverse animal populations in its highest snow peaks, frigid southern seas and suburban backyards. In the first part, “Land,” viewers see the unique wildlife of Australia which includes a tree-dwelling kangaroo, a spider that survives underwater and a bird that spreads fire. In the second part, “Human,” the program explores how Australian wildlife has adapted to survive in the human environment, including a flamboyant dancing peacock spider in a suburban garden. In the final part, “Ocean,” viewers are taken to Australia’s magical coasts and islands where three oceans create the perfect environment for whales, giant cuttlefish and sharks.

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Due Oct. 22 is The Hudson River School: Part 2 — Cultivating a Tradition. In the 19th century, artist Thomas Cole and engraver Asher Durand established an artistic movement that became The Hudson River School. The next generation expanded their palette with a technique that was immersed in light. This artistic innovation was later hailed as “The Luminist Movement.” This film tells the story of these artists who became the greatest landscape painters in the world.

Available now is America’s Test Kitchen: Home for the Holidays, in which cooks share their tips and tricks for planning a stress-free gathering, while also recounting personal holiday memories and revealing their all-time favorite holiday recipes from the “Test Kitchen” archives. It features hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison and the rest of the “America’s Test Kitchen” cast gathered together in a casual behind-the-scenes setting, sharing the warmth of the holidays with viewers. The program also spotlights five of the Test Kitchen’s favorite holiday recipes, including new twists on classic holiday fare such as turkey en cocotte and beef tenderloin with smoky potatoes and persillade relish. The porchetta recipe offers a flavor-packed alternative to traditional holiday roasts.

Finally, on Oct. 29 comes Animal Babies: First Year on Earth, in which viewers meet six baby animals from across the globe, the toque macaque monkey, the spotted hyena, the African elephant, the sea otter, the mountain gorilla and the Arctic fox. Like all babies, young animals can have a first year filled with joy, love and play. To survive, however, they must overcome threats and challenges — from rivals, from the elements and from predators. Wildlife cinematographers tell the stories of these magical first months in three parts, “First Steps,” “Testing the Limits” and “New Frontiers.”

AMC’s Acorn TV and UMC Launch on YouTube TV

Subscription streaming services Acorn TV and UMC are available on YouTube TV, AMC Networks announced.

Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service for British and international television, and UMC is the largest streaming service for black TV and film, according to AMC. The services join sister services Shudder, Sundance NOW and AMC Premiere as part of YouTube TV’s lineup of premium streaming service add-on options.

Acorn TV’s add-on channel is now available via YouTube TV for $6 a month, and UMC’s add-on channel is $5 a month.

Programming now available on Acorn TV’s YouTube TV channel includes:

  • “Manhunt,” a 2019 series starring Martin Clunes as a former police detective who tenaciously pursues a serial killer;
  • “Line of Duty,” a cop thriller that takes a probing look into modern police corruption with new guest leads every season;
  • “Agatha Raisin,” an Acorn TV Original series starring Ashley Jensen in adaptations of MC Beaton’s best-selling novels as an amateur sleuth who becomes entangled in mischief, mayhem and murder;
  • “Doc Martin,” a U.K. series starring Clunes as a tactless, self-centered, and uptight doctor in the town of Portwenn, where he clashes with the village’s quirky inhabitants;
  • “Keeping Faith,” an Acorn TV Original thriller starring Eve Myles as Faith, a lawyer with a happy marriage until her husband suddenly disappears; and
  • dramas including “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” and “Midsomer Murders,” as well as Acorn TV Original series “Queens of Mystery” and “Mystery Road.”

 

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Programming now available on UMC’s YouTube TV channel includes:

  • “A House Divided,” a new original drama series starring Demetria McKinney, Lawrence Hilton Jacobs, Paula Jai Parker and Brad James;
  • “Beyond the Pole,” the channel’s first original reality series that follows six of Atlanta’s exotic dancers on their journeys out of the strip club world with the help of Stormy Wellington, a former dancer turned multi-millionaire;
  • “Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy,” which will return for its second season later this fall;
  • OWN’s “Black Love” and WEtv’s “Growing Up Hip Hop”;
  • classic sitcoms, such as UPN’s “All of Us”; and
  • classic films such as Set It Off, starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica Fox and Kimberly Elise, and B.A.P.S., starring Halle Berry and Natalie Desselle.

Over the past year, Acorn TV and UMC have expanded their availability across various platform partners, most recently joining Apple TV Channels and The Roku Channel. Others will be added later this year, according to AMC.

BritBox Streaming Video Service Tops 500,000 Subscribers

BritBox, the two-year-old subscription streaming video service launched in the U.S. and Canada by BBC Studios and ITV, has surpassed 500,000 paying subscribers.

The tally, which rivals AMC Networks’ Acorn TV, exceeded the company’s half-a-million member projection by two months. BritBox has been in operation in Canada for 11 months.

“British content is as popular as ever, and we are doubling down by making amazing series accessible while continuing to build our ever-growing community around desirable content,” Soumya Sriraman, president of the service said in a statement.

The service streams current seasons of “Vera,” starring Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy-nominated actress Brenda Blethyn (“Pride and Prejudice”), “Maigret,”starring BAFTA winner Rowan Atkinson (Johnny English), “Hold the Sunset,” starring Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee John Cleese (“Fawlty Towers”), and “Bliss, starring Independent Spirit Award winner Heather Graham.

Last July, BritBox bowed its first original content with the reboot of “Bletchley Circle: San Francisco.”

“The fantastic growth of BritBox is a testament to the work of the team involved since its launch, the quality of programmes the BBC and ITV offer through the service, and the appetite for the best British TV amongst viewers in the U.S. and Canada,” said Martin Goswami, director of pay and distribution at ITV.

BritBox continues to add British reality and entertainment staples including “QI” and “Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway,” seasonal comedies for the holidays such as “Click & Collect” and “Upstart Crow,” and factual lifestyle strands “Springwatch” and “Gardeners’ World.”

Many of BritBox’s series are available within hours of their U.K. broadcast, including the soaps “EastEnders, “Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Casualty,” and Holby City.” Dramas include “Silent Witness,” “Little Boy Blue,” “Three Girls,” and Cold Feet.