‘Face to Face,’ ‘Box 21’ Among Walter Presents Programs on PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in April

Five new international programs from Walter Presents are streaming on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel beginning in April: “Face to Face,” “Box 21,” “Devil’s Throat,” “Seizure” and “Silent Hunt.”

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

Available now is the eight-episode Danish series “Face to Face.” In the series, when investigator Bjørn is called in to identify a young woman, he is horrified to find his own daughter lying on the autopsy table. Her death is ruled a suicide, but Bjørn refuses to believe his daughter has taken her own life. As the evidence begins to point towards murder, Bjørn begins to track the last day of his daughter’s life. This sends him on a whirlwind journey where he encounters people important to his daughter, revealing a network of truths, lies and criminal acts woven into her and Bjørn’s own life. In order to understand his daughter’s death, Bjørn must confront himself — until he finally faces the unavoidable truth of why she died.

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Also available now is the six-episode Romanian crime thriller “Box 21.” The series follows Lidia, a young Romanian woman who is lured to Sweden with promises of a better life. Through a wicked turn of events, Lidia is forced into prostitution. Looking for revenge, her fate is interwoven with police officer Ewert Grens, who chases a dangerous criminal.

Due April 16 is the 12-episode Bulgarian crime thriller “Devil’s Throat.” The series follows a DANS employee and an ambitious local investigator at the height of the Bulgarian refugee crisis. They are looking into the murder of a retired police officer in the border town of Smolyan. The clues are gradually turning toward a terrible secret about a crime that will overturn their investigation and their personal fates.

The Norwegian series “Seizure,” which starts streaming April 23, follows two Oslo detectives, played by popular Norwegian actors Anders Danielsen Lie (“Oslo, August 31st,” “22 July”) and Anders Baasmo Christiansen (“Kon-Tiki”), as they investigate the deaths of four immigrant boys. Set against an intense backdrop of personal trauma, violent weather and otherworldly apparitions, the show mixes elements of traditional Scandi Noir with a more supernatural twist.

Due April 30 is the German eight-episode series “Silent Hunt.” It follows an aristocrat by birth and gentleman by nature, Detective Hanns von Meuffeels, who brings a unique but effective approach to police work. He draws a suspect in with the power of good investigative skills and a well-practiced silence. Von Meuffels applies his own particular investigative style to reveal the truth, often confronting his own past and mistakes in the process, on cases involving satellite control systems for the arms industry, Turkish extremists, international money laundering, among others.

‘Hemingway’ Coming to PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel April 5

Hemingway, a documentary from filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick chronicling the life of literary icon Ernest Hemingway, will be available to stream on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel on April 5.

The channel will also be streaming a 4K Ultra High-Definition version of the program beginning April 11. The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

The title will come out on Blu-ray and DVD April 13.

The three-part, six-hour film examines the life and work of Hemingway, one of the most influential writers America has ever produced. Narrated by long-time collaborator Peter Coyote, the series features an all-star cast of actors bringing Hemingway (voiced by Jeff Daniels), his friends and family to life. Through letters to and from his four wives — voiced by Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary-Louise Parker and Patricia Clarkson — the film reveals Hemingway at his most romantic and his most vulnerable, grappling at times with insecurity, anxiety and existential loneliness.

Burns and Novick paint a picture of Hemingway, who captured on paper the complexities of the human condition in profound prose, and whose work remains deeply influential around the world. Informed by interviews with celebrated writers, scholars and Hemingway’s son Patrick, the filmmakers explore the painstaking process through which Hemingway created some of the most notable works of fiction, in novels such as The Sun Also RisesA Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea; short stories “Hills Like White Elephants,” “The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” “Up in Michigan,” “Indian Camp” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro;” as well as the nonfiction works Death in the Afternoon and A Moveable Feast.

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His relationships with women — his mother, sisters, wives and the World War I nurse who broke his heart — profoundly affected his work. Yet for all his bravado and hyper-masculine posturing, Hemingway wrote about relationships between men and women with sensitivity, nuance and clarity.

The filmmakers were granted unusually open access to the treasure trove of Hemingway’s manuscripts, correspondence, scrapbooks and photographs housed at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. The film also explores Hemingway’s limitations and biases as an artist and a man of his time.

‘Dinosaur Train’ Movie, New Volumes of ‘Hero Elementary’ and ‘Xavier Riddle’ Streaming on PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in April

PBS Distribution is adding another “Dinosaur Train” movie, along with new volumes of “Hero Elementary” and “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in April.

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

The Pteranodon family takes the Dinosaur Train to Adventure Island, a new theme park on a volcanic island, in Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island, streaming beginning April 13. The Conductor’s archrival Thurston is in charge and he proudly shows off the park’s amazing steam-powered robot dinosaurs. When an earthquake causes the pressure to get too high, the malfunctioning robots go rogue. It’s then up to Buddy and his siblings (Tiny, Shiny and Don) to navigate safely across the island in order to reunite with their parents.

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Volume seven of “Hero Elementary” streams beginning April 2. In this volume, when the team heads to Citytown Hero Con, they need to find the real Jetman Jones in the crowd. AJ’s autism is key to saving the day in “AJ’s Extra Superpower (parts one and two). Then, when a hailstorm causes damage around Citytown, Sparks’ Crew calls upon a famous hero to understand more about hail in “Hail Caesar/Picture Perfect.” Plus, Sparks’ crew searches for a self-flying cape after it escapes from a store in “Looking Super/Schmubble Trouble.” They discover a mysterious creature in Super Superior Lake in “Sara Loses Her Snap/A Soupie Mystery.”

Volume eight of “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” starts streaming April 9. Viewers join Xavier, Brad and Yadina as they travel back in time again to learn more valuable lessons from historical heroes. In “I Am Albert Einstein/I Am Carol Burnett,” Albert Einstein helps Xavier figure out what to do when he’s really curious ─ starting with asking questions. Then in “I Am Abraham Lincoln/I Am Jane Jacobs,” Abraham Lincoln helps Yadina realize what she needs to do when she accidently loses her friend’s toy. Plus, Celia Cruz helps Yadina prepare for a special birthday performance in “I Am Edmund Hillary/I Am Celia Cruz.”

‘Atlantic Crossing’ Coming to PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel April 4

The eight-episode series historical drama series “Atlantic Crossing” is coming to the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel starting April 4.

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

Based on a true story of passion and politics, “Atlantic Crossing” follows a friendship forged in war portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan (“Twin Peaks”) as U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, and Swedish star Sofia Helin (“The Bridge”) as Norwegian Crown Princess Martha. Ranging back and forth across the North Atlantic throughout World War II, the series depicts momentous events in the changing fortunes of Norway, Great Britain and the United States, probing deeply into the rarely told story of Norway’s struggle against Nazi invasion and occupation.

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The series opens in 1939 with a goodwill visit to the United States by Norway’s Crown Prince Olav (Tobias Santelmann, Kon Tiki) and Crown Princess Martha where they befriend the president and first lady (Harriet Sansom Harris, “Desperate Housewives”). Months later, Norway is fighting for survival as Nazi Germany invades the neutral country with the goal of seizing its strategic ports and securing access to iron ore mines for steel production. During the assault, German troops try to capture the Norwegian royal family to use as bargaining chips, but the King (Søren Pilmark, Downsizing) and Olav manage to escape to England where they set up a government-in-exile. Meanwhile, Martha and the three children make their hazardous way to America where they are taken in at the White House by President Roosevelt.

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This sets the stage for an epic drama that mixes war and diplomacy, desire and jealousy. At the outset, America is officially neutral. It would be political suicide if Roosevelt defies the strong isolationist sentiment in the United States, yet Martha urges him to find a way to help Norway in the fight against Germany. Meanwhile across the ocean, Olav grows increasingly suspicious of Martha’s close ties to the president. The relationship also tries the patience of the first lady and Roosevelt’s closest advisors: Harry Hopkins (Daniel Betts, “The Crown”) and the president’s rumored paramour, Missy LeHand (Lucy Russell, “Wolf Hall”).

Fast Forward Awards 2021: Andrea Downing — Working in a Multi-Platform World

Andrea Downing was working in a multi-platform world long before the pandemic — and before “multi-platform” became the new paradigm in home entertainment.

The president of PBS Distribution (promoted March 11 from co-president) has been juggling content and windows for years, picking and choosing the right platform for the right product to maximize revenue to support public television and PBS member stations.

Downing notes that all net income from PBS Distribution supports the public television system and its  mission “to amplify diverse stories, foster dialog, encourage creativity and spark curiosity in its viewers.”

“While PBS Distribution is one part of a much larger system of contributors,” she says, “our ability to collapse windows over the years in response to consumer behavior has been incredibly beneficial.”

Today, most PBS programs are released on all three home entertainment platforms: Blu-ray Disc and DVD, transactional VOD, and streaming — often on, or near, the same day.

Even celebrity documentarian Ken Burns’ 18-hour documentary on the Vietnam War, a big hit on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, was made available at the same time for digital rental and purchase and, six months after its broadcast date, was licensed to Netflix for streaming.

Conversely, the historical drama “Jamestown,” from Carnival Films helmer Gareth Neame, launched on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel and later expanded to DVD. And “The Great British Baking Show” was licensed to Netflix while also topping the TVOD charts.

“We release product simultaneously across platforms, in most cases,” says Downing, this year’s recipient of Media Play News’ Fast Forward Award. “We think it makes sense because it really gives consumers a choice about how they want to enjoy our content.

“So, for example, Hemingway, broadcasting in April, will then go to Blu-ray Disc and DVD for those who want to own it. It will also go to electronic sellthrough for those consumers who are building digital libraries of collectible content, as well as to our PBS Documentaries streaming channel for those who just want to pay $4.99 a month and watch whatever, whenever they want. At the same time it will be available on the PBS Video app for a limited window before moving into PBS Passport — a member benefit.”

Downing notes that PBS broadcast and streaming on the PBS apps “is our theatrical — it’s our first window.”

“We typically release physical goods, TVOD and on our SVOD streaming channels immediately after broadcast when awareness is high,” she says.

Releasing programs on all three platforms, she maintains, makes sense “because we go where the consumer goes — and lately that’s pretty much everywhere — and our work expands the reach of our stations’ content to new audiences.”

Following the consumer is always smart business, but Downing’s advantage over studio marketers is that every commercial after-market distribution channel falls under her purview. A 25-year industry veteran, she’s being honored with Media Play News’ fourth annual Fast Forward Award for her broad and groundbreaking role at PBS Distribution, where multi-platform releasing has long been the order of the day.

(L-R): HBO’s Sofia Chang, PBS Distribution’s Andrea Downing, and former New Line Home Video president Stephen Einhorn.

She has grown PBS Distribution from a start-up focused on physical products to a global distribution company of public media content around the world. Her focus on adapting to the media landscape has led to multiple subscription streaming channels — PBS Masterpiece (United States and Canada), PBS Kids, PBS Living, PBS Documentaries and PBS America (U.K.). In addition to DVD and Blu-ray Disc, she spearheaded the company’s move into transactional video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand and theatrical releasing. Under her leadership, PBS Distribution’s educational, non-theatrical, in-flight, and international program sales and co-productions businesses have thrived. Additionally, the portfolio includes a commercial linear channel in the United Kingdom — PBS America — and a PBS Kids-branded channel in Africa.

Most recently, PBS Distribution has entered the AVOD space. The company just licensed some catalog content to Pluto, Tubi and Roku, and “we’re also doing some experimentation internationally with kids product Kidoodle,” Downing says.

“It was a natural progression for us to have all aspects of home entertainment under one roof,” she says. “We started with physical goods, transitioned into transactional digital and then into streaming. Along the way we have organized our structure to ensure that we have one centralized team that provides transparency across all platforms and departments. While that is an ongoing operational effort, it allows us to adapt as we anticipate where the market is headed. It really serves us well.”

When PBS Distribution launched in 2009 as a joint venture between PBS and GBH, 90% of revenue came from DVD. Today, Downing says, “roughly 10% of our business is from physical goods, with SVOD channels being our largest and fastest-growing business.”

Now in its 12th year, PBS Distribution is one of the largest independent content distributors, with upwards of 400 releases and 1,500 individual episodes each year.

“We have a really close relationship with our parent companies,” she says, “and we jointly work to ensure that we change and grow together to benefit the entire public television ecosystem.”

Aside from her role as president of PBS Distribution, Downing is actively involved in DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, speaking at seminars and webinars, mentoring women in the industry, and is on the steering committee for the D2C Alliance.

(L-R): At the DEG’s November 2017 Hedy Lamarr Awards, the DEG’s Amy Jo Smith; Anthony Loder, son of Hedy Lamarr; honoree Geena Davis; Adam Haggiag, producer of ‘Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story’; and PBS’s Andrea Downing.

“Andrea’s leadership has been invaluable to DEG’s Board of Directors, to our D2C Alliance and to the Canon Club,” says Amy Jo Smith, the DEG’s president and CEO. “The fact that she’s involved with all three shows how generously she shares her time and her knowledge with a wide swath of our community. I’ve observed over many years the way that Andrea truly cares about both the products and the people she works with at PBS Distribution. She has a vision for the future, and she understands the need to take some risks to grow a business, and she does what is needed in the smartest possible way.”

“Andrea is a natural leader dedicated to help cultivate and educate women in entertainment and technology. Her passion for the industry, and dedication to the DEG Canon Club and the Hedy Lamarr Awards for innovation and emerging leaders are exemplary,” adds Meri Hassouni, co-chair of the DEG Canon Club and VP of client relations at Giant Interactive.

Downing is a single mom who has raised two daughters, now in their late teens. The youngest, Riley, is a freshman at San Diego State University; the oldest, Cassandra, gave Downing her very first grandchild, a 1-year-old girl named Zoey.

“I’ve worked hard to find the right ‘fit’ for my family and my career,” Downing says, “and have learned that it’s important to recognize that the ‘right fit’ changes as we and our families evolve, and can sometimes change every day. For many years that meant long days during the week juggling both job and family, with a focus fully on family during the weekends. As my daughters became increasingly self-sufficient, it’s shifted to a greater focus on my job and hobbies.”

Downing says a key part of her success is “a willingness to work hard and deliver quality work.”

“I’m a ‘yes’ person,” she says. “I always said yes to any project or task. I learned a lot from that, and it gave me a lot of opportunities.”

“I also can’t stress enough the importance of learning how to manage up, across and down,” she adds. “Communication is key in this, and you can’t repeat the important things often enough.”

“And sometimes,” she says, “it’s just being in the right place at the right time.”

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Downing developed an entrepreneurial spirit early on during her childhood in Wisconsin. “When I was a kid, I lived near a golf course and I would pick up golf balls from the range,” Downing says. “For every five balls I picked up, I got a penny. But by picking up 250 balls, I earned enough money to buy a popsicle.”

Downing attended Michigan State University, and while her parents helped out with tuition, Downing says, “I knew I was going to have to work and save money to pay for most of it.”

During high school, she says, “I was already working each summer, having worked my way up from picking up golf balls to working in the Pro Shop, and even making custom golf clubs.”

Once she arrived in East Lansing, Mich., Downing said, she had no sooner moved into the dorm than she began looking for work.

“I was the ‘dish dog’ in the cafeteria, an affectionate term for the dish room supervisor, and eventually became a student supervisor,” she recalls. “It was not the most glamorous work, and I was usually covered in grease by the end of the shift.”

(L-R): Movies Anywhere’s Karin Gilford, Universal’s Hilary Hoffman, Downing, Fox’s Julia Howe, Sony’s Lexine Wong, Warner’s Jessica Schell, the DEG’s Amy Jo Smith, Universal’s Kathleen Gallagher and Sony’s Kim Overall in the ‘Media Play News’ 2019 Women in Home Entertainment section. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/hair and makeup by Christian Anthony Bier and Erica Leslie Davidson)

She worked one summer as an intern for Speed Queen, a Raytheon company that made commercial washers and dryers, scheduling the semi-trucks to deliver the machines from the factory to customers.

Another summer, she recalls, “I worked three jobs and averaged about 80 hours a week to save enough money to go back to school in the fall. I worked the night shift from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the Jolly Green Giant plant in the QC (quality control) department. Each day the machines would pick corn and peas in the field, and trucks would bring the vegetables to the canning plant. I was responsible for counting the prickers and thistles in the vegetables. If there were too many in the batch, I would call the field and tell them to modify the settings on the machinery.

“After I left the plant in the morning, I would go home and sleep for about four hours before getting up to go to my second job at the golf course. You can imagine that it was a little surreal to go from the canning plant, where I would often be lying in gutters, clearing out food waste from machines, to the golf course, where I wore my preppy plaid shorts and my pink polo shirt.
“And when I wasn’t working at the golf course in the afternoons, I worked at a local pool as a lifeguard.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in business in 1990, Downing moved back home.

“After I graduated, I didn’t have a job so I went home to live with my parents,” she said. “Every morning my mom made me get up and go to work with her. And — now I’m aging myself — she sat me down in an office with a typewriter and the classifieds and told me to apply for every job I could find. She did that every day until I found a job in a picture frame factory. I started out working the second shift on the shipping dock, but management started asking me to come in early to take care of other things, and I was soon promoted to master scheduler. This was a senior level position that was responsible for scheduling everything that was going to be produced on each machine each day. It was a constant battle to keep my schedule on track while the line supervisors were trying to meet their quotas. But it was also an important education in how to successfully juggle multiple stakeholders with varying agendas.”

Within a couple of years, Downing was ready for a new adventure. She packed up a U-Haul and moved to Washington, D.C., to be in a region with more of her peers. But moving to a region with little manufacturing forced her to start over.

Downing found temp work as a receptionist at an association in the capital and several months later took a regular gig managing a print shop. A few years later, Downing recalls, “A friend recommended me to someone at the Discovery Channel, which was still in its early growth years. At this point I was about five years out of college, and I’d had increasing responsibility in my jobs. But the position at the Discovery Channel was as an admin/coordinator, so it meant starting all over again.”

Still, Downing says, “I wanted to be in a bigger, more entrepreneurial organization so I accepted the position. I started out in the multimedia department, and this was when CD-ROMs were really taking off. The department was young — it was run like a startup — and I just did everything that I knew needed to be done. I moved from the coordinator position to operations, and then worked with the international team. I started a localization shop so we could translate the multimedia discs they sold around the world into multiple foreign languages. I eventually ran operations for Discovery’s Consumer Products business.

“When my boss moved to PBS to run their Ventures division, she called me about six months later and recruited me to join PBS as a vice president.”

Downing joined PBS in June 2000 as VP of home entertainment and partnerships, with responsibility for e-commerce, catalog, education, operations and creative services.

Shortly after joining PBS, Downing says, “I found that I was pregnant with my second daughter.”

(L-R): PBS’s Ira Rubenstein, John Suydam and Andrea Downing.

Fortunately, she said, the culture at PBS was such that she was afforded flexibility and plenty of support.

“Knowing how important that is for so many women, and men, in our workforce, I have focused on paying that forward in our culture at PBS Distribution,” Downing says. “One of my key takeaways in life is how important it is to make the time for those that mean so much to you, no matter what your career journey is — and to make sure your team knows that you want them to value time with their family, too.”

During her tenure at PBS, Downing says, she continued to grow her responsibilities. “When I began at PBS, I was managing about half of the home entertainment business,” she says. “Within a couple of years, I was responsible for the entire business. I also managed the licensing, merchandising, and interactive businesses, and began the evolution from physical goods to digital.

“Some of the most difficult things I had to do involved making changes to the team and how the business was run, like reducing our efforts in some areas and closing others down completely. It was particularly difficult having to let go of team members, even when it was the right decision for the business.”

In 2007, Downing says, David Bernstein at GBH in Boston “reached out to me and we started talking about how we might collaborate.”

“We decided to form a separate for-profit LLC to raise income for the public television system, creating a more robust distribution portfolio, a deeper content library, and greater efficiencies, all of which propelled us to grow — especially as the business began to transition from physical to digital,” she says.

Downing and Bernstein ran the business together as co-presidents. “We have different styles for managing and leading, but have complementary skill sets and we always agree on strategy,” Downing says.

After 12 years of leading PBS Distribution, Downing says, she continues to look for opportunities and face challenges.

“One of our biggest challenges is standing out in a crowded market when there are so many options for consumers,” she says. “The big companies are spending so much money on marketing with their launches that it is easy to get lost as a targeted service.”

(L-R): Sofia Chang, Andrea Downing, Kim Overall, Lexine Wong, Amy Jo Smith, Jessica Schell, Karin Gilford, Vicky Free And Julia Howe, 2018 ‘Media Play News’ Women in Home Entertainment honorees. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Makeup by Cathy Highland)

And yet there are plenty of opportunities, as well. “One of our biggest opportunities is being on the Prime Video platform, where we have a strong partnership and can take advantage of their significant reach,” Downing says. “Our SVOD channels are competitively priced and are unique enough that they are complementary to the general entertainment services. And, of course, there’s our content — we have great, quality content and an audience that knows and appreciates our programs.”

As for the future, Downing sees so much opportunity that she believes the best and smartest strategy is to remain nimble and flexible — and be ready to follow consumers down whichever path they choose.

“While the market has changed significantly over the last 10 years, it is still in its infancy,” she says. “Consumers are becoming much more comfortable, but it’s still so early it’s hard to predict what will happen long-term.

“So we will continue to navigate the changing dynamics of the market, test strategies and adapt as needed, and continue to position ourselves to be as resilient and successful as possible.”

Read a Q&A with Andrea Downing HERE

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Fast Forward Awards 2021: Andrea Downing Q&A

PBS Distribution president Andrea Downing, recipient of Media Play News‘ fourth annual Fast Forward Award, juggles discs, digital and streaming to bring PBS programming to home viewers.

Media Play News asked Downing about running the public television system’s for-profit content distribution arm.

What drives you to succeed?

“I love the journey, the process of transforming organizations to meet market demands while they’re undergoing disruption. I came from a large family where I knew at a young age that I was going to be responsible for getting myself through college. I worked hard to accomplish that and learned along the way that the more I stepped in, the greater the impact I could have and the more rewarding it was.”

Do you believe it’s true that people learn from failures? Have you failed at something and learned from that failure?

“Absolutely. I fail all the time and apply those learnings to my approach wherever I can.”

What is your management style?

“To be both strategic and tactical while empowering others to make decisions. During the pandemic, I continue to be reminded how important communication is and that repetition is a good thing.”

What is your leadership philosophy?

“My philosophy is to be an authentic leader with integrity while being collaborative, and a creative and innovative thinker.”

What’s your favorite PBS program?

“It’s way too hard to pick a favorite PBS show — they are all so amazing. It’s one of the joys of my job that we are distributing such high-quality content and making a difference at the same time.”

What are a few of your favorite things, as Julie Andrews would say?

“I love exploring and learning new things — whether it’s new foods, traveling to new places, or anything, really. It’s one of the biggest lessons, or maybe reminders, of the pandemic for me; I really need to be active and doing things. I’m currently thinking about where I want to go and the experiences I want to have, so that once we’re able to travel again I won’t waste any time getting on the move.”

What about hobbies?

“My hobbies really have to do with exercise. I love to get out and walk, bike, run, golf, kayak, really almost anything outdoors. One of my favorite trips was spent kayaking down the Amazon in Brazil for five days. That was an incredible experience.”

If you weren’t at PBS, what else would you be doing?

“I honestly can’t imagine a better place for me than where I am. I love the complexity of the business, the impact we have every day in the lives of Americans and consumers internationally. We have built an incredible team that is smart, passionate about our mission, and instrumental to our success. What more could I ask for?”

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Remastered ‘Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns’ Coming to PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel March 18

The Emmy Award-winning documentary series Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns is coming to the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel March 18.

The series, coming to the service in time for Major League Baseball’s opening day, is remastered in HD and has also been rejuvenated, as each photograph and clip were meticulously inspected and repaired.

The Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Informational Series tells the story of how, over the years, baseball has not just been a game, but America’s pastime, continuously echoing social issues and creating unforgettable moments in history. The series sheds light on the icons who of the game and the moments that have forever changed the way fans look at it.

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

Andrea Downing Promoted to President of PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution has promoted Andrea Downing to president.

She was previously co-president.

“PBS Distribution continues to serve as a leading for-profit distributor of public media content around the world, and under Downing’s leadership, the organization has successfully navigated a digital transformation,” according to the PBS announcement.

Downing is also being honored by Media Play News with its annual Fast Forward Award in the March issue.

A joint venture of PBS and GBH Boston, PBS Distribution offers consumers and educators more than 4,000 hours of factual, scripted and children’s programming, extending the reach beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations and producers. During her tenure, Downing has helped to grow and diversify PBS Distribution’s portfolio of businesses, including the addition of six direct-to-consumer SVOD services.

In her new role as president, Downing will provide strategic, financial and operational leadership for PBS Distribution as the organization continues to expand the reach of public media content across digital platforms.

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“Andrea is an accomplished executive who has guided PBS Distribution’s path from a startup to a global company with far-reaching impact,” Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, said in a statement. “We are grateful for her ongoing leadership to ensure that PBSd continues to adapt, evolve and thrive in the modern media landscape.”

“Andrea has been instrumental in the organization’s extraordinary growth and success,” Jon Abbott, president and CEO of GBH, said in a statement. “As media has seen tectonic change, PBSd has innovated and evolved as a vital enterprise supporting the economics of our public media mission.”

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Prior to joining PBS Distribution, Downing served as VP of home entertainment and partnerships at PBS. She also previously worked as director of operations at Discovery.

Downing holds a B.A. in business, materials and logistics management from Michigan State University. She is a board member of PBS America and of DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, as well as its CFO. Downing also serves on the advisory board for the DEG’s Canon Club and sits on the steering committee for its D2C Alliance.

‘Dinosaur Train’ Movie, New Volumes of ‘Molly of Denali’ and Other Series Streaming on PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in March

PBS Distribution in March is adding a “Dinosaur Train” movie, along with new volumes of “Wild Kratts,” “Elinor Wonders Why” and “Molly of Denali” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

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

While learning basic scientific thinking skills, young viewers join their favorite dinosaur friends who travel beneath the Earth’s crust in Dinosaur Train: What’s at the Center of the Earth? streaming March 12. In this one-hour special, Mr. Conductor takes the Pteranodon family on a very special journey with the help of a new invention — the drill engine train. This amazing machine gives its passengers a front row seat as they dive deep into the Earth’s crust. With Mr. Conductor at the helm, the drill train makes several stops in their once-in-a-lifetime quest to find the perfect place for an underground train station. In each location, Buddy and his siblings — Shiny, Tiny, and Don — explore and discover fascinating qualities about layers, fossils, and minerals.

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Volume 20 of “Wild Kratts” also streams beginning March 12. In this volume, Chris and Martin Kratt bring viewers along on new adventures as they explore wildlife from around the globe. When a coyote pup sneaks into the Tortuga, the Wild Kratts want to learn why this creature is so adaptable in “Adapto the Coyote.” In “Creature Tail Fail,” the Kratt Brothers find out what happens when a stowaway red squirrel gets loose on the African Savanna. Then, in “Tardigrade Xtreme,” the gang wonders if there’s life on other planets, so they head to space to look for clues. Back on Earth, Jimmy discovers a tardigrade, a microscopic creature that can survive in extreme and other-worldly conditions. The Wild Kratts then cruise across the African savanna in the Tortuga when a gust of wind blows a piece of paper out of Aviva’s hand and into an ostrich nest, in “Uh-oh Ostrich!”

Volume 5 of “Elinor Wonders Why” starts streaming March 19. Elinor ignites the curiosity of children ages 3-5, encouraging them to find answers using science inquiry skills. A mystery is afoot at Elinor’s school when one of the class plants grows in a zig zag shape. Elinor wonders why the plant has been growing this way in “Zig Zag Plant/Butterfly Drinks.” Then, in “Frozen Fish/Pirate Treasure,” Elinor and her friends wonder what happens to fish during the wintertime, after they see a lake that has frozen over. They don’t understand how the fish can survive and eventually learn about what happens to aquatic animals when the temperature drops. Plus, Elinor explores the desert with her grandmother and comes across a small, peculiar looking owl in “Burrowing Owl Girl/Olive’s Tree.”

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New episodes of “Molly of Denali” debut March 26. In Volume 8, kids join Molly Mabray and her friends and family on adventures in Alaska. Tooey becomes worried when one of his sled dogs, Cali, isn’t feeling well. After he takes her to a vet, he receives some surprising news in “Puppy Palooza Part 1/Puppy Palooza Part 2.” Then, in “Going Toe to Toe with a Dinosaur/Sassy Ladies on Ice,” Molly and Vera join scientists as they visit a dinosaur fossil excavation site. Molly invites Oscar to go mountain climbing with her and Grandpa Nat in “Climb Every Mountain/Happy Trails,” and Molly and Tooey organize a funny face contest with their friends and family in “Big Sulky/The Funny Face Competition.”

‘Churchill’s Secret,’ Four ‘Walter Presents’ Series Heading to PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in March

The biopic Churchill’s Secret, starring Sir Michael Gambon, and four “Walter Presents” programs are streaming in March on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel.

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

Churchill’s Secret

The drama Masterpiece: Churchill’s Secret, about the little-known life-threatening stroke Churchill suffered during the summer of 1953, debuts March 11. The film stars Sir Michael Gambon (“Harry Potter”, Emma), Romola Garai (The Miniaturist, Atonement) and Matthew Macfadyen (“Succession”). During his second term as Prime Minister, Churchill (Gambon) suffers a stroke, which his inner circle conspired to hide from the public. The film charts the course of Winston’s remarkable recovery and investigates the strain that his great public service wrought upon his private life. Told from the point of view of his family, his doctor, the men he championed and his young nurse (Garai), Churchill’s Secret follows the great man’s extraordinary battle to recover, casting an honest light on the tensions within his brilliant and dysfunctional family.

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“Seaside Hotel” Season 7

Season seven of the “Walter Presents” Danish drama “Seaside Hotel” debuts March 12. It is now the summer of 1940 and the hotel opens for a new season. Denmark has been invaded by the Germans and the previous years’ guests flee to the beach-side hotel to get some respite from the German occupation. It has been a year since Amanda and Philip have taken over the ownership of the hotel, and they are looking forward to welcoming the guests back for a new cheerful and pleasant summer season. However, the occupying forces have also discovered the cozy hotel and the guests and staff alike realize that even out on the dune range, they cannot hide from the war. They are faced with the uncomfortable choice of whether to cooperate with the Germans’ demands or say no, risking Amanda’s first season as hotel owner, possibly making it her last.

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“Witch Hunt”

The “Walter Presents” Norwegian crime thriller series “Witch Hunt” is due March 5. In the series, Ida Waage is working as the CFO at a prestigious law firm. One day, she spots a suspicious invoice and traces it back to a money laundering operation linked to the firm’s biggest client, Peer Eggen. After alerting her executive board, she is shocked when they turn on her, and look to discredit her. With her job and credibility threatened, Ida continues to seek justice and alerts the police. Investigator Eirik Bråten discovers that the invoice is a cover-up for a larger scandal that involves various transactions between Eggen and the husband of Norway’s Minister of Justice. When journalist Aida Salim takes this bombshell news public, Ida’s firm retaliates further, with vicious stories designed to ruin her career. After the Minister dies suddenly in a crash, Eirik and Aida join forces to hunt for evidence, assuming Eggen to be behind the accident, while Ida pursues her employers in court. However, Ida ultimately realizes that her determination to fight back and do the right thing is putting herself, and everyone she loves, in grave danger.


The “Walter Presents” French crime drama “Judgement” starts streaming March 19. In the series, the brutal murder of Judge Dessureaux’s youngest daughter Gabrielle plunges his family into a living hell. When presumed killer Tristan Rabeau is acquitted, the family decides to seek revenge.

“Dresden Detectives”

The “Walter Presents” German crime thriller “Dresden Detectives” debuts March 26. It follows a pair of female detectives with their fingers on the pulse of crime, who are as different and unpredictable as the cases they solve — from online dating and the live murder of a social media influencer to a public witch hunt for pedophiles — the cases they solve are complex and contemporary. The tension between the two women, which stems from their different backgrounds and investigative styles, drives cases forward and pushes them to their limits both privately and professionally.