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PBS Takes the Wraps Off Ambitious Programming Plans for Fall, Including 50th Anniversary JFK Tributes TVWeek

PBS has unveiled its wide-ranging programming plans for fall 2013, with a number of special programs on tap to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.

Other fall highlights include new dramas, the first PBS Independent Film Showcase, and programs examining American heritage from diverse viewpoints. The fall season will also see the return of acclaimed science programs and the second PBS Arts Fall Festival.

“PBS pays tribute to President Kennedy on the eve of the 50th anniversary of his assassination with intriguing new takes on the president’s life and death, anchored by ‘JFK,’ a new four-hour, two-part special from ‘American Experience,’” PBS announced. “A new episode from the science series ‘NOVA,’ the history-focused ‘Secrets of the Dead’ and other specials to be announced complete this special anniversary coverage.”

PBS is rolling out a new unscripted, interactive series, “Genealogy Roadshow,” which employs scientific and historical methods to uncover individual and family histories. Also on tap is “Latino Americans,” described as “the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history of Latinos across 500 years. Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. is executive producing “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” chronicling black history in the U.S.

“The arts remain a staple of PBS programming, with the PBS Arts Fall Festival returning for a seven-week run celebrating music and Broadway classics, including ‘Nashville 2.0,’ a tribute to legendary country stars, a star-studded version of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company and ‘Great Performances: Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn,’ the superstar’s first Brooklyn concert since her childhood years,” PBS announced. “The PBS Independent Film Showcase airs this fall with documentaries from ‘Independent Lens’ and ‘POV.’ ‘Great Performances’ premieres its ambitious four-part miniseries ‘The Hollow Crown,’ combining Shakespeare’s ‘Richard II,’ ‘Henry IV (Parts I & II)’ and ‘Henry V’ into a single chronological narrative.”

Sunday nights will see the drama series “Masterpiece” present material including “Foyle’s War, Series VII” and “The Paradise,” an adaptation of Emile Zola’s French novel.

PBS offered extensive details on the rest of its fall programming plans in an in-depth press release issued today. Please click here to read it.