What Is PBS' "Masterpiece" About?


Quick Answer

The PBS program "Masterpiece" brings popular television series to American public television audiences. These programs include "Bleak House," "Downton Abbey," "Sherlock," "Endeavor" and many others. Occasionally, "Masterpiece" presents contemporary dramas such as David Hare's "Worricker" trilogy.

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Full Answer

"Masterpiece" has been in production on PBS since 1971. "Masterpiece" has had many different hosts including Alistair Cooke, Russell Baker, Laura Kinney and more. Alistair Cooke hosted "Masterpiece" for 22 seasons from 1971 to 1992. Cooke often gave social and historical commentary about the "Masterpiece" programming. Following in Cooke's footsteps, Russell Baker took over hosting in 1992.

"Masterpiece" producers include Christopher Sarson, Joan Wilson and Rebecca Eaton. As the original founder of "Masterpiece," Sarson produced the program from 1970 to 1973. Joan Wilson took over as producer in 1973. She was responsible for introducing shows such as "I, Claudius," and "Upstairs, Downstairs" to the "Masterpiece" series. Wilson also created "Masterpiece's" sister-series "Mystery!" in 1980. In 1985, Rebecca Eaton took charge of "Masterpiece" and "Mystery!" She introduced several popular shows including "Prime Suspect," "The Lost Prince," "Coyote Waits," and many others. Eaton has received many awards as producer of "Masterpiece" including 42 Primetime Emmy awards, 17 Peabody awards, two Golden Globes and two Academy Awards. In 2008, Eaton transformed "Masterpiece" by giving the program new scheduling, hosts and appearance.

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