What a great year for PBS! I am pleased to report that PBS programs have received 43 nominations for this year’s Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. This is the largest number of Primetime Emmy nominations our system has ever received, and more than twice the combined total of A&E, Bravo, Discovery, and the History channels. Masterpiece programs led the way for PBS with a combined 25 nominations. The 63rd annual Emmys will air September 18 so be sure to watch.
The PBS programs with multiple nominations include Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs, and Any Human Heart (all Masterpiece Classic); Sherlock: A Study In Pink (Masterpiece Mystery!); Freedom Riders (American Experience); and LennoNYC (American Masters). Paula Kerger recently wrote to all PBS station CEOs noting that these award nominations are a welcome recognition of the steps PBS has taken to strengthen primetime content.
And there’s more good news. PBS received 32 nominations for the 32nd Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Programs with multiple nominations include POV, Frontline, Independent Lens, PBS NewsHour, Nature, and NOVA. This brings PBS’ total Emmy nominations to 121 in the Daytime, Primetime, and News & Documentary categories – our highest ever!
PBS’ children’s programming has a stellar number of nominations as well – Eight Emmy nominations for Sesame Street and three for The Electric Company.
For you Masterpiece Classic fans, Downton Abbey returns with seven new episodes. Created by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey depicts the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them. Featuring an all-star cast, including Hugh Bonneville (Masterpiece Classic “Miss Austen Regrets”), Dame Maggie Smith (Harry Potter) and Elizabeth McGovern. Tune in to watch these new episodes beginning Sunday, January 8, 2012.
Other PBS programs to watch for – America in Primetime, a four part documentary that explores the history and significance of primetime scripted programs like I Love Lucy, Sex in the City, Man of the House, Beverly Hillbillies, and many more; America Revealed, a four part series with breathtaking aerial and satellite imagery to examine America’s infrastructure from above; The Fabric of the Cosmos (four hours inside of NOVA), which is an exploration of space and time based on Brian Greene’s best-selling book of the same name; and, Prohibition, another great documentary from Ken Burns, which examines the social, cultural, and political forces that converged in the first two decades of the 20th century.
These award nominations underscore that PBS offers fantastic national content with diverse subject matters that both entertain and educate. Congratulations to all those involved in these exceptional productions!
KCPT President and CEO