Look what's coming to Blue Ridge PBS!
Mark Twain Prize: Ellen Degeneres
Friday, July 18 at 9:00pm
This special celebrates beloved television icon and entertainment pioneer Ellen DeGeneres, the latest recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. From the stage of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, some of the biggest names in comedy salute the 15th recipient of the humor prize.
Masterpiece Mystery! Endeavour
Sundays at 9:00pm
Shaun Evans (“The Take,” “The Virgin Queen”) returns for a second season as the young rookie, DC Endeavour Morse, before he acquired his signature red Jaguar but with his deductive powers already running in high gear.
June 29 & July 3 – Trove
Four months after DC Endeavour Morse’s brush with death, he returns to duty with Oxford City Police and is reunited with DI Fred Thursday. Morse’s first case involves a John Doe who plummets to his death in what appears to be a routine suicide. When Morse discovers the man’s mysterious final message, he begins to consider seemingly unrelated cases, causing Thursday to worry that Morse’s wounds may have been more in mind than body.
July 6 & 10 – Nocturne
When an elderly man is murdered with a ceremonial dagger, Morse’s investigation leads him to an isolated and dreary school for girls. Digging into the school building’s disturbing history, he learns of a series of murders that took place almost 100 years before to the day. As the centenary approaches, Morse races to prevent the ghosts of the past from crashing into the present.
July 13 & 17– Sway
A woman found choked to death with a black silk stocking is the third strangling victim in a month, putting the Oxford city police on edge. Morse and Thursday grapple with their personal travails as they work to narrow the list of possible suspects before the Oxford strangler strikes again.
July 20 & 27– Neverland
Morse investigates the cases of a missing boy, a dead journalist and an absconder from an open prison, drawing him into a chain reaction of troubling events that could reveal horrors of the past. Morse and Thursday band together as their investigation deepens and leads them to confront corruption on the police force and misconduct extending to the upper echelons of Oxford society.
Visit the Masterpiece website at pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/
Masterpiece Mystery! Poirot
Sundays at 9:00pm & Thursdays at 10:00pm
David Suchet ("Henry VIII," "The Way We Live Now") returns in his signature role as suave Belgian super sleuth Hercule Poirot in two new mysteries, "The Big Four" and "Dead Man’s Folly," based on the novels by Agatha Christie. Whether he’s on holiday abroad, taking a countryside break or simply going about his business near his central London home, Poirot finds himself exercising his “little grey cells” by helping police investigate crimes and murders, whether they ask for his help or not.
July 27 & 31– The Big Four
Adapted by Mark Gatiss (“Sherlock”), “The Big Four” plunges Poirot into a world of global espionage, set against the backdrop of the impending WWII. The public is in a panic after the shocking death of a Russian chess grandmaster, and Poirot must navigate international figures and intrigue to identify the culprit, with the help of old friends Captain Hastings, Inspector Japp and Miss Lemon.
August 3 & 7 – Dead Man’s Folly
A wealthy financier and his wife stage a grand party at their new summer home. Poirot is a reluctant guest, urged to attend by his old friend Ariadne Oliver (Zoë Wanamaker), who suspects the “murder hunt” game she is preparing may turn out to be a real murder.
Visit the Masterpiece website at pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/
My Wild Affair
Wednesdays at 8:00pm
Hear extraordinary stories of the bonds between humans and their animal companions, including an orphaned baby elephant, an orangutan raised as a human child, a rhinoceros raised in suburbia and a harbor seal that entered the human world but remained wild at heart.
July 16 – The Elephant Who found a Mom
This is the heartbreaking story of Aisha, the baby elephant orphan, and Daphne Sheldrick, the woman who became her human foster parent. Their intense bond reaches a crisis point when Daphne leaves Aisha with a babysitter for a few days to attend her daughter’s wedding. Aisha believes she has lost Daphne for good and refuses to eat, leading to her death. Heartbroken, Daphne uses the lessons learned from Aisha’s short life to help her save more than 150 orphans over the next 40 years.
July 23 – The Ape Who Went to College
This is the incredible story of Chantek, the orangutan raised as a human child on an American university campus during the 70s and 80s. Taught to speak in sign language, he is now living among his own kind at Zoo Atlanta, although he describes himself as an “orangutan person.”
July 30 – The Rhino Who Joined the Family
Rescued from flooding caused by the damming of the Zambezi River, Rupert, an orphaned black rhinoceros, was brought up in the suburban family home of wildlife vet Dr. John Condy. Rupert captured the hearts of the vet’s four young children before his eventual release into the wild. Fifty years later, the children are searching for clues to their childhood friend’s fate.
August 8 – The Seal Who Came Home
The true story of Andre, a two-day-old wild harbor seal who, in 1961, was rescued from certain death by Harry Goodridge, an arborist from Rockport, Maine. Over the next 25 years, Andre and Harry established a friendship that brought Andre into the world of humans without Andre’s ever having to sacrifice his wildness. The human world gave Andre shelter during the harsh New England winter, but staying wild at heart meant Andre had the know-how to make the 200-mile swim home to Rockport. This interspecies friendship weathered every kind of challenge, including, at the end, Andre’s blindness.
Wednesdays at 8:00pm
NATURE has been the benchmark of natural history programs on television, capturing the splendors of the natural world from the African plains to the Antarctic ice. The series has won more than 600 honors from the television industry, parent groups, the international wildlife film community and environmental organizations, including 10 Emmys, three Peabodys and the first award given to a television program by the Sierra Club. Find out more about NATURE at pbs.org/wnet/nature/
July 2 – Salmon: Running the Gauntlet
Investigate the parallel stories of collapsing Pacific salmon populations and how biologists and engineers have become instruments in audacious experiments to replicate every stage of the fish’s life cycle in NATURE “Salmon: Running the Gauntlet.” Each desperate effort to save salmon has involved replacing their natural cycle of reproduction and death with a radically manipulated life history. Our once great runs of salmon are now conceived in laboratories, raised in tanks, driven in trucks and farmed in pens. NATURE goes beyond the ongoing debate over how to save an endangered species to expose a wildly creative, hopelessly complex and stunningly expensive approach to managing salmon.
July 9 – Saving Otter 501
This is the story of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 501st attempt to save a stranded orphan otter. From her discovery as a newborn pup crying on the beach, through her rehabilitation in secret roof tanks atop the Monterey Bay Aquarium, follow Otter 501 as she learns how to survive in the wild. Watch as she is introduced to her surrogate mother — a method invented by marine biologist Karl Mayer and his team in 2005 — and follow as she struggles to learn how to dive, hunt, eat, and fend for herself in an artificial environment meant to mimic the “real world.” It is a tale of mysterious threats, persistent failures and small victories, where survival is a long shot at best. Throughout, Otter 501 acts as a lens. Her story reveals a previously unseen world of otter behavior and also acts to illuminate some of the most difficult ecological questions of our time: Do we have a responsibility to save species that hover on the edge? Are our actions the cause of the illnesses sweeping through the sea otter population? And since we simply can’t return the world to its pristine pre-human form, are preservation efforts like this doomed to fail? Otter 501’s survival may hold the hint of an answer.