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PBS' long-running series, Masterpiece, features an eclectic selection of original British dramas and literary productions. The program includes three distinct segments: Masterpiece Classic, Masterpiece Contemporary and Masterpiece Mystery! Masterpiece Classic, airing in the winter and spring, presents period dramas and is hosted by Laura Linney. The most recent season included Downton Abbey, set in a turn of the century manor house, and Upstairs, Downstairs, sequel to a popular series produced in the 1970s. Literary adaptations have included Great Expectations and The Diary of Anne Frank.

Masterpiece Mystery! runs during the summer months and recently presented a second series of Sherlock, a contemporary version of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective. Other offerings include Inspector Lewis, now in its sixth series, and Zen. Agatha Christie's Poirot and Agatha Christie's Miss Marple are perennial favorites, as well. Alan Cumming hosts Masterpiece Mystery!

Masterpiece Contemporary features dramas with modern settings and characters. Hosted by David Tennant, Masterpiece Contemporary chronicled the life John Lennon in Lennon Naked. The Song of Lunch, the story of a lovers' reunion, and Page Eight, a politically charged drama involving Britain's MI5, were the most recent contributions from the series, which runs in the fall.

WGBH Boston produces Masterpiece with shows purchased from the BBC and other sources. Masterpiece first aired on PBS in 1971 as Masterpiece Theater. It is the longest-running drama series to appear in prime time. Its sister series, Mystery! first aired in 1980. The two combined in 2008 and added the Contemporary series to create the existing Masterpiece.

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Sunday 9:00 PM on PBS
44 Seasons, 1294 Episodes - Currently Airing
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Masterpiece Full Episode Guide

  • George Stubbs, a wealthy financier, contacts a famous mystery novelist, Ariadne Oliver. Stubbs wants to create the ultimate “murder hunt.” Oliver suspects foul play, and seeks help from a friend to solve a crime that exists in Oliver’s imagination.

  • During a high-profile international Peace Party reception, the shocking death of a Russian chess grandmaster causes a state of panic among the people. Like a chess champion himself, Poirot makes a dramatic move - while relying on the assistance of old friends Captain Hastings, Inspector Japp and Miss Lemon.

  • In the season finale, DC Endeavour Morse and DI Thursday are lead to corruption and frightening past history as they investigate a missing boy, a dead journalist and a prison escapee.

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