Watch PBS Specials

PBS is the Public Broadcasting Service and it is a non profit American television station that has ran since October of 1970. Over 300 member stations own a share of PBS and help to financially support it. PBS also runs telethons and gets money from viewer support and membership. Much of PBS programming is respected for the high quality that they bring to it. PBS Specials are no exception to that rule. PBS Specials are of the highest quality and can be very informative while entertaining its viewers at the same time.

PBS Specials have a wide array of topics that they focus on. There are many specials that focus on arts and entertainment. Concerts are a popular choice among fans of PBS Specials. These can range from classical to opera, some of our most revered musicians of the last century and more modern musical artists as well. The specials focus on other areas of the arts as well. Broadway, painting, writing and many other artistic mediums are explored. Antiques Roadshow is a very popular choice and focuses on everyday people who bring in their family heirlooms to find out what they are worth. There are also speical television series such as Downtown Abbey.

There are a great many PBS Specials that focus on history. These documentary style programs delve deep into historical issues and mysteries with the intent of informing and educating their viewing audience. Scientific issues are often explored as well. PBS delves deep to find answers to some of science's most important questions. PBS also does specials focusing on specific regions that they travel to. The photography that comes out of these specials is beautiful and colorful.

Tuesday 8:00 PM et/pt on PBS
4 Seasons, 54 Episodes - Currently Airing
November 2, 2009
Documentary & Biography
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PBS Specials Full Episode Guide

  • Over the past decade, the city of New Orleans has resurrected itself following the massive devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina. Watch to see how the city has bounced back.

  • See how America developed the most destructive invention in human history - the nuclear bomb - how it changed the world and how it continues to loom large in our lives. Hear from historians and those who experienced the dawn of the atomic age.

  • Humanity from Space is an epic journey of discovery. Using the very latest mind-boggling data and astonishing CGI, the film traces the story of humankind's ascent from hunter-gatherer to dominant global species.

  • View intimate portraits of America's military families, with unprecedented access to soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen and women in the all-volunteer military. The revealing documentary tells stories of pride and patriotism, sacrifice and resilience.

  • In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proved himself a master of a new frontier with his “high-tech” command center — the War Department Telegraph Office, America’s first “Situation Room.” The telegraph, the internet of the 19th century, gave Lincoln the power to re-invent leadership and wield control across distant battlefields and have his finger on the pulse of the nation. This flow of communication led to some of the most dramatic moments of the Civil War, and shaped the words that Lincoln would use to reunite a shattered country at Gettysburg.

  • On London's world famous Oxford Street, Selfridges department store stands out as a neo-classical landmark. A fact most of its customers don't realize is this iconic British institution was built by an American -and until he built it, the street had zero appeal. This is just one of many amazing secrets hidden in the story of Selfridge and his department store.

  • Investigating the four-day assault on a gas plant in North Africa by Al Qaeda, featuring remarks from workers who came face to face with the attackers; and a dramatic reconstruction of events.

  • "œIn Performance at the White House" has been produced by WETA since 1978 and spans every administration since President Carter's. The series was created to showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation's most famous home.

  • Explorer and scientist Paul Sereno made an extraordinary discovery in the middle of the Sahara desert: While prospecting for dinosaur bones, he stumbled across an ancient human cemetery more than 5,000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids. Who were these people and what were they doing in the middle of the desert? How did they live and die? What can this mystery tell us about our planet?

  • Examining the merits of traditional celluloid vs. digital film, featuring remarks from George Lucas, David Lynch, Lars von Trier, James Cameron, Steven Soderbergh, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Robert Rodriguez and Walter Murch. Host: Keanu Reeves.

  • Remembering the 1963 March on Washington, the massive gathering in Washington, D.C., in support of racial and economic equality that is most famous for Martin Luther King Jr.'s stirring "I Have a Dream" speech.

  • Rageh explores the Arabia the great Muhammad was born into. He also interviews different academics and commentators on Islam to learn more about Muhammad's first marriage and how he received the first of the revelations.

  • A documentary spotlighting the U.S.'s attempt to incorporate the restorative-justice principles of New Zealand's Maori people to reduce youth crime and recidivism rates.

  • Frederica von Stade and Maximilian Schell host this celebration of Vienna's musical heritage at the historic Konzerthaus.

  • Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band honor Professor Longhair's 1978 "Live on the Queen Mary" LP with this concert, which was recorded in the same room and on the same stage where Longhair held court.

  • "The Jimmy Dean Show," which aired on CBS in the 1960s, is remembered via guest spots by country stars Eddy Arnold, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Roger Miller, Buck Owens, Minnie Pearl, Jim Reeves, Ernest Tubb, Dottie West and Hank Williams Jr. Roy Clark hosts.

  • Historian Jerry Apps reflects on the farm life of his youth in rural Wisconsin during the 1930s and '40s, when fieldwork was done with horses and cows were milked by hand. He also remembers the rural-electrification project that forever changed the farming life.

  • David Garrett, violin virtuoso, plays live in concert.

  • Seven-time Grammy Award-winning international superstar Gloria Estefan performs some of her all-time favorite songs.

  • Examining intelligence, including what it is and how people can make themselves smarter. The documentary features inspirational stories and expert interviews.

  • Journey to new musical worlds with Sarah Brightman as she takes viewers on a cosmic journey featuring both new songs and fan favorites inspired by the wonderment and beauty of space.

  • Listen to the voice of Scottish singer/songwriter Emeli Sandé in this concert special taped at the Royal Albert Hall as she performs her hits, including "Daddy," "My Kind of Love," "Heaven," "Beneath Your Beautiful" and the platinum single, "Next to Me."

  • Backed by a 19-piece band, tenor Alfie Boe performs selections from his 2012 "Storyteller" album at this London concert.

  • A celebration of the girl groups and singers of the 1960s, featuring archival clips of Fontalla Bass, Petula Clark, Jackie DeShannon, Aretha Franklin, Martha & the Vandellas, the Marvelettes, Ronettes, and Shirelles.

  • Tenor David Phelps of the Gaither Vocal Band performs at the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tennessee.

  • A glimpse into the lives of the Oglala Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Host (and Brooklynite) Chris Bashinelli takes part in a sacred buffalo harvest; helps with farm work; tips off with the local college women's basketball team; and meets a 14-year-old girl who's devoted her life to suicide prevention.

  • Examining the Shaw Festival in Ontario, which takes place from April to October every year. The documentary chronicles the process of taking a play from the page to the stage while detailing the Shaw's unique approach to theater.

  • The military hardware and technology series created by Nazi Germany opens with a look at the Atlantic Wall, which was a series of coastal fortifications built along the Western European coast in order to protect against an Allied invasion. Included: the huge numbers of men and raw materials needed for its construction; how it fared on D-Day.

  • Over five centuries, Chatsworth Estate has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family and is presently the home of the current 12th Duke of Devonshire and his family.

  • Althorp, the ancestral home of the Spencer family since the 16th century, has an impressive collection of portrait art. Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest on the estate.

  • Filmmaker John Grabowska profiles the remote Alaska Peninsula and questions how climate change will affect this magnificent land of wilderness.

  • Pierre Boulez conducts Gustav Mahler's Adagio from Symphony No. 10 in F-Sharp Major and "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" ("The Youth's Magic Horn"), Songs for Voice and Orchestra, with soloists Magdalena Kožen'á, mezzo-soprano, and baritone Christian Gerhaher. The concert opens with the romantic and melancholy Adagio and continues with the songs, based on texts from a collection of German folk poetry.

  • A celebration of America's 237th birthday.

  • Hampton Court is the ultimate royal pleasure palace, embodying an indulgent and grandiose lifestyle built by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and furthered by King Henry VIII.

  • A look at freedom and the immigrant experience through food and cultural traditions.

  • The evolution of "It's the Hard-Knock Life" in the 2012 Broadway revival of "Annie" is chronicled from its initial stages to opening night.

  • Whoopi Goldberg Presents R&B Classics from the Greatest Groups and Solo Acts.

  • Join renowned sports medicine specialist Dr. Vijay Vad as he empowers arthritis sufferers with techniques to manage their condition and enjoy an active lifestyle. Learn about the proper use of supplements and why exercise is important, and gain a better medical understanding of the disease.

  • Il Volo perform at the Filmore Miami Beach in a concert taped on March 26, 2013. Songs from their "We Are Love" album are featured.

  • A Woody Guthrie centennial celebration, featuring Jackson Browne with Rob Wasserman ("You Know the Night"); Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal ("Pretty Boy Floyd"); Donovan ("Riding in My Car"); John Mellencamp ("Do Re Mi"); Tom Morello ("Ease My Revolutionary Mind"); Old Crow Medicine Show ("Union Man"); Sweet Honey in the Rock ("I've Got to Know"); Ani DiFranco with Ry Cooder and Dan Gellert ("Deportee"); and the Del McCoury Band with Tim O'Brien ("So Long, It's Been Good to Know Yuh").

  • Robert Wagner hosts this collection of classic Burt Bacharach compositions, featuring archival clips of the artists who first had hits with them. Included: "Walk on By," "I Say a Little Prayer" and "This Girl's in Love With You" (Dionne Warwick); "Any Day Now" (Chuck Jackson); "What's New, Pussycat?" (Tom Jones); "The Look of Love" (Dusty Springfield); "This Guy's in Love With You" (Herb Alpert); "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" (B.J. Thomas); and "One Less Bell to Answer" (5th Dimension).

  • Singer-dancer Matthew Morrison ("Glee") performs at the Bushnell in Hartford, Conn. Included: "The Lady Is a Tramp"; "Younger Than Springtime"; "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)"; and a "West Side Story" medley.

  • The story of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, a top-secret World War II Army group in Europe that used rubber tanks, sound effects and illusions to trick and misdirect the enemy about the strength and location of American units.

Most Popular PBS Specials Episodes

  • Season 4 Episode 3 The Bomb 7/28/2015
  • Season 4 Episode 1 The Homefront 5/25/2015

PBS Specials News

Oh, It's Dr. Seuss Day!

On the second of March, it’s a Dr. Seuss Day,

And a marathon on TV will give “The Cat” lots of play.

One-hundred and seven is the age he would be…

A long friend of yours, since the time you were three.

PBS Kids is helping viewers celebrate the 107th Birthday of Dr. Seuss by hosting a two-hour marathon of ‘The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That.

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