PBS' MASTERPIECE THEATRE Gets a New Look and New Hosts



Dec 10, 2007, 00:00 ET from WGBH-TV Boston

    BOSTON, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- This January, MASTERPIECE THEATRE will
 introduce a new look, new scheduling, and the first of three new hosts for
 2008. Gillian Anderson, well known to MASTERPIECE fans for her Emmy- and
 Golden Globe-nominated performance as Lady Dedlock in Bleak House, will
 make her debut as the host of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC on The Complete Jane
 Austen, the highly anticipated showcase of all six of Austen's novels,
 premiering Sunday, January 13 on PBS.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071210/NEM032 )
     "Gillian is the perfect choice to represent the new MASTERPIECE
 CLASSIC," says executive producer Rebecca Eaton. "Through Bleak House, we
 learned just how passionate she is about the kind of programming we offer.
 And she's incredibly versatile: How many other actors would choose to go
 from The X- Files to Charles Dickens?"
     "I am a huge supporter of MASTERPIECE THEATRE and the quality and
 integrity of its programming," said Anderson. "And if my hosting the first
 season brings a new generation of viewers to the classics, then I'm proud
 to be a part of it."
     A new MASTERPIECE CLASSIC host is not the only change coming to the
 series in January. Viewers can look forward to a schedule that breaks the
 year into three "seasons," each with its own host, stunning graphics, and
 fresh take on the series' famous theme music. In winter and spring,
 MASTERPIECE CLASSIC will feature signature period dramas. In summer,
 MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! will present the best British mysteries, and in fall,
 MASTERPIECE CONTEMPORARY will show dramas set in modern times.
     "Our viewers told us that they miss having a host to lead them into the
 programs," said Eaton. "In 2008, we're going a step further, bringing on
 three hosts to the series -- each with a true appreciation for the genre
 they represent. We'll also introduce an elegant new on-air look, a
 redesigned feature-rich website, and a schedule that will help make our
 content easier to find. What won't change is the caliber of our
     Anderson will present the ten programs in the first MASTERPIECE CLASSIC
 season, including adaptations of all six of Austen's novels plus a new
 biopic; Cranford, a three-part miniseries starring Judi Dench; My Boy Jack,
 starring Daniel Radcliffe and Kim Cattrall; and a new adaptation of A Room
 with a View by Andrew Davies.
 announced in 2008.
     MASTERPIECE has been presented on PBS by WGBH since 1971. Rebecca Eaton
 is executive producer. Funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by public
 television viewers and CPB.
Press contact Ellen Dockser WGBH Boston 617-300-5338 ellen_dockser@wgbh.org