LeRoy Robert Ripley rose to fame during the Great Depression, transforming himself from a skinny, bucktoothed boy into an entertainer who mesmerized the nation with his razzle-dazzle blend of homespun Americana, colorful exotica and freakish oddities. Over three decades, his “Believe It or Not!” franchise grew into an entertainment empire, expanding from newspapers to every form of “new media” in the 20th century: radio, film and, ultimately, television. At the center of it all was Ripley, whose obsession with the odd and keen eye for the curious made him one of the richest men in the country. Americans not only loved his bizarre fare, but were fascinated by the man himself; the eccentric, globetrotting playboy became an unlikely national celebrity. This is the story of the man who popularized the iconic phrase, and proof of why we still can’t resist his challenge to “Believe it — or not!”
A MASTERPIECE SPECIAL
Sun, 01/04/2015 - 10:15pm
Enter the world of Edwardian manners with Alastair Bruce, historical advisor to “Downton Abbey.” Bruce and the series’ leading cast members explain how they re-create the authentic etiquette of aristocrats and servants.
The Great British Baking Show
Sun, 01/04/2015 - 8:00pm
In the Showstopper segment, competitors create three-dimensional “biscuit scenes.”
One week down and 11 amateur bakers remain. Let the biscuit baking begin. The Signature challenge is to create biscuits that go well with a cheese course. For the Technical, the bakers must follow Mary’s basic instructions for her Florentines recipe. In the Showstopper, bakers are tasked with creating three-dimensional “biscuit scenes.” Who will leave the competition tent?
Sat, 01/03/2015 - 9:00pm
Season 2: Episode 5 – The Mysteries of the Rosary
The mysterious disappearance of an old friend sends Father Brown and
Sid on a quest to find the mythical Lannington Rosary. However can an
old adversary, back from the dead, be trusted to help?
The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize
Fri, 01/02/2015 - 9:00pm
Billy Joel (center) receives the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from Dr. James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress (left) and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (right). Taped November 19, 2014, at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.
This music special honors singer-songwriter Billy Joel’s receipt of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The evening will include performances by Joel, as well as Tony Bennett, Boyz II Men, Gavin DeGraw, Josh Groban, Natalie Maines, John Mellencamp and LeAnn Rimes, with a special performance by Kevin Spacey — as well as a dance ensemble performance from Twyla Tharp’s “Movin’ Out.” Michael Feinstein will pay tribute to the legacy of George and Ira Gershwin and their collection, which is housed in the Library of Congress.
Thu, 01/01/2015 - 8:00pm
Zubin Mehta conducts the Vienna Philharmonic at the Musikverein.
Always one of “our favorite things,” PBS continues the cherished tradition of ringing in the New Year at the opulent Musikverein with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of guest conductor Zubin Mehta, and featuring everyone’s favorite Strauss Family waltzes accompanied by the beautiful dancing of the Vienna City Ballet. In addition to the Musikverein concert setting, the broadcast features a picturesque range of Vienna landmarks. Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews returns as host.
Michael Feinstein New Year's Eve at the Rainbow Room
Wed, 12/31/2014 - 10:00pm
High atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza in the newly restored Rainbow Room, this celebration recaptures the heyday of the glamorous New York nightclubs.
Ring in the New Year with entertainer Michael Feinstein. The energetic performer recaptures the heyday of the glamorous New York nightclubs as he hosts this celebration from high atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza in the glittering, newly restored Rainbow Room. Guests include Darren Criss (“Glee”), Aaron Tveit (“Graceland”), Leslie Odom (“Smash”), Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, nightclub legend Marilyn Maye, Tony Winner Christine Ebersole and 17-year-old Julia Goodwin.
Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler
Tue, 12/30/2014 - 8:00pm
Tue, 12/30/2014 - 9:00pm
Join host Bruce Feiler on an unprecedented journey to the world’s most meaningful landscapes and rigorous religious pilgrimages. Feiler and contemporary sojourners journey to sacred sites cherished by billions and visited annually by hundreds of millions of pilgrims. Each episode follows a modern-day pilgrim on a private spiritual journey. The series presents a comprehensive picture of the practice of pilgrimage in its varied expressions around the globe, over thousands of years.
"Kumbh Mela" and "Osun-Osogbo" premiere Tuesday, December 30
Mon, 12/29/2014 - 8:00pm
Brian Witherell (right) appraises a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk, ca. 1915, for $3,000 to $5,000 in 2012. The updated value is $4,000 to $6,000.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is taking inspiration from the furnishings and finery of the sprawling estates in popular period dramas such as “Downton Abbey” and “Upstairs, Downstairs” for its new special. “Manor House Treasures” features extraordinary objects from across the pond — and beyond — that would fit right in any stately homes of the rich and powerful, including a Lord Byron cellarette and portrait, ca. 1810; a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk, ca. 1915, that was gifted to the caretakers of an estate; and a Louis Comfort Tiffany necklace, ca. 1905, that belonged to the owner’s wealthy great-grandmother and is appraised for $75,000 to $100,000.
Sat, 12/27/2014 - 9:00pm
Episode 4 – The Shadow of the Scaffold
When convicted killer Violet is given a temporary reprieve from the
gallows, she begs Father Brown to prove her innocence. With only
three days in hand, can he find the real culprit before it's too late?