Pope Benedict made history when he announced his resignation, becoming the first pope to step down voluntarily in 600 years. In his wake, he left a bitterly divided Vatican mired in scandals. Is Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis, taming the forces that helped destroy Benedict’s papacy? Is he succeeding in lifting the church out of crisis? Nearly a year in the making, this special two-hour FRONTLINE goes inside the Vatican — one of the world’s most revered and mysterious institutions — to unravel the remarkable series of events that led to the resignation that shook the world. Through interviews with those at the very heart of what happened — cardinals, priests, convicted criminals, police, prosecutors and whistle-blowers — FRONTLINE gives a first-hand account of the final days of Benedict’s papacy and the current battle to set the church on a new path under Francis.
Mon, 02/24/2014 - 8:00pm
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is in Baton Rouge, where host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Kathleen Harwood head to the LSU Museum of Art to delve into the work of local Louisiana artist Clementine Hunter. Highlights include a Louisiana political poster, found in a pile of garbage on the side of the road, appraised for $3,000 to $4,000; three paintings by New Orleans artists and Newcomb pottery founders William and Ellsworth Woodward, worth about $30,000 to $50,000; and a NASA photograph collection brought to ROADSHOW by a former NASA employee who served as one of the test directors for the Zero-G airplane also known as “The Vomit Comet,” valued at $35,000 to $45,000 for the entire collection.
Fri, 02/21/2014 - 9:00pm
Rock ‘n’ roll Renaissance man Sting has embarked on a new venture, The Last Ship, a musical play for which he has written original music and lyrics. Exploring a range of universal themes, The Last Ship dramatizes the impact of the demise of the ship-building industry in Sting’s home town of Wallsend, England, which for so long had dominated and shaped the city’s community life. Having grown up in the shadow of the Swan Hunter Shipyard, Sting was deeply affected by the subject, which inspired him to emerge from a decade-long absence from songwriting to produce over a dozen new songs for the Broadway- bound show, a collaboration with the Tony-winning duo of writer John Logan (Red, Skyfall screenplay) and director Joe Mantello (Wicked, Other Desert Cities). In an exclusive performance recorded at New York City’s Public Theater, Sting performs an intimate concert of highlights from the show, providing a narrative outline for the musical as well as revealing the autobiographical underpinnings for the songs.
Thu, 02/20/2014 - 9:00pm
Daniel is planning a cricket match against a neighbouring village team who he's convinced cheated in their last match. He's determined to restore Candleford's honour, but most of Daniel's regular players are away, and the men of Larkrise are cricketing novices. A humiliating defeat looks certain, until Daniel discovers that the finest batsman in the county is right under his nose. The only problem is, his batsman is a batswoman, and the rules state women cannot play. Will Daniel find a way round the regulations and gain the victory he so desperately wants; and what will it cost his relationship with Laura?
Wed, 02/19/2014 - 10:00pm
Shanghai Tower isn’t just a skyscraper — it’s a vertical city, a collection of businesses, services and hotels all in one place, fitting a population the size of Monaco into a footprint the size of a football field. Within its walls, residents can literally work, rest, play and relax in public parks, looking up through 12 stories of clear space. Not just one, however, but eight of them, stacked on top of each other, all the way to the 121st floor. When complete, the structure will dominate Shanghai’s skyline, towering over its neighbors as a testament to China’s economic success and the ambitions of the city’s wealthy elite.
Wed, 02/19/2014 - 9:00pm
A remote, bleak speck of rock in the middle of the Pacific, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has mystified the world ever since the first Europeans arrived in 1722. How and why did the ancient islanders build and move nearly 900 giant statues, or moai, weighing up to 86 tons? And how did they transform a presumed paradise into a treeless wasteland, bringing ruin upon their island and themselves? NOVA explores controversial recent claims that challenge decades of previous thinking about the islanders, who have been accused of everything from ecocide to cannibalism. Among the radical new theories is that the islanders used ropes to “walk” the statues upright, like moving a fridge. With the help of an accurate 15-ton replica statue, a NOVA team sets out to test this high-risk, seemingly unlikely theory — serving up plenty of action and surprises in this fresh investigation of one of the ancient world’s most intriguing enigmas.
Tue, 02/18/2014 - 10:00pm
Thanks to social media, today’s teens are able to interact directly with their culture — artists, celebrities, movies, brands and even one another — in ways never before possible. But is that real empowerment? Or do marketers still hold the upper hand? In “Generation Like,” author and FRONTLINE correspondent Douglas Rushkoff (“The Merchants of Cool,” “The Persuaders”) explores how the perennial teen quest for identity and connection has migrated to social media — and exposes the game of cat-and-mouse that corporations are playing with these young consumers. Do kids think they’re being used? Do they care? Or does the perceived chance to be the next big star make it all worth it? The film is a powerful examination of the evolving and complicated relationship between teens and the companies that are increasingly working to target them.
Tue, 02/18/2014 - 9:00pm
One of the greatest architectural and engineering achievements of its time, New York’s Pennsylvania Station opened to the public in 1910. Designed by renowned architect Charles McKim, the station was a massive civil engineering project, covering nearly eight acres and requiring the construction of 16 miles of underground tunnels. Alexander Cassatt, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, gambled millions of dollars to link the nation’s biggest railroad to America’s greatest city, but died bringing the station to life. No one could imagine that this architectural marvel built for the ages would be torn down a few decades later to make way for Madison Square Garden. Yet its destruction galvanized New York to form the Landmarks Preservation Commission, saving Grand Central Station and countless other historic structures.
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 10:00pm
The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas, lasts an entire month and coincides with George Washington’s birthday. For more than a century, the city’s coming-out celebrations have involved intricate paeans to America’s colonial past. In 1939, the Society of Martha Washington was founded to usher each year’s debutantes (called “Marthas”) into proper society. The centerpiece of the festivities is the Martha Washington Pageant and Ball, when the girls are presented. The festival resonates anew in a time of economic uncertainty and political tension over immigration. Still, the Washington celebration has managed to persevere and even flourish, thanks in large part to the Mexican-American girls who carry this gilded tradition on their young shoulders.