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PBS Announces New Seasons of Period Dramas 'The Bletchley Circle,' 'Mr. Selfridge' and 'Call the Midwife'

Indiewire By Madeline Raynor | Indiewire August 6, 2013 at 5:4PM

"The Bletchley Circle," PBS's hit British import miniseries about female codebreakers who after World War II end up investigating, will be back for another four-part season in spring 2014, the network announced today alongside a slate of additional new programming for fall and beyond.
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PBS 'The Bletchley Circle'

"The Bletchley Circle," PBS's hit British import miniseries about female codebreakers who after World War II end up investigating, will be back for another four-part season in spring 2014, the network announced today alongside a slate of additional new programming for fall and beyond. Topping the list are fellow period pieces "Mr. Selfridge" and "Call The Midwife," which will return for second and third seasons respectively, both in 2014. The biggest PBS period drama of them all, "Downton Abbey," will as previously announced be back on January 5th.

PBS also announced the premiere of "Coming Back With Wes Moore," a three-part special that tells the personal stories of returning U.S. veterans. The special, hosted by combat veteran and "New York Times" best-selling author Wes Moore, is slated to premiere in May 2014 on PBS.

Also premiering will be "How We Got To Now," with Steven Johnson in fall 2014. The six-part series, to be produced for PBS by Nutopia and hosted by the popular American science author and media theorist, explores the power and the legacy of great ideas. Topics explored in the series include why and how ideas happen, and their sometimes unintended results, including how the search for clean water opened the way to invention of the iPhone, and how the nagging problem of overheating in a New York printing business led to the invention of air conditioning, which inspired mass migration and a political transformation. Johnson explains how the answers to the questions he poses in each episode -- such as "how do we make something cold?" or "how do we create light?"-- have driven other discoveries through the web of ideas and innovations that made each finding possible. 

Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will be co-anchors and managing editors for the "PBS Newshour." This will mark the first time a network broadcast has had a female co-anchor team. Hari Sreenivasan will also serve as Senior Correspondent for the "PBS Newshour."

Additional information was also shared by the network today about two previously announced programs. PBS announced that its series of primetime special programs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's death will air November 11-13. The specials will offer new perspectives on the life and death of JFK, as well as provide audiences with a comprehensive examination of timely issues. Lastly, the 2013 PBS Arts Fall Festival returns in October with seven weekly programs that highlight Broadway classics, music from around the country and legendary superstar Barbra Streisand. The series will be hosted by award-winning television, film and stage star Anna Deavere Smith ("Nurse Jackie," "The West Wing") starting Friday, October 18, 2013 at 9pm ET.

This article is related to: Television, TV News, PBS