Every month, the duo that puts together the programming schedule for GBH offers up insight into the best of broadcast in the coming weeks. Read on to see what Ron Bachman, Senior Director of Programming, and Devin Karambelas, Programming Manager, have to offer and then go set your DVR.


Thursday, Oct. 1 at 9pm on GBH 44
Familiar faces abound in this new comedic drama about a celebrity chef, Leo Vincent (Iain Glen, Game of Thrones), who runs a successful hotel business in Cornwall (shades of Poldark!). He’s currently married to his second wife (Emilia Fox, Silent Witness) while having an affair with his first (Dawn French), from whom he has stolen many of his recipes. But for reasons that venture into spoiler territory, Leo is not the main character in this series. Rather it’s the two women who take center stage, and both Fox and French are wonderful. The gorgeous Cornwall landscape is hard to beat, too, with Pentillie Castle (Google it) standing in for Leo’s hotel. By the way, Dawn French stars in another series premiering this month called The Trouble With Maggie Cole, in which she is equally excellent. Look for it. - Ron

Watch the official trailer:

Flesh and Blood on Masterpiece

Sunday, Oct. 4 at 9pm on GBH 2
Lust, greed, wrath, envy, pride... these are a few of my favorite things. Just kidding! But they are among the deadly sins indulged by the characters in this twisty (and twisted) psychodrama about a family whose widowed matriarch (Francesca Annis) enflames tensions with her adult children when she brings a new man (Stephen Rea) into her life. Imelda Staunton is a sly delight as the family’s next-door neighbor who begins to suspect that there’s more to this new beau than meets the eye. This one will keep you on your toes. - Ron

Watch a preview:

Martin Clunes: Islands of America

Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 8pm on GBH 44
You know him as the ornery Doc Martin, but in this four-part travelogue, actor Martin Clunes trades the Cornish fishing village of Portwenn—Port Isaac, IRL—for a dazzling tour of America’s coasts. The intrepid Clunes is game for anything as he encounters volcanoes in Hawaii, bears in Alaska, salsa-dancing in Puerto Rico and some very memorable (and memorably accented) locals from West to East. If you’re feeling a bit of wanderlust, island-hopping from home might be the perfect antidote. Doc’s orders. - Devin

Watch the official trailer:

Driving While Black

Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 9pm on GBH 2
In the 1950s, a boom in private automobile ownership coupled with the construction of the Interstate Highway System valorized the road trip as a rite of American passage. For people of color, the road could be a symbol of both fear and freedom. A new documentary from historian Dr. Gretchen Sorin and filmmaker Ric Burns examines the role of the automobile in the lives of African Americans in the early twentieth century. Through the lens of The Negro Motorist Green Book, a guide created to aid African Americans traveling by car, the two-hour film draws on an incredibly rich archive of material to reveal a tale of mobility that helped fuel the Civil Rights Movement. It’s a must-see. - Devin

Watch the extended trailer:

America ReFramed: First Vote

Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 8pm on GBH WORLD
Until 1952, federal law prohibited immigrants of Asian descent from becoming US citizens and voting. Today, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing population in America, with more than 11 million of them eligible to vote in 2020. This new documentary provides unparalleled access to a cross-section of politically engaged Chinese Americans, from a gun-toting Tea Party-favorite candidate courting GOP voters in the South to a progressive journalist confronting Chinese Americans for Trump in a battleground state. Filmmaker Yi Chen is herself a Chinese immigrant who will be voting in her first US presidential election next month. - Ron

Watch the official trailer:

NOVA: Can We Cool the Planet?

Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 9pm on GBH 2
If curbing greenhouse gas emissions aren’t enough to control the consequences of global warming, some scientists are exploring a more audacious strategy—they want to hack Earth’s climate. Welcome to the controversial world of geoengineering in one of NOVA’s latest investigations. It’s an in-depth look at the science and technologies intended to tinker with our planet’s atmosphere. But would it work, and what are the risks? Find out what scientists and skeptics are saying in one of the series’ most urgent episodes of the season. - Devin

Related NOVA short:

Exhumed: A History of Zombies

Friday, Oct. 30 at 10p on GBH 2
A devastating global pandemic, raging wildfires and remember those reports of “murder hornets”? 2020 has proven scary enough but it just wouldn’t be October if we didn’t serve you something spooky. Enter Exhumed: A History of Zombies, an original feature film from the talented folks behind the popular PBS Digital Studios YouTube series Monstrum (see below). As the title suggests, it’s a riveting deconstruction of one of pop culture’s most recognizable (and possibly misunderstood) creatures. For host Dr. Emily Zarka, a self-described “academic of the undead,” monsters are a powerful barometer of what we value and fear most deeply, making their study essential to our own. If you miss the premiere, fret not: you have another opportunity to catch it on Halloween night at 9:30p on GBH 44, right after American Masters: Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive at 8p. - Devin

Related video: Welcome To Monstrum!

Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration: 50 Years and Still Counting

Friday, Oct. 30 at 9pm on GBH 2
The landmark children’s television series Sesame Street wraps up its 50th anniversary year with this musical bash featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie and other denizens of the Street sing the show’s songs (including, yes, “Rubber Duckie”) alongside the world-renowned orchestra and its artistic director Wynton Marsalis. Because everything’s better with Muppets. - Ron

Related video: Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Rap with Jimmy Fallon