Your PBS Masterpiece Summer 2020 Schedule is here!
This list is divided into two parts:
Period Dramas coming to PBS / Masterpiece June, July, and August 2020 (detailed descriptions of the costume dramas in the primetime line-up, with premiere and air dates).
Wait! Where’s My Show? (PBS period dramas that are coming soon with a release date to be announced, that are returning, are over, are on the PBS Masterpiece Channel, and related programming like Lucy Worsley history series you may also like).
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When additional historical / costume / period drama premiere dates are announced, or new titles are added to the 2020 Summer PBS Masterpiece lineup, we’ll update here, so bookmark this page.
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Check local listings; dates are subject to change. Episode descriptions may contain minor spoilers.
Period Dramas on PBS and Masterpiece
MASTERPIECE Mystery!: Grantchester (Season 5)
Premieres Sundays, June 14 – July 19, 2020, 9:00 p.m. ET
With God on his side and a motorcycle to ride, Grantchester’s crime-fighting clergyman Will Davenport teams up (voluntarily!) with Geordie Keating to solve a series of darker, grittier crimes than ever before…and face the challenges of celibacy head-on when journalist Ellie Harding enters the picture.
In season 5, it’s 1957, and Will Davenport has settled into his role as the vicar of Grantchester, preaching to a packed church. His best friend, Detective Inspector Geordie Keating, has come to accept his wife Cathy’s commitment to her job – just about. Mrs C. happily juggles her roles as the vicarage housekeeper and being a well-to-do married woman, and after a trip to Marrakech, even Leonard has managed to carve out some happiness with Daniel. But Will’s faith will be thoroughly tested as he and Geordie are reminded once more that there’s darkness lurking in their little corner of Cambridgeshire…
Returning characters and cast include Will Davenport (Tom Brittney), DI Geordie Keating (Robson Green), Leonard Finch (Al Weaver), “Mrs. C” (Tessa Peake-Jones) and her husband, Jack Chapman (Nick Brimble), Cathy Keating (Kacey Ainsworth), Daniel Marlowe (Oliver Dimsdale), and Will’s mother, Amelia Davenport (Jemma Redgrave).
Episode 1: Sunday, June 14, 2020, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET: A college student’s murder forces Will and Geordie to navigate the murky world of campus politics.
Episode 2: Sunday, June 21, 2020, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET: A deadly hit-and-run in Grantchester leads Will and Geordie to a dysfunctional pair of brothers and a hidden garden, while their own home lives are tested by tricky family members.
Episode 3: Sunday, June 28, 2020, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET: A date at the cinema turns sour for Will when the projectionist is murdered during a screening, while a shadowy figure from Jack Chapman’s past comes back to haunt him and Mrs. C.
Episode 4: Sunday, July 5, 2020, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET: A streaker is found dead on the Fens, sparking an unusual case for Will and Geordie that draws them into the world of experimental psychotherapy and hallucinogens.
Episode 5: Sunday, July 12, 2020, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET: When Will finds two boys near death in a boxing ring, he must face up to his own part in their tragedy, while unearthed secrets prove to be the hardest test of his faith he’s faced yet.
Episode 6: Sunday, July 19, 2020, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET: When a body is found on Jesus Green, the trail of clues leads Will and Geordie to an oppressive convent, where Will must finally confront his own demons.
MASTERPIECE is thrilled to announce that “Grantchester” will return for a sixth season.
Seasons 1 – 4 are AVAILABLE to STREAM
MASTERPIECE: Beecham House (2019)
Premieres Sundays, June 14 – July 19, 2020, 10:00 p.m. ET
Gurinder Chadha’s ambitious new six-part drama series is set on the cusp of the 19th century in Delhi before the British ruled in that region. It’s 1795, and John Beecham is determined to leave the past behind and start a new life with his infant son. But to reunite his family and keep the identity of his child secret, what cost must John pay?
You can already watch the period drama if you have PBS Passport or the PBS Masterpiece Add-on Channel.
Starring Tom Bateman, Lesley Nicol, Bessie Carter, Gregory Fitoussi, Marc Warren, Leo Suter.
Episode 1: Sunday, June 14, 2020, 10:00 p.m. ET: Former solider John Beecham is determined to leave the past behind him and start a new life in Delhi at his grand residence, Beecham House, but he carries in his arms a secret – a baby of mixed parentage who must be kept in hiding.
Episode 2: Sunday, June 21, 2020, 10:00 p.m. ET: John finally fulfills his dream of having his family reunited at Beecham House. But the arrival of the mysterious Chandrika throws the household into chaos and jeopardizes breaking the family apart.
Episode 3: Sunday, June 28, 2020, 10:00 p.m. ET: A murder throws John’s plans of staying in Delhi into jeopardy. A person within the household reveals his true colors with dangerous consequences. Margaret proves she is trustworthy when she takes a risk to help John, demonstrating her love for him.
Episode 4: Sunday, July 5, 2020, 10:00 p.m. ET: After hearing gossip about John, Margaret makes clear her intentions to leave Delhi. John realizes he has no choice but to reveal the truth about his past and the baby’s identity, knowing it could risk the safety of his child.
Episode 5: Sunday, July 12, 2020, 10:00 p.m. ET: John learns that Margaret left Delhi. John and Daniel come to blows over Daniel’s relationship with the beautiful servant Chanchal. A betrayal leads to further trouble for John.
Episode 6: Sunday, July 19, 2020, 10:00 p.m. ET: Daniel, Margaret and Chandrika desperately try to help John, but only the Emperor can release him. When John finally returns home, he discovers the house has been attacked and tragedy has struck yet again.
Watch the trailer and read more about Beecham House.
MASTERPIECE Mystery!: Endeavour (Season 7)
Premieres Sundays, August 9 – 23, 2020, 9:00 p.m. ET
When we last saw Endeavour Morse at the end of Season 6, he was settling in at the station and the house that would become home to his character in the Inspector Morse series. But it doesn’t ensure happiness for our cerebral and solitary hero, who will face a series of enigmatic murders.
In Season 7, Endeavour and his colleagues enter a new decade and era of change. Opening on New Year’s Eve 1969, normal order has been resumed and the team reunited at Castle Gate CID, with Chief Superintendent Bright back in charge. However, the events of the past year have left their mark: old friendships will be challenged, and new relationships will blossom. Amidst the dawn of women’s liberation, social progression and scientific growth, the 1970s begin for Oxford’s finest with the discovery of a body at the canal towpath on New Year’s Day. With the only clue in the investigation a witness who heard whistling on the night of the crime, the team have their work cut out to uncover their culprit.
Shaun Evans and Roger Allam (Endeavour Morse and Fred Thursday) are returning for Season 7.
Episode 1: August 9, 2020, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET: Oracle: As Morse sees in the new year – 1970 – at an opera house in Venice, a murder in Oxford puts Thursday on a quest to find the man responsible. Returning home, Morse makes a new acquaintance, and old friendships show signs of strain.
Episode 2: Sunday, August 16, 2020, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET: Raga: A clash between rival gangs results in tragedy. Initial investigations lead Morse and Thursday to the door of a familiar face. Then tragedy strikes a second time when an Indian restaurant’s customer disappears and a shocking murder is discovered.
Episode 3: Sunday, August 23, 2020, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET: Zenana: When Morse investigates an apparent freak accident at Lady Matilda’s College, he uncovers a potential link between a series of incidents across Oxford. Despite Thursday’s skepticism, Morse becomes convinced the accidents are the result of foul play.
Read a recap of the last 6 seasons.
Seasons 1 – 6 are AVAILABLE to STREAM
Wait! Where’s My Show?
MASTERPIECE: All Creatures Great and Small
Premieres January 10, 2021
Since their first publication in 1970, the beloved books of James Alfred Wight, published under the pen name James Herriot, have held a special place in people’s hearts throughout the world. Chronicling the heartwarming and humorous adventures of a young country vet, the books introduced readers to his unconventional mentor and the cast of farmers and townsfolk who lived and worked in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s.
This new adaptation will preserve the rich spirit, tone and values of Herriot’s iconic characters and stories and will bring to life his sharply observed, entertaining and incredibly funny tales of country life in the North of England for a modern audience, introducing a new generation to his life-affirming stories.
A six-part series plus a Christmas special.
Read more about All Creatures Great and Small.
MASTERPIECE Mystery!: Miss Scarlet and The Duke
Premieres January 17, 2021
With her inquisitive mind, Miss Scarlet has always been more interested in running her late father’s detective agency than behaving like a proper lady. But nothing has prepared her for the dangers she is about to face as a woman in the murder investigation trade.
Set in the dark underbelly of Victorian London, headstrong Eliza Scarlet is left penniless after the death of her father. She has two choices for financial security: marriage or her father’s private detective agency. But no matter how well she knows the tricks of his trade, the trade itself is deemed entirely inappropriate for a genteel lady of the 1880s. Enter “The Duke,” Scotland Yard’s Detective Inspector William Wellington, a notorious drinker, gambler, womanizer…and a partner in running the agency and solving crime, all with a dash of will-they-won’t they energy, wit, and moxie!
A six-part series.
Read more about Miss Scarlet and The Duke.
PBS: Call the Midwife (Season 10)
Date TBA: Expected in 2021
Call the Midwife follows the nurses, midwives and nuns from Nonnatus House, who visit the expectant mothers of Poplar, providing the poorest women with the best possible care.
Filming on Season 10 was postponed in March 2020 because of the health crisis, but the team is “ploughing ahead with all necessary and appropriate work to ensure that we’re ready to start filming as soon as possible.” There may be a delay in production and the release date, which if on track, would be around April 2021.
Seasons 1 – 9 are AVAILABLE to STREAM
MASTERPIECE: World on Fire (Season 2)
Date TBA: Expected in 2021
This emotionally gripping and resonant World War II drama follows the intertwining fates of ordinary people in five countries as they grapple with the effects of the war on their everyday lives. Love, death, heroism, and forgiveness bind them together as the world changes around them during the first year of the war.
Season 2 is confirmed, and will be set in 1940, however the health crisis may delay production and the release, which if on track, would be around April 2021.
Season 1 is AVAILABLE to STREAM
What about Sanditon, Victoria, Vienna Blood, The Gilded Age?
Will there be a Season 2 “Sanditon” on PBS Masterpiece? “Sanditon,” Jane Austen’s final and incomplete novel, written only months before her death in 1817, tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood and her spiky relationship with the humorous, charming Sidney Parker. Fans were most displeased by the ending, and that’s because everyone, including the writers, had hopes for a second season. So far, there are no plans for a Season 2, but we haven’t completely given up hope, and it would seem that neither have the series’ makers. On the official Sanditon Twitter account, on March 17, 2020 they responded to an influx of letters from fans pleading for a continuation: “We’ll keep doing everything we can to make a S2 happen.” AVAILABLE to STREAM.
Will there be a Season 4 “Victoria” on PBS Masterpiece? We hope it’s returning, but the series is currently on hiatus, and unfortunately, we don’t have any additional information to share at this time. Though a fourth season of the royal British period drama seems inevitable, we are still waiting to hear if, and when Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes will reprise their roles as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In May 2019, actress Coleman told BBC’s Graham Norton “(Victoria) is definitely going to take a break, bit of a breather and then we’re working out (what to do next).” Before Season 3 premiered, writer Daisy Goodwin “I am working on series four at the moment and that’s going to be an absolute humdinger.” Goodwin has also said “I think series four is going to be amazing. At some point, we will have to recast, but hopefully not yet.” Seasons 1 – 3 are AVAILABLE to STREAM.
Will there be a Season 2 “Vienna Blood” on PBS Masterpiece? “Vienna Blood,” the series that follows a student of Sigmund Freud and an Austrian detective who team up to solve some of the most mysterious and deadly cases in early 1900s Vienna, could have a second season, though there’s no news of that yet. It’s based on the Liebermann novels by Frank Tallis, and there’s more material to cover; series one was adapted from the first three of the six books. In theory, if renewed, “Vienna Blood” season 2 could air as early as January 2021. Read more about the series here. AVAILABLE to STREAM.
Is “The Gilded Age” on PBS Masterpiece? “The Gilded Age” from “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes will air on HBO. Everything we know is here.
MASTERPIECE: The Durrells in Corfu: Based on naturalist Gerald Durrell’s much-loved trilogy of novels, impoverished but sparky widow Louisa Durrell make the radical decision to leave 1930s England to seek out a new destiny for her family. After four seasons, the adventures have ended for the charming and eccentric British family who uprooted their lives for the adventures of Greece, but all seasons are AVAILABLE to STREAM. Read our REVIEW.
MASTERPIECE: Poldark: The heroic Ross Poldark (a redcoat returning to Cornwall after the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century, only to find his father dead and his true love about to marry someone else) has seen his final season in the British costume drama set in Cornwall. T’aint right, t’aint fair, t’aint fit, and certaintly t’aint proper, but it’s true: after 5 seasons, Ross and Demelza have ridden off into the sunset for the last time. All seasons are AVAILABLE to STREAM.
MASTERPIECE: Howards End: Often considered E.M. Forster’s masterpiece, this is the story of two independent and unconventional sisters and the men in their lives seeking love and meaning as they navigate an ever-changing world. The British period drama is AVAILABLE to STREAM.
MASTERPIECE: Les Misérables: In France at a time of civil unrest, this is the story of Jean Valjean, a former convict unable to escape his past life. His future is threatened by his nemesis, the chilling prison guard Javert, who is determined to bring him to justice. The period series is over, with no future installments, but it is AVAILABLE to STREAM. Read our REVIEW.
MASTERPIECE: Little Women (2018): Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is the story of sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, as they navigate what it means to be a young woman: from gender roles to sibling rivalry, first love, loss, and marriage. The 5-episode mini-series is AVAILABLE to STREAM.
MASTERPIECE: Mrs. Wilson: Alison Wilson’s husband Alec is dead, when a woman arrives claiming to be Alec’s ‘real wife.’ Alison must try and find out who her husband really was; but it soon becomes clear that Alec died holding his secrets close to his chest. The period drama is over, with no future installments, but it is AVAILABLE to STREAM. Read more about it.
The Anne of Green Gables Series: L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, The Good Stars, and Fire & Dew are part of a trilogy and have all aired on PBS. No further installments are expected. AVAILABLE to STREAM.
MASTERPIECE: The Collection: The gripping family drama and entrepreneurial fable, set in a post-war Paris fashion house is over, but is AVAILABLE to STREAM.
MASTERPIECE: The Miniaturist: The haunting, sumptuous period thriller based on the popular novel by Jessie Burton is over, but is AVAILABLE to STREAM. Read more about it.
PBS: The Windermere Children: The harrowing and ultimately life-affirming story of Holocaust children who were relocated and rehabilitated in the UK after World War II. It began with uncertainty and fear in the new land, however it eventually led to the triumph of hope and goodwill and life-long friendship and happiness that they all cherish. The poignant drama is AVAILABLE to STREAM.
PBS: The Woman in White: The distinctly modern take on Wilkie Collins’ beloved mystery novel, combining romance, intrigue, and danger in a thrilling ride from the corridors of English country houses to the dankest, deepest corners of the Victorian madhouse, is over, but is AVAILABLE to STREAM. Read more about it.
It’s on the PBS MASTERPIECE Prime Video Channel
The Chaperone (2019): Journey from Kansas to New York City with the diffident chaperone to uninhibited dancer Louise Brooks in this Jazz Age drama that reunites “Downton Abbey” screenwriter Julian Fellowes, actress Elizabeth McGovern and director Michael Engler. The 1920’s set movie is AVAILABLE to STREAM.
Downton Abbey Movie: Return to “Downton Abbey” as the beloved Crawleys and their intrepid staff prepare for a royal visit from the King and Queen of England in this grand cinematic experience. If you missed the film in the theater, or simply want to watch the continuation of the best loved British costume drama again, you are in luck. Watch it NOW Read our spoiler-free REVIEW.
Frankie Drake Mysteries (Seasons 1 & 2): Set against a backdrop of social change, radical politics and jazz music, the series featuring the fearless, adventurous and astute Frankie Drake who defies expectations, is immersed in both the real Toronto of the 1920s and the world of mystery and suspense conjured by creators Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci (“Murdoch Mysteries”). Watch it NOW
Jamestown (Seasons 1 – 3): 1619. On what feels like the edge of the world sits Jamestown, Virginia. For 12 years, it has been populated only by men, but the settlement is shaken up when the first women land in this wilderness. The disruptive new arrivals are immediately thrust into a new world of desire, power, and survival. Jamestown returns for a second season of dazzling adventures in love, war, and diplomacy. Even the purest of loves will be tested. The power of politics will impact the whole community, as the battle for supremacy continues. From the makers of “Downton Abbey.” Read our REVIEW. Watch it NOW
You May Also Like
SECRETS OF THE DEAD : King Arthur’s Lost Kingdom
Tuesday, June 9, 2020, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Uncover new archaeological evidence at Tintagel that suggests the legend of King Arthur started in a prosperous and sophisticated trading village in 5th-century Britain following the departure of the Romans.
PRINCE ALBERT – VICTORIAN HERO REVEALED
Premieres Sunday, June 14, 2020, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET
Discover the little-known yet profound role Prince Albert played in shaping Victorian Britain. Professor Saul David examines Albert’s influence and innovative ideas, which transformed the nation’s fortunes and created a legacy that lives on today. Read more about the documentary and see a list of additional shows about Prince Albert to watch.
AMERICAN MASTERS : Mae West: Dirty Blonde
Premieres Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET
Dive into the life and career of groundbreaking writer, performer and subversive star Mae West. Over a career spanning eight decades, she broke boundaries and possessed creative and economic powers unheard of for a female entertainer in the 1930s.
LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS & SECRETS
Elizabeth I: The Warrior Queen
Premieres Sunday, June 21, 2020, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Join Lucy Worsley for an exploration of how Elizabeth I’s image as a warrior queen, created by a series of myths and secrets about her victory over the Spanish Armada, shaped British national identity for centuries.
LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS & SECRETS
Queen Anne: The Mother of Great Britain
Premieres Sunday, June 28, 2020, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Investigate why Queen Anne’s powerful role in the forging of Great Britain has often been forgotten. Lucy Worsley shares the inside story of the salacious gossip about Anne’s love life that helped destroy her image and legacy.
LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS & SECRETS
Marie Antoinette: The Doomed Queen
Premieres Sunday, July 5, 2020, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Find out why Marie Antoinette is often blamed for causing the French Revolution by saying “let them eat cake” to her starving subjects. Lucy Worsley uncovers the myths and secrets that led the doomed queen to the guillotine. Remaining 3 episodes of the six-part series may be broadcast in the fall (subject to change).
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Vote: Part One
Premieres Monday, July 6, 2020, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Explore how the challenges facing the women’s suffrage movement, including internal debates over radical tactics and the place of African American women in the movement, shaped the battle in the crucial period from 1906-1915.
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Vote: Part Two
Premieres Tuesday, July 7, 2020, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Explore the final four years, 1916-1920, of the campaign for the passage of the 19th amendment and meet some of the unsung women whose tireless work would finally ban discrimination at American polls on the basis of sex.
SECRETS OF THE DEAD : Viking Warrior Queen
Premieres Tuesday, July 7, 2020, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Join a team of archaeologists examining the history-changing DNA of a female Viking warrior.
GREAT PERFORMANCES : Much Ado About Nothing
Friday, August 14, 2020, 9:00-11:30 p.m. ET
Recorded live at The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park, this 2019 modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s romantic classic with an all-black cast features Danielle Brooks and Grantham Coleman. Directed by Tony Award-winner Kenny Leon.
LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL PHOTO ALBUM
Premieres Sunday, August 16, 2020, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Explore how the royal family has shaped their image with photography, from Queen Victoria to Princess Diana to Prince Harry. From official portraits to tabloid snapshots, the camera has been the Crown’s confidante, messenger — and nemesis. Read more.
GREAT PERFORMANCES : Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I
Friday, August 21, 2020, 9:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET
Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe star in a Tony Award-winning revival of the beloved musical about a British schoolteacher instructing the royal children of the King of Siam, featuring classic songs including “Shall We Dance?” and “Hello, Young Lovers.”
SECRETS OF SELFRIDGES
Sunday, August 30, 2020, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Uncover hidden stories about London’s grandiose department store, Selfridges, the brainchild of flamboyant American Harry Gordon Selfridge, and delve deep into the mind of its ambitious creator.
If you enjoyed this post, wander over to The Period Films List. You’ll also want to see our series of posts about the period dramas that have aired on PBS Masterpiece, the List of Period Dramas on Acorn TV in 2020.