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American Masters – American Ballet Theatre: A History chronicles the rise of the company from its earliest days as a small, financially struggling collective, to its pinnacle as one of the most respected and revered dance companies in the world. Beginning film production in 2006, Ric Burns was given unprecedented access to the company and shot hundreds of hours of original footage, including dramatic live performances in Paris and Havana, grueling rehearsals at ABT’s flagship studio in New York City and slow-motion captures at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, N.Y.

Premieres Friday, May 15, 2015 on PBS

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle

Episode 1/3 Truth, Justice, and the American Way (1938-1958) During the Depression, the popularity of dozens of superhero characters opens the door for a new generation of artists and writers. World War II creates a patriotic fervor for star-spangled adventurers to represent the American spirit at war and on the home front, but in the 1950s, […]

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Australia with Simon Reeve

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Episode 1/3 Simon’s adventure starts in the magnificent ‘red centre’ of the continent and onwards through South Australia, via the extraordinary Indian Pacific Railway until he reaches the west coast city of Perth. On the way, he joins an Aussie rancher in the parched outback and takes part in a spectacular camel round-up. This mad […]

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Ice Age Giants

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Episode 1/3 Land of the Sabre-tooth Professor Alice Roberts journeys 40,000 years back in time on the trail of the great beasts of the Ice Age. Drawing on the latest scientific detective work and a dash of graphic wizardry, Alice brings the Ice Age giants back to life. The Ice Age odyssey begins in the […]

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The Man Who Shot Beautiful Women

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Documentary telling the gripping and shocking story of photographer Erwin Blumenfeld, who survived two world wars to become one of the world’s most highly-paid fashion photographers and a key influence on the development of photography as an art form. Yet after a mysterious death in Rome in 1969 his name is little-known today, the reasons […]

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Wild Side of Cats

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Why do cats scratch your furniture? Insist on climbing up curtains and sitting on top of the bookshelf? A team of cat experts come together to answer the questions that plague cat owners everywhere. State-of-the-art “cat cams” reveal exactly where a handful of specially selected cats go when they leave the house. Join us as […]

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North America

Episode 1/7 Born to Be Wild Take an extraordinary journey through North America and meet the incredible array of exotic wildlife that lives in our backyard. Through epic cinematography and compelling storytelling, we experience their struggle for survival in this land of extremes. Episode 2/7 No Place to Hide A world of extreme storms and […]

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How Sex Changed the World

Sex & Power These are the surprisingly true stories about how the sex lives of the powerful have shaken up history: from Warren G. Harding’s days as a playboy, to one women’s time in a prince’s modern day harem, to Rasputin’s legendary status as a ladies man and the potential trigger point for the Russian […]

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Natural World

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Leopards: 21st Century Cats Leopards are one of India’s most powerful predators. Built for strength rather than speed, they hunt in the shadows and ambush their prey. In an ever shrinking world, their lives are colliding with people – attacks are reported regularly and hundreds of these big cats are stoned, trapped or shot. What […]

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