Masterpiece ClassicThis winter and spring, Masterpiece classic returns with signature period dramas, hosted by Laura Linney.
December 18 & 25, 2011; January 1, 2012 at 9pm
(Check local listings)
Downton Abbey, Season One
Episodes 1 & 2 (Dec. 18th - 180 minutes);
Episodes 3-4 (90 minutes); TV-PG
A stately country house, a noble family and a succession crisis are the backdrop for this Primetime Emmy® Award winning drama by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) starring Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern and others.
January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12 & 19, 2012 at 9pm
(Check local listings)
Downton Abbey, Season Two
Episode 1, 6 & 7 (120 minutes); Episodes 2-5 (60 minutes); TV-PG
Multiple Primetime Emmy® Award winner (including Outstanding Miniseries) Downton Abbey resumes the story of aristocrats and servants in the tumultuous World War I era.
January 15, 22 & 29, 2012 at 10pm
(Limited TV airings; Check local listings)
Three 90-minute episodes
Sherlock Holmes stalks again in this contemporary thriller, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (War Horse) as the go-to consulting detective in modern-day London, with Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) as Dr. John Watson.
February 26, 2012 at 9pm (Check local listings)
The Old Curiosity Shop
One 90-minute episode
A teenage girl and her grandfather lose everything to a maniacal moneylender and flee his relentless pursuit. Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius) stars as Grandfather, with Sophie Vavasseur (Northanger Abbey) as Nell and Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Quilp.
April 1 & 8, 2012 at 9pm (Check local listings)
Episode 1 (60 minutes); Episode 2 (120 minutes)
Great Expectations tells the story of Pip the battered orphan boy, who rises from blacksmith's apprentice to gentleman under the patronage of a mysterious benefactor. Gillian Anderson (Bleak House), David Suchet (Hercule Poirot) and Ray Winstone star.
April 15, 2012 at 9pm (Check local listings)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
One 120-minute episode
An adaptation and completion of Charles Dickens' last novel left unfinished at his death, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood is a psychological thriller about a provincial choirmaster's obsession with 17-year-old Rosa Bud. Cast includes Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters) and Julia MacKenzie (Miss Marple).
April 22 & 29, 2012 at 9pm (Check local listings)
Two 90-minute episodes
Based on Sebastian Faulk's novel about lovers torn apart by World War I. Eddie Redmayne (The Pillars of the Earth) plays Stephen Wrayford, whose pre-war affair with Isabelle Azaire (Clemence Poesy, Harry Potter) has an enduring effect on him as he fights in the trenches.