PBS, the BBC and BBC Worldwide are partnering in a new co-production deal for eight to 10 documentary specials over 20 hours per year, to begin airing this summer.
PBS President Paula Kerger announced the multi-year deal Monday at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif.
The content will cover history, science, religion and the arts. In an announcement, Beth Hoppe, PBS’s chief programmer, said that PBS and the BBC “share similar public service missions and the same commitment to producing entertaining and educational programming of the highest quality.” The partners have already had a longtime business relationship for PBS acquisitions such as Sherlock and Call the Midwife.
The new programming will be scheduled as stand-alones in the PBS schedule or as part of ongoing series such as Nature, Great Performances and Nova. Some of the content will also air on BBC One in the United Kingdom.
Titles for the first year so far include Earth’s Natural Wonders, an overview of some of the planet’s most spectacular landscapes; Super Nature: Flight Revealed, a three-part series about the secrets of flight in the animal kingdom; and Waking Giants, presented by popular public television host Sir David Attenborough, telling the story of 200 bones from seven giant creatures unearthed from the South American desert after 100 million years.