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October 7, 2015


'Upstairs Downstairs' Star Jean Marsh Suffers Stroke, Will Miss Filming

by Catherine Lawson, posted Oct 3rd 2011 8:00AM
Jean MarshMore drama offscreen at the rebooted PBS drama 'Upstairs Downstairs.' It's been announced that star and co-creator Jean Marsh will miss the first few episodes of Season 2 due to illness.

The BBC reports that Marsh has suffered a minor stroke and that scripts are being rewritten to accommodate her absence before filming starts next week.

Marsh, who plays maid Rose Buck, is the only cast member from the 1970s original series to appear in the rebooted version. She won Emmy nominations for her work in the role in 2011, 1974 and 1976, winning the award in 1975.

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PBS Triumphs at the Emmys With 'Downton Abbey'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 19th 2011 7:00AM
'Gosford Park' Emmy winnersLast night PBS period drama 'Downton Abbey' bagged four Emmy Awards, making it one of the biggest winners of the night, and helping PBS land the coveted spot of top broadcast network at the awards.

Together with the Creative Arts Emmys, which were held last week, PBS scooped 14 Emmys in total, making it the most successful broadcast network. HBO was the top cable network, with 19.

'Downton Abbey' won the Emmy for Outstanding Made For Television Movie/Miniseries, in what creator Julian Fellowes called a David and Goliath story, "except in this case Goliath was wonderful, some wonderful shows that we were up against, and it seems perfectly extraordinary that we've won."

The Masterpiece drama was victorious in a strong field dominated by Emmy powerhouse HBO, which had three nominations -- 'Mildred Pierce,' 'Too Big to Fail' and 'Cinema Verité.'

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Cast Announced for New PBS Masterpiece Drama, 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 5th 2011 1:00PM
Masterpiece logoIt's been announced that Masterpiece on PBS is set to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth by producing an ambitious two-part drama based on his final, unfinished novel.

Described as "a strange, disturbing and modern tale about drugs, stalking and darkness visible," 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' is a is a psychological thriller about a provincial choirmaster's obsession with a young woman, and the lengths to which he'll go to attain her.

Matthew Rhys ('Brothers & Sisters') has signed on to play the troubled, opium-addicted choirmaster John Jasper, with Tamzin Merchant ('The Tudors') playing the object of his affections, 17-year old Roza Bud.

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Confessions of a Masterpiece Theatre Addict

by Sandie Angulo Chen, posted Jan 23rd 2010 12:00PM
Hi, my name is Sandie, and I'm a PBS MasterpieceTheatre addict -- especially when it comes to the Masterpiece Classic programs.

It's not really my fault. Blame my dearly departed aunt, a total Anglophile and 'Upstairs, Downstairs' devotee who couldn't wait to watch the original Alistair Cooke-hosted Masterpiece Theatre productions. When I was one year old, my aunt convinced my mother to watch the acclaimed 13-part miniseries 'I, Claudius,' starring Derek Jacobi, and then she was hooked too.

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So what's David Tennant doing in his post-Who career?

by Brad Trechak, posted May 13th 2009 5:11PM
David TennantIt looks like David Tennant had no problem finding additional work now that his run on Doctor Who is ending. He has been signed to host Masterpiece Contemporary (the contemporary version of Masterpiece Theatre) on PBS. It's likely that for this role he will be returning to his native Scottish accent.

There is some mild irony at the fact that in the old days before cable TV, Doctor Who used to be shown ad infinitum on PBS and became the only place for American audiences to enjoy the show. There is even more irony at the fact that Masterpiece Contemporary will be more easily accessible to American audiences than Doctor Who.

Tennant seems a little young to host, but when I think of Masterpiece Theatre (and not it's modern versions), I keep thinking of those SNL sketches from the 70's with Dan Aykroyd as Leonard Pinth-Garnell. But that's probably more an issue with me.

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Masterpiece Theatre host's remains plundered by "bone pirates"

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 22nd 2005 1:32PM
Alistair CookeSay you're a distinguished essayist, broadcaster, and the host of one of public television's most successful shows. You live to a ripe old age and pass away quietly. All things considered, it sounds like it was a pretty nice way to go, right? Well, apparently for Alistair Cooke's family, all hell started breaking loose right after the host of Masterpiece Theatre died in March of 2004. According to this New York Daily News article, Cooke's bones were surgically removed right before he was cremated and sold to two tissue processing compaines for transplanting purposes.

The most horrific part of this story is that Cooke died of bone cancer; the body-snatching ring's leader, Michael Mastromarino, actually doctored Cooke's medical records so that the bones would be bought by those processing companies. So, not only were Cooke's and other people's bodies stripped of their bones, but people are walking around with Cooke's 95-year-old, cancer-filled bones inside them. Yipes.

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