PBS MASTERPIECE Fall 2011 Programs

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PBS has announced the MASTERPIECE‘s Fall 2011 programming, which features all-star casts in new MASTERPIECE CONTEMPORARY presentations and the return of a MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! favorite.

This fall, Masterpiece Contemporary welcomes Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson to its line-up in two new films: Page Eight and The Song of Lunch.

In addition, this summer PBS will introduce Zen (see our coverage here), Masterpiece Mystery!’s newest detective, played by Rufus Sewell (MASTERPIECE “Middlemarch,” “The Pillars of the Earth”), premiering Sundays, July 17-31, 2011.

Spy-thriller Page Eight, by Oscar-nominee David Hare (The Reader, The Hours), features Nighy as Johnny Worricker, an MI-5 officer who becomes wrapped up in an elaborate conspiracy after the death of his best friend, Benedict Baron (Gambon). The film also stars Weisz as Johnny’s neighbor and Ralph Fiennes and Judy Davis and premieres this fall on MASTERPIECE CONTEMPORARY.

Also, this fall on CONTEMPORARY, Rickman and Thompson star in The Song of Lunch, based on Christopher Reid’s acclaimed narrative poem, about a book editor and his former lover who reconnect 15 years after their original affair.

MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! favorites Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox are back as Inspector Lewis and DS Hathaway in four new Oxford University-based whodunits, which have them solving cases at an all-female college, investigating the poisoning of a bishop, looking into a clinical trial and examining a sinister blackmail plot, but will their personal lives wrap up as neatly as their cases? MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! Inspector Lewis, Series IV airs Sundays, September 4, 18 and 25 and October 9, 2011, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET.

Finally, take a look at a special video interview from the PBS Annual Meeting, MASTERPIECE executive producer Rebecca Eaton Eaton, who previews some of these exciting programing.