“Masterpiece Theatre” — now simply “Masterpiece” — premiered in January 1971. Produced by WGBH — now simply GBH — the series has brought us many sterling adaptations and original dramas.
What will “Masterpiece” feature during its 50th anniversary year? The lineup is promising, as reported in an exclusive by Variety. The winter shows include “Elizabeth Is Missing,” starring Glenda Jackson as a woman trying to solve mysteries while she declines into dementia; “All Creatures Great and Small,” about a veterinarian in the 1930s (featuring one of Diana Rigg’s final performances); “Miss Scarlet and the Duke,” about a crime-solving lady in the 1880s who teams up with a Scotland Yard detective; and “The Long Song,” about the end of slavery in Jamaica.
In the spring, “Masterpiece” will feature “Atlantic Crossing,” with Kyle MacLachlan as FDR; two performances of Alan Bennett’s monologues, “Talking Heads: The Hand of God” with Kristin Scott Thomas and “Talking Heads: A Chip in the Sugar” with Martin Freeman.
Summer will bring “Us,” with Tom Hollander and Saskia Reeves as a couple on the verge of divorce, and the fall will include select seasons of “Masterpiece” mysteries, including “Grantchester” and “Unforgotten.”