'Masterpiece' plans 'Zhivago'; 'Mystery' returns

The next six hours of the “Forsyte Saga” highlight PBS’ upcoming programming, announced Friday at the TCA in Los Angeles.

First third of the “Forsyte Saga” aired in October, bringing in over 16 million viewers. Next installment is skedded for January 2004.

Other PBS highlights:

  • “Masterpiece Theater” 2003-4 projects include a new “Dr. Zhivago,” adapted by Andrew Davies (“Pride & Prejudice”) and starring Sam Neill. Davies will also team up with Alex Kingston for “Warrior Queen,” based on the life of Boudica, a contemporary of Nero;

  • Documentary “1421: When China Discovered the World,” based on the controversial bestseller by Gavin Menzies of the same name, postulates that China discovered the New World years before Columbus stumbled upon it. Doc will air in 2004;

  • “Mystery” returns as a summer series with new episodes of current favorites “Hetty Wainthropp” and “Inspector Lynley.” Also on the slate are more American mysteries based on Tony Hillerman’s novels. Alice Arlen (“Silkwood”) will script “A Thief of Time”;

  • In public affairs, specials “Crisis and Conflicts: the 108th Congress,” skedded to air Jan. 28 to coincide with beginning of the new congressional session; summer doc “Watergate Plus 30″ takes a look at the anniversary of the Watergate hearings. Jamie Rubin and Daljit Dhaliwal-hosted series “Wide Angle” will return in July.

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