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PBS looks to go ‘Broadway or Bust’

Fall TV Preview 2012: PBS

In a highlight of its fall slate, PBS launches its real-life answer to Fox’s soapy sing-along series “Glee” on Sept. 9 with “Broadway or Bust,” a three-part documentary that charts the ups and downs of America’s top high school musical performers as they compete to make it on the Great White Way.

The docudrama is one of four new programs building on the network’s unwavering reputation as a bastion of entertaining educational television.

On the final day of September, the network will unveil “Call the Midwife,” a compelling British drama that shattered audience records in the U.K., and on Oct. 7, season two of Masterpiece Classic’s “Upstairs Downstairs” returns to the smallscreen. “The Dust Bowl,” Ken Burns’ highly anticipated two-part documentary about the deadly dust storms that swept across the Great Plains in 1930s America, debuts on Nov. 18.

“PBS is also the place to turn for comprehensive election coverage,” contends PBS senior veep and chief TV programming exec John F. Wilson, “including ‘The Choice,’ an in-depth biography of the presidential candidates.”

Lauded news and public affairs series “Need to Know,” “PBS NewsHour” and “Washington Week With Gwen Ifill and National Journal” will continue to appear in their regular timeslots.

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