Masterpiece Classic (1971– )
"Masterpiece Theatre" (original title)

TV Series  -  Drama
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 218 users  
Reviews: 3 user

An anthology drama series featuring primarily British productions.

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 350 titles
created 22 May 2012
 
a list of 68 titles
created 09 Sep 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 29 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Masterpiece Classic (1971– )

Masterpiece Classic (1971– ) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Masterpiece Classic.

User Polls

Episodes

Seasons


Years



Unknown   42   41   38   37   36   … See all »
2012   2011   2010   2009   … See all »
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Masterpiece Contemporary (TV Series 2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Stars: David Tennant, Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon
Pure Mule: The Last Weekend (TV Series 2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After a 4 year stay in London, Jen has come home to bury her mother. Her boyfriend of two years, Tom, accompanies her home. Her former flame, Scobie, meanwhile is struggling with what to do... See full summary »

Stars: Garrett Lombard, Charlene McKenna, JJ Feild
Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 19th century Victorian England, Mrs. Isabella Beeton produced what became an essential book for housewives of the day. She was married at a relatively young age to Sam Beeton, a ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Jones
Stars: Anna Madeley, JJ Feild, Jim Carter
Mansfield Park (TV Movie 2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

At age 10, Fanny Price is sent by her destitute mother to live with her aunt and uncle, Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram. As a child she was often made to feel that she was the poor relation but... See full summary »

Director: Iain B. MacDonald
Stars: Julia Joyce, Douglas Hodge, Maggie O'Neill
Northanger Abbey (TV Movie 2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young woman's penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart.

Director: Jon Jones
Stars: Geraldine James, Michael Judd, Julia Dearden
The Diary of Anne Frank (TV Mini-Series 2009)
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Based on the diary of a teenage girl in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

Stars: Kate Ashfield, Geoff Breton, Ron Cook
Masterpiece Mystery (TV Series 1980)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An anthology series featuring various predominately British mystery stories.

Stars: Vincent Price, Alan Cumming, Gene Shalit
The Ruby in the Smoke (TV Movie 2006)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In Victorian England, a young woman searches for a priceless ruby and uncovers even greater mysteries.

Director: Brian Percival
Stars: Billie Piper, Matt Smith, Sian Thomas
The Shadow in the North (TV Movie 2007)
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Sally Lockhart and friends investigate the disappearance of a steamship, a magician who is threatened by thugs, a psychic with dark visions, and heartless industrialist.

Director: John Alexander
Stars: Billie Piper, JJ Feild, Julian Rhind-Tutt
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

North London Book of The Dead is a comic story of loss and acceptance, coupled with a surreal vision of the afterlife, based on a Will Self short story. Grown man, W, struggles to come to ... See full summary »

Director: Jake Lushington
Stars: Ben Caplan, Elizabeth Counsell, Ed Gaughan
Sense & Sensibility (TV Mini-Series 2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Widow Dashwood and her three unmarried daughters, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, inherit only a tiny allowance. So they move out of their grand Sussex home to a more modest cottage in ... See full summary »

Stars: Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield, David Morrissey
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility".

Directors: Heath Benfield, Robin Bisel, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Alli Miller, Kate Bernhardt, Steve Andrews
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Alistair Cooke ...
 Himself - Host (29 episodes, 1971-2008)
Edit

Storyline

An anthology drama series featuring primarily British productions.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

anthology

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 January 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Spoofed in SCTV: Officer Friendly (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Rise, Decline, and Fall (?) of a Classic
12 October 2002 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

During the 1960's, there existed in the United States a non-commerical television network called National Educational Television (NET). It was so rudimentary that it wasn't linked to its local affiliates by coaxial cable until 1967; before then, it sent films and videotapes to its affiliates by domestic air mail. Despite its modest resources, it had ambitions of being the USA's "fourth network." To that end, it imported and distributed dramatic programs from the BBC. These had little impact until 1969, when NET imported and aired the BBC's "The Forsyte Saga," which became NET's first nighttime hit. Weary of NET's poor relationship with its affiliates, its biased documentaries, and other issues, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting relaced NET in 1969 with a new network, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Impressed with the success of "The Forsyte Saga," PBS decided to import other miniseries from the UK and broadcast them under the umbrella title of "Masterpiece Theatre." Alistair Cooke, host of the legendary 1950's series "Omnibus," was its erudite host. The first miniseries aired was "The First Churchills," but it was "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" and "Elizabeth R" that made it a hit and help establish PBS in general. "Masterpiece Theatre" followed up with later imports from the BBC such as "Poldark" and "I, Claudius" and some series from Britain's commercial network, ITV, such as "Upstairs, Downstairs." It was generally considered the highest quality series on American television.

"Masterpiece Theater" went into its second decade (1980's) with solid miniseries such as "The Citadel," "The Flame Trees of Thika" (said to be its most popular series), and "A Town Like Alice" from Australia (the first non-British series it aired). But starting in the late 1980's, "Masterpiece Theatre" was often not living up to its name. For every good series such as "Piece of Cake," there were one or two clunkers like "Sleepers." One series, "Clarissa," was downright repulsive. There were various explanations. One was that rising production costs were limiting the number of quality series produced by BBC and the ITV. Another was that cable channels, particularly A&E, were scooping up many of the British shows that used to go to PBS.

This situation persisted during the show's third decade (1990's), during which the show was often absent from the schedule. A series of temporary hosts between Alistair Cooke and Russell Baker seemed to symbolize its uncertainty. A move away from its traditional Sunday night timeslot didn't help matters. On the plus side, PBS and WGBH began to take an active part in the production of its shows.

"Masterpiece Theatre" is now in its fourth decade, a rare achievement for any kind of TV show anywhere. Its 2002-2003 season is being started off with a new production of "The Forsyte Saga," which looks most promising. Still, the series faces an uncertain future in a TV landscape far changed from 1971. Viewers can find high quality programs on innumerable cable and satellite channels, videos, and DVD's and PBS recently logged the worst ratings in its history, prompting its president to openly speculate about the network's viability and even its reason for existence. My advice is to enjoy "Masterpiece Theatre" while you still can.


30 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What happened to the introduction? rmaynard-1
Pictures during opening of Masterpiece Classic lhm47
Death of the Heart jds185
Miniseries covering English civil war/wars of religon victor-41
I wish they would do 'The Man Who Was Thursday' danielj_old999
Elgar's Cello Concerto as the opening theme music? ddddumas-1
Discuss Masterpiece Classic (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page