MASTERPIECE Announces Return of Poldark and Major New Funding
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MASTERPIECE, the illustrious PBS drama series presented by WGBH Boston that has broadened its popularity with hit shows such as Downton Abbey and Sherlock, has announced new funding and new programming—including a return of the romantic saga Poldark.

Speaking at the PBS Annual Meeting in San Francisco, MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton announced a co-production package with ITV Studios Global Entertainment that includes Poldark, which is made by Mammoth Screen for BBC1. She also reported that Viking River Cruises has renewed its sponsorship of MASTERPIECE and that Darlene Shiley is making an unprecedented $3 million gift to the MASTERPIECE Trust and KPBS in San Diego.

Poldark originally aired on MASTERPIECE in the 1970s and starred Robin Ellis as the dashing squire, Ross Poldark. With its romantic storyline and breathtaking Cornwall backdrop, Poldark became one of MASTERPIECE's most beloved titles. In the new adaptation, slated to air in 2015, Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) plays the lead, with Mr. Ellis returning in the role of Reverend Halse.

"I'm very proud to say that after 44 years, MASTERPIECE continues to make news, win awards, and attract new audiences," says Eaton. "How many other television series have the great good fortune to make that claim? It is the support of Darlene Shiley and our colleagues at Viking River Cruises which helps make all this possible."

A sponsor of MASTERPIECE since 2011, Viking River Cruises has renewed its funding through 2015.

"Our partnership with MASTERPIECE is succesful largely because of similarities between our audiences. Viking's guests enrich their lives through travel, history, and culture, so it makes sense for us to align with the finest programming on television," said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Viking River Cruises. "We strongly believe in marketing the Viking experience to like-minded explorers, so we are proud to continue our relationship with MASTERPIECE."

Mrs. Shiley's $3 million donation, made on behalf of her late husband Donald and herself, is the largest gift to date to the MASTERPIECE Trust, a fundraising partnership between MASTERPIECE and PBS stations that allows individuals to contribute to the series and their local stations. San Diego PBS station KPBS will share Mrs. Shiley's gift. Mrs. Shiley has been a contributor to the MASTERPIECE Trust since its inception in 2011. The MASTERPIECE Trust has raised nearly $10 million since its launch.
"My husband and I always took great satisfaction in supporting KPBS and its programs such as MASTERPIECE," says Shiley. "Our lives were enriched by these wonderful stories, and I am just delighted that our support helps keep the very best drama on American television."

Other titles in the ITV Studios Global Entertainment co-production deal, all airing on MASTERPIECE in 2014-2015, include new seasons of Mr. Selfridge starring Jeremy Piven, Endeavour starring Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse, and Inspector Lewis, starring Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox.

Poldark is made by Mammoth Screen for BBC1. Mr. Selfridge is a Co-Production of ITV Studios and MASTERPIECE and is based on "Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge" by Lindy Woodhead. Endeavour is a Mammoth Screen and MASTERPIECE co-production in association with ITV Studios. Inspector Lewis is a coproduction of ITV Studios and MASTERPIECE.