Netflix may have the best documentaries that you can stream, but PBS brings several world-class documentaries to your TV for free every month. In addition to the new seasons of This Old House and Ask This Old House, everything coming to PBS in October is very exciting. Throughout the month, there are new episodes of classic series including Antiques Roadshow, POV, Nova, Frontline, and American Experience. Some of the documentary topics that will be explored are Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter, the Houston Astros cheating scandal, the American Buffalo, and more.
Additionally, the Italian drama, Hotel Portofino, returns for its second season, while the Canadian drama, Little Bird, is making its PBS premiere this month. Keep reading for the complete guide for everything coming to PBS in October.
Antiques Roadshow -- New Episodes Premiere: 8 p.m. ET Monday, October 2
Antiques Roadshow kicks off the month with the start of all-new fan-favorite Vintage episodes. Roadshow looks back at memorable objects from previous shows to discover what they are worth today and how the market and their value have changed. As a Halloween treat, Roadshow airs Thrills & Chills on October 30, which spotlights appraisals of treasures that gave our guests goosebumps, items with an unsettling past, and some that are just a little odd.
POV 'Murders That Matter' -- Premieres: 10 p.m. ET, Monday, October 2
How would you handle the trauma of losing a loved one? Set in Philadelphia, Murders That Matter documents an African American, Muslim mother Movita Johnson-Harrell over five years as she transforms from a victim of violent trauma into a fierce advocate against gun violence in Black communities. Her relentless activism exposes the emotional and psychological toll the killings take on those left behind.
Frontline 'The Astros Edge: Triumph and Scandal in Major League Baseball' -- Premieres: 10 p.m. ET, Tuesday, October 3
The Houston Astros cheating scandal and what it says about baseball today. With reporter Ben Reiter, the making of one of the best teams and worst scandals in modern MLB history, the limited accountability, and how it changed the sport.
Nova 'Ancient Earth' -- Premieres: 9 p.m. ET, Wednesday, October 4
Dive into the most dramatic events in Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history, from its birth to the emergence of humanity. How did a hellscape of molten lava transform into a lush, green, watery planet filled with life? With dazzlingly realistic animation based on the latest research, each of these five episodes brings to life long-lost worlds that ultimately led to the one we know today.
American Masters 'Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes' -- Premieres: 9 p.m. ET, Friday, October 6
Experience the groundbreaking sounds of bebop pioneer and virtuoso composer Max Roach, whose far-reaching ambitions were inspired and challenged by the inequities of the society around him.
Independent Lens (co-presented with Voces) 'El Equipo' -- Premieres: 10 p.m. ET, Monday, October 9
A U.S. anthropologist sets out to train Latin American students in the use of forensic anthropology. Their goal was to investigate disappearances in Argentina during the “dirty war.”
Frontline 'Elon Musk's Twitter Takeover' -- Premieres: 9 p.m. ET, Tuesday, October 10
The story of Elon Musk’s long and often troubled relationship with Twitter. The award-winning team of James Jacoby and Anya Bourg (Amazon Empire, and The Facebook Dilemma) chart Musk’s journey from one of the site’s most provocative users to its sole proprietor, exploring what motivated the acquisition, the changes he has implemented since taking over, the raging debate about free speech and online safety, and questions about the company’s uncertain future.
Secrets of the Dead 'The Sunken Basilica' -- Premieres: 10 p.m. ET, Wednesday, October 11
In 2014, a survey flight over Lake Iznik in Turkey unexpectedly revealed the sunken remains of a 4th-century basilica. The discovery prompts scientists to probe the elusive history and geology behind the demise of the church that was built in ancient Nicaea–now known as Iznik. When was the basilica destroyed? How did the basilica get swallowed up by Lake Iznik? And what happened to its community? Journey across the globe for an in-depth investigation with a world-renowned team in this underwater excavation. With exclusive access to the site, including critical aerial and underwater cinematography and spectacular CGI, travel through the centuries, back to the Roman and Byzantine times and at the foundation of Christianity itself.