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Everything coming to PBS in February 2024

At first glance, the list of new shows and specials coming to PBS in February may seem a little light compared to its jam-packed lineup in January. But the thing to remember is that the shows that returned or premiered in January, Finding Your Roots, Antiques Roadshow, Miss Scarlet and the Duke, All Creatures Great and Small, and Funny Woman, all have new episodes in February as well. That alone makes this a good month to watch PBS.

The February premieres include Gospel, new installments of Nova and Great Performances, and a life-affirming documentary, Sister Úna Lived a Good Death.

If you missed the best shows on PBS from January, you can still stream those online. You’ll just have to wait for the premiere dates listed below to catch everything coming to PBS in February.

Sister Una in Independent Lens: Sister Úna Lived a Good Death.
PBS

Independent Lens: Sister Úna Lived a Good Death

Premieres: Monday, February 5

Following a cancer diagnosis, a wisecracking Catholic nun chooses to live as she’s dying. In this touching end-of-life documentary, the self-proclaimed “leader of the misfits” plans her funeral in her last nine months of life.

Nature: Flyways

Premieres: Wednesday, February 7

Shorebirds fly thousands of miles each year along ancient and largely unknown migratory routes called flyways. Species travel from feeding grounds in the southern hemisphere to breeding grounds in the Arctic regions and back again, flying up to nine days non-stop without food or water. But their populations are crashing. Follow a conservation movement of bird-loving experts and citizen scientists as they mobilize to the challenge of understanding and saving shorebirds.

Nova: Easter Island Origins

Premieres: Wednesday, February 7

How were the giant stone heads of Easter Island–also known as Rapa Nui–carved and raised? And why? Since Europeans arrived on this remote Pacific island nearly 300 years ago, controversy has swirled around the iconic statues and the history of the people who created them. Some Western archaeologists claimed the construction of the stones led to environmental disaster and social collapse.

Now, a new generation of researchers is overturning those stories, revealing the Rapanui people’s rich history, innovation, and resilience, and uncovering surprising new evidence about where they–and their practice of monumental stone building–came from.

Gospel Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Premieres: Friday, February 9

Gospel Live! is a one-of-a-kind musical celebration that honors the legacy and influence of Gospel music in America. Contemporary artists will join celebrated gospel singers to perform their favorite gospel classics. The event, co-hosted by Gates and Erica Campbell and featuring John Legend, is a companion program to the PBS four-hour documentary series Gospel.

Filmed in the heart of LA at Oasis Church in front of a live audience, Gospel Live! features performances by Erica Campbell, John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and The Ton3s, LaTocha, Mali Music, Lena Byrd Miles, Sheléa and Tauren Wells.

The Belle Singers perform "Total Praise" in Gospel.
McGee Media

Gospel

Premieres: Monday, February 12

From the blues to hip hop, African Americans have been the driving force of sonic innovation for over a century. Musical styles come and go, but one sound has been a constant source of strength, courage, and wisdom from the pulpit to the choir lofts on any given Sunday.

Gospel, the latest history series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., digs deep into the origin story of Black spirituality through sermon and song.

Nature: Attenborough and the Jurassic Sea Monster

Premieres: Wednesday, February 14

Sir David Attenborough unearths a once-in-a-lifetime discovery: the fossil of a giant Pliosaur, the largest Jurassic predator ever known. Follow a team of forensic experts on a perilous expedition to excavate the skull, uncover the predatory secrets lying deep inside the fossil, and unlock clues about the life of this giant sea beast.

Nova: Building the Eiffel Tower

Premieres: Wednesday, February 14

At the close of the 19th century, engineers designed a revolutionary new kind of building, one that could soar to dizzying heights, made not from wood or stone but iron. Gustave Eiffel had just finished building the inner skeleton of the Statue of Liberty when he set his sights on a new challenge. For the upcoming 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, not only would he create the world’s highest structure, a colossal 1,000-foot iron tower, but he would do it in just two years, two months, and five days.

How was this possible? Follow the three decades of engineering innovations, successes, and failures that led to the dramatic rise of Paris’s most iconic monument and how its construction helped transform the landscape of the modern world.

Great Performances: The LA Phil Celebrates Frank Gehry

Premieres: Friday, February 16

Conducted by multi-Grammy winner Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic celebrates 20 years at Walt Disney Concert Hall with a tribute to its architect, Frank Gehry.

The concert includes the prelude from Bach’s Partita, originally performed at the hall two decades ago; a piece composed and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen accompanied by postmodern dancer and choreographer Lucinda Childs; performances by Herbie Hancock and Grammy winner H.E.R.; and concluding with Debussy’s La Mer.

Independent Lens: Breaking the News

Premieres: Monday, February 19

A scrappy group of women and LGBTQ+ journalists buck the white male-dominated status quo, banding together to launch The 19th*, a digital news startup aiming to combat misinformation and include the voices often left out of the American story.

America Experience: Fly with Me

Premieres: Tuesday, February 20

Meet the pioneering women who changed the world while flying it. Maligned as feminist sellouts, “stewardesses,” as they were called, knew different: they were on the frontlines of a battle to assert gender equality and transform the workplace.

Nature: Patrick and the Whale

Premieres: Wednesday, February 21

For years, Patrick Dykstra has traveled the globe following and diving with whales, learning how whales see, hear, and perceive other creatures in the water. In Dominica, Patrick has a life-changing experience–a close encounter with a sperm whale he names “Delores.” Witness Patrick and the whale attempt to communicate with each other in extraordinary never-before-seen footage.

Nova: Hunt for the Oldest DNA

Premieres: Wednesday, February 21

Follow the revolutionary breakthrough that’s unlocking the secrets of ancient DNA, revealing a strange, lost world from before the Ice Age. Since scientists discovered they could extract DNA from ancient bones, they’ve dreamed of decoding the genes of extinct creatures, opening new windows into life in the past. At one time, they even thought they could decode dinosaur DNA–inspiring the “Jurassic Park” franchise.

But in reality, life’s genetic blueprint is incredibly fragile, and paleontologists have struggled to find DNA that remains intact enough to read after millions of years. Then, one maverick scientist had the controversial idea to look for DNA not in fossils or preserved ancient tissue–but in dirt. Join the hunt as scientists crack the code to discover the oldest DNA ever found and reveal for the first time the genes of long-extinct creatures that once thrived in a warm, lush Arctic.

Two men smile on stage during Great Performances: George Jones: Still Playin’ Possum.
PBS

Great Performances: George Jones: Still Playin’ Possum

Premieres: Friday, February 23

This all-star tribute concert honors one of the most influential, storied, and beloved country music stars in history. Jones achieved 79 Top 10 and 10 No. 1 hits, including He Stopped Loving Her Today, which is widely recognized as the greatest country song of all time.

Recorded live at the sold-out show that marked the tenth anniversary of Jones’ passing on April 25, 2023, it features Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Jelly Roll, Tanya Tucker, Wynonna, Sam Moore, Travis Tritt, Jamey Johnson, Uncle Kracker, Lorrie Morgan, Trace Adkins, Justin Moore, Joe Nichols, and more.

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