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Judi Dench and Claudie Blakley "Return To Cranford" this month on PBS' Masterpiece

Cranford  and Pride & Prejudice co-stars Judi Dench (aka Lady Catherine) and Claudie Blakley (aka Charlotte Lucas) return in (the sequel of their previous Masterpiece hit mini-series Cranford) Return to Cranford. It premieres on PBS' Masterpiece Classic starting January 10th (Episode 1) and January 17th (Episode 2), 2010.

Next, 2 Encore Presentations of the recent Jane Austen Adaptations/remake of  Northanger Abbey with P&P's Carey Mulligan co-starring as Isabella Thorpe, Persuasion with Sally Hawkins playing Anne Elliot, and a fresh new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma with Atonement's Romola Garai playing the title role and Mansfield Park's Johnny Lee Miller co-starring with her as Mr. Knightley

Here's the schedule of the following...

PBS' Masterpiece Classic

This winter and spring, Masterpiece classic returns with signature period dramas, hosted by actress Laura Linney.

December 20, 2009-January 3, 2010, 9pm
Cranford (Encore Presentation)
Three episodes (Episode one 120 minutes; episode two 60 minutes; episode three 120 minutes)
The Emmy-nominated drama about a small English village in 1842 on the brink of change — where some find romance and opportunity, and others fear the breakdown of social order.

Watch Cranford Online
For a limited time, revisit Cranford by viewing full episodes or select your favorite scenes. 

January 10-17, 2010, 9pm
Return to Cranford
(Two 90-minute episodes)
The construction of a new railroad line is at once thrilling and threatening to the residents of Cranford. This sequel stars Judi Dench, Imelda Staunton and Julia McKenzie. New faces include Jonathan Pryce and Tim Curry. Return to Cranford will be available for online viewing (January 10, 2010 - February 16, 2010)

Change is racing towards the small, close-knit village of Cranford like a steam train — quite literally. As the railroad continues to encroach at the edge of town, Cranford strives to open to new realities, from surprising romances to unexpected losses and even waltzing! Matty Jenkyns (Judi Dench), Miss Pole (Imelda Staunton), Mrs. Forrester (Julia McKenzie) and Mrs. Jamieson (Barbara Flynn) are back with other distinguished residents of Cranford, along with one well-outfitted and mischievous cow. When a shocking event seemingly derails Cranford from its innocence, can a bit of magic and faith in enduring friendships save the day? Based on the stories of Victorian-era writer Elizabeth Gaskell, Return to Cranford also features Tom Hiddleston (Wallander) and Tim Curry. 

January 24-February 7, 2010, 9pm
Three episodes (Episode one 120 minutes; episodes two and three 60 minutes)
A new adaptation of Jane Austen's comic tale of a headstrong young woman's failed matchmaking schemes. Starring Romola Garai, Michael Gambon and Jonny Lee Miller.

A fresh and fiercely funny new three-part adaptation of Jane Austen's comic masterpiece, starring Romola Garai (Atonement) as the "handsome, clever and rich" Emma Woodhouse, a young woman who dominates her small provincial world of Highbury. Misguidedly believing that she is a skilled matchmaker, Emma repeatedly attempts to pair up her friends, often with dire results. Jonny Lee Miller (Endgame, Eli Stone, Mansfield Park) plays Mr. Knightley, Emma's shrewd and attractive neighbor, and Michael Gambon (Cranford) is her affectionate, neurotic father.

February 14, 2010, 9pm
Northanger Abbey (Encore Presentation)
One 90-minute episode
In a medieval house that appeals to her most lurid fantasies, romance addict Catherine Moreland (Felicity Jones) begins a relationship with the younger son of the estate in this adaptation of the Jane Austen novel.

Catherine Morland (Felicity Jones, Meadowlands) has an ordinary life and a feverish imagination. When she gets invited to Bath, Catherine is immersed in a world of elaborate balls and handsome men. When one suitor takes her to his family estate, Northanger Abbey, Catherine becomes mired in a world of fact and fantasy. Is there a dark mystery behind the locked doors of Northanger Abbey? Why has her budding romance suddenly been cut short? Also starring JJ Feild (The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton), Andrew Davies adapts Austen's gentle parody of gothic fiction. 

Isabella Thorpe

Isabella is engaged to Catherine's brother James, and is eager to set Catherine up with her brother John. Isabella and Catherine become friends while Catherine is in Bath.

Played by:
Carey Mulligan

Born in 1985, Carey Mulligan's first major appearance was as Kitty Bennett in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley. She has appeared on Masterpiece in Bleak House and in The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard. Her other television credits include Waking the Dead, Doctor Who, and My Boy Jack, scheduled to run on Masterpiece in 2008.

February 21, 2010, 9pm
Persuasion (Encore Presentation)
One 90-minute episode
Sally Hawkins plays Jane Austen's Anne Elliot, a woman destined for spinsterhood after refusing a proposal eight years earlier. Then her spurned suitor reappears.

[source: all images here ^ were taken from PBS's Masterpiece Classic]



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