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SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED: Much Ado About Nothing With Helen Hunt

Airs Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 at 9 p.m. on KPBS 2

Helen Hunt hosts SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED

Credit: Courtesy of Blakeway Productions

Above: Helen Hunt hosts SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED "Much Ado About Nothing." Each episode reveals the extraordinary world and works of William Shakespeare and the still-potent impact his plays have today.

The fascinating history behind Shakespeare’s greatest plays continues with a third season of SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED.

The ambitious series concludes with celebrated new hosts Helen Hunt, F. Murray Abraham, Romola Garai, Brian Cox, Simon Russell Beale and Sir Antony Sher, who seamlessly weave their personal passions with history, biography, iconic performances and new analysis to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s famous works.

The final season investigates “Much Ado About Nothing,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “Measure for Measure,” “Julius Caesar,” “The Winter’s Tale” and “Richard III.”

SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED Series 3: Preview

The final season investigates "Much Ado About Nothing," "The Merchant of Venice," "Measure for Measure," "Julius Caesar," "The Winter’s Tale" and "Richard III."

Each episode reveals the extraordinary world and works of William Shakespeare and the still-potent impact his plays have today.

The films combine interviews with actors, directors and scholars, along with visits to key locations, clips from some of the most celebrated film and television adaptations and illustrative excerpts from the plays staged specially for the series at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED reveals not just the elements in the play, but the history of the play itself:

  • What sparked the creation of each of these works?
  • Where did Shakespeare find his plots and what new forms of theater did he forge?
  • What cultural, political and religious factors influenced his writing?
  • How have the plays been staged and interpreted from Shakespeare’s time to now?
  • Why at different times has each play been popular — or ignored?
  • Why has this body of work endured so thoroughly?
  • What, in the end, makes Shakespeare unique?

Helen Hunt and Tom Irwin on Beatrice and Benedick

Helen Hunt and Tom Irwin reminisce on their past roles as Beatrice and Benedick and share their thoughts about the characters.

“Much Ado About Nothing” is one of 13 plays that Shakespeare set in Italy, a country that was warm, sensuous and inviting for any 16th-century Englishmen writing about lovers.

Claudio and Hero are the conventional lovers, too tongue-tied to speak to each other; Beatrice and Benedick are the skeptics, too busy insulting each other to realize how much they are in love.

Hunt explores this exquisite comedy of comparison and contrast, as well as what the ultimate “ado” about “nothing” really means.

Beatrice and Benedick in Love

When Beatrice and Benedick realize they are in love, they are each overjoyed but their path to being together won’t be smooth. From SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED "Much Ado About Nothing With Helen Hunt."

Hunt received rave reviews for her portrayal of Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing” at Los Angeles’ Kirk Douglas Theatre.

nside Look: Helen Hunt on "Much Ado About Nothing"

Helen Hunt gives an inside look at the all new episode of SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED "Much Ado About Nothing."

Watch On Your Schedule:

All 6 episodes from Season 3 are available for streaming on demand with KPBS Passport, video streaming for members ($60 yearly) using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.

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Credits:

Produced by Blakeway Productions, 116 Films and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET in association with PBS and Shakespeare’s Globe. For Blakeway Productions, Richard Denton and Nicola Stockley are series producers. For THIRTEEN, Bill O’Donnell is series producer, with David Horn as executive producer. Stephen Segaller is executive in charge.

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