320 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1 in
October 29, 2013
Penguin Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0670015350
ISBN - 13: 9780670015351
From the Publisher
The Emmy Award-winning producer of PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! reveals the secrets to Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and its other hit programs
For more than twenty-five years and counting, Rebecca Eaton has presided over PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre, the longest running weekly prime time drama series in American history. From the runaway hits
Upstairs, Downstairs and The Buccaneers, to the hugely popular Inspector Morse, Prime Suspect, and Poirot, Masterpiece Theatre and its sibling series Mystery! have been required viewing for fans of quality drama.
Eaton interviews many of the writers, directors, producers, and other contributors and shares personal anecdotes—including photos taken with her own camera—about her decades-spanning career. She reveals what went on behind the scenes during such triumphs as Cranford and the multiple, highly-rated programs made from Jane Austen’s novels, as well as her aggressive campaign to attract younger viewers via social media and online streaming. Along the way she shares stories about actors and other luminaries such as Alistair Cooke, Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg, Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Radcliffe, whose first TV role was as the title character in David Copperfield.
Readers will also get to know Eaton on a personal level. With a childhood steeped in theater, an affinity for nineteenth century novels and culture, and an “accidental apprenticeship” with the BBC, Eaton was practically born to lead the Masterpiece and Mystery! franchises. Making Masterpiece marks the first time the driving force behind the enduring flagship show reveals all.
About the Author
Rebecca Eaton regards her decades-long stewardship of Masterpiece as the ideal job for the daughter of an English professor and an actress. She has been the executive producer of the show for twenty-eight of its forty-two years on the air. Awards on her watch include forty-three prime-time Emmy awards, fifteen Peabody awards, two Golden Globes, and two Academy Award nominations.
At Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! she extended the programs' reach with contemporary dramas; initiated co-productions with the BBC (Middlemarch, The Buccaneers); co-produced feature films such as Jane Austen's Persuasion and Mrs. Brown starring Dame Judi Dench; and oversaw the rebranding of the series in 2008. Queen Elizabeth II awarded her an honorary OBE (Officer, Order of the British Empire) in 2003.
She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and spends time at the family house in Kennebunkport, Maine.
“[An] anecdote-filled memoir…Rebecca Eaton looks back on 25 fascinating years at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! at PBS.”—USA Today“Eaton weaves an absorbing tale of what began as just a young girl’s Anglophilia but would eventually change the viewing habits of Americans…Though the book’s most compelling moments are culled from the battles Eaton waged as producer, she manages to put everything in perspective as a highly successful working mother who had plenty to fight for at home as well…. In the end, Eaton looks back with unflagging fondness at her life’s work and the spectrum of experiences it has brought her.”—Hollywood Reporter“ Eaton recounts these tales with zest.”—McClatchy Tribune“[An] engaging new memoir.”—Bay Area Newsgroup“A treasure house of anecdote and insight, observation and object lessons, Making Masterpiece is quietly electrifying.”—Shelf Awareness“In addition to these sometimes charming, sometimes bawdy anecdotes, Eaton brings a strong personal element to the narrative…she is able to humanize what is sometimes seen as an impersonal area of the showbiz world…A pleasing blend of memoir and retrospective with a wide audience appeal. Recommended for readers interested in the history of television and the business aspects of the creative process and, of course, PBS devotees.”—Library Journal“A delightful trek into the world of TV production and a substantive treat for the truly addicted PBS fan.”—Kirkus“In the world of TV drama, names and faces appear and disa