Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBS

( 8 )

Overview

For more than twenty-five years, Rebecca Eaton has presided over PBS's Masterpiece Theatre, the longest running weekly prime-time drama series in American history. In Making MasterpieceEaton interviews many of the writers, directors, producers, and other contributors and shares personal anecdotes about her decades-long career. She reveals what went on behind the scenes during such triumphs as Cranford and the highly rated programs made from Jane Austen's novels, as well as her aggressive campaign to attract ...

See more details below
Audiobook (CD - Unabridged)
$27.58
BN.com price
(Save 16%)$32.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Audiobook)
  • All (4) from $10.91   
  • New (2) from $19.39   
  • Used (2) from $10.91   
Sending request ...

Overview

For more than twenty-five years, Rebecca Eaton has presided over PBS's Masterpiece Theatre, the longest running weekly prime-time drama series in American history. In Making MasterpieceEaton interviews many of the writers, directors, producers, and other contributors and shares personal anecdotes about her decades-long career. She reveals what went on behind the scenes during such triumphs as Cranford and the 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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Rebecca Eaton, the Emmy Award-winning executive producer of Masterpiece Theatre, describes her beloved PBS show as "the little black dress" of television. And like that little black dress, the longest running weekly prime time drama series in history possesses a resilience that few would have predicted. In Making Masterpiece, Eaton reminisces about the show and its numerous notable actors; but she does much more, serving up penetrating interviews with the writers, directors, producers, and other participants in a show that has been credited with revitalizing interest in nineteenth century classics. Eaton's account, which is highlighted by her own photographs, also discusses how the recent popularity of Masterpiece series like Prime Suspense, Inspector Morris, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey have revitalized its offerings.

From the Publisher
“[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 disappear with bewildering speed; Rebecca Eaton is immortal and immutable…She has made an enormous contribution to the cultural life of America, and, more than that, she is one of the most fun people I know.”
—Andrew Davies, Vanity Fair

“Rebecca has been the executive producer of Masterpiece for 25 of its 40 years. We Americans are fortunate to have Rebecca at the helm: someone committed to bringing great television drama to the widest possible audience, week after week.”—Gillian Anderson, The 2011 Time 100

Library Journal
11/01/2013
From its breakout hit Upstairs, Downstairs (1971) to the current phenomenon that is Downton Abbey, Masterpiece (both with and without the "Theatre") has maintained an iconic standing among viewers and has served as the first step for countless Americans on the road to full-blown Anglophilia. Executive producer Eaton tells the series' story with the help of dozens of the men and women who contributed, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, to its success. In addition to these sometimes charming, sometimes bawdy anecdotes, Eaton brings a strong personal element to the narrative. Whether responding to the sudden loss of corporate sponsorship, facing the challenge of replacing the one-and-only Alistair Cooke as host, or reflecting on the demands her career placed upon her family life, she is able to humanize what is sometimes seen as an impersonal area of the showbiz world. VERDICT 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.—Neil Derksen, Pierce Cty. Lib. Syst., Tacoma
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-01
Chronicling her 25-year career with PBS, Eaton provides a behind-the-camera look into the creative process involved in producing Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! As a self-described Anglophile ("Anglophilia is not a dirty word--it's an "honorable and manageable condition"), the author's career path to executive producer of Masterpiece seems to have been predestined. Eaton's mother was an actress on Broadway in the 1930s and a Hollywood contract player in the 1950s; her father taught Shakespeare and other literature at MIT and elsewhere. "Brought up on a steady diet of classic British literature," writes the author, "I'm amazed at the inevitability that my life's work has turned out to be as a purveyor of this particular opiate." The author combines personal anecdotes with interviews of writers, directors, hosts and numerous stars who contributed to her projects over the course of her career, including Alistair Cooke, Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg and Gillian Anderson. For those interested in the technical aspects of producing a TV show, Eaton lays out the process, beginning with the project's initial stages through completion, including the delicate dance involved in fundraising. Eaton uses the Masterpiece program Cranford, starring Judi Dench, as her case study, and she also recounts her quest to rebrand Masterpiece for a younger demographic using marketing and social media as promotional tools. "Our social media presence for Downton [Abbey] season three created the highest-ever Twitter buzz for a PBS program," she writes. Eaton explores the possible explanations for the remarkable success of Downton, which "has catapulted Masterpiece into a whole new orbit of publicity, visibility, and popularity." A delightful trek into the world of TV production and a substantive treat for the truly addicted PBS fan.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781482930214
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 937,017
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca Eaton

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.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2013

    Lots of money hunting; few stories or stars

    It turns out that most of Eaton's job consisted of begging for money to keep Masterpiece Theatre on the air. As a result, only a few of the many programs get much attention (Downton Abbey is an exception), and there are few portraits of the many fine actors who have appeared on the program. I was hoping for more about those topics, but if she is out hunting money, she probably didn't have time to become deeply involved in making the shows. Eaton is a charming writer, and she had one of those rare creatures, a competent copyeditor. An interesting look at how public television works.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 15, 2014

    Really enjoyable.

    I really enjoyed this book about the wonderful Masterpiece Theatre and Masterpiece. I learned a great deal about Alistair Cooke which I really liked to know. Truly a labor of love for the author who devoted so many years to the programming. The added perks of meeting and getting to know many talented writers, actors and celebraties. A good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2014

    Me-me-me-me-me-me-me.

    Me-me-me-me-me-me-me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)