NET Series Explores History Behind Shakespeare’s Greatest Plays

News Release Date: 
September 28, 2018

For Immediate Release

NET Series Explores History Behind Shakespeare’s Greatest Plays

LINCOLN, Neb. (Sept. 28, 2018) – The six-part television series “Shakespeare Uncovered” reveals the fascinating history behind Shakespeare’s greatest plays. It premieres Friday, Oct. 12 at 8 & 9 p.m. CT on NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations, with subsequent episodes airing on Fridays, Oct. 19 and 26.

Each episode streams the following day at and on PBS apps.

Hosts Helen Hunt, F. Murray Abraham, Romola Garai, Brian Cox, Simon Russell Beale and Sir Antony Sher seamlessly weave their personal connections and passions with history, biography, iconic performances and new analysis to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s famous works, and the impact his plays have today.

“Shakespeare Uncovered” reveals the elements in the play and the history of the play itself, as well as exploring what sparked the creation of each of the works. Excerpts for the series were staged at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

The six new episodes and broadcast times include:

“Much Ado About Nothing” with Helen Hunt

Friday, October 12 at 8 p.m. CT

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

“The Merchant of Venice” with F. Murray AbrahamFriday, October 12 at 9 p.m. CT

Comparing Shylock to the stock Jewish villain of the day, the episode looks at the efforts over the years to interpret him as both villain and victim.

“Measure for Measure” with Romola Garai

Friday, October 19 at 8 p.m. CT

Garai explains why there is no light-hearted happy ending in this play, but something much darker and more complex — truly a sexual tale for our time.

“Julius Caesar” with Brian Cox

Friday, October 19 at 9 p.m. CT

Cox explores how “Julius Caesar,” for many years, was seen to represent the American experience: the birth of a Republic. The play explores how easy it is for a free republic to fall into corruption.

“The Winter’s Tale” with Simon Russell Beale
Friday, October 26 at 8 p.m. CT

Beale shows that in this play Shakespeare offers something for which everyone longs: to reverse time, to make amends for an irreversible mistake.

“Richard III” with Sir Antony Sher

Friday, October 26 at 9 p.m. CT
While historians still debate the merits and vices of the real King Richard, there is no truly reliable evidence that he was the villain Tudor historians described; but Shakespeare’s character is larger than life and for this reason stands for all times. 

Broadcasts of “Shakespeare Uncovered” will be accompanied by education outreach on PBS LearningMedia.

# # #

MEDIA CONTACT: Kim Rogers, 402-660-5521,


NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations, is the statewide public media service dedicated to creating opportunities for Nebraskans to engage with critical issues, compelling stories and quality entertainment. NET serves each of Nebraska’s 93 counties with 52,560 hours of programming each year on four television and two radio channels, plus online and mobile content. In addition to providing free, high-quality educational programming for children, NET provides programming in the arts, award-winning news and current affairs information and emergency alert services. For more information about NET, visit