For nearly 40 years, Masterpiece on PBS has captivated audiences with the works of the finest classic and contemporary writers, interpreted by the world’s foremost actors. In 1985, Rebecca Eaton took over the helm and oversaw the highly successful relaunch in 2008, with three distinct programs strands – Classic, Mystery! and Contemporary. Under her watch, the series has presented such high-profile titles as Prime Suspect, Inspector Morse, The Complete Jane Austen, Wallander and the recent hits Sherlock (returning for Season 2 on May 6th), Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey. With 34 Primetime Emmy Awards, 17 Peabody Awards, a Golden Globe and two Academy Award nominations, her distinguished career has earned her the official recognition of Queen Elizabeth II.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, executive producer Rebecca Eaton talked about what her job at Masterpiece entails, the gut feeling that she goes with when it comes to determining programming, which aspects of her job she enjoys most and dreads most, and what keeps her coming back, year after year. She also talked about the overwhelming success of Sherlock and Downton Abbey, why audiences have responded so strongly to the pairing of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson, and why they only do three 90-minute movies per season. Check out what she had to say after the jump.