Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

10 Programs to Stream on VPM Passport

watching television

Check out all of these recommended programs and so much more from PBS Video. To access over 1,500 episodes of VPM and PBS programming, sign up for Passport. Not sure if you have access to Passport? Check your status HERE.

1.  Little Women
Drama/Classic Literature

Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy—there are few more iconic names in American literature. They are the March sisters of Concord, Massachusetts during the Civil War, created by Louisa May Alcott in her timeless novel Little Women brought to life in a MASTERPIECE/BBC co-production

“Little Women has been one of the most important stories of my life and PBS beautifully captures the experience of these iconic characters growing up. It is my go to binge watch for warming hearts and good crying.”-Louise Keeton, Arts & Culture Digital Producer


2. American Masters
Biography/Arts & Culture

Take a deep dive into the lives and creative journeys of America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants, from artists to athletes, entertainers, scientists and more. From Miles Davis, to Joseph Pulitzer, to Maggie Walker and beyond, this series has something for everyone.

“As a Miles Davis fan, I’m really captivated by the stories of his personal life and was interested in learning about the origin of his funk influence. I was pleasantly surprised. This is an excellent program looking at the life of a legendary musician who never stopped pushing the boundaries.” - Mason Mills, Executive Producer


3. Untamed

Curious about the critters in your own backyard? “Untamed” is among the all-around staff-favorites at VPM. 

This wildly original series gives you an inside look at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. In each episode, Ed Clark, Jr., President and founder of the Center, introduces you to a different aspect of Virginia wildlife, teaching you to better understand the commonwealth’s native species.

“Conservation ecology. Not something I normally search out but Ed Clark can’t be ignored. His passion is infectious. This show flies by and suddenly 20 minutes is gone and I’m sad it’s over so quickly.” -Jason Campbell, Analytics Manager

Bonus: SUPER cute animals!


4. Great Performances: Now Hear This
Music/Arts & Culture

Renowned violinist and conductor of the Mexico City Philharmonic, Scott Yoo, merges music, storytelling, travel and culture, as he chases the secret histories of some of the greatest music ever written. This series is a treat for the eyes and the ears.

“Part travel, part food, part history, it explores the circumstances and places that influenced and inspired classical composers—and why those composers remain significant today. I love it for host Scott Yoo's approachable, engaging manner of sharing classical music with the audience, and the show's liberal peppering of incredible musical performances against gorgeous backdrops throughout Europe.” -Alex Wiles, Leadership Giving Officer

5. It’s Lit!
Literature/Digital Shorts

Affable host of “It’s Lit!” Lindsay Ellis, can make literature appealing to even the most reluctant of readers. From PBS Digital Studios, these smart and funny digital shorts are great for young adults on up!

“‘It’s Lit!’ is an irreverent but thorough look at various iconic themes or works of literature. A topic that holds almost no interest to me, but that changes the second Lindsay Ellis starts to show me why I should care. If you don’t love her we can’t be friends.” -Jason Campbell, Analytics Manager

6. Finding Your Roots
*Fan Favorite

This staff/fan favorite likely needs no introduction. Watch as celebrities uncover their true ancestral histories with the help of host Henry Louis Gates, Jr., genetic code and tracing bloodlines. What secrets will they discover? Are they who they think they are? Explore race, culture and identity through the lens of genealogy.

7. Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

Missing baseball season and well, sports in general? Ken Burns’ Baseball—with each of the nine parts representing an inning—takes a deep look at the history of America’s pastime, from its origins in the late 1800s through 1990. Play ball!

"I remember watching 'Baseball' with my dad back when the series first aired on PBS in 1994.  It was very much a father-daughter bonding experience. He had played ball as a kid on the muddy fields of rural Pennsylvania and grew up idolizing players like Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, and Hank Aaron.  Plus there's just something about old black-and-white sports footage that gets me every time."-Sarah Yount, Development Assistant

8. Inn at Little Washington: A Delicious Documentary

Meet Patrick O'Connell, a self-taught chef whose Rappahannock County restaurant, The Inn at Little Washington, is considered one of the greatest dining experiences in America. Follow Chef O'Connell's pursuit of the ultimate culinary accolade: a third Michelin star.

“I love a great story and rooting for the underdog. It may seem surprising, but before Chef Patrick built the Inn at little Washington he ran a catering business out of a rented garage space!  Watching the utterly joyful, quirky chef in his element on his quest for a third Michelin star is a site to behold. I hope you don’t miss it!”-Steve Humble, Chief Content Officer

9. The Future of America’s Past

If you’re an American history enthusiast, this is the series for you. Visit sites and explore history Americans often struggle to discuss. Historian Ed Ayers guides you through the story of Virginia’s Fort Monroe, where slavery began in British North America; the history of New York’s deadly Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; the making of Texas before the Alamo; the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and more.

“I’m a bit of a history nerd in general, but I greatly enjoy learning about aspects of our past that aren’t often discussed in history classes. “The Future of America’s Past” takes a deep dive into topics that push us to better understand where our nation has been and where we’re heading. Take a chance. Learn something new.” -Kate Prunkl, Digital Fundraising Specialist

10. Much Ado About Nothing
Great Performances

Transport yourself to a warm New York City summer as Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black) shines as Beatrice in the Free Shakespeare in the Park performance of “Much Ado About Nothing.” The critically acclaimed performance is a bold interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece.

“It’s the perfect Friday night dinner and a date movie. The modern twist on this Shakespearen classic makes it feel fresh and up to date! From the performances to the music, you’ll be completely drawn in and laughing along to this playfully complicated “he said, she said” comedy.” Angela Massino, Director of Digital Content

BONUS: World on Fire (coming April 5th)
Drama/Historical Fiction

This adrenalized, emotionally gripping and resonant World War II drama follows the intertwining fates of ordinary people in five countries as they struggle through the first year of World War II in Britain, Poland, France, Germany and the United States.

“I’m an enthusiastic MASTERPIECE drama fan and a history nerd, so I’m super excited for this series to premiere. As a member with Passport, I am even more excited that I can start binging the whole series the day it premieres! CANNOT WAIT!” -Kate Prunkl, Digital Fundraising Specialist

Extra Bonus: PBS Pick: Beecham House

Drama/Historical Fiction

This brand new MASTERPIECE drama is set in Delhi, India at the turn of the 19th century. Set amidst the clashing British and French militaries and the decline of the centuries-old Mughal Empire, “Beecham House” tells the story of an enigmatic Englishman and former soldier who is attempting to make a new life for himself in an uncertain world. 

Bonus: “Beecham House” won’t air until this summer, but Passport members can stream the entire first season now!

Check out all of these programs and so much more from PBS Video. To access over 1,500 episodes of VPM and PBS programming, sign up for Passport. Not sure if you have access to Passport? Check your status HERE.


Related Articles
  1. Trouble Logging Into PBS Passport? Try This
  2. How Do I Activate PBS Passport
  3. Where Can I Watch Passport on my TV or Smart Device?
  4. Seeing "I Have to Be a VPM Passport Member in Order to View This Video"
Related Stories