PBS hopes to strike a resonant chord this fall with "Rock & Roll," a 10-part documentary series. Also making noise will be a number of other public television presentations, including a biography of the late Rod Serling, the acclaimed basketball documentary "Hoop Dreams" and a three-part nature series featuring Robin Williams, Debra Winger and Christopher Reeve. Among the programs returning to PBS will be "Frontline" and "Mystery!"
"Secrets Of...": The three-part American history series continues with "Secrets of the Gold Rush," Monday at 8 p.m. KCET. Also: "Secrets of the Wine Country," Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. KCET.
"Rock & Roll": The history of rock from its beginnings in the 1950s is the focus of the 10-part series. Sept. 24-28 at 9 p.m. KCET.
"The American Promise": A personalized view of grassroots democracy is presented in this three-part series, which brings viewers face-to-face with more than 200 volunteers and visionaries in 50 stories. Oct. 1-3 at 8 p.m. KCET. Oct. 21, 28 and Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. KOCE.
"Marsalis on Music": In this four-part series, the acclaimed jazz artist relates the basics of music appreciation through dialogue between his band and an audience of pre-teen students of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Oct. 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 8 p.m. KCET.
"The Challengers": An eight-part series on the 1996 presidential candidates. Fridays, Oct. 20-Nov. 10 at 9 p.m. KCET.
"Great Journeys": This five-part series finds actor Ernie Dingo, writer/comedian Sandi Toksvig, actress Juliet Stevenson, percussionist Evelyn Glennie and poet Damian Gorman acting as explorers and guides to five areas of the world. Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 8 p.m. KCET.
"In the Wild": Robin Williams, Debra Winger and Christopher Reeve will be featured separately in this three-part nature series as they travel into the natural world to encounter animals of their choice. Nov. 13, 20 and 27 at 8 p.m. KCET.
"Tales of the Serengeti": The four-part documentary series presents the wildlife of this African national park and the people who devote their lives to understanding it. Nov. 21 and 22, 8 p.m. KCET.
"Hoop Dreams": The critically acclaimed documentary about two African American high school students in Chicago who dream of playing in the NBA comes to television for the first time. The three-hour broadcast will be immediately followed by a half-hour "Hoop Dreams" update, which includes never-before-seen footage of the two student athletes and their families, plus an interview with the filmmakers. Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. KCET.
"Charlie Rose": In-depth one-on-one interviews and round table discussions are conducted by Rose Monday through Friday. Continuing series at 11 p.m. KCET.
"Life & Times": KCET's current affairs and documentary program returns for its fifth season. Monday at 7:30 p.m. KCET.
"Live From Lincoln Center": A new season of music from the stage of Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall begins when soprano Jessye Norman joins the New York Philharmonic. Sept. 20, 8 p.m. KCET.
"In Performance at the White House": Kathy Mattea, Alison Krauss and Suzy Bogguss are on hand for the debut of the new season. Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. KCET.
"Scientific American Frontiers": Alan Alda returns as host of this science series with "The Wild West," Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. KCET. Also: "Dragon Science," Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. KCET.
"Mystery!": The 16th season opens with the drama "Gallowglass," Oct. 5, 12 and 19 at 9 p.m. KCET, Oct. 7, 14, 21 at 11 p.m. KOCE. David Suchet returns as "Poirot," Oct. 26, 9 p.m. KCET; Jeremy Brett is Sherlock Holmes in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes," Dec. 21, 9 p.m. KCET.
"Nature": "Jaguar: Year of the Cat" kicks off the 14th year of this wildlife documentary series, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. KCET.
"Masterpiece Theatre": A five-part dramatization of "The Buccaneers," Edith Warton's final, unfinished novel of the same name, kicks off "Masterpiece Theatre's" silver anniversary season, Oct. 8-10 at 9 p.m. KCET; Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31 and Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. KOCE. Also, Richard Harris stars in "The Great Kandinsky," Oct. 15, 9 p.m. KCET. Helen Mirren returns as detective Jane Tennison in "Prime Suspect," Oct. 22, 9 p.m. KCET. James Fox stars in "The Choir," Oct. 29, 9 p.m. KCET.
"Nova": The 22nd year of the scientific series begins with "Anastasia Dead or Alive?" Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. KCET, Oct. 11 at 4 and 8 p.m. KOCE.
"The American Experience": Significant events from America's history are examined in this documentary series, which begins its new season with "Murder of the Century," Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. KCET. Also the events surrounding the tumultuous 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago are explored, Nov. 13, 9 p.m. KCET.
"Frontline": The investigative news-documentary series returns with "Waco--The Inside Story," Oct. 17 at 9 p.m. KCET.
"The New Explorers": The science series travels to the Galapagos Islands for its premiere episode. Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. KCET.
"Great Performances": The new season begins with pianist Evgeny Kissin joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Oct. 18. at 9 p.m. KCET.
"The Metropolitan Opera Presents": Christian Thielemann conducts "Arabella." Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.