Twirling dancers in a stuffy ballroom, hushed whispers and capricious scandals, a lone detective stands on a stark, grime covered English street. All these scenes meander through the mind of Rebecca Eaton. Executive producer at large of Masterpiece Theatre and main proponent of tales such as Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Victoria and Poldark, Eaton is a storyteller beyond her years.
With a plethora of works ranging from quirky misadventures with Agatha Christie’s Marple to the hallowed halls of the aristocratic Downton Abbey, and the mind-bending mysteries of Sherlock, Eaton masterfully slips into every genre with ease. She crafted a new British invasion, enrapturing audiences within the worlds of regency and British dramas.
Born in Boston and raised in Pasadena, California, Eaton recalls the summers she spent in New York going to see Broadway shows. Growing up with an English professor for a father and an actress for a mother, various creative influences surrounded Eaton and molded her into the inventive mind we see today.
A Vassar graduate, Eaton went on to start her career in London at the BBC World Service. After moving back to the United States, she began working with PBS station WGBH Boston helping to produce shows such as Zoom and Enterprise. In 1985, Eaton became the third executive producer of Masterpiece Theatre. With Eaton at the helm, Masterpiece Theatre went on to garner numerous accolades and awards thanks to her creative direction.
PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre boasts 62 primetime Emmy Awards®, 16 Peabody Awards, six Golden Globes® and two Academy Awards® nominations. Eaton breathed new life into Masterpiece, with shows like Sherlock and Downton Abbey becoming social media sensations among all generations. Eaton’s memoir series, Making Masterpiece, documents her journey leading the series to critical acclaim and proved popular with audiences in its own right.
Making Masterpiece also features the many talents Eaton worked with, including the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Daniel Radcliffe, and countless others. Her most recent work Making Masterpiece: Behind the Scenes with Rebecca Eaton, shares an intimate look into the renaissance mind that created countless iconic shows in the Masterpiece series. Ultimately, Eaton’s tenacity and profound creativity sparked a new interest for American audiences.
Join us as we welcome Ms. Eaton for a firsthand account of her creative machinations and a behind-the-scenes look at the force behind Poldark, Sandition, Miss Brown, and Downton Abbey as part of our Red Carpet Speaker Series® hosted by The Carnegie on November 17th.
The Red Carpet Speaker Series previously featured the talents of Steven Gillon, author of America’s Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr., and Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun. Our Red Carpet Speaker Series brings in leaders in literature and the arts, and allows audiences to get an intimate glimpse into their work.