Emilia Schüle as Marie Antoinette

Empowering Women on the Small Screen

If you’re looking for PBS shows that feature strong female leads, look no further! 


Miss Scarlet and The Duke 

Miss Scarlet is one-of-a-kind. Not only does she face the challenges of solving difficult crimes, but the prejudice that comes along with her being a woman.  As the only female detective in Victorian London, she has to overcome barriers that many of her male colleagues do not. But nothing stays hidden when she’s on the case! 

If you’re looking for a historical-fiction drama then this is the show for you! And here’s a secret, you can stream all of season 4 now with Iowa PBS Passport!


Marie Antoinette 

This retelling of the story of Marie Antoinette is told with a free, independent and feminist style. Her successes provoke jealousy from the French court as she grapples with trying to understand the strict rules they hold. How will she handle her duties, while staying true to herself? 

If you like fiction and nonfiction wound together, then Marie Antoinette is the show for you. 


Funny Woman 

Set in the 1960s, Barbara Parker knows her value and talent is based on much more than her beauty alone. After winning the Miss Blackpool beauty queen title, she packs her bags and heads to London to take on the male-dominated world of comedy. 

If you’re looking for a comedic drama to enjoy, then Funny Woman is the show for you. Stream it now with Iowa PBS Passport!



This crime drama follows the titular character, Annika. As head of the Marine Homicide Unit, Annika must manage some of Glasgow’s most difficult cases and navigate a challenging relationship with her teenage daughter. New secrets, new cases and new difficulties are always coming Annika’s way, but are always met with her quick-wit.

You can stream seasons 1 and 2 of Annika on Iowa PBS Passport. 


Hotel Portofino 

Hotel Portofino takes viewers to a beautiful seaside spot for the vacation of your dreams. The hotel’s owner, Bella Ainsworth, does all that she can to ensure her guests have the perfect vacation. Things don’t always go as planned as family drama, problems with guests and other issues arise. Through all the challenges, Bella does what she keep the hotel, her dream, alive. 

Stream Hotel Portofino on Iowa PBS Passport.



Charlotte Heywood travels from her rural home to the seaside town of Sanditon. Set in Regency era England, she soon finds herself not only finding herself, but falling love. Sanditon explores the dynamics and history of the Regency era and what it means to be a woman at that time.

Sanditon is based on the unfinished final novel by Jane Austen and you can stream with Iowa PBS Passport.



This historical drama follows the true story of Queen Victoria. She is often credited with the large expansion of the English empire. This retelling follows her rise to the British throne at only 18 years old, her romance and early marriage to Germany's Prince Albert and her growth as a ruler. 

Watch all episodes of Victoria with Iowa PBS Passport.