Highlights: January 1-7

Masterpiece Classic at 8 p.m. Sunday presents part four of Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes‘ “Downtown Abbey,” a depiction of the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them, set at their Edwardian country house in 1912.

Martin Luther: Driven To Defiance/The Reluctant Revolutionary at 9 p.m. Monday (part one of two) presents the epic tale of the great Protestant revolutionary whose belief in his faith would overthrow the all-powerful Catholic Church and reshape Medieval Europe.

The first episode of the three-part series “Egypt’s Golden Empire” at 7 p.m. Tuesday tracks the hard-fought unification of Egypt under King Ahmose of Thebe and the country’s subsequent rule under an unlikely pharaoh — Hatshepsut, who was a woman. The second episode at 8 p.m. travels back to 1390 B.C., where a gold-laden Egypt was one of the most powerful countries in the world.

Nature at 7 p.m. Wednesday introduces a young team of New Guinean scientists on a grueling expedition to find and film the Birds of Paradise, the holy grail of wildlife filmmakers, on “Birds Of The Gods.”

From Japan’s Mount Fuji to the “Sleeping Giant” submerged beneath Naples to the Yellowstone “supervolcano” in the United States, travel with scientists from around the world who are at work on these sites, attempting to discover how likely these volcanoes are to erupt, when eruptions might happen and how deadly they could prove to be on Nova: Deadliest Volcanoes at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Follow a team of US geologists entering Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake tragedy as they hunt for crucial evidence that will help them determine exactly what happened deep underground and what the risks are of a new killer quake on Nova: Deadliest Earthquakes at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Comedian, actor & author John Hodgman plays a PC in commercials, appears on The Daily Show as the program’s Resident Expert, maintains a startling number of online sites and also writes books. Watch him discuss his career on Overhead with Evan Smith at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Austin’s spoken word performers take center stage as part of KLRU’s focus on the arts on Arts In Context “Spoken 4 All” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Three entrepreneurs offer a glimpse of why Austin is being hailed as the best place in the country to launch a business on Capital of Innovation at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Join Chet Garner as he travels to Brenham, Texas to experience the home of Blue Bell Ice Cream, a 100 dollar hamburger, and a bike ride around Lake Sommerville on The Daytripper at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Independent Lens at 9 p.m. Thursday presents “Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai”: How does the simple act of planting trees lead to winning the Nobel Peace Prize? Ask Wangari Maathai of Kenya. In 1977, she suggested rural women plant trees to address problems stemming from a degraded environment. Under her leadership, their tree-planting grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, defend human rights and promote democracy. And brought Maathai the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

Great Performances at 8 p.m. Friday teams with the LA Phil and its music director Gustavo Dudamel for a third opening night gala concert showcasing the bravura conducting style and interpretive gifts that has made Dudamel an international sensation. The concert’s all-Gershwin repertoire will include “An American in Paris,” “Rhapsody in Blue” and a solo performance of “Someone to Watch Over Me,” spotlighting the virtuoso jazz piano of special guest Herbie Hancock.

Modern rock giants Coldplay ring in the new year with a very special episode of Austin City Limits at 9 p.m. Friday highlighting their hits and songs from their newest LP, “Mylo Xyloto.”

Fresh and seasoned indie rock hit’s the stage with The Head and the Heart and Gomez on Austin City Limits at 7 p.m. Saturday.