As part of a new partnership with Firelight Media, the non-profit filmmaking organization founded by Stanley Nelson and Marcia Smith, PBS is committing $3.6 million over the course of three years to support mid-career nonfiction filmmakers through the William Greaves Fund. The Fund is designed to address the persistent structural challenges many filmmakers face after producing their first films, so that they can remain in the field and continue to create vital stories focused on underrepresented people and topics.
PBS Announces Long-Term Initiative to Further Support Diverse Voices Across Public Media
PBS will establish a new effort in support of long-term, ongoing and comprehensive initiatives to diversify public media. This project further advances PBS’s commitment to elevate diverse voices and perspectives and accelerate the transformation of public media’s producing ecosystem to include more diverse perspectives in production roles. Key elements of this comprehensive initiative include an Early-Career Filmmaker Mentorship Program, Executive Fellowship Program, and dynamic accountability and reporting structures.
PBS DIGITAL STUDIOS
PBS Digital Studios Launches First-Ever Podcasts Based on Popular Digital Series IT’S LIT! and EONS
PRX to Distribute IT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED] and EONS: MYSTERIES OF DEEP TIME in February and March 2022
PBS announced the launch of the first-ever podcasts for PBS Digital Studios, IT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED] and EONS: MYSTERIES OF DEEP TIME. Inspired by the popular YouTube series and debuting in February 2022, IT’S LIT! unpacks popular and classic literature and their authors. Premiering in March of 2022, EONS, another popular PBS Digital Studios YouTube series, explores prehistoric life on Earth. Podcast listeners will have the opportunity to explore these subjects in new ways that are specific to the audio format. IT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED] and EONS: MYSTERIES OF DEEP TIME will each consist of 10 episodes. Both projects are distributed by the public media organization PRX, which will enable PBS Digital Studios to build on its successes on YouTube and expand into audio storytelling.
PBS and WETA Announce New Documentary Series from McGee Media and Inkwell Media
Making Black America: Through the Grapevine with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. To Premiere Fall 2022
Four-Part Series Explores Black Americans’ Centuries-Long History of Establishing Communities and Attaining Social, Political and Economic Success in the Face of Racial Segregation
MAKING BLACK AMERICA: THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE, a four-part series from executive producer, host and writer Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., will premiere in Fall 2022 on PBS stations nationwide. In this latest series from the acclaimed Harvard scholar and documentarian, Gates and director Stacey L. Holman chronicle the vast social networks and organizations created by and for Black people beyond the reach of the “White gaze.” The series recounts the establishment of the Prince Hall Masons in 1775 through the formation of all-Black towns and business districts, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, destinations for leisure, and the social media phenomenon of Black Twitter. Gates sits with noted scholars, politicians, cultural leaders, and old friends to discuss this world behind the color line and what it looks like today. MAKING BLACK AMERICA takes viewers into an extraordinary world that showcased Black people’s ability to collectively prosper, defy white supremacy and define Blackness in ways that transformed America itself.
The WNET Group Announces One Day in March (w.t.), A New Documentary Exploring the Rise in Hate and Violence Against the AAPI Community, Premiering May 2022 on PBS
Follows the aftermath of the 2021 mass shooting in Atlanta and chronicles how the Asian American community came together to fight back against hate
In March 2021, a 21-year-old white man murdered eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia. The shooting was a watershed moment in a year of increasing violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). For many, the tragic events became a galvanizing moment and inspired an emerging collective identity and new political clout for AAPI communities. The WNET Group, home to New York’s flagship PBS station THIRTEEN, today announced the production of One Day In March (w.t.), a new one-hour documentary that will chronicle the troubling escalation of hate and violence against AAPI people and spotlight the movement to turn anger into action.
PBS and Maryland Public Television Announce Two New Documentaries Executive Produced by Acclaimed Filmmaker
Stanley Nelson for Fall 2022
BECOMING FREDERICK DOUGLASS and HARRIET TUBMAN: VISIONS OF FREEDOM Offer Fresh Perspectives and Insights into Iconic Historical Figures
PBS and Maryland Public Television (MPT) announced two original documentaries that shed new light on the lives of a pair of towering figures in the struggle to end slavery: Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Produced by MPT in association with Firelight Films, BECOMING FREDERICK DOUGLASS and HARRIET TUBMAN: VISIONS OF FREEDOM are executive produced by Firelight Media founder Stanley Nelson (Attica, Freedom Riders, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution) and Lynne Robinson.
PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Announce “Taken Hostage” About the Iran Hostage Crisis and Its Roots, from Acclaimed Filmmaker Robert Stone
New Four-Hour Documentary Premieres Monday-Tuesday, November 14-15, 2022
PBS and American Experience announced “Taken Hostage,” a new four-hour, two-part documentary film about the Iran hostage crisis— when 52 American diplomats, Marines and civilians were taken hostage at the American Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. For the next 444 days, the world watched as the United States received a daily barrage of humiliation, vitriol and hatred from a country most Americans knew little about. The crisis would transform the U.S. and Iran and forever upend the focus and direction of American foreign policy. “Taken Hostage” is a film by Robert Stone. It is his ninth project for American Experience, following the critically acclaimed and award-winning film, “Chasing the Moon.”
PBS Announces THE GREEN PLANET,
New Five-Part Series Hosted by Sir David Attenborough
Premieres Wednesdays, July 6-August 3, 2022
Series Uses the Latest Technology to Reveal the Secret, Incredible World of Plants
THE GREEN PLANET is a new five-part documentary series about Earth’s biodiversity told through the fascinating story of plants. As host Sir David Attenborough explains, “Every mouthful of food that we eat, every lungful of air that we breathe, depends on plants.” Using pioneering new filmmaking technology and the latest science, THE GREEN PLANET takes viewers from the deepest jungles to the harshest deserts, revealing the strange and wonderful world of plants as never before. Living secret, unseen lives, plants are often overlooked. Yet they are as aggressive, competitive and dramatic as animals— locked in life-and-death struggles for food and light, taking part in fierce battles for territory and desperately trying to reproduce and scatter their young. Produced in partnership with the BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit.
GREAT PERFORMANCES Presents Exclusive Look Inside Broadway Revival of Company in New PBS Documentary
Premiering Friday, May 27, Part of “Broadway’s Best” Lineup
Features new interviews with late legendary composer Stephen Sondheim; Tony Award Winners Katrina Lenk, Patti LuPone; and more
GREAT PERFORMANCES presents a documentary exploring the legacy of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical Company, part of the series’ fifth “Broadway’s Best” lineup. Filmed over two years, the broadcast takes an inside look at Tony-winning director Marianne Elliott’s creative process of bringing the reimagined gender-swapped production to Broadway during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a cast including Tony and Grammy winner Katrina Lenk, and two-time Tony and two-time Grammy winner Patti LuPone. Featuring rehearsal and performance footage, plus new interviews with Elliott, Lenk, LuPone, Sondheim and members of the original 1970 cast.
PBS and BBC Studios Announce New Series,
The Story of Hip-Hop with Chuck D (w.t.)
Rap Icon Chuck D Docuseries Explores Four Decades of Hip-Hop History and Its Resounding Legacy
Premiering Fall 2022
The Story of Hip-Hop with Chuck D (working title) is a new four-part series currently in production for broadcast in Fall 2022. The series, developed by Chuck D and his manager Lorrie Boula traces the story of this globally influential art form over the past 40 years up to today. Chuck D, legendary artist, activist and co-founder of Public Enemy and Prophets of Rage, will also feature in the production.
PBS Showcases Rich Collection of Stories to Celebrate
Black History Month
PBS announced its slate of programming and digital content to mark Black History Month as part of its continued commitment to showcasing important stories, sourced from the people and communities that make up our nation. Lauding the victories and recognizing cultural contributions and sacrifices, these programs will unearth remarkable stories of African Americans across generations, from the famous to the lesser-known.
All aforementioned programs will be available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. PBS station members can view many series, documentaries and specials via PBS Passport. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.
ARTHUR Celebrates 25th Anniversary on PBS KIDS with Special Marathon and Big Reveal: The Beloved Characters Grow up
Iconic Series Produced by GBH Kids to Continue to Launch New Content this Year and Beyond, Including Podcast, Topical Shorts, and Games
ARTHUR, the iconic Peabody and Emmy Award-winning® series based on the bestselling books by Marc Brown, will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a special marathon, including four new episodes, which culminate in a much-anticipated ending that gives a glimpse into what’s in store for the future of these beloved characters. The marathon will feature more than 250 episodes and movie specials back-to-back on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and livestream, as well as on the PBS KIDS YouTube channel from February 16 at 9:00 a.m. EST to February 21 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The four brand-new episodes will air on PBS stations (check local listings) and stream free on PBS KIDS on February 21, concluding the show’s 25th and final television season.
New content from ARTHUR will continue rolling out in 2022 and beyond, including a podcast, video shorts that tackle timely and compelling topics, and digital games. The 25 seasons of ARTHUR (250+ episodes) will continue to be available on PBS KIDS.
PBS KIDS Announces New Series, WORK IT OUT WOMBATS! Debuting Winter 2023 New Animated Series from GBH Kids and Pipeline Studios Helps Children Learn Creative and Systematic Ways to Solve Problems
WORK IT OUT WOMBATS! is a new animated series for kids ages 3-6 from GBH Kids and Pipeline Studios. WORK IT OUT WOMBATS! stars Malik, Zadie, and Zeke—three energetic and creative marsupial siblings who live with their grandmother in her treehouse apartment complex. The playful trio will demonstrate computational thinking (CT) for preschoolers, a way of thinking that enables them to solve problems, express themselves, and accomplish tasks using the practices, processes and ideas at the core of computer science. WORKIT OUT WOMBATS! is set to premiere on PBS KIDS in early 2023.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.