Today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS announced new programs launching in 2018 and beyond.
PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE announced the new two-hour documentary Woodstock, scheduled to premiere on PBS in 2019 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the historic three-day concert that defined a generation. In August 1969, half a million people from all walks of life journeyed from every corner of the country to a dairy farm in upstate New York for a concert unprecedented in scope and influence. Woodstock examines the tumultuous decade that led to those three historic days — years that saw the nation deeply divided by Vietnam and racial, generational and sexual politics — through the voices of those who were present for the event that would become the defining moment of the counterculture revolution.
The film is directed by award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman, written by Goodman and Don Kleszy, and produced by Goodman and Jamila Ephron, with Mark Samels as executive producer.
RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA AFTER THE CIVIL WAR (w.t.), a new four-hour documentary executive produced and hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., will premiere next spring on PBS stations nationwide. Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, will present the definitive history of one of the least understood chapters in American history — the transformative years following the American Civil War when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction and revolutionary social change.
With RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA AFTER THE CIVIL WAR (w.t.), Gates continues a tradition of producing sophisticated documentary films about the African and African-American experience for a broad audience, including the Emmy Award-winning documentary THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS, as well as the documentaries AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES and BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE.
KEN BURNS PRESENTS THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY, a new three-hour documentary executive produced by Ken Burns, will premiere over three nights in Spring 2020 on PBS. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., and acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns will collaborate on the new documentary inspired by Mukherjee’s best-selling 2016 book, The Gene: An Intimate History.
Now in active production, KEN BURNS PRESENTS THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY, much like the book, will use science, social history and personal stories to weave together a historical biography of the human genome while also exploring the stunning breakthroughs in understanding the impact genes play on heredity, disease and behavior. From the story of the remarkable achievements of the earliest gene hunters and the bitterly fought race to read the entire human genome, to the unparalleled ethical challenges of gene editing, the documentary will journey through key genetics discoveries that are some of the greatest achievements in the history of science.
Award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman will produce and, in addition to Burns and Goodman, the film will largely have the same production team behind the Emmy Award-nominated CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES, an adaption of Mukherjee’s earlier 2010 book that aired in 2015 on PBS.