PBS Celebrates the Joy of Reading With THE GREAT AMERICAN READ (w.t.)
- New Series and Nationwide Campaign Asks Readers to Choose
“America’s Best-Loved Book” -
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, July 30, 2017 – Today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS announced THE GREAT AMERICAN READ (w.t.), a new eight-part television series and nationwide campaign that explores the joy of books and the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved books, chosen by the public. Designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved and shaped us, THE GREAT AMERICAN READ (w.t.) encompasses the eight-part PBS series, community reading programs and special events, and a wide range of digital and social media initiatives. Featuring testimonials from notable figures from the entertainment, sports, news and literary worlds, the series culminates in the first-ever national vote to choose “America’s Best-Loved Book.”
THE GREAT AMERICAN READ (w.t.) will launch in spring 2018 with a multi-platform digital and social campaign leading up to the reveal of the 100 books selected by the American public and an advisory panel of literary professionals. Beginning with a two-hour kick-off event in May, the high-energy, hosted documentary special will feature appearances by celebrities and everyday Americans passionately advocating for and explaining their personal connections to their favorite books. Voting and social media engagement will continue throughout summer 2018, with six episodes of the series exploring the nominated books through themes such as “Being American,” “Heroes,” “Growing Up,” “What We Do for Love” and more. Throughout the summer, PBS stations will partner with local organizations and booksellers in the community to activate and inspire the next generation of readers through library, education and community initiatives. As summer turns to fall, voting will close and America’s top 10 books will be revealed counting down to America’s Best-Loved in the final episode of the series in September 2018.
“PBS and its member stations are thrilled to kick off a summer of reading with THE GREAT AMERICAN READ (w.t.), a multi-platform, system-wide initiative that explores and celebrates the diversity of thought, perspective and experiences of America through the lens of our most treasured literary classics and contemporary titles,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “The time is right for this nationwide reading initiative that will encourage conversations and complementary activities in communities across the country. We can’t wait to see what America chooses!”
“THE GREAT AMERICAN READ will speak to all Americans,” said Jane Root, CEO, Nutopia. These books tell our story, explore our passions and celebrate the depth and range of our culture. Which book will win? I don't know, but I’m super excited to follow the journey and find out.”
Nutopia is a leading TV production company creating innovative, award-winning, premium content on a global scale. Founded in 2008 by Jane Root, former president of Discovery Channel US and controller of BBC2, the company is best known for creating the “mega doc,” huge scale series designed to stand out from the crowd and working with some of the most prominent global broadcasters, including CNN, National Geographic, the BBC, PBS and A+E Networks. Critical successes include the landmark Emmy Award-winning series HOW WE GOT TO NOW; two series of the ratings smash FINDING JESUS. FAITH. FACT. FORGERY for CNN; Emmy Award-winning series AMERICA THE STORY OF US and MANKIND THE STORY OF ALL OF US, both for History. THE STORY OF US format has sold internationally with THE BRITISH for Sky Television, AUSTRALIA: THE STORY OF US for Network Seven and CANADA: THE STORY OF US for CBC.
Nutopia is currently in production on two of the biggest documentary series in television history: National Geographic’s 10-hour flagship factual event ONE STRANGE ROCK, a collaboration with Academy Award-nominated Darren Aronofsky’s production company Protozoa Pictures; and landmark art-history series CIVILIZATIONS for BBC and PBS.
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 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 new 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 Pressroom on Twitter.
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Atiya Frederick, PBS, 703-739-5147; firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Sharkey, DKC Public Relations, 212-981-5154; Liz_Sharkey@dkcnews.com
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