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PBS AND WGBH BOSTON ANNOUNCE "NEW ORLEANS"
Acclaimed Filmmaker Stephen Ives Tapped by AMERICAN EXPERIENCE to Produce
PBS Press Tour, Pasadena, CA, January 14, 2006 – AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, PBS' celebrated
documentary series produced at WGBH Boston, today announced production of a film about
New Orleans, covering nearly a century of the city's history, from Reconstruction
through school desegregation and the civil rights movement. The series has chosen
filmmaker Stephen Ives of Insignia Films to direct the two-hour special, which will
air in 2007.
"You set foot in New Orleans, even in the wake of Katrina, and you immediately
sense the distinctiveness of the city," said Ives. "New Orleans has always been
a laboratory for the American experiment—a place where the astonishing mingling
of peoples has created the most vibrant and original culture in America."
"With the recent devastation to the city, the time is right to reflect on the rich
history of New Orleans," said AMERICAN EXPERIENCE executive producer Mark Samels.
"There are questions swirling as to whether this town that lies below sea level can
— or even should — be rebuilt. We believe this film will play an important role
in that national dialogue."
John F. Wilson, Sr. Vice President, PBS Programming, said, "PBS has often been
noted as the nation's 'storyteller' and with the utter destruction of so much
of the visual history of this great city, it's never been more important for
us to preserve and illuminate these essential American legacies for future
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE's previous city profiles include "New York: A Documentary Film"
and "Chicago: City of the Century"; November 2005 saw the PBS premiere of
"Las Vegas: An Unconventional History," also from Ives. Now in its 18th season,
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is the most-watched history series on television and the
leading producer of historical documentaries, Web sites, and DVDs.
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WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of
fully one-third of PBS's prime-time lineup, along with some of public television's
best-known lifestyle shows and children's programs and many public radio favorites.
WGBH is the number one producer of Web sites on pbs.org, and a pioneer in
educational multimedia and in technologies that make media accessible to the
36 million Americans who rely on captioning or video descriptions. WGBH has been
recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards—even
two Oscars. In 2002, WGBH was honored with a special institutional Peabody Award
for 50 years of excellence.
CONTACT: Daphne B. Noyes, WGBH, 617/300-344;
Lauren Prestileo, WGBH, 617/300-5329;
Carrie Johnson, PBS, 703/739-5129;