About the Series

I will be talking to people and traveling to places that have transformed us as a nation, often in ways we don’t even realize.
— Tavis


Tavis Smiley Reports is a series of hour-long primetime specials that air throughout the year.

Tavis leaves his studio chair in Los Angeles and goes on the road to examine some of the country’s defining moments.




In January of 2010, the first installment of Tavis Smiley Reports focused on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Tavis was granted exceptional access to Secretary Clinton and accompanied her on diplomatic missions abroad, to meetings on Capitol Hill and within the State Department itself, to give the American public a candid and incisive view of the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy and international relations.


The second Tavis Smiley Reports delved into one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s greatest speeches, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” which he delivered on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in NYC. Tavis examined the context of Dr. King’s words on liberty, responsibility and freedom—against the backdrop of the civil rights struggle and an increasingly unpopular war—and the implications of his words today, particularly in light of President Obama’s decision to increase U.S. troops in Afghanistan.


For the third broadcast in the series, Tavis teamed with Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme to revisit New Orleans on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The report offers a uniquely personal look at the resilience of the citizens of the Ninth Ward through their efforts to rebuild their lives. Tavis presents a portrait of a city still reeling from the aftermath of the natural disaster and the political neglect that followed, and explores the lessons to be learned from post-Katrina New Orleans.


The fourth installment of Tavis Smiley Reports offered a candid look into the world of Los Angeles Philharmonic’s star conductor Gustavo Dudamel and examines the resurgence of music programs across the United States. The episode also features additional artists who, like Dudamel, are working together to develop programs to introduce children to sheet music and classical music instruction, which is proving to have a dramatic impact on their lives.

Last modified: January 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm
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