PBS Press Tour; Los Angeles, CA; January 7, 2009 - PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) announced today that it will air the new Ken Burns documentary film, THE TENTH INNING, in the fall of 2010. The program is co-directed by Burns and longtime colleague Lynn Novick and co-written and produced by Burns, Novick and David McMahon. The special will coincide with a re-broadcast of the original nine-part documentary series, BASEBALL, which debuted in 1994 and was seen by more than 48 million viewers.
Set to air 16 years after the landmark Emmy Award-winning series captivated American viewers, THE TENTH INNING will follow baseball's trajectory from 1993 through 2008, beginning where the original series left off. Produced in association with Major League Baseball Productions, the film celebrates baseball's enduring appeal and showcases the unforgettable heroics and achievements on the field over the past 15 years, vividly presented against a backdrop of the social and cultural history of America during this same period. It also details the tumultuous times the sport faced during this era, from performance-enhancing drugs to the players' strike that tested the loyalty of many fans.
"So much has transpired in baseball since we last examined the game and all of its many nuances," said Ken Burns. "Above all, this new installment furthers a sense of celebration and introspection around one of our nation's greatest institutions, the seemingly simple stick and ball game whose infinite variations and possibilities have entranced our ever-changing nation for nearly 200 years."
"Ken and I are passionate baseball fans ourselves, so it's a project that resonates with us on many levels," added Lynn Novick. "We were extremely fortunate to capture a cross-section of compelling perspectives on the game, and gain a deeper understanding of what it means in our ever-changing world."
"We're thrilled to revisit BASEBALL with Ken, Lynn and all of the talented folks at Florentine Films," said John Boland, PBS Chief Content Officer. "For all of the loyal viewers who have clamored over the years for a new chapter of BASEBALL, we can now officially say it's time to 'play ball' once again."
Many familiar faces from the first nine installments of the series will add their welcome perspectives on events of the last fifteen years, including writers Roger Angell, Dan Okrent, Gerald Early, and Doris Kearns Goodwin as well as broadcaster Bob Costas. The film will also feature revealing interviews with player/managers Felipe Alou and Joe Torre, players Omar Vizquel and Ichiro Suzuki, writers Marcos Breton and Howard Bryant, and other players, managers, writers and fans from across the country, as well as overseas.
THE TENTH INNING is a production of Florentine Films and WETA Washington, DC.
WETA Washington, DC, is the third-largest producing station for public television and the flagship public broadcaster in the nation's capital. WETA productions and co-productions include THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER, WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL AND NATIONAL JOURNAL, AMERICA AT A CROSSROADS and IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE. Additionally, for more than 20 years, WETA has partnered with filmmaker Ken Burns to bring his landmark documentaries to the nation via public television, including the 2007 film THE WAR. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO of WETA. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.
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Carrie Johnson, PBS, 703-739-5129
Dave Donovan/Cassin Donn/Brian Moriarty, Dan Klores Communications, 212-685-4300