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PBS and BBC Studios Announce New Series, THE STORY OF HIP-HOP WITH CHUCK D (w.t.)
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Rap Icon Chuck D Docuseries Explores Four Decades of Hip-Hop History and Its Resounding Legacy

Premiering Fall 2022

 

ARLINGTON, VA (January 18, 2022) – PBS and BBC Studios today announced THE STORY OF HIP-HOP WITH CHUCK D (working title), a new four-part series currently in production for broadcast in Fall 2022. The series, developed by Chuck D and his manager Lorrie Boula, rewinds to the birth of hip-hop and traces its role in the story of America from the past 40 years, right up to the present day.  Chuck D, legendary artist, activist and co-founder of Public Enemy and Prophets of Rage, will also feature in the production.

Featuring first-hand accounts from some of rap’s most integral players, the series will deconstruct the origins of this bold and revolutionary art form through the voices of those who were there at the start, creating an anthology of how it became a cultural phenomenon against the backdrop of American history. Weaving together interconnected moments via intimate interviews and archival footage, this landmark series explores how hip-hop- from the beginning a provocative and sometimes controversial cultural force, even within the Black community- has been instrumental in giving voice and mobility to marginalized communities, helping confront social issues and driving change. 

“The hip-hop community has, from the start, been doing what the rest of media is only now catching up to,” says Chuck D. “Long before any conglomerate realized it was time to wake up, hip-hop had been speaking out and telling truths. Working with PBS and BBC is an opportunity to deliver these messages through new ways and help explain hip hop’s place in history and hopefully inspire us all to take it further.” 

“We brought the project to PBS and BBC Studios because they are unparalleled at creating great documentaries. Chuck D and I look forward to working with them to take this account of such an important movement to the world,” adds Lorrie Boula.  “People are finally open to hearing and learning about the history of all Americans, and we want to deliver authentic, compelling and truthful stories to them.”

“PBS is excited to join with Chuck D, Lorrie Boula and BBC Studios to bring this illuminating project to audiences across our platforms,” said Bill Gardner, Vice President of Multiplatform Programming and Head of Development for PBS. “Hip-hop is one of the most influential artistic genres and cultural movements of our time, and we’re thrilled to tell a deep and unflinching story with one of its originators and most powerful voices.” 

GRAMMY® winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chuck D was at the vanguard of how this art form became a platform for political expression and a vessel toward social justice. As co-founder of Public Enemy, his music dispatched lessons in Black history and consciousness while striving to dismantle racial constructs. “Fight the Power,” Public Enemy’s groundbreaking single released in 1989, became an anthem that called for unity against oppression and continues to resonate to this day. It is often called the most important hip-hop song of all time, is in the Library of Congress and was named the #2 Greatest Song of All Time in 2021 by Rolling Stone magazine. 

THE STORY OF HIP-HOP WITH CHUCK D (working title) is produced by PBS in partnership with BBC Studios. Bill Gardner is the executive in charge for PBS with Chuck D and Lorrie Boula as executive producers. Max Gogarty is the commissioning editor for the BBC, with Sam Emmery as executive producer and Helen Bart as series producer for BBC Studios.  

 

About PBS
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 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 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 TwitterFacebook 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 Communications on Twitter.

 

About BBC Studios
BBC Studios, a global content company with bold British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions and programs and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programs made by the business are internationally recognized across a broad range of genres and specializations, with brands like Dancing with the Stars/Strictly Come Dancing, Top Gear, and Doctor Who. BBC.com, BBC Studios’ global digital news platform, provides up-to-the-minute international news, in-depth analysis and features to more than 139 million unique browsers each month. BBC Studios has offices in 20 markets globally, including ten production bases in the UK and production bases or partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which ordinarily makes around 2,000 hours of content a year for both the BBC and third parties including Apple, Netflix, and Migu, is a champion for British creativity around the world. It is also a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector through a mix of equity partnerships, content investment, and international distribution for program titles.   

In the Americas, BBC Studios operates a diverse portfolio of businesses focused on bringing the best of British content to fans across the region. This includes joint ventures with AMC Networks for flagship channel BBC AMERICA (U.S.) and with ITV for SVoD service BritBox (U.S./Canada), as well as a strategic partnership in Canada with Blue Ant Media for channels BBC Earth and BBC First. In February 2021, BBC SELECT, an ad-free, digital streaming channel offering all-new documentaries across culture, politics, and ideas, launched in the U.S. and Canada on Amazon Prime Video Channels and the Apple TV app. BBC Studios also runs a robust linear and digital content sales and co-productions operation, as well as a franchise management business. In addition, BBC Studios operates one of its major scripted and unscripted production unit in Los Angeles, responsible the Emmy®-winning Dancing with the Stars, the multi-award-winning Life Below Zero, and the popular reboot of the classic quiz show Weakest Link, among others.  

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CONTACTS:

Michae Godwin
PBS
mmgodwin@pbs.org

 

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