Summer Programming Slate Features POV “And She Could Be Next,” AMERICAN MASTERS “Unladylike2020,” FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER Special (w.t.), GREAT PERFORMANCES “Ann” and “Gloria: A Life,” and More
Programming Lineup Also Includes Two New Miniseries, PREHISTORIC ROAD TRIP and ROYAL HISTORY’S MYTHS AND SECRETS WITH LUCY WORSLEY
PASADENA, CA; Jan. 10, 2020 [UPDATED April 1, 2020]– In the summer of 2020, PBS will launch a slate of multiplatform content to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote in the United States. As part of its strategy to present thematically connected programming each quarter, PBS will honor and commemorate those who fought for women’s suffrage in the U.S., the feminist movement throughout the 20th century, and the stories of modern women who continue to shatter the glass ceiling and transform modern history.
“From the people who fought for the ratification of the 19th Amendment to present-day changemakers, we are honored to share the inspiring stories of trailblazing women who have changed the course of history,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO.
One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s “The Vote” (Monday, July 6 and Tuesday, July 7 at 9:00 p.m. ET) tells the dramatic story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote, a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history. In its final decade, movement leaders wrestled with contentious questions about the most effective methods for affecting social change, debating the use of militant and even violent tactics. Exploring how and why millions of 20th century Americans mobilized for — and against — women’s suffrage, “The Vote” brings to life the unsung leaders of the movement and the deep controversies over gender roles and race that divided Americans then — and continue to dominate political discourse today.
As American demographics rapidly shift, “And She Could Be Next,” a POV miniseries (Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30 at 9:00 p.m. ET), tells the story of a defiant movement of women of color, transforming politics from the ground up. The series follows candidates and organizers across the country, asking whether democracy itself can be preserved — and made stronger — by those most marginalized. Filmed in 2018 and 2019 by a team of women of color filmmakers, the two-night special features history-makers including Rashida Tlaib and Stacey Abrams. Premieres.
In addition, viewers are invited to hit the campaign trail in an all-new two-part special with political strategist and commentator Margaret Hoover, from FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER, and several conservative women who are changing the face of the Republican Party. In each of the half-hour specials, Hoover documents what motivated these women to run for office and the challenges they face as they participate in American democracy. The first special will focus on rising stars in the party, and the second special will highlight newcomers running for Congress, premiering Friday, June 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET and Tuesday, June 30 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Illuminating the stories of extraordinary American heroines from the early years of feminism, AMERICAN MASTERS“Unladylike2020” (Friday, July 10 at 10:00 p.m. ET) is a multimedia series consisting of a one-hour special for broadcast and 26 digital short films featuring courageous, little-known and diverse female trailblazers from the turn of the 20th century. These women achieved many firsts, including earning an international pilot’s license, becoming a bank president, founding a hospital, fighting for the desegregation of public spaces, exploring the Arctic, opening a film studio and singing opera at Carnegie Hall. Presenting history in a bold new way, AMERICAN MASTERS “Unladylike2020,” produced and directed by Charlotte Mangin (“America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa,” FRONTLINE), brings these incredible stories back to life through original artwork and animation, rare historical archival footage, and interviews with descendants, historians and accomplished modern women who reflect upon the influence of these pioneers.
Five decades after Gloria Steinem began raising her voice for women’s equality and championing the equality rights of others, her vision and call to action are as urgent as ever. The two-hour GREAT PERFORMANCES“Gloria: A Life” (Friday, June 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET) brings viewers a richly detailed tapestry about one of the most inspiring and remarkable women in modern history. Written by Tony Award nominee Emily Mann and directed by visionary Tony Award winner Diane Paulus, Emmy-winning actress Christine Lahti and an all-female cast perform in this unique and thought-provoking theatrical format about Steinem’s life story and her path to activism that includes a talking circle moderated by Steinem herself.
Viewers will also experience a no-holds-barred portrait of Ann Richards, Governor of Texas from 1991-95, in another GREAT PERFORMANCES two-hour theatrical production. Written and performed by Emmy Award-winning actress Holland Taylor (“Two and a Half Men”), “Ann” (Friday, June 19 at 9:00 p.m. ET) takes a revealing look at the impassioned woman who enriched the lives of her followers, friends and family — a complex, colorful and captivating character bigger than the state from which she hailed.
The Emmy Award-winning AMERICAN MASTERS series, which explores the lives and creative journeys of America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants, returns with two new installments: “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” (Tuesday, June 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET) and “Mae West: Dirty Blonde” (Tuesday, June 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET).
The two-hour film “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” reflects on the life of Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. From her Ohio childhood to her time teaching at Princeton to her many acclaimed novels, Morrison leads an assembly of peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, America, history and the human condition.
Viewers are also invited to take an in-depth look at the entertainment legend who “climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong” in “Mae West: Dirty Blonde.” The 90-minute program captures how West, a performer and writer, famously imbued her plotlines with commentary about some of the most complex social issues of the 20th century.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, a 17-time Emmy Award nominee and PBS's most-watched ongoing series, celebrates women trailblazers in the all-new summer 2020 special episode “Women’s Work” (Monday July 6 at 8:00 p.m. ET). Spotlighting outstanding contributions from female athletes, artists, activists and more, along with the stories of those who made an indelible mark on the world around us, appraisals will highlight women, from the well-known to the unsung, through their interesting, thought-provoking objects and accomplishments.
In the latest from BBC and PBS, Lucy Worsley travels across Britain and Europe visiting the incredible locations — beautiful palaces, castles and dramatic battlefields — where royal history was made in LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS AND SECRETS (Sundays, June 21 – July 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET). Throughout the three-episode, three-hour miniseries, Worsley investigates how royal history is a mixture of facts, exaggeration, manipulation and mythology. Notable women and their roles in historical events are featured: Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada, Queen Anne and the Formation of Great Britain, and Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution.
PREHISTORIC ROAD TRIP (Wednesdays, June 17 – July 1 at 10:00 p.m. ET), a three-episode miniseries produced by WTTW Chicago, features Emily Graslie, Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Field Museum and creator/host of the popular YouTube series “The Brain Scoop.” In each hour-long episode, Graslie, one of the best-known science communicators on YouTube, embarks on an epic road trip through America’s fossil country, where she encounters mysterious creatures and bizarre ecosystems that have shaped Earth as we know it. With her trademark sense of adventure and wit, she explores the American West from above and below to better understand our planet’s past and what new discoveries might mean for its future.
PBS will also encore FRONTLINE “For Sama,” an intimate yet epic journey of one woman’s experience of the Syrian war. This critically acclaimed film, produced by Channel 4 News/ITN Productions for Channel 4 and WGBH/FRONTLINE, is the 2019 winner of the Cannes Film Festival Best Documentary Award and the Documentary Feature winner at the 2019 SXSW Feature Film Grand Jury Awards.
For more information on upcoming PBS women’s vote centennial programming in 2020, visit www.pbs.org. Viewers are also encouraged to engage in online conversation about the summer slate by tagging @PBS and using #TrailblazersPBS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
PBS LearningMedia, a free resource that includes thousands of contextualized learning materials aligned to state and national standards, will offer classrooms a host of “Trailblazers” educational offerings. Video clips, activities, discussion questions and interactive lessons from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Vote,”AMERICAN MASTERS“Unladylike2020,” “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” and others will be available beginning in March and rolling out throughout the summer. These resources will help social studies, English, language arts and science educators bring important and understudied topics in women’s history to life in their classrooms.
PBS summer programming and upcoming premieres will be available for streaming on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members will also be able to view all episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details).
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Brandii M. Toby-Leon, Bullseye Communications
Lisa Dyer, Bullseye Communications
Atiya N. Frederick, PBS
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