Weekly Half-Hour Series Targeted for June Launch on PBS stations
Washington, DC; Friday, November 7 -- PBS and producing station WETA Washington, DC, announced today that a new public affairs program for PBS, featuring acclaimed political journalist, commentator and analyst Tucker Carlson, has been green-lighted for development. The half-hour weekly primetime series, targeted for a June launch, is set to offer a lively discussion of the week's news stories from a wide range of perspectives. The exact format and title are still in development.
Carlson, currently a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," is known for his signature style: original, engaging, witty, fresh. The new show will offer regular and guest commentators and analysts spanning the spectrum of social, cultural and political thinking, adding new voices to the public discourse on the critical issues facing the nation. The series will be produced by WETA Washington, DC.
Pat Mitchell, PBS President and CEO, said, "Since coming to PBS in 2001, I have been working with our producers and stations to strengthen our public affairs programming, both what was on our schedule as well as pursuing new ways to increase the national commitment to thoughtful discussion of important issues. 'Now with Bill Moyers' was launched in the wake of September 11, as a new forum for exploration of issues in the public interests and 'Flashpoints USA' followed. The response encouraged us to seek to add even more programs that we feel meet our mission of public service. Over the past several months, PBS programming commissioned several pilots and reviewed proposals, and selected the next launch to be the Tucker Carlson program. We are pleased to add another nationally known and respected journalist to the lineup that includes a wide range of respected journalists, from Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill, Charlie Rose, Bryant Gumbel and now, Tavis Smiley and Tucker Carlson."
"I'm thrilled and honored to be part of PBS," said Carlson. "I think this will be the kind of show that will make viewers want to put down the remote for half an hour. I can't wait."
In addition to his work on "Crossfire," Carlson has written from around the world for dozens of newspapers and magazines, including Esquire and the New York Times. He is a former writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock.
WETA, the third-largest producing station in the public broadcasting system, brings two of PBS' icon news and public affairs series to viewers across the country: "Washington Week," for 37 years a stalwart of the genre, and "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS's highly respected nightly newscast along with "FLASHPOINTS USA with Bryant Gumbel and Gwen Ifill," a series of quarterly specials, launched in July 2003.
"WETA is honored to add this program with Tucker Carlson to our impressive portfolio in new and public affairs," said Sharon Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA. "Washington is the focal point of the world's news, and WETA is a reliable and innovative source for programming chronicling developments in the nation's capital and the world."
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.
Lea Sloan, PBS, 703-739-5021; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dewey Blanton, WETA, 703-998-2875; email@example.com
Carrie Johnson, PBS, 703-739-5129; firstname.lastname@example.org