Martin Scorsese's "The Blues" to Premiere in Fall 2003; Clint Eastwood Among The Series' Directors
"Endgame," Groundbreaking Special Exploring Ethical Dilemmas In a Live Interactive Format, Premieres Sept. 18, 2002
Pasadena, CA - July 26, 2002 - WGBH Boston will present two new groundbreaking programs on PBS, THE BLUES and ENDGAME: ETHICS AND VALUES IN AMERICA, it was announced today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena. Both projects are funded in part by the CPB-PBS Program Challenge Fund, which supports high-profile primetime series.
Martin Scorsese's seven-part series THE BLUES, previously announced, will include Clint Eastwood in its roster of independent filmmakers, along with B.B.King, Bonnie Raitt and Eric Clapton in its talent lineup. The series will premiere in fall 2003.
A multi-media special on controversial moral issues, ENDGAME: ETHICS AND VALUES IN AMERICA will premiere on PBS on September 18, 2002 at 8 p.m. (Check local listings.) This live special will combine thought-provoking drama, audience discussion, and live Web interaction and polling to probe Americans' attitudes about lying - explored in its many shades of grey. Created by Emmy Award-winning producer Scott Goldstein, the program will be hosted by award-winning journalist Carol Marin and include several panelists who, using instant audience feedback, will discuss and debate the issues.
"These provocative programs epitomize PBS's commitment to challenge, inform and entertain our viewers," said Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of PBS. "From independent filmmakers' personal takes on an indigenous American art form, to ENDGAME's highly interactive TV experience, this is the kind of engaging programming that has always set PBS apart."
Clint Eastwood recently joined THE BLUES project, the documentary series currently in production from Executive Producer Martin Scorsese. Eastwood will direct the seventh and final program, in which he will explore his life-long passion for piano blues. Under the guiding vision of Scorsese, THE BLUES is a series of personal impressionistic films viewed through the lens of world-famous directors with a passion for the music. In addition to Scorsese and Eastwood, Charles Burnett, Mike Figgis, Marc Levin, Richard Pearce, and Wim Wenders will each direct an episode. Jody Patton of Clear Blue Sky Productions and Ulrich Felsberg of Road Movies will co-executive produce the series; Alex Gibney is the series producer and Margaret Bodde is the producer. Clear Blue Sky Productions and Road Movies are presenting and co-financing the project.
THE BLUES begins with the journey from Africa to the Mississippi Delta - where the music grew from field hollers, work songs and church choirs - follows it up the Mississippi to the juke joints, house parties and recording studios of Memphis and Chicago, and ends with the emotional embrace of musicians all over the world. The films include original performances by some of today's top artists who, like many musicians, were profoundly influenced by the blues: T-Bone Burnett, Chuck D, Ali Farka Toure, Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, Lou Reed and Ike Turner, among others.
The series is part of a larger initiative to celebrate the power and influence of blues music and educate the public on its significance. It includes a comprehensive Web site, educational materials, a companion book published by HarperCollins, and a CD box set. The project is partnering with Experience Music Project in Seattle to produce a benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall in February 2003, designed to raise money for music education. The concert will kick off a year-long tribute to the blues, which will also include a traveling museum exhibit.
A bold experiment in television, ENDGAME: ETHICS AND VALUES IN AMERICA combines fiction, interactivity via the Web and live debate with a studio audience. The special is designed to create a dynamic, challenging environment where well-told dramatic stories, viewer polling, interaction with the fictional characters and intelligent discussion by important thinkers compel viewers to consider the central ethical, moral and value-driven issues in America today.
ENDGAME is a co-production of Clear Blue Sky Productions (co-producer with WGBH of last year's critically acclaimed EVOLUTION project) and Scott Goldstein Productions. Two-time Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Scott Goldstein ("Today Show," "L.A. Law," "Doogie Howser, M.D.") is the program's creator/writer. The film is written by Scott Goldstein and Craig Hoffman ("The Wonder Years," "Murphy Brown," "Dream On.")
The special opens with a dramatic film posing three ethical questions: Is it ever right to disregard the law to serve the "greater good?" Is it right to "snitch" or turn in a friend? Is there a moral obligation to confess to a crime with no witnesses? Viewers then vote on the special's Web site at www.pbs.org on the decisions made by the film's characters, and are asked, "What would you do?" Results are televised live throughout the program, triggering a live panel discussion hosted by award-winning journalist Carol Marin, formerly of CBS's "60 Minutes II." Panelists will include David Kaczynski (the man who turned in his brother, Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber) and the distinguished ethicist Michael Josephson. Kaczynski will address, among other issues, the moral conflict between loyalty to a loved one and the law.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving over 100 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.
CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, develops educational public radio, television and online services for the American people. The Corporation is the industry's largest single source of funds for national public television and radio program development and production. CPB, a grant making organization, funds more than 1,000 public radio and television stations. Visit www.cpb.org for more information.
WGBH Boston is one of America's preeminent public broadcasting producers, the source of nearly one-third of PBS's primetime lineup and companion online content as well as many public radio favorites. WGBH is a pioneer in educational multimedia (including the Web, broadband, and interactive television) and in technologies and services that make media accessible for people with disabilities. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards, and two Oscars. In 2002, WGBH was honored with a special institutional Peabody Award for 50 years of excellence. For more information visit www.wgbh.org.
Clear Blue Sky Productions (CBSP) is the independent film production company behind such critically acclaimed projects as "Men With Guns" (a Sony Pictures Classics release) by John Sayles, Julie Taymor's "Titus" (a Fox Searchlight release starring Jessica Lange and Anthony Hopkins), and the forthcoming "Coastlines" by Victor Nunez. Founded by investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen in 1997, and under the direction of President Jody Patton, CBSP originates, develops and finances motion pictures and documentaries of substance and enduring significance. CBSP and WGBH co-produced the award-winning PBS documentaries EVOLUTION and NOVA "Cracking the Code of Life." CBSP also produced Michael Apted's complementary films "Inspirations" and "Me & Isaac Newton." For more information visit www.clearblueskyfilms.com.
Road Movies specializes in the development, production and distribution of feature films, documentaries, music clips, commercials and film music. Founded in 1976 by Wim Wenders and joined in 1986 by producer Ulrich Felsberg, Road Movies Group has produced over 80 films, won over 20 German film prizes and numerous international trophies including the Golden Palm for "Paris, Texas" in Cannes and the Golden Lion for "The State of Things" in Venice and an Academy Award nomination for Ulrich Felsberg for "Buena Vista Social Club." Current projects include" Ten Minutes Older," consisting of two features by 15 prominent directors about the subject of time. Along with the French company Playtime, Road Movies is producing the literary classic "24 Heures dans la Vie D'Une Femme" by Stefan Zweig, directed by Laurent Bouhnik. For more information visit www.road-movies.de.
Scott Goldstein Productions focuses on creating new forms of entertainment and education by fusing journalism and drama. Started by Scott Goldstein, the company produced a two-hour television special in collaboration with the Museum of Television and Radio, "Science Fiction: A Journey Into the Unknown" for Fox. Mr. Goldstein began his career in local television news, eventually serving as the producer for the "Today Show." He served as producer of "L.A. Law" for NBC, then produced and directed multiple episodes of "Doogie Howser, M.D." Goldstein created most of the core multimedia exhibits for the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. For more information visit www.GoldsteinProductions.com.
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