PBS Announces Comprehensive Slate of Special Election Programming with 'The Vote 2020'
ARLINGTON, VA; Jan. 30, 2020– On the eve of the Iowa Caucus, PBS announces a comprehensive schedule of news, public affairs, documentary and corresponding digital programming related to the 2020 presidential race.
“As the nation’s most trusted news source and leader in local journalism, PBS and its members stations have the unique ability to cover elections from all perspectives and across multiple platforms,” said Perry Simon, PBS Chief Programming Executive. “To accompany our award-winning public affairs programming, PBS will offer several docu-series, films, and investigative reports examining American democracy and the race for the White House in 2020.”
PBS NEWSHOUR will lead our election coverage, beginning with the Iowa Caucus (Feb. 3), New Hampshire Primary (Feb. 11) and Super Tuesday (Mar. 3) from 11:00-11:30 p.m. ET. This summer, anchor Judy Woodruff and the team from PBS NEWSHOUR will be on-location for coverage of the Democratic Convention (July 13-16) and the Republican Convention (Aug. 24-27).
Coverage and analysis of the four general election debates will be provided by PBS NEWSHOUR, with the presidential debates set to air on Sept. 29, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, and the vice-presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 7 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Finally, as polls begin to close across the nation, PBS NEWSHOUR will provide special primetime coverage of the election results on Nov. 3.
PBS’s award-winning public affairs programming will also feature special coverage from Robert Costa of WASHINGTON WEEK.
On the Friday before Super Tuesday (Feb. 28), WASHINGTON WEEK will host an hour-long special examining the primary candidates and the issues that matter most to voters. On the Fridays preceding the Democratic and Republican Conventions, WASHINGTON WEEK will air a special hour of coverage from Robert Costa, who will conduct interviews on the ground with convention delegates, campaign insiders, and local voters.
PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND will report from Milwaukee and Charlotte the weekends prior to each convention. Convention coverage will be followed by AMANPOUR AND COMPANY, which will feature in-depth conversations with leaders and decision makers explaining the global impact of U.S. elections. Both PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND and AMANPOUR AND COMPANY will be on the road throughout the year visiting swing states and beyond to take a deeper look at the issues that matter most to voters in each community.
PBS 2020 election programming continues with “The Choice 2020,” the newest installment of FRONTLINE’s critically acclaimed election-year series investigating what has shaped the two major party presidential candidates, where they came from and why they want to take on one of the most high-stakes jobs in the world. As the deeply polarized American electorate prepares to head to the polls to decide whether President Donald Trump or his Democratic challenger will lead the country for the next four years, “The Choice 2020” will offer trustworthy journalism and powerful new insights into the events that have shaped both candidates and their competing visions for America’s future. From veteran filmmaker Michael Kirk, who has made four prior installments of “The Choice,” this two-hour special premieres at 9:00 p.m. ET on Sept. 22 and will re-air in primetime on Oct. 27 and Nov. 2.
In a special two-part edition of FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER, viewers are invited to hit the campaign trail with political strategist and commentator 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.
To accompany PBS’s daily news and public affairs coverage, general election programming will continue throughout 2020 with several docu-series, films and investigative reports, all of which are highlighted below.
“George W. Bush”—the newest production in the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Peabody Award-winning collection The Presidents— is a two-part biography on the life and presidency of George W. Bush and features interviews with historians, journalists and several members of the president’s inner circle, including chiefs of staff Andy Card and Josh Bolten, speechwriter David Frum, press secretary Ari Fleischer and others. Premiering May 4 and 5 at 9:00 p.m. ET, the film is written by Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance, produced by Durrance and Jamila Ephron, and executive produced by Mark Samels and Susan Bellows.
Other special programming includes “And She Could Be Next,” a POV miniseries that follows female candidates of color and their 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 diverse team of women filmmakers, the two-night special features history-makers, including Rashida Tlaib and Stacey Abrams, and will air this summer.
One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE“The Vote” will re-air this fall to tell the dramatic story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote. 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.
PBS will also air INDEPENDENT LENS“Represent,” a film that follows three female candidates as they take on entrenched political systems in an effort to reshape local politics. Directed by Hillary C. Bachelder and filmed in the Midwest, “Represent” premiers on Oct. 26 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
PBS LearningMedia, a free resource that includes thousands of contextualized learning materials aligned to state and national standards, will offer classrooms a host of educational materials for the upcoming presidential election.
Election Central is an educational guide to the U.S. elections that offers a growing collection of election resources for classrooms across the country, including lesson plans, maps, short-form video and interactives that can be used to engage students in the political process.
PBS LearningMedia also offers an Electoral Decoder—a cartogram that explores previous presidential elections from 1789-2016—and which will be updated during the 2020 election.
PBS election coverage 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.
For more information on upcoming PBS election coverage, visit www.pbs.org
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