On Sept. 27, FRONTLINE Premieres “The Choice 2016”
The Dueling Stories of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as They Compete for the Presidency
The Choice 2016
Premiering on PBS and online:
Tuesday, September 27, 2016, at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT
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Now, FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines Trump and Clinton have generated to investigate what has shaped these two candidates, where they came from, how they lead and why they want to take on one of the most difficult jobs imaginable.
On September 27, FRONTLINE presents the two-hour special, The Choice 2016, an interwoven investigative biography of Clinton and Trump that draws on dozens of interviews from those who know the candidates best — friends and family, advisors and adversaries — as well as authors, journalists, and political insiders.
What emerges is a deeply reported narrative arc of both candidates’ lives, side by side, with trustworthy journalism and powerful new insights at a moment when voters are being bombarded with conflicting partisan stories about each candidate.
From veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk, who leads one of the most acclaimed investigative teams in broadcast journalism and has made three prior installments of FRONTLINE’s election-year series The Choice, the documentary will also be available the night of the broadcast debut at pbs.org/frontline.
“Both Clinton and Trump have been public figures for most of their lives — in fact, they’ve been active in public life on television for decades,” says Kirk. “But we’ve undertaken the most ambitious television biographies of these candidates ever created, going beyond the headlines they’ve generated and the personas they’ve created to explore what has made them who they are as people and as politicians.”
From their childhoods, to their college experiences, to their tumultuous careers, The Choice 2016 investigates formative moments in the lives of Donald Trump, who has challenged the establishment at every turn, and Hillary Clinton, who has become the first female presidential nominee.
“Both candidates have high unfavorability ratings, and the bitter divide in this country makes it incredibly hard for people to understand how others could support the candidate on the opposite side,” says Kirk. “After watching The Choice 2016, no matter where your allegiance lies, you’ll come away with a new and richer understanding of who the opposing candidates are, and how and why he or she has reached this point.”
In the runup to the premiere of The Choice 2016, FRONTLINE will also debut a series of documentary shorts on its digital platforms taking viewers inside key moments in each candidate’s life. Together, the documentary and these short films will provide fresh, revelatory portraits, spanning decades, that will give viewers a new understanding of the two people who are fighting to lead America – and will be essential viewing for every American looking to make an informed choice on November 8, 2016.
The Choice 2016 premieres Tuesday, September 27, at 9/8c on PBS (check local listings) and will stream in full, for free, online at pbs.org/frontline.
The Choice 2016 is a FRONTLINE production with the Kirk Documentary Group. The producers are Michael Kirk, Mike Wiser and Phil Bennett. The Donald Trump story is produced and reported by Jim Gilmore, and the Hillary Clinton story is reported and produced by Gabrielle Schonder. The director is Michael Kirk. The writers are Michael Kirk and Mike Wiser. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.
FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 75 Emmy Awards and 18 Peabody Awards. Visit pbs.org/frontline and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr and Google+ to learn more. Founded by David Fanning in 1983, FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation, the John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, the Wyncote Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.
About PBS Election 2016
PBS Election 2016 is a year-long, cross-platform initiative that brings together PBS’ news, public affairs, documentary and digital programming to create a comprehensive look at the 2016 election cycle. Acclaimed series PBS NEWSHOUR, FRONTLINE and WASHINGTON WEEK, as well as new and returning series and specials such as 16 FOR ’16 – THE CONTENDERS and AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS, will cover breaking news, provide context for political issues and explore behind-the-scenes stories of the candidates and the election process. PBS Election 2016 also includes a partnership with NPR in which the two organizations will share information across broadcast, radio and digital platforms.
Patrice Taddonio, Patrice_taddonio@wgbh.org, 617.300.5375
Anne Husted, Anne_husted@wgbh.org, 617.300.5312