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AARP Provides Major Series Funding for THIRTEEN’s American Masters


WNET announced today that AARP has provided two years of major funding for THIRTEEN’s American Masters series, which launched Season 31 with the exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere of American Masters: By Sidney Lumet this week.

American Masters has set the gold standard for documentary film profiles,” said Stephen Segaller, vice president of programming at WNET. “The generous support of AARP will help us to maintain the standard of excellence that THIRTEEN and American Masters are known for.” WNET is the parent company of New York’s public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV.

“Through AARP’s generosity we’re able to continue to celebrate the luminaries that have left an indelible impression on our cultural landscape,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. “Their support will help us bring viewers some of our best films yet and expand our digital offerings over the next two years.”

“We are delighted to support THIRTEEN’s American Masters series,” said Myrna Blyth, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director for AARP Media. “Our audience is not only one of the largest population subsets in the country, it is a group of people that loves compelling and smart films and this series speaks directly to those that appreciate good storytelling about people who have shaped our world.”

AARP is the nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization aiming to change the way America defines aging and make life better for today’s 50-plus population. AARP also works to promote important issues such as health care, personal fulfillment, employment and income security.

Other films premiering as part of American Masters Season 31 include American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise (February 21), Patsy Cline: American Masters (March), and a “Chefs Flight” of four documentaries on culinary legends: American Masters – James Beard: America’s First Foodie (May 19) and American Masters –Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft (May 26) paired with encore presentations of American Masters: Julia! America’s Favorite Chef and American Masters: Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution, respectively.

Launched in 1986, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special —

12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present, the American Masters website ( offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, educational resources and In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive: previously unreleased interviews of luminaries discussing America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants as well as the American Masters Podcast. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel.

Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Vital Projects Fund, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Lenore Hecht Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers.

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