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For your Emmy ® consideration: Watch these American Masters documentaries

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Who has changed America? People like Nina Simone, Mae West, Pam Grier, Keith Haring, Cecily Tyson, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Twyla Tharp. Think of Amy Tan, Doc Severinsen, Lena Horne, Walter Winchell, Abbey Lincoln, Jovita Idár, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Diahann Carroll. Independent producers shared these unforgettable stories on American Masters.  

American Masters presents these 10 documentaries for your Emmy® consideration in the category of “Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series.” 

The series has earned 75 Emmy® nominations and 28 Emmy Awards, including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special. 

Mae West: Dirty Blonde

 Rebel, seductress, writer, producer and sexual icon — Mae West challenged the morality of our country over a career spanning eight decades. With creative and economic powers unheard of for a female entertainer in the 1930s, she “climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong.”   

Unladylike2020: The Changemakers

Dramatic stories of pioneering women in American politics from the turn of the 20th century: Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female state senator; Jeannette Rankin, the first woman in Congress; Mary Church Terrell, co-founder of the NAACP; Jovita Idar, Mexican American civil rights advocate; and Zitkála-Šá, American Indian citizenship advocate.   

Walter Winchell: The Power of Gossip

Meet the newspaper columnist, radio commentator and television personality who pioneered the fast-paced, gossip driven, politically charged journalism that dominates today. At his peak, his audience was 50 million. Stanley Tucci stars as Walter Winchell.   

Michael Tilson Thomas: Where Now Is

Award-winning conductor, pianist and composer Michael Tilson Thomas helped set the standard for American orchestras to champion modern American music. Tilson Thomas reflects on his tenure as a renowned music director, conductor, and composer who continues to mentor the next generation of classical musicians.   

Keith Haring: Street Art Boy

 Decorating public spaces with graffiti and commercializing his iconic designs, Keith Haring revolutionized the art world. From his sleepy hometown to New York’s 80s club scene to the AIDS crisis, previously unheard interviews reveal the creative energy behind one of the world’s greatest pop artists.  

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Prairie to Page

 The author of the best-selling “Little House” series was 65 years old when her first book was published. Learn how a secret collaboration with her daughter on the books shaped American ideas of the frontier for generations to come. 

How It Feels to Be Free

 How did six iconic Black entertainers — Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier— change American culture through their films, fashion, music and politics?   

Twyla Moves

 Legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp takes us into rehearsal on a new piece featuring dance stars like Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo – all via Zoom during the coronavirus pandemic. Rare archival footage explores her unparalleled career, rigorous creative process, and collaborations with David Byrne, Billy Joel, and Miloš Forman.  

Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story

Hear all the high notes of Doc Severinsen’s career — from his time as the colorful bandleader of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” to his relentless schedule of touring and performing into his nineties. This master trumpeter won’t put his horn down any time soon.  

Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir

 Amy Tan is one of today’s most prominent American literary voices. Born to Chinese-immigrant parents, the writer of “The Joy Luck Club” draws from her family history, Asian American experience, and generational trauma to create best-selling works in both fiction and non-fiction.