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S27 Ep3
Mel Brooks: Make a Noise
Bernadette Peters on meeting Mel Brooks and the impact of his humor: “As far as he would go with jokes, like in Blazing Saddles…he’ll get away with things because they were truly funny.” Peters was interviewed on September 4, 2012 for American Masters – Mel Brooks: Make A Noise (2013).
Premiered: 5/20/2013
S27 Ep2
Philip Roth: Unmasked
American Masters explores the life and career of Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novelist Philip Roth, often referred to as the greatest living American writer. Reclusive and diffident, Roth grants very few interviews, but for the first time, allowed a journalist to spend 10 days interviewing him on camera.
Premiered: 3/29/2013
S27 Ep1
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll
Southern-born, Chicago-raised and New York-made. She could play the guitar like nobody else… nobody. Discover the life, music and influence of African-American gospel singer and guitar virtuoso Sister Rosetta Tharpe from writer, producer and director Mick Csaky. During the 1940s-60s, Tharpe introduced the spiritual passion of her gospel music into the secular world of rock ’n’ roll, inspiring some of its greatest stars, including Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard.
Premiered: 2/22/2013
S26 Ep8
Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance
JOFFREY: MAVERICKS OF AMERICAN DANCE tells the story of the first quintessentially American dance company, the Joffrey Ballet. Founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino revolutionized American dance by combining modern with traditional ballet to create a new and daring art form. Narrated by Tony and Emmy Award-winner Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), the 90-minute documentary is the first to chronicle the Joffrey Ballet’s pioneering dance philosophy. Award-winning filmmaker Bob Hercules traces the company’s struggles and triumphs: from its humble beginnings in 1956, touring the United States in a borrowed station wagon, to becoming one of the world’s most exciting and prominent ballet companies.
Premiered: 12/28/2012
S26 Ep7
Inventing David Geffen
David Geffen’s far-reaching influence — as agent, manager, record industry mogul, Hollywood and Broadway producer, and philanthropist — has helped shape American popular culture for the past four decades. Notoriously press and camera-shy, Geffen reveals himself for the first time in the new two-hour documentary. Inventing David Geffen, premiers nationally on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, on PBS.
Premiered: 11/20/2012
S17 Ep8
The Education of Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal (1925-2012) never lacked for labels: Witty, irreverent, and shrewd, a propagandist, a truth-teller, and an agent provocateur. Dramatist, novelist, screenwriter, actor, and public debater. A troublemaker at large, poking his pen at anyone who got in his way. That’s how Vidal seared himself into the American consciousness.
Premiered: 7/30/2003
S26 Ep5
Johnny Carson: King of Late Night
Johnny Carson (10/23/1925 – 1/23/2005) was seen by more people on more occasions than anyone else in American history. Over the course of 30 years, 4,531 episodes and 23,000 guests, he became a fixture of national life. Johnny Carson: King of Late Night explores his life, career, and complexities.
Premiered: 5/14/2012
S26 Ep2
Cab Calloway: Sketches
Calloway was also an ambassador for his race, leading one of the most popular African American big bands during the Harlem Renaissance and jazz and swing eras of the 1930s-40s. American Masters celebrates "The Hi De Ho Man's" legacy during Black History Month with the documentary Cab Calloway: Sketches premiering nationally Monday, February 27 at 10 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).
Premiered: 2/26/2012
S26 Ep1
Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune
American Masters opens its 26th season with the biography of a conflicted troubadour who, with guitar in hand, stood up for what he believed in and challenged us all to do the same. Three-time Emmy-nominated filmmaker Kenneth Bowser examines one of America's most iconic folk music heroes in Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune, premiering nationally Monday, January 23 at 10 pm (check local listings).
Premiered: 1/22/2012
S25 Ep9
Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter
Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey's definitive documentary delves into the private world the Eameses created in their Renaissance-style, Venice Beach, California studio, where design history was born. Narrated by James Franco, the film premieres nationally Monday, December 19 from 10-11:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on PBS (check local listings) as the 25th anniversary season finale of American Masters.
Premiered: 12/18/2011
S25 Ep5
Pearl Jam Twenty
Director and music journalist Cameron Crowe creates a definitive portrait of the seminal band carved from never-before-seen footage, recent band interviews, and concert footage. The two-hour documentary gives an intimate glimpse into Pearl Jam's journey in honor of the band's 20th anniversary. Pearl Jam Twenty premieres nationally Friday, October 21 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on PBS (check local listings).
Premiered: 10/20/2011
S25 Ep7
Woody Allen: A Documentary Part 1
Iconic writer, director, actor, comedian, and musician Woody Allen allowed his life and creative process to be documented for the first time. Filmmaker Robert Weide followed the film legend over a year and a half to create the ultimate film biography. Woody Allen: A Documentary premieres Sunday, November 20 from 9-11 p.m. and Monday, November 21 from 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).
Premiered: 11/19/2011
S25 Ep6
Bill T. Jones: A Good Man
The 90-minute film chronicles the intense creative journey of Bill T. Jones as he tackles the most ambitious work of his career and leads the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in the creation of Fondly Do We Hope... Fervently Do We Pray, an original dance-theater piece in honor of Abraham Lincoln's bicentennial commissioned by Ravinia Festival.
Premiered: 11/10/2011

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