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American Masters Podcast Season 3: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants


THIRTEEN’s American Masters series launches season three of the American Masters Podcast on Wednesday, February 20 through a new distribution partnership with PRX. Led by co-producer/actor Josh Hamilton (“Eighth Grade,” “13 Reasons Why,” “Blaze”), the original, interview-based podcast is available now on the American Masters website, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and other podcast apps.

The new season of the American Masters Podcast features 10 biweekly episodes with artists and cultural figures discussing their works, creative processes and heroes. Through the lens of each guest’s own biography, the new season asks: Who has inspired your path to success? What is the value of a hero? What makes someone an American Master?

Episode one (February 20) features a new interview between comedian-turned-filmmaker Bo Burnham and Hamilton, who acted in Burnham’s debut film, “Eighth Grade.” In a wide-ranging conversation, Burnham considers the purpose of having heroes, and discusses his upbringing and wunderkind career as a young comedian and YouTube celebrity. Episode two (March 6) features a rare, unreleased interview with legendary entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., and Davis biographer Burt Boyar, unearthed during production of the documentary American Masters Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me (February 19 at 9 p.m. on PBS, check local listings), with commentary from director Sam Pollard and writer and co-producer Laurence Maslon. Episode three (March 20) features a new interview with filmmaker, artist and writer Miranda July about the influence of everyday encounters on her life and work. Later episodes include original interviews with James Beard Award-winning chef David Chang, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, musician and filmmaker Boots Riley, activist DeRay Mckesson and others.

“Anyone and everyone who becomes an American Master had a hero and was influenced by the greats who came before,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters, “and this season we speak with contemporary culture makers about their influences.”

Launched in 1986, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 13 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. Now in its 33rd season on PBS, the series features new documentaries about country music star Charley Pride (February 22), feminist singer and activist Holly Near (March 1), media mogul Joseph Pulitzer (April 12), photographer Garry Winogrand (April 19), playwright Terrence McNally (June 14) and others artistic and cultural giants.

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 videos of luminaries discussing America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel.

The American Masters Podcast is produced by Joe Skinner. Michael Kantor is executive producer.


PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.