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PBS Details 2012 Election Programming, Non-Fiction Specials, And Another Ken Burns Documentary

PBS made a slew of announcements during its presentation at the 2012 Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

Leading the way was its 2012 Presidential election coverage, which will be featured on “Need to Know,” “Frontline,” “PBS Newshour” and “Washington Week.” The network also announced a pair of election specials to compliment its regular programming. The specials are “America By The Numbers: Clarkston, Georgia With Maria Hinojosa,” which examines the changing demographics of America through the lens of a small town in the Peach State, and”Race 2012,” which uses the election to update viewers on America’s racial landscape.

PBS also announced a new documentary from Ken Burns focusing on “The Roosevelts,” Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor, and a new series “Constitution USA with Peter Sagal,” which has the NPR host traveling across the country on a Harley Davidson to learn about the Constitution.

More, below.

PBS TO AIR KEN BURNS’S “THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY” IN 2014
– First Documentary to Interlace the Stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt–

PBS announced today that THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY, a new seven-part, 14-hour documentary by Ken Burns, will air in 2014 on PBS. The film weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics. The series marks the first time their individual stories have been woven into a single narrative.

PBS TO PRESENT “CONSTITUTION USA WITH PETER SAGAL”

CONSTITUTION USA with Peter Sagal takes to the road for a fresh and surprising journey through the 4,418 words — and 27 amendments — that made America. Breathing new life into the traditional civics lesson, Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s popular “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me” travels across country on a Harley Davidson to find out where the Constitution lives, how it works and how it doesn’t … how it unites us as a nation, and how it has nearly torn us apart.

PBS Announces Full Lineup of 2012 Presidential Election Programming
– New specials RACE 2012 and AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS: CLARKSTON, GEORGIA WITH MARIA HINOJOSA explore our changing country and the impact of immigration, ethnicity and other cultural shifts –

LOS ANGELES, CA; JULY 21, 2012 – Under the banner of PBS ELECTION 2012, PBS’ acclaimed news and public affairs shows NEED TO KNOW, PBS NEWSHOUR, WASHINGTON WEEK and FRONTLINE will bring viewers insightful coverage of the fall’s biggest election news and events, each with its own unique perspective. In addition, two new specials announced today — AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS: CLARKSTON, GEORGIA WITH MARIA HINOJOSA and RACE 2012 — will help round out PBS’ slate of election-year programming.

“PBS has been cited as the most trusted news source on television. We value the public’s trust and know that viewers turn to us for coverage that is in-depth, thoughtful and independent,” said John F. Wilson, PBS senior vice president & chief TV programming executive. “From our roster of signature programs to our specials, our election-focused programming offers viewers analysis from multiple perspectives.”

In addition to previously announced PBS Election 2012 programming, two new programs about the changing face of America and how those changes may affect this year’s presidential election — and the country’s political future — have been added to the lineup this fall. AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS: CLARKSTON, GEORGIA WITH MARIA HINOJOSA is a NEED TO KNOW Election 2012 Special Presentation that looks at the changing demographics in the United States through the story of a small Southern town that has seen dramatic shifts in its population over three decades. The program airs Friday, September 21, 8:30 p.m. ET. RACE 2012 uses the current presidential election as a lens through which to view America’s racial landscape and the competition among candidates for votes from various ethnic groups. RACE 2012 airs Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 9:00 p.m. ET, with an encore on Friday, October 19, 2012, 9:00 p.m. ET.

Produced and hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Maria Hinojosa, AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS: CLARKSTON, GEORGIA WITH MARIA HINOJOSA visits one of the country’s most surprisingly diverse communities. A small town of 7,500 people that was 90 percent white in the 1980s, Clarkston is now home to residents from more than 40 countries who speak more than 60 languages and dialects; the white population today is less than 14 percent . The special explores lessons about democracy and coexistence that a divided nation can learn from its newest citizens.

RACE 2012, a PBS Election 2012 special produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez, uses the current presidential election as a lens through which to view America’s racial landscape. Among other issues, RACE 2012 delves into immigrants’ reshaping of the American electoral landscape, white voters’ reactions to their declining numbers and diminished influence, and the economic imbalance between races that may affect America’s political future. Fast-moving and non-partisan, RACE 2012 draws insights on racial political history from notable analysts, strategists and activists.

The specials join PBS’ previously announced news and public affairs programming focused on the 2012 presidential election, including:

PBS NEWSHOUR
Monday-Friday, 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET
Election-focused programming continues with gavel-to-gavel coverage of the conventions in Tampa and Charlotte, live web streaming of the political activity and conversations with local delegations throughout the day on the ground. On air, PBS special broadcast coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET each night of the conventions and continue LIVE until the conclusion of the proceedings at approximately 11:00 p.m. ET.

Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff co-anchor live coverage of election specials, including the presidential debates on October 3, 16 and 22 at 9:00 p.m. ET and the vice-presidential debate on October 11, at 9:00 p.m. ET, each followed by a 30-minute analysis. NEWSHOUR covers election night on November 6, beginning at 6:00 p.m., with a full evening of news and analysis.

WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL AND NATIONAL JOURNAL
Fridays, continuing series, 8:00-8:30 p.m. ET
Gwen Ifill hosts PBS’ longest-running public affairs series, which features Washington’s top journalists analyzing the week’s top news stories and their effects on the lives of all Americans. This election season, WASHINGTON WEEK will also venture outside the Beltway with a series of live “road shows” from Tampa, Charlotte and St. Louis.

MONEY AND MEDICINE
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
This documentary examines the medical, ethical and financial challenges of containing runaway healthcare spending. In addition to illuminating the so-called waste and overtreatment that pervade our medical system, the special explores promising ways to reduce healthcare expenditures while improving the overall quality of medical care. MONEY AND MEDICINE was produced by Public Policy Productions and is presented by WNET New York.

FRONTLINE “The Choice 2012”
Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have crafted their campaign narratives, telling you who they are, what they’ve done and how they would lead America. But there’s more to their stories. In “The Choice 2012,” acclaimed FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk (“Money, Power and Wall Street,” “Top Secret America”) documents the places, people and decisive moments that made the men who are competing for the presidency. Hundreds of hours of research and dozens of original interviews reveal new details and fresh insights about the two candidates — and our choice this November.

NEED TO KNOW “Campaign 2012”
Fridays, continuing series, 8:30-9:00 p.m. ET
This weekly 30-minute news magazine series, with reporting from across the country, covers political issues from Main Street’s point of view. It profiles up-and-coming political leaders and will report regularly from the road in key states. Respected and experienced media professionals, including Scott Simon, Maria Hinojosa, Ray Suarez and Jeff Greenfield, both anchor the program and report from the field.

For more information on PBS Election 2012, including programming from PBS NEWSHOUR, WASHINGTON WEEK, FRONTLINE and NEED TO KNOW, visit pbs.org/election2012 and follow #pbsElection on Twitter.

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