Ken Burns’ latest documentary Prohibition will kick off PBS’ fall season Oct. 2-4, the pubcaster announced today in unveiling its slate of programming, which will include the first-ever PBS Arts Fall Festival that will run into December. Prohibition, which will tell the tales behind the rise and fall of the 18th Amendment outlawing alcohol in America, is from Burns and collaborator Lynn Novick and features the voices of Tom Hanks, Jeremy Irons, Paul Giamatti, Oliver Platt, John Lithgow, Samuel L. Jackson, Patricia Clarkson, Adam Arkin, Sam Waterston, Josh Lucas and others, with narration by Peter Coyote.
The Fall Festival initiative offers full-length performances, artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and mini-films about the art scenes in different cities nationwide. It kicks off Friday, Oct. 14 and will air Fridays through December with all-new broadcasts of classic and contemporary performances including Women Who Rock, inspired by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s exhibit; Give Me The Banjo, narrated by Steve Martin, a banjoist himself, exploring the roots of American music; and Great Performances: The Little Mermaid From San Francisco Ballet.
Also getting a launch date is the four-part NOVA miniseries The Fabric of the Cosmos, which will run Wednesdays in November beginning Nov. 2. NOVA and Nature will be paired on Wednesdays in the fall.