Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History, a three-hour documentary executive produced by Burns, will premiere over three nights in Spring 2020, PBS announced this morning at TCA.
Barak Goodman-directed Woodstock will premiere on PBS in 2019, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the historic three-day concert that defined a generation.
And Henry Gates, Jr.’s four-hour documentary, Reconstruction: America After The Civil War, will premiere next spring on PBS stations nationwide.
Now in active production, the Burns’ presented The Gene: An Intimate History, will use science, social history, and personal stories to weave together a historical biography of the human genome while also exploring breakthroughs in understanding the impact genes play on heredity, disease and behavior. From the earliest gene hunters and the bitterly fought race to read the entire human genome, to the unparalleled ethical challenges of gene editing, the documentary will journey through key genetics discoveries. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Burns will collaborate on the new documentary inspired by Mukherjee’s best-selling 2016 book, The Gene: An Intimate History.
Goodman, whose doc Oklahoma City was feted with a Peabody Award earlier this year, also directed upcoming Woodstock, presented under PBS’s American Experience umbrella. Unlike Michael Wadleigh’s classic 1970 documentary, this Woodstock doc turns the cameras around into the audience, and probes the event as a cultural phenomenon that served as a coda to the ’60s. Woodstock also examines the tumultuous decade that led to those three days in August of 1969 when half a million people gathered on a dairy farm in upstate New York.
Gates’s Reconstruction documentary will take a broad view of the Reconstruction era and its aftermath, beginning with the hopeful moment of war’s end and emancipation in 1865, and carrying through to 1915, when the nation was fully entrenched in Jim Crow segregation with its broken promises of the Reconstruction era that haunt the country to this day.
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