PBS has previewed some of its 2019 launches at the Television Critics Association Press Tour.
Here’s the rundown:
*** Ken Burns’s Country Music will premiere Sept. 15. The 16-Hour documentary chronicles the history of the genre, from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and more. The eight-part series is directed by Burns and is produced by Burns and long-time collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey. It runs Sunday, September 15 through Wednesday, September 18, and Sunday, September 22 through Wednesday, September 25 at 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET.
*** PBS and Ryman Auditorium present Country Music: Live at the Ryman, a concert celebrating the Burns series. The show is set for March 27. Burns will host the evening, which will feature performances by Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, Vince Gill, Brenda Lee, Kathy Mattea, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Asleep at the Wheel, Holly Williams and Dwight Yoakam.
*** Retro Report
on PBS, a new weekly one-hour new magazine, is scheduled for the fall, exact launch date to be announced. Hosted by journalist Celeste Headlee and artist Masud Olufani, and featuring New Yorker humorist Andy Borowitz, the show is presented by Georgia Public Broadcasting and produced by Retro Report, a non-profit organization whose mission is to arm the public with a complete picture of today’s most important stories. The series offers viewers a fresh perspective on current headlines, revealing their unknown—and often surprising—connections to the past.
*** PBS and Smithsonian Channel will offer When Whales Walked: A Deep Time Journey, a two-hour film tracing the evolutionary secrets of some of the world’s most majestic creatures. The program will take viewers on a global adventure to uncover the amazing origin stories of some intriguing animals, from crocodiles and birds to whales and elephants. Featuring top scientists from around the world as they follow clues from the fossil record, the program promises to change what we thought we knew about the evolution of iconic beasts.
*** College Behind Bars is a four-part documentary series from Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein that follows prisoners through a rigorous college program, exploring how education transforms lives and impacts criminal justice. The series will air on PBS in November 2019.
*** No Passport Required explores the food and culture of America’s immigrant communities in Boston, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Seattle. PBS and Vox Media’s Eater are backing host and executive producer chef Marcus Samuelsson for the second season as he visits with professional chefs and home cooks.