Day 2 of PBS at the Virtual Winter TCA 2022

Sylvia Bugg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, opened PBS’s second day at Press Tour by introducing critics to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, a new documentary directed and executive produced by Ken Burns, written by Dayton Duncan and produced by David Schmidt and Ken Burns.

Scientist, inventor, writer of enduring epigrams of homespun wisdom, creator of America’s first subscription library and one of its most prestigious universities, Benjamin Franklin was (with the possible exception of Thomas Jefferson) the nation’s most complex and compelling Founding Father — and certainly its wittiest.

This two-part, four-hour film follows his colorful and extremely consequential life, peering into the man behind the bifocals he invented and to a great extent using his own words to get to know him and his times. Premieres Monday and Tuesday, April 4 and 5

Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Ph.D., professor of history, Rutgers University, Walter Isaacson, author, “The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin,” and Mandy Patinkin, Emmy® and Tony®-winning actor, the voice of “Ben Franklin” joined Ken Burns to discuss the upcoming film.

Next, Bill Gardner, Vice President, Programming & Development shared with critics a sneak peek of THE GREEN PLANET, a new BBC co-production coming to PBS this summer. He then introduced AMERICA OUTDOORS WITH BARATUNDE THURSTON.

AMERICA OUTDOORS WITH BARATUNDE THURSTON, a new six-part prime time series hosted by New York Times bestselling author (How to Be Black), podcaster (How to Citizen with Baratunde), and outdoor enthusiast Baratunde Thurston. The series follows him on an adventure-filled journey to explore the diverse array of regions across the U.S. and how those landscapes shape the way Americans work, play, and interact with the outdoors.

From wilderness pilots flying “below the rim” in Idaho to coal miners turned beekeepers in Appalachia to Black surfers catching waves in Los Angeles, Baratunde introduces viewers to a vivid cast of characters whose outdoor lives are shaped by where they live. AMERICA OUTDOORS WITH BARATUNDE THURSTON reveals a deeper understanding of our passionate yet complicated relationship with the outdoors. Premieres Tuesdays, July 5 through August 9.

Martin Black, series participant, Dudley Edmonson, series participant, Lori MacNichol, series participant, and Michael Rosenfeld, executive producer join Baratunde Thurston, series host to discuss.

FRONTLINE’s series executive producer, Raney Aronson joined the virtual stage to introduce critics to “Plot to Overturn the Election,” a new documentary from FRONTLINE and ProPublica.

One year after President Biden’s inauguration, more than two-thirds of Republican voters believe his election was illegitimate. The idea that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump is now a defining issue of the Republican Party. Yet the story of how lies about election fraud made their way to the center of American politics has not been fully told. FRONTLINE and ProPublica trace the hidden origins of disinformation about the 2020 election and demonstrate how a handful of people have had an outsized impact on the current crisis of democratic legitimacy in the United States. The film shows how a small team of Trump supporters met in secret to create the core narratives of fraud that Trump would champion from the White House, and it illustrates how the legacy of their campaign goes beyond the January 6thinsurrection to the growing right-wing movement to audit the vote in battleground states, alter election law, and elect Republican candidates aligned with their views. Premieres Tuesday, March 29

Sam Black, writer and producer, and A.C. Thompson, correspondent and ProPublica reporter, joined Raney Aronson to discuss the program.

Fred Kauffman, series executive producer at NATURE announced the series 40th-anniversary celebration. Following the popularity of “Equus: Story of the Horse,” NATURE turns its cameras to uniquely American horse breeds that helped shape our nation, such as the Mustang, Appaloosa, Morgan, and Quarter Horse in the new program “American Horses.”

Each breed has a unique story to tell, and each story is rooted deep in the American experience. Grounded in historical moments and told by charismatic people, “American Horses” traces the emergence of these remarkable breeds and the role they played in the development of our country. This episode is part of NATURE’s 40th anniversary season. Premieres Wednesday, February 23

Bill Pullman, narrator (“Independence Day” “Sleepless in Seattle”), Eric Bendick, Emmy-winning producer, and Mike and Tara Miller, Wyoming ranchers, and breeders of Quarter Horses joined Fred to discuss the series.

To close out Day 2 of PBS Press Tour, Sara Dewitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager of PBS KIDS announced the 25th-anniversary celebration of ARTHUR. The celebration includes four new episodes coming in February.

Based on the best-selling books by Marc Brown, the award-winning series, games, and video shorts continue to engage audiences with heartfelt and humorous stories about family, friends, and the challenges of growing up. ARTHUR offers support and insights, tackling the difficult topics that kids, parents, and educators can face.

Daniel Brochu, voice of “Buster Baxter,” Marc Brown, author, and co-executive producer, Carol Greenwald, executive producer and Jodie Resther, voice of “Francine Frensky were present to discuss the loved series.

In addition, Dewitt also announced two new programs coming to PBS KIDS in the fall. “Rosie’s Rule,” a new series starring 5-year-old Rosie Fuentes, follows a Mexican American girl beginning to learn about the fascinating, baffling, thrilling world beyond her own family walls. “Work It Out Wombats,” follows rambunctious marsupial siblings who live with their grandmother in her treehouse apartment complex.



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