Stories by Jennifer Robinson
Largely responsible for the explosion of bold American television in the 1970s, writer/producer Norman Lear’s name is synonymous with the sitcom. With unprecedented access to Lear, his work and his massive personal archives, the film combines stories from his turbulent childhood and early career with his groundbreaking TV success (ALL IN THE FAMILY, THE JEFFERSONS, GOOD TIMES, MAUDE) and social activism.
Perhaps one of the most influential contributors to the landscape of situational comedies and progressive writing in Hollywood, Norman Lear transformed a genre known for play-it-safe humor into a platform for how Americans experience social issues. In this week's ON STORY, Lear remembers a few of his favorite episodes and how he created some of the most beloved characters in the history of television.
Vianet Djenguet has lived half of his life in Europe, yet his heart still lies in his homeland, his Congo. As a successful wildlife cameraman, Djenguet is returning to his roots to reveal the beauty and majesty of his country and the people within. His journey will be one of self-discovery as he travels up the Congo River toward his ancestral home, meeting an abundance of weird and wonderful characters along the way, both animal and human. Finally, Djenguet is able to give his beloved homeland the glorious spotlight it deserves and discovers an even deeper connection with this place than he could have ever imagined.
"Hamilton’s America," the documentary film that brings history to vivid life through the lens of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pop culture Broadway phenomenon "Hamilton" — winner of 11 Tony Awards® and the Pulitzer Prize — explodes onto THIRTEEN’s GREAT PERFORMANCES on PBS as the season premiere of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. Interviews with Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Nas, Questlove, Stephen Sondheim and more.
In Season 9, the series uncovers blue-ribbon regional specialties from across the country — such as shrimp and grits, Brunswick stew, and Tennessee pulled pork sandwiches on hoecakes — and tackles classic American fare in need of a makeover, including bacon-wrapped meatloaf, husk-grilled corn, and old-fashioned vanilla frozen custard.
The six-part WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES attracts the world’s best dancers to compete for the most prestigious titles and the most prize money in the world of dance. This series will cover both the Latin and Standard competitions of the last two regular legs of the series – held in Stuttgart, Germany, and Moscow, Russia respectively – plus the GrandSlam Finals in Shanghai in December.
In collaboration with The Recording Academy, GREAT PERFORMANCES presents "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends™," a special all-star concert offering a primetime spotlight for The Academy's 2016 Special Merit Awards recipients. The celebration and tribute concert features rare performances by honorees and never-before-seen renditions by those they've inspired. Ruth Brown, Celia Cruz, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Linda Ronstadt, Run-DMC, and John Cage Among Distinguished Honorees. Live performances by Ry Cooder, Lila Downs, Earth, Wind & Fire, Andy Garcia and The CineSon All Stars, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Kris Kristofferson, Lucrecia, Martina McBride, Magnolia Sisters, JD Souther and more.
With high speed camerawork and breakthrough new science, we enter the fast-paced world of hummingbirds as never before. Speed is their middle name. Their lives are moving faster than the eye can see. They possess natural born super powers that enable them to fly backwards, upside-down, and float in mid-air. And for the first time, we see them mate, lay eggs, fight, and raise families in intimate detail. They are great athletes, tender mothers, brave in combat, and up for any challenge. They are "Super Hummingbirds," the smallest and most brilliant birds on earth.
"An American Mosque" is a groundbreaking documentary about religious freedom and the struggle against intolerance set in a rural California town. Sparked by the destruction of a mosque, we witness how a community responds to hate through painful but ultimately positive discussions about the perception of Islam in America and our responsibility to defend everyone's constitutional right to worship.
One of the biggest foreign policy challenges America’s next president will face is the battle against ISIS. Where does the US-led fight against the terror group stand today? In "Confronting ISIS," veteran FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith travels to five countries with key roles in the anti-ISIS fight — Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Turkey — to report on successes, failures and challenges as ISIS loses ground in the region but strikes out with attacks abroad.
ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY provides unparalleled access to the most innovative artists of our time, revealing how artists engage the culture around them and how art allows viewers to see the world in new ways. For the first time in the show’s history, the episodes are not organized around an artistic theme. Instead the 16-featured artists are grouped by their unique and revealing relationships to the places where they live: Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Vancouver.
Her Majesty’s Secret Service, or MI6 as it is known, is the world’s most legendary spy agency, thanks to the James Bond stories. Set up in 1909 as the Secret Service Bureau, the existence of MI6 was not formally acknowledged until 1994 — which goes a long way toward understanding the modus operandi of this government agency. With unprecedented access to some of the key players in British espionage, this film lifts the veil on the shadowy world of spying.
Hamburg, Germany’s mighty port city has risen from the ashes of World War II with a gleaming new skyline and a brisk creative energy. From there, Rick visits the great historic sights of Martin Luther and the Reformation (Erfurt, Wittenberg, and Wartburg Castle) before finishing in the capital of Franconia: wine-loving Würzburg.
Learn to create the finest desserts and goodies in your own home. Martha Stewart shares the best baking tips and techniques, giving you the confidence to create delectable baked goods — from scratch — in your own kitchen. Martha’s updated versions of the classics set the standard, while her uses of flavors and ingredients add new angles to some familiar favorites.
In 1831, the French aristocrat, political scientist, and historian Alexis de Tocqueville, set out from France to travel across our young country. His journey took nine months, covered 7,000 miles, and resulted in the publication of “Democracy in America,” which came to define America as a place where anyone, of any background, could climb the ladder of economic opportunity. Almost 200 years later, political comedian John Fugelsang hits the road in a cobalt blue Ford to retrace the Frenchman’s journey in “Dream On.”
Meet a fierce advocate for the common good, former FCC chairman Newton Minow, who elevated television to higher standards and fought for civil rights while offering counsel to presidents, politicians, corporate leaders, academics and others. This is a story of what is possible when aiming high, and of a man who had the strength of his convictions and stood his ground through resistance, criticism and worse.
Numbering no more than a few thousand, tiny groups of intrepid humans began to move out of Africa—eventually reaching every corner of the earth. How did these early humans overcome the world’s most difficult terrain and ultimately dominate the planet? How did our forebears acquire the skills, technology and talent to thrive in every environment on earth? And how did they cross the furnace of the Sahara or survive frigid ice ages or manage to sail to the remotest Pacific islands? Take a spectacular global journey through the past, following our ancestors’ footsteps out of Africa along a trail of fresh scientific clues to help unravel the mystery of how we got where we are.
"Feeling Good About America: The 1976 Presidential Election" chronicles the race between incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford and Democratic candidate and Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, who stepped onto the national stage touting his outsider status and promising, “I'll never lie to you.” The documentary explores Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon, the anti-establishment sentiment surging through the country, Carter's primary strategy in a crowded field, and the challenge to Ford by Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination.
In the summer of 1968, television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC News hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. Gore Vidal, a Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America.
Meet the charismatic pioneering activist whose rallying cry of “su voto es su voz” ("your vote is your voice") started a grassroots movement that transformed the nation’s political landscape and paved the way for the growing power of the Latino vote. Through his nonpartisan Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project (SVREP), Velasquez launched over a thousand voter registration drives in 200 cities.
Discover America’s leading home improvement series, the Emmy® Award-winning THIS OLD HOUSE®. Follow home renovations from start to finish with America’s favorite team of experts – Norm Abram, Tom Silva, Rich Trethewey, Roger Cook and Kevin O’Connor. In Arlington, Massachusetts, homeowners Nick and Emily plan to restore and expand their early English-style Arts and Crafts home, built in 1909.
"Beyond Borders: Undocumented Mexican Americans" examines U.S. policy decisions that triggered the rise of undocumented immigration in a deeply moving documentary program that explores the under-reported lives of Mexicans living and raising families in the United States. The film carefully explains the history of the relationship between the two countries - Mexico and America - some of which may be unfamiliar to viewers.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are two of the most polarizing presidential candidates in modern history. Investigate where the two presidential candidates came from, how they lead and why they want to take on one of the most difficult jobs imaginable. Examine formative moments in their lives through interviews with those who know them best.
Go behind the scenes at Japan’s Yoshida Brewery, where a brotherhood of artisans, ranging from 20 to 70, spends six months in nearly monastic isolation as they follow an age-old process to create saké, the nation’s revered rice wine. “A richly immersive documentary . . . achieves a remarkable level of intimacy without ever sacrificing its reserve or restraint.” —Justin Chang, Variety
Season 11 of MEXICO — ONE PLATE AT A TIME WITH RICK BAYLESS centers on the vibrant food scene and burgeoning chef movement in the Yucatán Peninsula, home to the Mayans, North America's largest indigenous population. Known as one of the world's great cuisines, Yucatán dishes share many of the basic ingredients and culinary practices typically used in the rest of Mexico. However, its unique location puts the peninsula in a position to welcome cultural influences, ingredients and flavors from around the globe, including Spain, Lebanon, Cuba, Africa and the Caribbean.
The PBS NEWSHOUR presents live coverage (90 minutes) and analysis (30 minutes) of the presidential and vice presidential candidates’ debates. These debates are part of PBS Election 2016 coverage. Get trusted, in-depth and independent election coverage with a comprehensive schedule of news, public affairs, documentary and corresponding digital programming. Simulcast on KPBS TV & FM, and streaming live on KPBS.org.
“Royal Wives At War” presents a revealing new look at England’s abdication crisis of 1936, seen through the eyes of the two women at its heart. In a series of dramatized monologues set in 1967, Elizabeth the Queen Mother (Emma Davies) and Wallis Simpson (Gina McKee) look back at events that led King Edward VIII (Nick Waring) to give up the throne for the woman he loved. Combining dramatic reconstructions, archives and a chorus of acquaintances and biographers, the program tells the intimate and moving story of two strong women and the friction that characterized their relationship.
In Season 5 of PATI'S MEXICAN TABLE, chef and cookbook author Pati Jinich explores the Mayan world in the Yucatán Peninsula. Embarking on a road trip that crosses three states – Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo – she meets with local producers, growers and chefs, both in restaurants and in their homes, to learn about the unique cuisine of the region. Along the way, Pati visits remote fishermen's villages, historic haciendas, bustling markets, the Mayan ruins and more, diving deep into the region’s cuisine and culture.
“American Baghdad” is a short documentary profiling Iraqi refugees trying to assimilate into American culture after being displaced from Iraq due to the war. El Cajon, a county in San Diego, has one of the highest concentrations of Iraqi refugees in America. A majority of these refugees are known as Chaldean and are of Christian descent. Many of them fled Iraq after the war broke out in 2003. This is their story.
How does a country with a population of more than a billion people still have room for such a huge range of wildlife? Join wildlife biologist Liz Bonnin, actor Freida Pinto and mountaineer Jon Gupta to explore India’s natural wonders. From tigers and gibbons to elephants and rhinos, the sacred Ganges to tea plantations, experience the subcontinent’s marvels. This is India as you’ve never seen it before.
Against the breathtaking backdrop of 18th century Cornwall, Aidan Turner (Poldark), Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) and Heida Reed (Elizabeth) return as the complicated love triangle in a new season of the popular romantic saga, based on the novels by Winston Graham. At the start of Season 2, Ross stands accused of murder and “wrecking” — luring a cargo ship to the rocks for plunder. It’s a capital offense, the judge is unsympathetic, hostile witnesses have been bribed and Ross appears headed for the gallows.
Featuring the unique insights of intellectual and cultural leaders such as papal biographer George Weigel; esteemed Polish historian Norman Davies; Carl Anderson, Vice President of John Paul II Institute, Washington D.C.; John Paul's lifelong assistant Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz; Reagan National Security Advisor, Richard Allen; Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchoka and many others — this inspiring film gives an inside look at the improbable downfall of one of history's most brutal regimes.
The 90-minute film tells the story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, a Unitarian minister and his wife from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who left their children behind in the care of their parish and boldly committed to numerous life-threatening missions in Europe. Over two dangerous years, they helped to save hundreds of imperiled political dissidents and Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi occupation across Europe. A new film by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky.
CRAFT IN AMERICA, the Peabody Award-winning series, begins its eighth season on PBS with a unique hour that celebrates teachers -- renowned individuals who are committed to their own artistic visions and are equally committed to sharing their skills and passion for craft with new generations of students and artists of all ages. Featured are Barbara Teller Ornelas, Lynda Teller Pete, Therman Statom, Mark Mitsuda at Punahou School and Linda Sikora at Alfred University.
The fourth season of PATI'S MEXICAN TABLE continues its exploration of the simple, approachable, mouth-watering dishes and ingredients that fuel chef and cookbook author Pati Jinich's cuisine. In this episode, Pati is throwing a picnic for family and friends in her backyard. She'll make some of her favorite "picnic foods" and serve everyone outside picnic-style. It also happens to be her husband Dany's birthday, so a big surprise is in store!
Kristine Opolais brings her heartbreaking interpretation of the title role to the series for the first time. Roberto Alagna sings Lieutenant Pinkerton, the callous officer who crushes Butterfly's dreams of love. Debuting conductor Karel Mark Chichon leads a cast that includes Maria Zifchak as Suzuki and Dwayne Croft as Sharpless.
In a new age of information, rapid innovation, and globalization, how can we prepare our children to compete? As the divide between rich and poor grows wider, how can schools today help students of all backgrounds meet the challenges of tomorrow? NOVA explores how the science of learning and technological innovations are transforming the way we teach and learn, and are creating a new vision of the future of education for all children.
This eight-part series reveals the humanity, the twists of fate and the surprising mistakes behind 16 of the most compelling and tumultuous presidential campaigns in modern history. Revisit the past 50 years of presidential election history to see how previous campaigns are still influencing politics in unexpected ways.
As part of PBS’s “Spotlight Education” initiative, FRONTLINE will present two films examining the realities of education in America. In "A Subprime Education," correspondent Martin Smith returns to the story of for-profit colleges to investigate allegations of fraud and predatory behavior in the troubled industry. Then, "The Education of Omarina" continues a story FRONTLINE has been following since 2012 — showing how an innovative program to stem the high school dropout crisis has affected one girl’s journey, from a public middle school in the Bronx to an elite New England private school, and now on to college.
The largely invisible and often crushing struggles of young African-American men come vividly—and heroically—to life in "All the Difference," which traces the paths of two teens from the South Side of Chicago who dared to dream a seemingly impossible dream: to graduate from college. As this intimate film shows, Robert Henderson and Krishaun Branch’s determination started them on the road to success, but it was the support from people in their lives—parents, grandparents, teachers and mentors— that brought them to their destination.
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