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FRONTLINE: President Biden

Stream now or tune in Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 at 10 p.m. on KPBS 2

The story of how crisis and tragedy prepared Joe Biden to become America’s ne...

Credit: Courtesy of From left to right: REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz; AP Photo/ Charles Harrity

Above: The story of how crisis and tragedy prepared Joe Biden to become America’s next president.

On Inauguration Eve, FRONTLINE Chronicles How Crisis and Tragedy Prepared Joe Biden to Become America’s Next President

As the country continues to grapple with the fallout from the siege of the Capitol by violent pro-Trump rioters, Joe Biden is set to be sworn in as America’s 46th president on Wednesday, January 20.

Biden will take office at a moment of profound national crisis in a deeply divided country. In addition to the chaos of the Capitol attack and the undermining of the election by President Trump, more than 370,000 Americans are dead from the coronavirus, and a reckoning over racism in the wake of George Floyd’s killing is ongoing.

How will Biden navigate the substantial challenges that lie ahead? The night before his inauguration, the FRONTLINE documentary "President Biden" will offer powerful insights.

"President Biden" - Preview

FRONTLINE tells the story of how crisis and tragedy prepared Joe Biden to become America’s next president. Those who know him best describe the searing moments that shaped President-elect Biden and what those challenges reveal about how he will govern. Airing: 01/19/21

The film is from veteran chronicler of U.S. politics Michael Kirk, who with his team has made five installments of THE CHOICE and nearly 20 documentaries about the Trump and Obama eras.

Drawn from “The Choice 2020,” FRONTLINE’s acclaimed dual biography of Biden and Trump, “President Biden” tells the story of how crisis and tragedy prepared Joe Biden to become America’s next president.

In the film, those who know Biden best describe the searing moments that shaped the President-elect and what those challenges reveal about how he will govern a nation confronting multiple crises.

Meeting these challenges “will test every bit of what Joe Biden has learned over nearly 50 years in public office,” says Dan Balz of The Washington Post.

Biden’s Stutter: How a Childhood Battle Shaped Him | The Choice 2020 | FRONTLINE

An excerpt from "The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden" examines how Joe Biden's intense childhood battle with stuttering shaped him.


The FRONTLINE Interviews: President Biden - FRONTLINE drew on 30 interviews conducted with colleagues, friends, family members and journalists who have covered Joe Biden over his long career.

Taking Office in a Time of Crisis: 16 Documentaries on Key Issues Biden Inherits

PODCAST: The FRONTLINE Dispatch: An Impeachment and an Inauguration


The program will be followed the next week, Tues., Jan. 26, 2021, with "Trump’s American Carnage," a documentary special also from Kirk and his team that traces the outgoing president’s incitement of division, violence and ultimately insurrection throughout his time in office.

FRONTLINE: "Trump's American Carnage" - Preview

From his first days as president to his last, how Trump stoked division, violence, and insurrection. FRONTLINE investigates Trump’s siege on his enemies, the media, and even the leaders of his own party, who for years ignored the warning signs of what was to come. Airing: 01/26/21

Watch On Your Schedule:

For the full story, watch “President Biden” starting Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. The documentary premieres that night at 10/9c on PBS and YouTube. It will be available to stream at and on the PBS Video App beginning at 7/6c.

Join The Conversation:

FRONTLINE is on Facebook, Instagram, tumblr, and you can follow @frontlinepbs on Twitter. #frontlinePBS


A FRONTLINE production with Kirk Documentary Group, Ltd. The director is Michael Kirk. The producers are Michael Kirk, Mike Wiser, Jim Gilmore and Philip Bennett. The writers are Michael Kirk and Mike Wiser. The reporter is Jim Gilmore. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.


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