From religion to baseball, and from a flying trapeze to a cat leading science experiments: PBS’ new programming for the fall season spans a wide range of subject matter.
PBS is kicking off its fall season with a number of documentary and doc series premieres. Ken Burns’ 1994 series Baseball was a hit for the public broadcaster, but a lot has happened in the sport in over a decade. Burns and co-director Lynn Novick return with The Tenth Inning, which will look at the current era of unprecedented home run totals, popularity and prosperity of the sport in two new episodes. The series won’t be all happiness and light, however, as it will also examine steroid abuse.
The two-part, four-hour film will look at the stories of players such as Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Cal Ripken Jr. and Barry Bonds and will feature commentary and interviews with sports writers, broadcasters, fans and all-star players. It debuts September 28.
Also in the public broadcaster’s fall line-up is a doc series following the characters behind the legendary Big Apple Circus, a one-off presentation of American Experience and Frontline examining the interaction between religion and democracy, a cultural roadtrip following American musician Michael Feinstein and a kids program featuring the legendary Cat in the Hat helping kids to discover the natural world.
Circus is a 6×60-minute series following the people behind the Big Apple Circus. From the stage under the big top to behind the scenes of the back lot, the series will document a diverse range of characters from crew members to acrobats to clowns. Circus debuts July 18.
God in America looks at how religious beliefs have shaped America and what role religion has played in building the social and political spheres in a culturally and religiously diverse nation. The documentary debuts October 11.
In Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook the musician and cultural historian takes a roadtrip on a quest to preserve America’s popular songbook created by composers such as the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and Harry Warren. The three part series debuts October 6.
Finally, the Cat in the Hat (voiced by Martin Short) teaches children about natural history in The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! which debuts September 6. The series sees the famous Dr. Seuss character share information with kids about elements of the natural world such as how bees make honey and why owls sleep during the day.