PBS is making the first episode of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s anticipated forthcoming series Prohibition (pictured) available for free on the iPad and iPhone this Friday, nine days ahead of its TV premiere in the U.S.
The series looks at America’s attempts to ban alcohol, and the September 23 iPad launch is designed to capitalize on the new season premiere of HBO’s drama Boardwalk Empire, which focuses on bootlegging, two days later on September 25.
PBS said the move “provides viewers of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire an opportunity… to watch the real story of what gave rise to prohibition.”
Following the launch of the premiere episode of Prohibition on PBS Apps, the entire series will air nationally on PBS from October 2-4, with each episode simulcast online at video.pbs.org. The second and third episodes will be available on PBS for iPad and PBS Apps for iPhone and iPod Touch the day after each TV airdate and will remain available until October 7.
“We are huge fans of Boardwalk Empire and are thrilled that we can share the story of what gave rise to prohibition, the topic of our first episode, to viewers tuning in to the premiere of Boardwalk,” said director Burns.
Jason Seiken, PBS’s senior VP of interactive, product development and innovation, added: “Users of our apps watched more than 52 million video streams last month. The early premiere of the first episode of Ken Burns’s and Lynn Novick’s much anticipated Prohibition is part of our ongoing mission to provide all Americans with content where and when they want it.”
HBO and PBS co-hosted a lunch on September 8 with Burns and Boardwalk Empire exec producer Terence Winter. Video from the luncheon, including clips from both programs, is now available on PBS’s Facebook page and on PBS.org.
Check out the September/October issue of realscreen magazine for an exclusive interview with Burns and Novick about the making of Prohibition.