American pubcaster PBS has unveiled its September-November documentary programming lineup with Country Music, College Behind Bars and For Sama spotlighting its Fall 2019 season.
Launching the network’s autumn slate is Ken Burns‘ long-awaited eight-part, 16-hour docuseries Country Music (pictured). Premiering Sept. 15, the special event series provides a comprehensive exploration of country music — from its roots in ballads, hymns and the blues to its mainstream popularity — and highlights the larger-than-life artists who made it “America’s music.” Country Music airs Sept. 15-18 and 22-25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on PBS, and will be made available via PBS Passport beginning the night of the premiere through Feb. 28, 2020.
Ahead of the premiere, PBS will also debut the two-hour special Country Music: Live at the Ryman, A Concert Celebrating the Film by Ken Burns, on Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Hosted by Burns, the show features performances and appearances by such country musicians as Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash and Vince Gill, among others.
Elsewhere, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Lynn Novick’s College Behind Bars will mark its television debut on Nov. 25 and 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Filmed over a four-year period, the four-part docuseries examines the power of education and America’s failure to provide meaningful rehabilitation to incarcerated men and women at maximum and medium security prisons in New York State. College Behind Bars is executive produced by Burns and produced by Sarah Botstein.
For Sama, the acclaimed feature-length documentary from Emmy Award-winning Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, will enjoy its television broadcast premiere on ‘Frontline’, PBS’s flagship investigative journalism strand. Produced by Channel 4 News/ITN Productions, the 100-minute documentary chronicles the ongoing conflict in Syria, following co-director al-Khateab’s experience in the region as a young mother, from the beginning of the war in 2012 to the fall of Aleppo in 2016. For Sama broadcasts Nov. 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Also delivering on ‘Frontline’ will be the investigative film The Crown Prince, which probes the rise of Mohammed bin Salman – the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – his handling of dissent, and the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The Crown Prince airs Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Over on ‘Independent Lens’, the long-standing documentary strand, Beth Aala’s Made in Boise will profile four surrogates in Boise, Idaho as they navigate the rigors of pregnancy and the intended parents of the babies they carry. The film transmits on Oct. 28 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
“PBS is the most prolific platform for documentaries, with more than 200 hours per year,” said Perry Simon, chief programming executive and GM of general audience programming for PBS, in a statement. “This fall, we are showcasing first-rate programs featuring award-winning directors, diverse storytellers, hard-hitting investigations and untold stories, solidifying our status as America’s premier destination for documentary film.”
PBS’s broadcast schedule for September-November 2019 follows below:
Sept. 2, 10 p.m. ET/PT
Country Music: Live at the Ryman, A Concert Celebrating the Film by Ken Burns
Sept. 8, 8 p.m. ET/PT
The Feud, ‘American Experience’
Season Premiere: Sept. 10, 9 p.m. ET/PT
Country Music, directed by Ken Burns
Premiere: Episodes 1-4: Sept. 15-18, 8 p.m. ET/PT
Episodes 5-8: Sept. 22-25, 8 p.m. ET/PT
Now Hear This, ‘Great Performances’
Sept. 20, 9 p.m. ET/PT
The Crown Prince, ‘Frontline’
Oct. 1, 9 p.m. ET/PT
Octopus: Making Contact, ‘Nature’
Season Premiere: Oct. 2, 8 p.m. ET/PT
The Serengeti Rules,‘Nature’
Oct. 9, 8 p.m. ET/PT
The Feeling of Being Watched, ‘POV’
Oct. 14, 10 p.m. ET/PT
Blowin’ Up, ‘POV’
Oct. 21, 10 p.m. ET/PT
Okavango: River of Dreams,‘Nature’
Oct. 23 – Nov. 6, 8 pm ET/PT
Life From Above
Oct. 23, 10 p.m. ET/PT
Made in Boise, ‘Independent Lens’
Season Premiere: Oct. 28, 10 p.m. ET/PT
Antiques Roadshow: Extraordinary Finds
Nov. 4, 8 p.m. ET/PT
For Sama, ‘Frontline’
Nov. 19, 10 p.m. ET/PT
The Fall of Violence, ‘NOVA’
Nov. 20, 9 p.m. ET/PT
College Behind Bars,directed by Lynn Novick
Nov. 25-26, 9 p.m. ET/PT
Animal Espionage, ‘NOVA’
Nov. 27, 9 p.m. ET/PT
HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
Raúl Juliá: The World’s a Stage, ‘American Masters’
Sept. 13, 9 p.m. ET/PT
The Pushouts, ‘Voces on PBS’
Season Premiere: Sept. 20, 10 p.m. ET/PT
Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno, ‘Voces on PBS’
Sept. 27, 10 p.m. ET/PT
Provenir, Texas, ‘Voces on PBS’
Oct. 4, 10 p.m. ET/PT
The Hispanic Heritage Awards (2019)
Oct. 11, 10 p.m. ET/PT