PBS lines up “Market Wars,” sets “Clinton” airdate

U.S. public television service PBS has used its TCA tour to unveil Market Wars, a competition series from the producers of Antiques Roadshow, and has set an airdate for its two-part documentary on former U.S. president Bill Clinton (pictured, with Hillary Rodham Clinton).
January 5, 2012

U.S. public television service PBS yesterday (January 4) used its TCA tour to unveil Market Wars (working title), a competition series from the producers of Antiques Roadshow.

The broadcaster also set a date for Clinton, its anticipated two-part documentary on former U.S. president Bill Clinton (pictured above with Hillary Rodham Clinton), details of which were first revealed by realscreen last year.

Market Wars is a 20-episode, one-hour series set to debut on Monday nights this summer, which will see four professional antiques dealers going on nationwide treasure hunts to find valuable vintage items. The goal of each episode is for the dealer to score the biggest profit in the final auction segment.

Marsha Bemko, Antiques Roadshow executive producer, said: “Antiques Roadshow has been the leader in the popular antiques and collectibles genre for a long time. Market Wars turns its lens on the antiques experts themselves and the real, rough-and-tumble competition they face in the marketplace.”

John F. Wilson, PBS’s senior VP and chief TV programming executive, added: “PBS continues to implement our primetime strategy to combine new shows with popular, like-minded content. We’ve had great success pairing natural history and science programming on Wednesday nights. We’re confident that teaming Market Wars with Antiques Roadshow will even more firmly anchor Monday nights as a popular viewing destination for exploration and history.”

Meanwhile, Clinton will see documentary filmmaker Barak Goodman (My Lai) turn his lens on the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton for the  ‘American Experience’ strand. The two-part doc will premiere on President’s Day, February 20 and 21, will look at Clinton’s rise from a draft dodger to governor of Arkansas, to his presidency and ensuing scandal with Monica Lewinsky. 

Clinton follows the former president across his two terms, where he confronted partisan political warfare, and domestic and international terrorism, and features interviews with White House insiders such as former Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers and former Chief of Staff Leon Panetta.

Another ‘American Experience’ doc announced was The Amish, set to air on February 28. The David Belton-directed documentary aims to answer questions about the religious community.

Mark Samels, executive producer of ‘American Experience,’ said of The Amish: “In our 23 years, with almost 300 films completed, this was the most difficult that we’ve ever made. We had a subject that was by its very nature against the idea of us getting close to them and making a film about them.”

Also announced at the TCA Press tour was Art in the Twenty-First Century, the biennial series featuring documentary profiles on the top contemporary artists. The sixth season premieres on April 13 with Change, a profile on Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist arrested by government officials last year.

The documentary promises the first on-camera interview after he was released from detention. Other artist profiles airing in the series include Marina Abramović, David Altmejd and Sarah Sze.

PBS’ Wilson said of the latter series: “For 10 years, Art in the Twenty-First Century has given viewers a rare inside look at contemporary art that you won’t find in any museum or gallery. PBS viewers have the opportunity to hear the artists themselves discussing their creative process in their own words, and see them in their studios as they create works of art that have received critical acclaim the world over.”

The series was produced for PBS by the non-profit contemporary art organization Art21. The second part of PBS’ TCA tour continues today.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.