In this week’s round-up, new non-fiction specials and documentaries are slated to debut across PBS long-running doc strand ‘Independent Lens,’ Travel Channel and Velocity.
Scripps Networks Interactive-owned net Travel Channel is preparing to follow Irishman Kevin McGahern across the nation to discover all the gloriously unique things about America.
Weird America will chronicle the stand-up comedian as he journeys through America’s northeast to face off with a 50-pound burger; encounters Lucy the Elephant, a six-story wood and tin sculpter; and participates in a personal one-man parade. Weird America premieres March 18 at 2 p.m. ET/PT on Travel Channel.
Elsewhere, PBS doc strand ‘Independent Lens’ will document the world of an alternative high school offering at-risk student’s one last chance at a diploma.
Directed by Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe, The Bad Kids chronicles the efforts of Vonda Viland, a principal at a remote Mojave Desert high school, as she helps at-risk students – three of which are featured in the doc — rise above generational poverty and other obstacles in order to earn a high school diploma. The film — which received the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Vérité Filmmaking at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival — is to bow on March 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The American pubcaster has also lined up the television world premiere of Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle’s Ovarian Psycos (pictured).
The 72-minute film, which screened at last year’s SXSW, chronicles a trio of East Los Angelinos who find solace in an unapologetic feminist bicycle crew called Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade. Funded by ITVS, the doc traces how the “Ovas” emerged from the diverse Latino working-class neighborhoods of Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles, a community situated within the historic legacy of the Chicano/a Civil Rights Movement. Ovarian Psycos debuts March 27 on PBS 10 p.m. ET/PT on PBS ‘Independent Lens’.
Finally, Viacom-owned LGBT-focused cable net Logo will air a documentary about Madonna’s Truth or Dare back-up dancers via the channel’s documentary division.
Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan’s Strike A Pose reunites the seven male dancers — six gay, one straight — whose lives were forever changed by flanking one of the world’s most beloved and controversial music artists during her Blond Ambition tour, which was chronicled in the 1991 documentary Truth or Dare. The men would go on to unwittingly become icons for gay rights and sexual freedom. Strike A Pose, which world premiered at last year’s Berlinale and was later acquired by American distributor Bond/360, premieres on April 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT via Logo Documentary Films.