In this week’s roundup, we look at unscripted series and documentaries scheduled to debut on PBS and its long-running documentary strand “Independent Lens,” HBO and Smithsonian Channel.
Charm City (pictured), the acclaimed feature-length documentary from Marilyn Ness, will enjoy its television premiere on PBS’s “Independent Lens” on Monday (April 22).
The 108-minute film, which held its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, provides a candid portrait of citizens, police, community advocates and government officials in an embattled Baltimore community as they endure three years of escalating violence. The film, which broadcasts April 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, is produced by Big Mouth Productions in association with Motto Pictures and the Webber/Gilbert Fund.
Elsewhere, American pubcaster PBS will provide the broadcast television premiere of Peabody- and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s Boss: The Black Experience in Business across its main channel next week.
A Firelight Films production for Thirteen Productions, in association with The History Makers, the two-hour documentary will explore the history of African American entrepreneurship over 150 years, from those bound by bondage to moguls at the top of million-dollar empires. Examining the inspiring stories of trailblazing African American entrepreneurs, featured in the film are entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, publisher John H. Johnson, Motown CEO Berry Gordy, and business pioneer and philanthropist Reginald F. Lewis, among others. Boss: The Black Experience in Business debuts April 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on PBS.
American cable network Smithsonian Channel, meanwhile, is gearing up to uncover the engineering behind mega machinery in the Rare TV-produced Inside Mighty Machines.
Transmitting April 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the six-part series will reveal the engineering principles that make great machines run. Hosted by former NASA jet engineer Chad Zdenek, the series will strip away, piece by piece, the exteriors of giant apparatuses – from a 747 jumbo jet to an oil rig in the North Sea and the world’s biggest hovercraft – to explore how they were built and how they worked.
Finally, Alex Lehman’s docuseries On Tour with Asperger’s Are Us, from executive producers Mark and Jay Duplass, will receive its television debut when it airs across premium cable network HBO later this month.
The six-part series will document the first openly autistic comedy troupe, Asperger’s Are Us, as they embark on their inaugural six-week multi-city tour, from Boston to Los Angeles crammed into the back of an RV. The troupe, which comprises of Noah Britton, Ethan Finlan, Jack Hanke and New Michael Ingemi, will share their unique perspectives on life and the community they’ve found in performing together. The series will also chronicle the group’s highs and lows as they perform for alternately enthusiastic audiences and nearly empty houses.
On Tour with Asperger’s Are Us will launch with back-to-back episodes on April 30 beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by two more episodes each on May 1 and May 2. The series will also be available on HBO Now, HBO Go, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.