FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
America in Primetime
Explores the Roots of Today’s Biggest Television Hits
Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Series Premieres October 30, 7:00 p.m. on WTVP 47.1.
— Featuring In-depth Interviews with Television’s Brightest Minds, Including James L. Brooks, Larry David,
Norman Lear, Julianna Margulies, Mary Tyler Moore and Shonda Rhimes, Among Others —
Since its inception, television has served as a lens on American society, and in the expansive world of
modern TV, today’s heroes and villains have come a long way from their predecessors. America in Primetime
showcases this iconic American art form, which has both reflected and shaped our national character. The four-part
series premieres Sundays, October 30 through November 20, 2011, 7:00-8:00 p.m. on WTVP 47.1. America in
Primetime is a production of WETA Washington, D.C., and The Documentary Group, in association with the Academy
of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. Funding is provided by Dove, a Unilever brand; the Annenberg Foundation;
the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and PBS.
America in Primetime presents some of the most compelling shows on television today,
as well as those of the past, by focusing on key character archetypes — the man of the house, the independent woman,
the misfit and the crusader — that have remained a staple of primetime through the generations, capturing both the
continuity of the character and the evolution. Each episode of the series focuses on one of the key archetypes:
Independent Woman reveals how women have transformed from model housewives to complex,
and sometimes controversial, characters. Interviews include Roseanne Barr (Roseanne); Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown);
Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem (Nurse Jackie); Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives); Robert and Michelle King and
Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife); James L. Brooks and Mary Tyler Moore (The Mary Tyler Moore Show); and
Shonda Rhimes and Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy), among others.
Man of the House showcases the evolution of men from the kings of their castles in classic
family sitcoms to more intricate, conflicted figures in modern shows. Interviews include Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner
(The Cosby Show); David Chase (The Sopranos); Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad); Ron Howard (The Andy
Griffith Show); Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show); and Phil Rosenthal and Patricia Heaton
(Everybody Loves Raymond), among others.
The Misfit celebrates the unique characters who defied comic stereotypes and societal
expectations to reflect America’s diverse personalities. Interviews include Alec Baldwin (30 Rock); Diablo Cody
(The United States of Tara); Greg Daniels and Rainn Wilson (The Office); Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm
and Seinfeld); Paul Feig and Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks); Mitchell Hurwitz (Arrested Development);
Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead); and Garry Shandling (The Larry Sanders Show), among others.
The Crusader delves into the increasingly grey area between right and wrong as television
heroes confront internal demons while seeking their own forms of justice. Interviews include Alan Alda (M*A*S*H);
Steven Bochco and David Milch (NYPD Blue); Chris Carter and Gillian Anderson (The X-Files); Bob Cochran
and Joel Surnow (24); Michael C. Hall (Dexter); Shawn Ryan and Michael Chiklis (The Shield); and
David Shore and Hugh Laurie (House), among others.
America in Primetime features more than 100 in-depth interviews with the creators, writers
and actors who give life to the characters whom audiences have come to love and demonstrates how the finest television
today has its foundation in the best television of yesterday.
About The Documentary Group
The Documentary Group (TDG) has a long and distinguished list of credits, including an Academy Award nomination for the
documentary Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, which aired on PBS. TDG was founded in 2006 by
the core members of PJ Productions, following the death of legendary broadcaster Peter Jennings. The producers and
directors, who were for many years the team behind Jennings’ documentaries at ABC News, are dedicated to continuing the
tradition of smart, important and innovative filmmaking.
About the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, home of the Archive of American Television, is the ideal partner
for America in Primetime. Its primary mission is to draw on the entire creative community in Hollywood in
order “to preserve the rich history of television, and to educate and inspire future generations.”
WETA Washington, D.C. is the third-largest producing station for public television and the flagship public broadcaster in
the nation’s capital. WETA productions and co-productions include the venerable news and public affairs programs PBS
NewsHour and Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal; the arts series In Performance at
the White House and The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize; and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including
The Civil War, Baseball, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea and his latest project Prohibition.
More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at weta.org.
For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of
at (309) 495-0591 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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