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Wednesday, July 25th, 2012


Ken Burnsís THE WAR Returns to WTVP


THE WAR airs over seven nights July 31st - Aug. 2nd and Aug. 5th - 8th at 8pm on WTVP-HD.

Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, February 1, 1943

For the first time since its premiere in 2007, Ken Burnsís THE WAR returns to Public Television. The seven-part documentary series, directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, explores the history and horror of the Second World War from an American perspective by following the fortunes of so-called ordinary men and women who get caught up in the greatest cataclysm in human history.


THE WAR airs over seven nights, Tuesday, July 31-Thursday, Aug. 2 and Sunday-Wednesday, Aug.5-8. Each episode begins at 8 p.m. and runs for two to two-and-a-half hours. Check nightly listings for end times. Episodes will also encore in WTVPís overnight service.

A Web page dedicated to THE WAR has been launched at pbs.org/thewar.

Six years in the making, this epic 14-hour film, reminiscent in scope and power of Burnsís landmark series The Civil War, focuses on the stories of citizens from four geographically distributed American towns ó Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and the tiny farming town of Luverne, Minnesota. These four communities stand in for ó and could represent ó any town in the United States that went through the warís four devastating years. Individuals from each community take the viewer through their own personal and quite often harrowing journeys into war, painting vivid portraits of how the war dramatically altered their lives and those of their neighbors, as well as the country they helped to save for generations to come.

ďThe Second World War was so massive, catastrophic and complex, it is almost beyond the mindís and the heartís capacity to process everything that happened and, more important, what it meant on a human level,Ē said Burns.

By focusing on the personal stories of ordinary Americans who had extraordinary experiences, the film tries to bring one of the biggest events in the history of the world down to a very intimate scale. And in the end, we all begin to see that there are no ďordinary lives.Ē

ďPBS has a deep and abiding respect for the history, drama and tragedy of war,Ē said John F. Wilson, PBS Senior Vice President and Chief T.V. Programming Executive. ďItís critical that we capture the stories of the generation that fought and lived through World War II before they are lost to us forever. Serving our mission to educate and inform, PBSí goal for THE WAR is to reach into every home ó so together we can better understand what we as a nation experienced in those difficult years and what we as a nation accomplished.Ē

In addition to Keith Davidís narration, THE WAR features first-person voices read by some of Americaís greatest actors. Tom Hanks reads the voice of Al McIntosh, the editor of the Rock County Star-Herald in Luverne, Minnesota, whose weekly columns poignantly tried to explain the unexplainable to his neighbors. Other voices include Josh Lucas, Bobby Cannavale, Samuel L. Jackson, Eli Wallach, Robert Wahlberg, Carolyn McCormack, Adam Arkin and Kevin Conway.





THE WAR is a production of Florentine Films and WETA Washington, DC. Directors/producers: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Writer: Geoffrey C. Ward. Producer: Sarah Botstein. Co-producers: Peter Miller and David McMahon. Editors: Paul Barnes, Erik Ewers and Tricia Reidy. Cinematographer: Buddy Squires. Narrator: Keith David.

Corporate funding is provided by General Motors, Anheuser-Busch and Bank of America. Major funding is provided by Lilly Endowment, Inc.; Public Television Viewers and PBS; National Endowment for the Humanities; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Additional funding is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts; The Longaberger Foundation; and Park Foundation, Inc.





For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of Programming, at (309) 495-0591 or linda.miller@wtvp.org



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