KEN BURNS AND LYNN NOVICK'S NEW FILM BRINGS LANDMARK 1994 "BASEBALL" SERIES TO PRESENT
"THE TENTH INNING" TO PREMIERE SEPTEMBER 28-29, 2010
Mini Series Explores the Rise of Latino and Asian Players, the Impact of Performance-Enhancing Drugs, the New Chapter of the Yankee Dynasty, the Historic Victory of the Boston Red Sox
Arlington, VA (May 12, 2010) - PBS announced today that THE TENTH INNING, a new two-part, four-hour documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that picks up where Burns's landmark 1994 series BASEBALL left off, will air Tuesday-Wednesday, September 28-29, 2010, 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET on PBS. The program is directed by Burns and Novick and written and produced by David McMahon, Novick and Burns.
THE TENTH INNING tells the tumultuous story of America's national pastime from the early 1990s to the present day, introducing an unforgettable array of players, teams and fans, celebrating the game's resilience and enduring appeal, and showcasing both extraordinary accomplishments - and devastating losses and disappointments.
The film highlights dramatic developments that transformed the game: the crippling 1994 strike that left many fans disillusioned with their heroes; the increasing dominance of Latino and Asian players who turned baseball into a truly international game; baseball's skyrocketing profits, thanks to new stadiums, interleague play, and the wild card; the rise of a new Yankee Dynasty; the Red Sox' historic World Series victory; the astonishing feats of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds; and the revelations about performance-enhancing drugs that cast a shadow on many of the era's greatest stars and their accomplishments.
Combining extraordinary highlights, stunning still photographs, popular music of the period, and insightful commentary by players, managers, experts and fans, Burns and Novick's THE TENTH INNING interweaves the story of the national pastime with the story of America. In an age of globalization, deregulation and speculation, the film demonstrates that baseball has continued to be a mirror of the country - at its best and at its worst. The film also movingly shows that when America felt most threatened, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, baseball offered common ground, providing Americans with solace, distraction, and the hope that things could one day return to normal.
The film will air 16 years after the original Emmy Award-winning, nine-part documentary series BASEBALL debuted in 1994 during the players' strike. The original series was seen by more than 43 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in PBS history.
"Baseball has changed so much in the last 15 years, but at the same time, the reason that the game is so enduring is that it is timeless," said Ken Burns. "Like the original series, this film pays tribute to one of our nation's greatest institutions. We celebrate tremendous athletic achievements and examine the humanity and diversity of the players, the dynamic relationship with the fans, and all the layers and nuances that make a seemingly simple exercise of hitting a ball with a stick infinitely fascinating."
"We have worked hard to provide a human dimension to the recent history of the game - to appreciate the great athletes who have given so much joy to so many, and to understand the real-world forces shaping their decisions," Lynn Novick said. "For us as filmmakers, it has been tremendously exciting, and challenging, to try to do justice to this complicated story, and to try to understand what it says about who we are."
"BASEBALL is one of the most popular series that PBS has ever broadcast, and ever since fans have been asking if there would be more," said John F. Wilson, PBS chief TV programming executive. "We're extremely excited that Ken, Lynn and the team at Florentine Films and WETA have taken to the field again to deliver another outstanding chapter to the ongoing saga of baseball."
A number of familiar faces from the first nine installments of the series add their welcome perspectives on events of the last 15 years, including writers Roger Angell, John Thorn, George Will, Gerald Early and Doris Kearns Goodwin, as well as broadcaster Bob Costas. The film also features revealing interviews with Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, managers Felipe Alou and Joe Torre, players Pedro Martinez, Omar Vizquel and Ichiro Suzuki, broadcaster Keith Olbermann, writers Marcos Breton, Tom Verducci, Selena Roberts, Mike Barnicle and Howard Bryant, and other players, writers and fans from across the country, as well as overseas.
Fans of the series will be able to explore even more of THE TENTH INNING online at pbs.org/tenthinning by watching online video; traveling with Ken Burns on an interactive Google map as he treks to ballparks around the country this summer; downloading lesson plans; and sharing their own baseball stories. Fans can also connect to Burns and Novick on Facebook (facebook.com/kenburnspbs) and Twitter for behind-the-scenes footage, discounts from PBS Home Video and other fan-only benefits.
THE TENTH INNING will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on October 5, 2010. Boasting two hours of bonus features, the DVD and Blu-ray also feature deleted scenes and exclusive interviews. Additionally, a new DVD box set including the entire original BASEBALL series and THE TENTH INNING will be available.
To coincide with the broadcast, Alfred A. Knopf will publish an updated edition of BASEBALL - the original series companion book by Ken Burns and Geoffrey C. Ward - in September 2010. The expanded edition will include a new chapter by historian and novelist Kevin Baker, which brings the monumental work into the 21st century, from the 1994 strike to the extraordinary home run race of 1998 to Barry Bonds, the steroid era and beyond.
The DVD, Blu-ray, DVD box set and companion book will all be available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 800-PLAY-PBS, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Corporate funding for THE TENTH INNING is provided by Bank of America. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Television Viewers and PBS.
THE TENTH INNING is a production of Florentine Films and WETA Washington, DC. Directors: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Writers/producers: David McMahon, Lynn Novick and Ken Burns. Editor: Craig Mellish. Additional editing: Erik Ewers. Cinematography: Buddy Squires, with Allen Moore and Ken Burns. Narrator: Keith David.
For more information and photos, go to pbs.org/pressroom.
WETA Washington, DC, 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 NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER, WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL AND NATIONAL JOURNAL, AMERICA AT A CROSSROADS and IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE. Additionally, for more than 20 years, WETA has partnered with filmmaker Ken Burns to bring his landmark documentaries to the nation via public television, including the 2007 film THE WAR. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO of WETA. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.
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