Arts Festival Highlights PBS Fall Schedule

New Ken Burns Prohibition-era doc will kick off fall season Oct. 2

PBS announced part
of their fall schedule on Monday, which is highlighted by the PBS Arts Fall

Beginning on
Friday, October 14, the nine-week event will head to a different region each
Friday, and will focus on the art scene at each location. Each broadcast will
feature performances, artist profiles and behind-the-scenes footage. While
there are no plans for another festival, PBS CEO Paula Kerger hopes this
catches on with viewers.

"My goal is to
increase the amount of arts on public broadcasting going forward," said Kerger.
"If this idea works, yeah, I'd like to keep it going."

The participating
regions will be: Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland, Chicago, Blue Ridge Mountains
(N.C.), Minnesota, Los Angeles and Galveston (Tex.).

"We were looking at what was going on around the country and we tried to figure
out interesting projects to broadcast in," said Kerger on the network's
criteria for which locations they selected. "There were certain cities that we
were really interested in too." Kerger said that local stations that are not
part of those nine will be able to have programming that focuses on their local
scene to go along with the Friday night broadcasts.

As part of the new
Arts Initiative, each broadcast special will come with accompanying online
exhibits ( Not only that, but Kerger wants this to be
an online community for artists. "You can create opportunities to showcase art
and you can create opportunities for artists to talk and interact with
viewers," said Kerger.

The fall slate
kicks off October 2 with Ken Burns' next project, Prohibition, with Lynn
Novick. The series, which will feature the voices of stars Tom Hanks, Paul
Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Lucas, will chronicle the rise and fall of
the 18th amendment.

Physicist and
author Brian Greene will debut the four-part miniseries, The Fabric of the
on November 2, which will fall under PBS' NOVA umbrella. Pairing with
the network's NOVA programming will be Nature.

PBS will announce
additional fall programming next week at the network's annual meeting with
stations in Orlando.