American Masters (2013 Season) – Billie Jean King

Production Biographies

Air date: 09/10/2013

American Masters

Billie Jean King


Premieres nationwide Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) to commemorate 40th anniversaries of King v. Riggs “The Battle of the Sexes” match & founding of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and equal prize money


Production Biographies


James Erskine

Director, Producer, Writer

James Erskine is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker whose work as a writer-director-producer includes From The Ashes (2011), One Night In Turin (2010), Vanishing of the Bees (2009), Oil Storm (2005), an award-winning TV movie for FX, and EMR (2004), an independent feature and winner at several film festivals including Raindance. In addition to this James has also directed several episodes of popular BBC dramas including Robin Hood, Torchwood, Rock Rovals, Holby City, and EastEnders, amongst others. He co-founded New Black Films, an independent London-based film and TV production company, in 2009 with filmmaker Victoria Gregory.


Victoria Gregory

Producer, Line Producer

Victoria Gregory built up a successful career from 1998 onwards at the BBC in production management, working on BAFTA-winning productions such as Dunkirk, The Secret Policeman and the award-winning feature The Last Resort. Victoria became a freelance producer in 2006 and has since worked as a co-producer on the Academy Award-winning Man On Wire (2008) and line producer on the BAFTA-winning Senna (2011). Since 2009 Victoria has worked with James Erskine at New Black Films on their commercially successful independent documentary films One Night In Turin (2010) and From The Ashes (2011). Victoria has carved herself a niche maximizing the value of documentary and drama-documentary features.


Susan Lacy

Series Creator and Executive Producer

Susan Lacy has been an award-winning originator of primetime public television programs since 1979. As the creator and executive producer of American Masters, she has been responsible for the production and national broadcast of more than 190 documentary films about our country’s artistic and cultural giants, those who have made an indelible impact on the American landscape. Now celebrating its 27th season on PBS, American Masters has garnered unprecedented awards and is recognized by television critics as “the best biographical series ever to appear on American television.”

Under Lacy’s leadership, American Masters has received 67 Emmy Award nominations and 24 wins, including for eight for Outstanding Primetime Nonfiction Series, five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special and the other 11 in various craft categories. The series received the 2012 and 2013 Producers Guild of America (PGA) Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television, the 2012 IDA Award for Best Continuing Series, 12 Peabody Awards, three Grammy Awards, and an Academy Award.

In addition to her executive producing role, Lacy is an award-winning filmmaker. She recently produced, directed and wrote Inventing David Geffen, which premiered on public television in November 2012 to great critical acclaim. She produced LENNONYC, a film exploring John Lennon’s life in New York City; her Judy Garland: By Myself earned Lacy an Emmy Award for writing and an Emmy nomination for directing. She wrote, directed and produced Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind (IDA nomination for Outstanding Documentary) and Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note (Emmy Award and DGA nomination). She produced the Peabody Award-winning Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time, directed and produced Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval, and directed and produced Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice. All films were for American Masters.

Lacy was one of the select 2005 honorees at the Museum of Television & Radio’s “She Made It” event, which recognized 50 exceptional women who have created and informed the genre, and a 2008 Washington, DC, Women of Vision Awards recipient, honoring those in film and video who inspire and mentor. She was honored again in Washington, DC, in 2010 as the recipient of the Cine Golden Eagle Lifetime Achievement Award. Lacy holds a BA in American Studies from the University of Virginia, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and an MA in American Studies from George Washington University.  Lacy grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and splits her time between Manhattan and Sag Harbor, New York.