The Great American Read Line-Up

April 20, 2018

Meredith Vieira, host of The Great American Read.

Meredith Vieira, host of The Great American Read. Photo Credit: Stephanie Berger.

The Great American Read is a new television series launching on PBS stations with a two-hour special event on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. Hosted by journalist Meredith Vieira, the eight-part series will take viewers on a journey across the country to uncover the nation’s 100 most-loved novels, the people who love them and their authors.

Throughout the summer, THIRTEEN and WLIW21 viewers will be encouraged to read and engage in the conversation by attending local events, including film screenings and talks at our WNET Tisch Studio at Lincoln Center, exchanging favorite novel picks on, and voting for their favorite book on the list. The series will return in September with a recap and additional themed episodes exploring the nominated books, leading up to the reveal of “America’s Best-Loved Novel” on Tuesday, October 23.

Who’s on The Great American Read?

Authors, celebrities and notables joining the search for “America’s Best-Loved Novel” include Diana Gabaldon (Outlander), Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City), George Lopez, Seth Meyers, Junot Diaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), Lauren Graham, John Green (Looking for Alaska), John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany), Bill T. Jones, Devon Kennard, Gayle King, George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones), Wynton Marsalis, Lesley Stahl, Ming-Na Wen and many more, each of whom will share their personal stories and connections to their favorite book.

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When is The Great American Read Airing?

The Great American Read kicks off in May with a two-hour special and will return September 11 through October 23, 2018.

Premiere: Tuesday, May 22, 8pm ET
The 100 novels on the list of “America’s Best-Loved Books” will be discussed, and voting begins.

Recap: Tuesday, September 11

Five Thematic Episodes: Tuesdays, September 18 through October 16.
Host Meredith Vieira and guests will discuss popular themes in literature, from heroes and villains to the quest for love.

Finale: Tuesday, October 23
During the final episode, the 10 books with the most votes for America’s Best-Loved Book will be discussed, and the winner will be announced.