THIRTEEN Celebrates Black History Month: UMOJA! 2012

January 27th, 2012

THIRTEEN celebrates Black History Month this February with UMOJA!, celebrating the rich history, heritage and contributions of African Americans. The annual UMOJA! festival begins on Sunday, February 5.

Below are some of the programs featured this year. (View our full Black History Month line-up).

Sunday, February 5 at 11 p.m.:

Independent Lens – Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock

Examines Daisy Bates’ support of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.

Tuesday, February 7 at 8 p.m.:

American Experience – Freedom Riders

Explores the story of the 1961 Freedom Rides through America’s Deep South for Civil Rights.

Thursday, February 9 at 10:30 p.m.:

Alexander Clark – Lost in History

A documentary profiling Alexander Clark, who brought about school desegregation in  Iowa’s schools more than 85 years before the rest of the nation.

Sunday, February 12 at 11 p.m.:

Independent Lens – The Black Power Mixtape 1967 – 1975

A look at the Black Power Movement in the African- American community and Diaspora from 1967 to 1975.


Monday, February 13 at 9 p.m.:

Slavery By Another Name

Reveals the interlocking forces that enabled “neoslavery” to begin and persist from 1865 to 1945.

Tuesday, February 14 at 9 p.m.:

FRONTLINE – The Interrupters

Three former Chicago criminals place themselves in the line of fire to protect their communities.

Thursday, February 16 at 10:30 p.m.:

Images of Tony Gleaton

This documentary showcases cultural photographer Tony Gleaton’s award-winning images of black and American Indian cowboys, the African diaspora in Latin America, and the assimilation of Asians, Africans, and Europeans with indigenous Americans.

Sunday, February 19 at 11 p.m.:

Independent Lens – More Than A Month

A 29-year-old African American filmmaker is on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month.

Friday, February 24 at 9 p.m.:

Great Performances – Memphis

The story of a radio DJ in the 1950s whose love of music transcended racial lines and airwaves.


Sunday, February 26 at 8 p.m.:

American Masters – Cab Calloway: Sketches

The life and career of Cab Calloway, who was at the top of his game in the jazz and swing era and was rediscovered in the 1980s.

American Masters Wins Producers Guild Award

January 24th, 2012

Series Creator and Executive Producer of American Masters, Susan Lacy

The Producers Guild Awards celebrate the year’s finest producing work in motion picture and television. This past Saturday, American Masters was honored as Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television, beating out 30 for 30 from ESPN, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations from the Travel Channel, Deadliest Catch from the Discovery Channel, and Undercover Boss from CBS.

The PGA Awards win follows other honors for the 25th anniversary season of American Masters, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Primetime Nonfiction Series – its eighth win in 11 years! – and two Peabody Awards for A Letter to Elia and LennoNYC .

Congratulations to the American Masters team! Other winners from the PBS family include Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey (with the David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Long-Form Television) and Sesame Street (with the Children’s Programs award).

Mission US: Flight to Freedom Launches Today

January 24th, 2012

THIRTEEN announces the launch of Mission US: Flight to Freedom, the second in a series of innovative role-playing games developed to transform the way middle school students learn U.S. history. Timed to support curriculum activities connected to Black History Month in February 2012, Flight to Freedom immerses learners in the experiences of a runaway slave in the years before the Civil War. Educators and students can access the game via streaming and download through any Internet-connected computer, making it accessible in the classroom, the library, school technology lab and at home.

In Flight to Freedom players take on the role of Lucy King, a fictional 14-year-old enslaved in Kentucky in 1848. As they navigate her escape and journey to Ohio via the Underground Railroad, they discover that life in the “free” North is dangerous and difficult. Players encounter a diverse group of people – from abolitionists to slave owners – and make decisions that affect the game’s outcome. Flight to Freedom helps students learn how enslaved people’s choices – from small, everyday acts of resistance to action that sought an end to slavery – affected the lives of individuals, and ultimately the nation.

As students play Flight to Freedom, they build knowledge of the history of slavery and the abolitionist movement. Their understanding and critical perception of the historical context deepens through the accompanying curriculum of activities and by examining a robust collection of primary sources such as maps, posters, runaway ads, slave narratives and other materials. Students also interact with the game’s embedded “Smartwords” to build vocabulary and historical literacy skills.

Flight to Freedom, like all Mission US games, includes a comprehensive collection of resources and materials for educators. These materials include document-based questions, a rich collection of primary sources, activities for individual, small group, and whole class implementation, vocabulary builders, standards alignments, writing prompts and visual aids. Teachers can project content from the game using a variety of technology tools such as interactive whiteboards. The game and supporting materials are free and downloadable for use in classrooms, libraries and homes.

Mission US launched in September of 2010 with its first mission, For Crown or Colony? The next two installments of this ongoing series are planned for release in 2013 and 2014. In Mission 3, The Race for the Golden Spike, players will take on the role of workers helping to build the transcontinental railroad. In Mission 4, The Sidewalks of New York, players will explore early 20th century New York as a muckraking journalist.

Mission US is produced by THIRTEEN in association with WNET and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Sandra Sheppard, THIRTEEN’s director of Children’s and Educational Programming, is the executive-in-charge. Jill Peters serves as executive producer, with Michelle Chen, coordinating producer.

At the Paley Center Returns for Season Two

January 13th, 2012

At the Paley Center returns for a second season on January 19, this time focusing on the series, “She’s Making Media.”

In keeping with the Paley Center’s history of celebrating women’s contributions to the media landscape, the series features digital media’s next generation of women leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators while also looking at the work and wisdom from some of media’s icons.

At the Paley Center airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

Enter our giveaway for a chance to win a pair of tickets to an upcoming screening of “Hey Hey Hey…it’s Bill Cosby” at the Paley Center for Media.

Check out the full lineup of guests:

January 19: Glenn Close

January 26: Marlo Thomas

February 2: Jane Fonda

February 9: Arianna Huffington

February 16: Eve Ensler

February 23: Maria Elena Salinas

Downton Abbey: Season Two New York Screening & Panel

January 11th, 2012

On December 15, PBS and WNET hosted a Downton Abbey: Season Two screening and cast panel at the Times Center in New York City. Cast members Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, and Joanne Froggatt were all in attendance, along with co-creator Gareth Neame and Masterpiece Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton, who moderated the discussion.

Check out photos from the event:

Season Two of Downton Abbey airs Sundays January 8 – February 19 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN. This season, get caught up with episode recaps on The Downton Dish, and learn more about the series with videos clips and extras.

Watch the full panel discussion here:

Downton Abbey Returns to THIRTEEN on Sunday, Jan. 8

January 6th, 2012

When Downton Abbey returns this Sunday, viewers can expect major changes as World War I makes its presence felt throughout the household and the lives and conventions of Downton’s residents are turned upside down.

Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Elizabeth McGovern are back with an all-star cast for the second season of Julian Fellowes’ Emmy Award winning drama.

Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary (Courtesy of (c) Carnival Film & Television Limited 2011 for MASTERPIECE)

Learn more about the series with video clips and extras, along with our brand new blog, Downton Dish, featuring episode recaps.

Season two of Downton Abbey airs Sundays January 8 through February 19 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN. Full episodes will also be available to watch online the Monday after broadcast, and available through March 6.

Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET, recently sat down with Downton Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cora) to discuss season two, similarities to her character, her career in the theater, and much more:

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