PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A roundup of news Monday from the Television Critics Association winter meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs.
Jackie Robinson’s widow said Major League Baseball has yet to fully honor her husband’s legacy.
“There is a lot more that needs to be done and that can be done in terms of the hiring, the promotion” of minorities in the sport, Rachel Robinson said Monday.
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She took part in a Q&A session with TV critics about “Jackie Robinson,” a two-part PBS documentary airing in April.
Holding Jackie Robinson Day at ballparks and handing out T-shirts to honor his brave integration of baseball isn’t enough, she said.
“We’re talking about very few (black) coaches, very few managers … so there’s room for real progress, where people can come into the sport and feel they’re going to be respected and given opportunities,” Rachel Robinson said.
Filmmaker Ken Burns (“The Civil War,” ”Baseball”) recalled that Jackie Robinson, in his final public appearance, said he would be even more proud if he glanced over toward third base and saw an African- American coach.
The ballplayer, who broke the sport’s color barrier when he started for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, died in 1972 at age 53.
Burns screened the documentary last November for Rachel Robinson, 93, who recalled her nervousness before seeing it.
“But right from the beginning, I could see that Ken tried to understand him and his place in history” and gathered the evidence to support his perspective, she said. She pronounced herself “very pleased” with the project.
Robinson was asked to describe her emotional response to the film, which tells of her husband’s achievements and their family life.
“I had to hide my tears,” she said. With Jackie Robinson gone, people look to her to confirm accounts of what he did, how he felt and how the couple confronted discrimination.
“It’s a great responsibility to speak for someone else who cannot be there to speak for themselves,” she said.
Not all of their personal history is for public consumption: Robinson wrote to his wife faithfully whenever he was away and those letters remain private, she said.
“Jackie Robinson” airs on PBS stations on April 11-12, deliberately scheduled to debut just after the start of the baseball season and days before Jackie Robinson Day, April 15, Burns said.
“Genius by Stephen Hawking,” a six-part series, will be presented and narrated by the famed physicist.
Each episode will challenge groups of “ordinary people” to think like history’s greatest scientific minds to solve humanity’s stubborn questions, PBS said.
The program will air this year on PBS stations and internationally on National Geographic Channel. A date was not announced.
PBS is getting a behind-the-scenes look at the hottest ticket on Broadway, “Hamilton.”
“Hamilton’s America,” a documentary about the musical’s creation, will air this fall on the “Great Performances” showcase, Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, said Monday.
The inventive, biographical hip-hop show about the life of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton is the work of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who stars as the founding father.
The documentary is expected to include the musical’s creative origins, some footage of the musical and interviews with Miranda and others, PBS said.
PBS has a track record with Miranda: In 2009, it aired a documentary about him and other cast members of his Tony Award-winning musical, “In the Heights.”
Public television’s commitment to the arts makes it the logical home for “Hamilton’s America,” Kerger said. “Who else is going to do this?”
Kerger added that other outlets wanted to get in business with Miranda and “we’re grateful and proud” to be his partner.
“Hamilton’s America” is produced by RadicalMedia (“What Happened, Miss Simone?”) and Thirteen Productions LLC for station WNET and PBS.
CAST YOUR VOTE
PBS is joining with National Public Radio for election-year coverage that will include an on-air and online blend of news, documentary and other programming.
The public broadcasting services will team on coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions and exchange other digital, video and audio content, PBS said.
In the months leading up to November’s presidential election, PBS programs “NewsHour” and “Frontline” will join with America Public Media’s “Marketplace” series to scrutinize the U.S. economy and the forces shaping it.
PBS’ election-year coverage will include a Democratic primary debate in Milwaukee produced by “PBS NewsHour” and moderated by anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff.
Also planned is a multi-part documentary, “16 for 16,” which PBS said will revisit past presidential campaigns to highlight the lessons learned.
The candidates studied include Gary Hart, Howard Dean, Elizabeth Dole, Mitt Romney and Ross Perot.
The 16-episode series is to be presented in half-hour weekly episodes leading up to election day.