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American Masters
Genre: Arts
AMERICAN MASTERS is an ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. Created in 1984 by Susan Lacy and produced by Thirteen/WNET for national public television, the series is both a celebration and an exploration of creativity in America. Consisting of more than 250 hours of programming to date, AMERICAN MASTERS is a growing film library documenting the role important individuals, groups, and movements have played in the formation of our cultural identity.

Below is a list of broadcasts scheduled to air in the next 60 days on any of our three channels.

Episode #2602
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Rol
During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Southern-born, Chicago-raised and New York-made Sister Rosetta Tharpe introduced the spiritual passion of her gospel music into the secular world of popular rock 'n roll, inspiring the male icons of the genre. This flamboyant African-American gospel superstar, with her spectacular virtuosity on the newly electrified guitar, was a natural-born performer and a rebel -- one of the most important singer-musicians of the 20th century. She is acknowledged as a major influence not only on generations of black musicians -- including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Isaac Hayes and Etta James -- but also on white stars such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.
55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #2606
Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth
Most famous for her seminal novel "The Color Purple," writer / activist Alice Walker celebrates her 70th birthday. Born February 9, 1944, into a family of sharecroppers in rural Georgia, her life unfolded during the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th century America. Her mother, poverty and participation in the Civil Rights Movement were the formative influences on her consciousness, becoming the inherent themes in her writing. The first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Walker continues to shine a light on global human rights issues. Her dramatic life is told with poetry and lyricism, and includes interviews with Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, Howard Zinn, Gloria Steinem, Sapphire, and Walker herself. 90 minutes.
Learn more about this episode » 1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun Feb 8th @ 11:00 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #2402
John Muir in The New World
Nearly a century after his death, John Muir is remembered and revered as the father of the environmental movement, the father of conservation, and the founder of the Sierra Club. It was this Scottish-American who believed it was our responsibility as citizens to care for and protect our natural surroundings. He taught us by example and passion -- through his actions, his writings, his art -- how to do so. Through his tireless advocacy, he almost single-handedly saved the Yosemite Valley of California from destruction and was the force behind the creation of the National Parks Service. Filmed throughout the majestic, breathtaking landscapes and wilderness traveled by Muir those many years ago, this documentary places our nation's most important asset in a cultural and social context. Muir's story could not be a more timely reminder of America's unique and, ultimately, threatened eco-system.
1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Feb 15th @ 1:00 pm

Episode #309
James Baldwin: The Price of The Ticket
This program is an in-depth portrait of James Baldwin, one of the greatest American authors of the 20th century. Using archival material that reflects Baldwin's worldwide influence and appeal, the film includes interviews with family members, friends and notable colleagues, including Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, William Styron, Amiri Baraka, Richard Avedon, and Bobby Short, among others. Segments were filmed in France, Turkey, and Harlem, all places where Baldwin lived. Through Baldwin's work as a writer (ever since his first book in 1953, "Go Tell It On The Mountain"), he has helped mobilize the civil rights movement, brought new awareness and compassion to both black and white readers, and shed light on what it is like to be black in America.
1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun Feb 15th @ 11:00 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #2705
August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand
From his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway, this program captures the legacy of the man some call America's Shakespeare. Film and theater luminaries such as James Earl Jones, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne, Charles Dutton and others share their stories of the career and experience of bringing Wilson's rich theatrical voice to the stage. This film tells of his journey to the Great White Way, the triumphs and struggles along the path to such seminal works as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running and four others before his untimely death in 2005. Directed by Emmy-winner Samuel Pollard (When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts; Slavery by Another Name).
1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #2503
Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel
No ordinary writer and no ordinary woman -- "Gone with the Wind" created two of the world's greatest lovers, Scarlett and Rhett, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and has sold more than 30 million copies. Born into Atlanta's upper crust in 1900, Margaret Mitchell challenged stifling social restrictions at every turn. A charismatic force to be reckoned with, she had a great sense of humor, was one of Georgia's first newspaper women and was extremely generous with the money she made from "Gone with the Wind." She struggled with the changing role of women and the liberation of African Americans but also suffered from lifelong bouts of depression, until a tragic accident lead to her death in 1949. This film examines the amazing endurance of "Gone with the Wind" and reveals the seminal events of Mitchell's life through dramatic re-enactments based on her letters, as scenes from the movie weave together her life and her work.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun Mar 22nd @ 2:30 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #2504
Harper Lee: Hey Boo
Reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" has been a national pastime for five decades -- it is still selling nearly a million copies a year, its classic popularity and power are a common reference. And the courtroom image of Gregory Peck, as the passionate Atticus Finch, gave us an enduring picture for the novel's message. Behind it all was a young Southern girl named Nelle Harper Lee, who once said she wanted to be Alabama's Jane Austen. This program explores her life and unravels its mysteries, particularly why she never published again. Illuminated with family photos, revealing personal letters and an exclusive interview with her sister, Alice Finch Lee (100 years old), the film is steeped in the texture of the novel's Deep South and the social changes it inspired. Tom Brokaw, Rosanne Cash, Anna Quindlen, Scott Turow, Oprah Winfrey and Andrew Young reflect on how "Mockingbird" shaped their lives.
1 hour, 25 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Sun Mar 22nd @ 3:30 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #2704
Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning
Explore, through Lange's granddaughter's eyes, the life story of the influential "Migrant Mother" photographer. Never-before-seen photos and film footage, family memories and new interviews reveal the artist who challenged America to know itself.
1 hour, 56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Mar 29th @ 2:00 pm


This list includes any broadcasts that aired in the past 2 months on any of our three channels.

Episode #2801
Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice
Journey through the mysterious world of sleight-of-hand with multi-talented conjurer Ricky Jay. This film traces Jay's story through new interviews and rare performance footage of Jay and influential magicians. Dick Cavett narrates.
55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #2308
Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides
Called "the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor that has ever lived" by critic Pauline Kael, Jeff Bridges has been plying his craft most of his life. With a first role as an infant in his mother Dorothy's arms and a childhood television debut in his father Lloyd's television series Sea Hunt, he burst onto the silver screen in The Last Picture Show in 1971 and was immediately recognized with a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He has created original and memorable characters in notable films since that time. To name but a few -- Heaven's Gate, Starman, Jagged Edge, The Fisher King, Fearless, Wild Bill, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Big Lebowski, and his 2010 Oscar-winning best actor in Crazy Heart. He is an exceptional musician, an artist, a photographer, an occasional vintner and a story teller extraordinaire. He helped found the End Hunger Network in 1983 and continues to work tirelessly to reach their goals. Known for taking on-set still photographs of cast and crew during all of his recent movies, Bridges puts together a book after wrapping, presents one to everyone and sells the rest to support End Hunger. He wrote about it in his 2006 volume PICTURES. Bridges returns to the screen in 2011 with Tron Legacy and as Rooster Cogburn in the remake of True Grit.
1 hour, 25 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #1704
Judy Garland: By Myself
Judy Garland had one of the most photographed faces ever to come out of Hollywood - it is stamped as a virtual imprint on our imaginations, a celluloid image frozen in time. She also had one of the most frequently recorded voices of the last century. She was magic, almost mythical. She is as iconic as she is misunderstood. There were her problems, to be sure, but the proof is in the performances, from The Wizard of Oz to the Palladium, from the Oscars to the Grammies. With singular entree to the MGM library, including vaulted screen tests and rehearsal footage, the film is wrapped in Judy's voice, actually telling her story in her own words. So many outsiders have tried to tell this story and so many friends and family have weighed in - now Judy gets center stage, all to herself. This is her ultimate comeback.
1 hour, 56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Jan 4th @ 1:00 pm

Episode #2101
Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
This first authorized film poetically documents Seeger's unique experience and contributions. The man who introduced America to its own folk heritage, he deeply believes in the power of song and is convinced that individuals can make a difference. He made a whole generation passionate about playing the guitar and picking the banjo, and got them singing together and using music as a force for social change. Largely misunderstood by his critics, including the U.S. government, for his views on peace, civil rights and ecology, Seeger went from the top of the hit parade to the top of the blacklist -- banned from commercial television for more than 17 years. His inspiring, but not always easy, story is told by everyone from Bob Dylan to the Dixie Chicks and through a remarkable historical archive -- a history that Seeger himself, now 92 years old, helped create.
Learn more about this episode » 1 hour, 26 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.


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