PBS orchestrating ‘Musical’ doc for ’04

Kantor to direct series which will bow fall 2004

Gotham pubcaster WNET and Ghost Light Films have begun production on “Broadway: The American Musical,” a six-hour documentary tracking the evolution of musical theater over the past 100 years.

Michael Kantor, whose credits include work on Ken Burns’ “The West” and Ric Burns’ “New York,” will direct. Series is slated to bow on PBS in fall 2004.

Taking its cue from the recent success of bigscreen tuners “Chicago” and “Moulin Rouge,” docu will feature first-person accounts from theater luminaries including Carol Channing, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Joel Grey, John Lahr, Arthur Laurents, Harold Prince and Stephen Sondheim, as well as interviews with the late Adolph Green, Al Hirschfeld and Walter Matthau.

Turn-of-the-century beginning

Pic will begin with the turn-of-the-century immigrant experience and culminate with a survey of today’s eclectic Broadway scene — a mix of avant-garde theater and classic revivals.

“A comprehensive documentary on the history of the American musical has never been done,” Kantor said. “And it’s crucial to hear from the men and women who actually had a role in shaping American culture — to document the Broadway stories of these creative legends in their own words — before it is too late.”

Using archival footage, private home movies and autobiographical material, series will highlight historic stage moments, including the creation of the Gershwins-Heyward folk opera “Porgy and Bess,” Ethel Merman’s belting of “I’ve Got Rhythm” and Julie Taymor’s Tony-winning staging of “The Lion King.”

More TV

  • Morgan Spurlock Sexual Misconduct

    Morgan Spurlock's TNT Series 'Who Rules the World' Halts Production

    Gotham pubcaster WNET and Ghost Light Films have begun production on “Broadway: The American Musical,” a six-hour documentary tracking the evolution of musical theater over the past 100 years. Michael Kantor, whose credits include work on Ken Burns’ “The West” and Ric Burns’ “New York,” will direct. Series is slated to bow on PBS in […]

  • George Clooney Matt Charman

    Watergate Series in the Works at Netflix From George Clooney, Matt Charman

    Gotham pubcaster WNET and Ghost Light Films have begun production on “Broadway: The American Musical,” a six-hour documentary tracking the evolution of musical theater over the past 100 years. Michael Kantor, whose credits include work on Ken Burns’ “The West” and Ric Burns’ “New York,” will direct. Series is slated to bow on PBS in […]

  • The Chi

    TV News Roundup: Showtime Offers Early Look at Series Premiere of 'The Chi'

    Gotham pubcaster WNET and Ghost Light Films have begun production on “Broadway: The American Musical,” a six-hour documentary tracking the evolution of musical theater over the past 100 years. Michael Kantor, whose credits include work on Ken Burns’ “The West” and Ric Burns’ “New York,” will direct. Series is slated to bow on PBS in […]

  • Sam Esmail Remote Controlled Podcast

    Remote Controlled: 'Mr. Robot' Creator Reflects on Season 3, Previews Season 4

    Gotham pubcaster WNET and Ghost Light Films have begun production on “Broadway: The American Musical,” a six-hour documentary tracking the evolution of musical theater over the past 100 years. Michael Kantor, whose credits include work on Ken Burns’ “The West” and Ric Burns’ “New York,” will direct. Series is slated to bow on PBS in […]

  • Thomas Ferguson

    Endemol Shine Names Thomas Ferguson VP of Licensing, Partnerships

    Gotham pubcaster WNET and Ghost Light Films have begun production on “Broadway: The American Musical,” a six-hour documentary tracking the evolution of musical theater over the past 100 years. Michael Kantor, whose credits include work on Ken Burns’ “The West” and Ric Burns’ “New York,” will direct. Series is slated to bow on PBS in […]

  • Bob Iger Rupert Murdoch

    International Newswire: So Where Does Disney-Fox Pact Leave International?

    Gotham pubcaster WNET and Ghost Light Films have begun production on “Broadway: The American Musical,” a six-hour documentary tracking the evolution of musical theater over the past 100 years. Michael Kantor, whose credits include work on Ken Burns’ “The West” and Ric Burns’ “New York,” will direct. Series is slated to bow on PBS in […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content