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PBS studies ‘History of Television’

$2 million miniseries to air spring of '09

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation has partnered with the Documentary Group and Washington, D.C., pubcaster WETA to produce a miniseries about TV for PBS.

“The History of Television,” which is a working title, received a greenlight after scoring a $2 million grant from PBS and the Corp. for Public Broadcasting. Project was announced Wednesday by TV Academy Foundation chairman Steve Mosko and WETA exec VP/chief programming officer Dalton Delan.

The program is slated to air on PBS in spring 2009.

“Television is a medium in transition and there is no better time to step back and appreciate where it has been and where it is going,” Mosko said. “This is a milestone for the Foundation.”

The project will take advantage of the TV Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television, which includes interviews with iconic TV pioneers and other materials. The org will also launch a fundraiser to “create maximum impact for both the TV series and its other component parts.”

“The History of Television” will lead off with a four-hour look at scripted series, including famous TV characters in drama and comedy history. Each hour will look at specific groups of actors, writers, producers and directors.

This is the first major TV production from the TV Academy Foundation. WETA, meanwhile, is the third-largest program-producing station in public broadcasting. The Documentary Group, which is behind the upcoming feature doc “Steep,” is made up of former members of Peter Jennings’ PJ Prods.

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