PBS to air ‘American Family’ special

Two-hour edition will bow on Facebook before airing on pubcaster

PBS will premiere a two-hour anniversary edition of the landmark series “An American Family” on its Facebook page Monday, before airing the special across PBS beginning July 7.

“An American Family: Anniversary Edition” pulls together the most compelling moments of the original 12-hour series, which has re-aired in certain markets but has not been broadcast nationwide in more than two decades. Skein inspired the recent HBO film “Cinema Verite.”

PBS prexy-CEO Paula Kerger told Variety that the Facebook premiere is tailored for the growing segment of the PBS audience that is under 35.

“The people who are most interested in seeing (“An American Family”) are the people who never saw it, which are younger people,” Kerger said.

Filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond will also participate in a live online chat July 7. In addition, excerpts from the original series and one full episode will be available at PBS’ website.

For those watching on the conventional smallscreen in New York, the special will air on July 8.

PBS also said that “H.M.S. Pinafore,” produced by Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater and Twin Cities Public Television, will kick off the previously announced PBS Arts Fall Festival on Oct. 14.

Nine installments are scheduled for the festival, including “Pearl Jam Twenty” on Oct. 21, “Give Me the Banjo” with Steve Martin on Nov. 4, “Bill T. Jones: A Good Man” on Nov. 11 and “Il Postino from L.A. Opera” on Nov. 25.

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