“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will host the PBS Arts Fall Festival this year, beginning on October 21. The annual festival will kick off with Great Performances documentary “Hamilton’s America,” giving viewers a look at Miranda and his colleagues’ creative process during the three years leading up to the Broadway opening of the record-breaking musical.
“The PBS Arts Fall Festival spotlights some of the best of the arts across our great country. For this sixth annual Festival, I am thrilled to announce that Lin-Manuel Miranda will be our host,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “I truly admire how Lin-Manuel Miranda has redefined the musical genre, inviting audiences to explore our nation’s history in groundbreaking new ways. As our host, I know that he will bring tremendous creative energy and help us attract new audiences to this year’s festival.”
“I’m such a huge fan of PBS. For my entire life it’s been our window into a world of the arts that isn’t available anywhere else on TV,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda. “This year’s PBS Arts Fall Festival lineup is incredible, and I am excited to not only host the festival, but have ‘Hamilton’s America’ kick it off.”
The festival will also feature Great Performances’ presentation of the West End revival of Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim’s “Gypsy,” starring Imelda Staunton as Momma Rose, and “Shakespeare Live! From the Royal Shakespeare Company,” featuring appearances by Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch and many more as theater luminaries gather to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s remarkably coincidental birth and death on April 23. Live from Lincoln Center will deliver “Lang Lang’s New York Rhapsody,” a love letter from renowned pianist Lang to the city he calls home featuring Rufus Wainwright, Suzanne Vega, Regina Spektor and Andra Day, and “Joshua Bell’s Seasons of Cuba,” in which violinist Bell performs with the Chamber Orchestra of Havana, which is composed of some of Cuba’s most accomplished classical musicians. Additionally, Lincoln Center at the Movies will present “Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater,” featuring a series of works that reflect the company’s spectacular range, diversity and artistry, culminating in a performance of “Revelations.”
The PBS Arts Fall Festival will also spotlight “Bill Murray: The Mark Twain Prize,” and “Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs,” the Broadway star’s cabaret show.
At PBS’ Television Critics Association summer press tour presentation, the broadcaster also announced the premiere date for Frontline’s four-hour, two-night documentary miniseries “Divided States of America,” airing January 17 and 18 at 9 p.m. on PBS, and “The Great War,” a six-hour documentary on World War I which is set to premiere over three nights in April 2017 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the war.
On September 12-17, PBS will also air “Spotlight Education,” a special week of primetime programming examining the challenges facing today’s students and America’s education system. The week will feature eleven films and documentaries on local PBS stations including special episodes of “Nova,” “Frontline” and “PBS Newshour,” a new film from “POV,” the premiere of “Ted Talks” special “The Education Revolution,” concluding with the 5th annual “American Graduate Day,” a special broadcast celebrating individuals and non-profit organizations dedicated to helping youth stay on track to high school graduation.