You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Networks Plot Multiple Documentary Tributes to MLK Jr.

NBC News and MSNBC will run a two-hour documentary centered on Martin Luther King, the latest TV project to be announced around the legendary civil-rights leader in the 50th anniversary of his 1968 assassination.

NBC News will debut “Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement and The Media” on NBC on March 24th at 8 p.m. and on MSNBC March 25 at 9 p.m. The two-hour documentary examines how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and leaders of the civil rights movement used  print and visual media, especially television, to spark Americans’ awareness of racial inequality. Andrew Lack. chairman of NBC News, is executive producer.

Other TV networks have planned separate projects that examine King’s life and work. HBO’s “King in the Wilderness” looks at the final chapters of Dr. King’s life, revealing a conflicted leader who faced an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. The documentary debuts Monday, April 2 at 8 p.m. eastern on HBO. Meanwhile, Viacom’s Paramount Network Paramount will present “I Am MLK Jr.,” an original documentary from filmmaker Derik Murray, slated to air April 4 at 9 p.m. eastern.

The NBC News effort will show how protesters using social media today employ similar strategies to the ones utilized by Dr. King and movement leaders. The film also highlights how today’s protesters communicate directly to mass audiences via digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter and tell their stories firsthand by broadcasting unfiltered footage in real time.

“By the brilliant design of Dr. King and the movement’s leaders, each chapter of the civil rights struggle played out dramatically on the evening news,” said Lack, in a statement.  “Powerful images beamed into living rooms, haunted Americans and eventually brought about historic change. Today’s movements have smartphones and live streams – but they still depend on the sheer force of video and pictures to tell a story and move people to action.”

The documentary film was produced and directed by Rachel Dretzin and Phil Bertelsen, and is narrated by Lester Holt, anchor of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.”


Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Supernatural -- "The Rising Son" --

    'Walker, Texas Ranger' Reboot Starring Jared Padalecki in Development

    “Supernatural” star Jared Padalecki could soon be starring in a reboot of “Walker, Texas Ranger,” Variety has confirmed. CBS Television Studios is currently developing a new version of the classic Chuck Norris-led series with Padalecki in the title role. No network is currently attached. Should the project move forward, it would allow Padalecki to smoothly transition [...]

  • This is Us

    What to Watch on TV This Week: 'The Politician,' 'This Is Us' Season 4 Premiere

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” drops on Netflix, and “This Is Us” season 4 [...]

  • UMC-Marriage-Boot-Camp-Hip-Hop-Edition-WE-tv

    WE tv, UMC Reteam on Bonus Content for 'Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition' Season 2

    AMC Networks is touting the benefits of cross-pollinating content and promos across its TV and streaming properties. In the latest bit of synergy, the programmer’s WE tv announced the continuation of its partnership with sister company UMC (Urban Movie Channel) to produce a second season of “confessional” episodes for WE tv reality series “Marriage Boot [...]

  • BLUFF CITY LAW -- "Pilot" Episode

    TV Review: 'Bluff City Law'

    As a legal procedural emanating from outside the imaginings of Dick Wolf, “Bluff City Law” at least represents something novel for NBC. But its understanding of the workings of the legal profession is frustratingly limited in a familiar way — not merely because it falls so nearly into timeworn cliché but also because it seems [...]

  • Kit Harington, Sophie Turner. Kit Harington,

    Emmys 2019: What You Didn't See on TV

    Viewers who tuned into the Emmys on Sunday night saw the “Game of Thrones” cast reunite for the first time since the epic finale, and caught Adam DeVine’s head-scratching musical number. They also saw the stars of “Veep” rally once more, and witnessed the magic that is Billy Porter’s awards show fashion. But there’s a ton [...]

  • David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Carolyn

    Emmys 2019: 'Game of Thrones,' Jharrel Jerome Top Social-Media Buzz

    HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Jharrel Jerome, star of Netflix’s “When They See Us,” were among the leaders of social conversation during Sunday’s 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Facebook and Twitter. “GOT” picked up 12 Emmys in total for its final season, including outstanding drama series, while series star Peter Dinklage picked up his fourth [...]

  • The Politician - Ben Platt

    TV Review: Netflix's 'The Politician' Starring Ben Platt

    If you tried to drink every time someone on “The Politician” says “ambition,” you wouldn’t get through a single episode alive. For the steel-jawed characters of “The Politician,” and especially its ostensible hero Payton (executive producer Ben Platt), ambition is the urgent undercurrent of just about every scene, revealing a desperate intensity that never lets [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content