New series of 'MAKERS' to premiere on AETN Sept. 30
Posted 22 Sep 2014
Six new, one-hour "MAKERS" documentaries will premiere on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) beginning Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. These documentaries tell the stories of women in six spheres of influence - comedy, Hollywood, space, business, politics and war.
The new six-part series expands on the critically acclaimed three-hour PBS documentary "MAKERS: Women Who Make America," which premiered in February 2013, and told the story of the American women's movement over the last half-century.
In the last half-century, women have fought their way into nearly every sphere of American life, from the battlefield to the comedy club, the soundstage to the Senate. In each field, women have pried open, and profoundly reshaped, the central institutions of American life and culture. Through intimate interviews with trailblazing women known and unknown, viewers will be given a rare glimpse - sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always candid - of what it was like to be pioneers in their fields.
The full line-up of documentaries includes:
- "MAKERS: Women in Comedy," airing Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. This episode tracks the rise of women in the world of comedy, from the "dangerous" comedy of '70s sitcoms like "Maude" to the groundbreaking women of the 1980s American comedy club boom and building to today's multifaceted landscape. Contemporary comics, including Chelsea Handler, Mo'Nique, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Lynch and Kathy Griffin, talk about where women started in this competitive, male-dominated profession and where they are determined to go. Produced and directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Narrated by Leslie Mann.
- "MAKERS: Women in Hollywood," airing Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. This episode showcases the women of showbiz, from the earliest pioneers to present-day power players, as they influence the creation of one of the country's biggest commodities: entertainment. Audiences hear from actress-producer-activist Jane Fonda, who at 75 is playing a sharp, sexy and powerful media mogul on "The Newsroom;" television powerhouse Shonda Rhimes, who created "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal;" screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who re-imagined the traditional Disney princess by making Belle ("Beauty and the Beast") a self-possessed, strong-willed young woman; director Ava DuVernay, who was the first African-American to win best director at Sundance for her film, "Middle of Nowhere;" writer-director-actress Lena Dunham, who mines comedy and drama gold by exploring what it's really like to be a young woman today; and Academy Award-winner Geena Davis. Produced by Rory Kennedy with producer/director Linda Goldstein Knowlton. Narrated by Julia Roberts.
- "MAKERS: Women in Space," airing Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 10 p.m. This episode traces the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. Some, like aviators Wally Funk and Jerrie Cobb, passed the same grueling tests as male astronauts, only to be dismissed by NASA, the military and even Lyndon Johnson, as a distraction. It wasn't until 1995 that Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a spacecraft. The program includes interviews with Collins, as well as Sally Ride's classmates Shannon Lucid, Rhea Seddon and Kathryn Sullivan, and features Mae Jemison, the first woman of color astronaut, and Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station. Produced by Michael Epstein and Sara Wolitzky. Directed by Epstein. Narrated by Jodie Foster.
- "MAKERS: Women in War," airing Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m. This episode looks at American women's increasing participation in war - from Vietnam to the present - as nurses, soldiers, journalists, diplomats and spies. Among those featured are Linda Bray, the first woman to lead troops into battle, and Valerie Plame Wilson, whose career was sabotaged after she was "outed" as a high-level spy. Viewers hear from war correspondents like Molly Moore about life on the battlefield. The film shares the stories of military leaders who have broken through gender barriers, like Gen. Angela Salinas, who at her retirement was the highest ranking woman serving in the USMC, and Vice Admiral Michelle Howard, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. Navy. Produced and directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing. Narrated by Christiane Amanpour.
- "MAKERS: Women in Business," airing Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. This episode tells the story of the exceptional women - past and present - who have taken the world of business by storm. Told by female business leaders themselves, this is a candid exploration of what it takes to make it and a celebration of the extraordinary individuals who, over the course of 50 years, have proven - on Wall Street, in corporate America or business empires of their own - that a woman's place is wherever she believes it to be. Some of the featured business leaders include Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox and the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 company; Sallie Krawcheck, Wall Street powerhouse and current owner of the global networking platform for women, 85 Broads; Cathy Hughes, radio and television personality and the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded corporation; lifestyle mogul and business magnate Martha Stewart; and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, whose provocative book, "Lean In," ignited a national conversation about women, feminism and equality in the workplace. Produced by Leah Williams and directed by Jamila Wignot.
- "MAKERS: Women in Politics," airing Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. This episode profiles women in public office who were firsts in their fields. From the first woman elected to Congress in 1916 to a young woman running for Detroit City Council in 2013, the documentary explores the challenges confronting American women in politics. Trailblazing leaders like Hillary Clinton, Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), along with Patricia Schroeder, the first woman elected to Congress from Colorado, Olympia Snowe, the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, and Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to serve in Congress, provide a backdrop for younger women like Rashida Tlaib, the first Muslim-American woman elected to the Michigan House, and Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, who chronicles her run for Detroit City Council. Today's leaders in Washington, including Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the first female senator from Massachusetts, Susan Collins (R-ME), who led the Senate in shaping a deal to end the government shutdown, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), currently the youngest woman serving in Congress, are also represented. Produced by Rory Kennedy with producer/director Grace Lee. Narrated by Alfre Woodard.
These films build on the multi-platform initiative developed by AOL that aims to be the largest collection of women's stories ever assembled and includes a growing collection of over 250 original interviews online at MAKERS.com. The films will be available for streaming on PBS.org and MAKERS.com after their broadcast.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas's statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit aetn.org, or follow the AETN blog at aetn.org/engage. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).