Posted 03 Sep 2010
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) treats baseball fans in September with the premiere of Ken Burns's "The Tenth Inning" and a baseball trivia contest with prizes from Burns, the Arkansas Travelers and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Thousands of bats, three home run records and one curse have been broken since Burns last explored the history of Americas national pastime with his landmark 1994 PBS series Baseball. Now Burns and co-director Lynn Novick bring the series to the present with "The Tenth Inning," a four-hour, two-part documentary series airing Tuesday-Wednesday, Sept. 28-29, at 7 each night on AETN.
"The Tenth Inning" tells the tumultuous story of baseball from the early 1990s to the present day, introducing an unforgettable array of players, teams and fans; celebrating the games resilience and enduring appeal; and showcasing both extraordinary accomplishments and devastating losses and disappointments.
The film highlights dramatic developments that transformed the game: the crippling 1994 strike that left many fans disillusioned with their heroes; the increasing dominance of Latino and Asian players who turned baseball into a truly international game; baseballs skyrocketing profits, thanks to new stadiums, interleague play, and the wild card; the rise of a new Yankee Dynasty; the Red Sox historic World Series victory; the astonishing feats of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds; and the revelations about performance-enhancing drugs that cast a shadow on many of the eras greatest stars and their accomplishments.
Combining extraordinary highlights, stunning still photographs, popular music of the period, and insightful commentary by players, managers, experts and fans, "The Tenth Inning" interweaves the story of the national pastime with the story of America. In an age of globalization, deregulation and speculation, the film demonstrates that baseball has continued to be a mirror of the country at its best and at its worst. The film also movingly shows that when America felt most threatened, following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, baseball offered common ground, providing Americans with solace, distraction, and the hope that things could one day return to normal.The film will air 16 years after the original Emmy Award-winning, nine-part documentary series "Baseball" debuted in 1994 during the players strike. The original series was seen by more than 43 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in PBS history.
To coincide with the broadcast, AETN has created a baseball trivia contest for viewers to test their knowledge of the sport. Prizes include a baseball autographed by Burns, a copy of the "Baseball" companion book from the original series, and jerseys from the Arkansas Travelers and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. On Oct. 31, a winner will be drawn at random from the correct entries, and prizes will be mailed to the address provided. Entries will be accepted by mail, which should include the answers to the questions, as well as name, address, phone number and e-mail address, or online at www.aetn.org/10th-inning
"The Tenth Inning" is a production of Florentine Films and WETA Washington, DC. Corporate funding for "The Tenth Inning" is provided by Bank of America. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Television Viewers and PBS.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansass 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 www.aetn.org, or follow the AETN blog at www.aetn.org/engage. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).