Head programmer looking for “PBS twist” in scripted drama on Civil War

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PBS is commissioning a second scripted drama, Chief Programming Executive Beth Hoppe told Current at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour this week in Los Angeles.

The latest script request is for a Civil War period piece, Hoppe said. “We’re really focusing on things that have historical accuracy and untold stories at their core, as we try to select what to bet on in the drama space,” she noted. “The Civil War is territory that PBS has a great track record for, so it’s a matter of finding that PBS twist.” She declined to discuss further details.

In May, Variety reported that PBS had ordered a pilot script for Alta California, set in the 1800s and centering on an arranged marriage between two families, one Mexican-Californian and the other European American.

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