A look at previous presidents joins PBS lineup of election coverage

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PBS has scheduled encore broadcasts of six American Experience presidential biographies over two weeks in August as a part of the lead-up to the fall general election campaign.

Biographical documentaries on six presidents who served in the White House from 1961–1993 – beginning with John F. Kennedy and ending with George H.W. Bush — were selected to present a balanced slate of Democratic and Republican presidents, according to e.p. Mark Samels. Series manager Jim Dunford, who curated the 20-hour primetime encore, also kept the focus on contemporary presidents.


(Image: WGBH Educational Foundation)

“Biography is a really interesting way into politics, and it’s hard to overstate the significance of them,” Samels said. “We have strived to create fair, in-depth content so that people can see the human face of the White House.”

This special rebroadcast follows the February launch of American Experience’s The Presidents, a digital portal featuring full-length films on 10 American presidents, video galleries and more than 200 primary source documents.

“Over the years our president biographies have proven to be successful and incredibly durable,” Samels said. “This evergreen quality makes them ideal content so we are trying to maximize the places you can find them.”

The encore broadcasts kick off Aug. 8 and run Mondays to Thursdays in mostly chronological order, skipping over the presidency of Gerald Ford.

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