Pipeline 2020: Our annual survey of shows coming to public TV

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Clockwise from top left: Detail from a mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros, the subject of “Siqueiros: Walls of Passion”; Gai Qi on her wedding day (“Leftover Women”); Nobel Prize–winning doctor Jim Allison (“Jim Allison: Breakthrough”); Mama Piru in a Rapa Nui processing plant (“Eating Up Easter”); Toni Morrison (“Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”) (Photos: Siqueiros — ITVS / Siqueiros: Walls of Passion; Gai Qi — Medalia Productions and Shlam Productions; Piru — Mara Films, LLC; Morrison — (c) Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

Pipeline 2020, Current’s latest survey of new programs coming to public TV, provides a snapshot of 96 productions in the works for national distribution, beginning in January.

Created from information submitted by or for producers, the list includes limited series and specials from PBS signature series, independent filmmakers and distributors, minority consortia and public TV stations. The productions are intended for prime-time, weekly or pledge-drive broadcasts in January 2020 and beyond, though most aim to debut sometime next year.

Our thanks to producers and their distributors and publicists, who supplied most of the information.


  • APT: American Public Television, Boston
  • ITVS: Independent Television Service, San Francisco
  • NETA: National Educational Telecommunications Association, Columbia, S.C.
  • NEA: National Endowment for the Arts
  • NEH: National Endowment for the Humanities

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