Bill Moyers to Return to TV with a New SeriesBreaking News
Related Links: Bill Moyers Interview with HNN
Bill Moyers will be back on TV in January with a new series on public television, HNN has learned. Mr. Moyers alerted public television stations to the news this afternoon in a letter that explained that even though he is now seventy-seven, "I surely have one more season in me."
He left public television more than a year ago, saying “It’s time to go.” But when the Carnegie Corporation offered to provide the lead grant for a new show featuring creative thinkers he and his wife Judith, his long-time television partner, decided to return to TV. He says they had enjoyed the time they had spent with their grandchildren, and with the help of Netflix "caught up on a lot of movies and television we had missed while meeting one deadline after another." But after sitting "for long stretches of time watching the hawks circle above our trees," he and Judith concluded they were not ready, quoting Tennyson, "to rust unburnished."
He broke the news in an exclusive interview with HNN conducted by Robin Lindley that appears on the website today. In the interview Mr. Moyers discloses the trepidation he often feels after reflecting on the times in which we live: "Sometimes I sense what seems to be the shifting of some tectonic plate beneath our own feet and a slight shiver runs down my back that I have to willfully shake off. When I am in the slough of despondency I try to remember the hard times my parents faced – my father was knocked down and almost out by the Great Depression; he left school in the fourth grade, my mother in the eighth, to work in the fields, picking cotton. They never recovered financially. But the life force has a tenacious hold on us, doesn’t it?"
The show will be distributed to public television stations by American Public Television. PBS, which broadcast earlier Moyers' shows, reportedly told him that the network did not have a time slot available for the series. Carnegie is providing a $2 million grant.
Text of the letter Bill Moyers sent to public TV stations Aug. 22, 2011
When I retired the Journal more than a year ago, I said to our audience: “It’s time to go.” And so it was. Since 9/11, when PBS asked us practically overnight to launch a daily broadcast on the crisis, our team had taken on one challenge after another. Over the next few years we would produce three mini-series (America’s First River, Faith and Reason, and Becoming American: The Chinese Experience), five documentary specials (Trading Democracy, Buying the War, Capitol Crimes, Is God Green? and The Net At Risk), and two weekly series (Now with Bill Moyers and Bill Moyers Journal). We relished every minute of that streak – well, almost every minute – but on the eve of my 76th birthday, it was time to step off the treadmill of production and take some deep breaths. I told our audience, “While I don’t consider myself old, there are some things left to do that the deadlines and demands of a weekly broadcast don’t permit.” So I brought the Journal to a close.
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