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Coming Attractions

Something new from Ken Burns, a new IdahoPTV series and the possibility of a return to Downton Abbey

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It's not all bad news for Idaho Public Television, which is looking with worry at a proposal to eliminate all public funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Endowment for the Arts (see Page 7). There are a few developments IdahoPTV General Manager Ron Pisaneschi is happy to share—particularly, a new series from documentarian-extraordinaire Ken Burns set to air in September.

"I've already seen some of the series and it's extraordinary," said Pisaneschi. "It will be a full exploration of the Vietnam War years, on the battlefield and on the homefront."

A new locally-produced series, tentatively titled The Idaho Experience, will be a history-based documentary modeled on the PBS favorite The American Experience, with its premiere expected sometime later this year. A new 24/7 children's channel is slated to join IdahoPTV's multi-platform network (now with five channels), showcasing the PBS treasure trove of youth programming.

The biggest news, however was on what Pisaneschi said were "very strong rumors" about Julian Fellowes, the creator of PBS megahit Downton Abbey.

"I've heard that he's writing a prequel: basically the story of Lord and Lady Grantham and how they first met. It would take place about a generation before Downton Abbey began," he said. "It could still be some time before we see it, but you can guess how excited we are to hear about it."

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