OETA to air Ken Burns' Jackie Robinson April 11-12
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OETA airs Jackie Robinson, a new two-part, four-hour documentary directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, April 11 and 12, at 8 p.m. CT each night on OETA-HD. The film tells the story of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who rose from humble origins to break baseball’s color barrier and waged a fierce lifelong battle for first-class citizenship for all African-Americans that transcends even his remarkable athletic achievements.
“Jackie Robinson is the most important figure in our nation’s most important game,” said Ken Burns. “He gave us our first lasting progress in civil rights since the Civil War and, ever since I finished my Baseball series in 1994, I’ve been eager to make a stand-alone film about the life of this courageous American.
“There was so much more to say not only about Robinson’s barrier-breaking moment in 1947, but about how his upbringing shaped his intolerance for any form of discrimination and how after his baseball career, he spoke out tirelessly against racial injustice, even after his star had begun to dim.”
In addition to Rachel, Sharon and David Robinson, Jackie Robinson features interviews with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama; former Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine and Ralph Branca; writers Howard Bryant and Gerald Early; Harry Belafonte; Tom Brokaw; and Carly Simon. Jamie Foxx is the voice of Jackie Robinson, reading excerpts from his newspaper columns, personal letters and autobiographies.
Following the airing of part one April 11, OETA replays the documentary Signs of the Time which explores the origins of baseball's hand signals and the pioneers responsible for this innovation. Following the airing of part two April 12, OETA debuts The Kalb Report: Inside Baseball - A Conversation with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.
MLB and Minor League Baseball celebrate Jackie Robinson Day Friday, April 15, at ballparks across the country. The Oklahoma City Dodgers, AAA affiliate of Robinson’s Los Angeles Dodgers, play host to the Nashville Sounds in Oklahoma City’s home opener at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Oklahoma is also home the Dodgers' AA affiliate, the Tulsa Drillers. The Drillers open a three-game homestand with the Corpus Christi Hooks Thursday, April 14.
Also coming to OETA is the locally produced documentary The Quiet Philanthropist: The Edith Gaylord Story Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. Gaylord is responsible for the creation of Oklahoma City nonprofits the Inasmuch Foundation and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.
Two PBS shows explore the brain as NOVA joins scientists as they untangle the cause of Alzheimer's and go behind the scenes of drug trials Wednesday, April 13 at 9 p.m. Immediately following, Ride the Tiger looks inside the bipolar brain to reveal where the biological and chemical breakdowns occur.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 makes a return to OETA starting Friday, April 15. After airing limited episodes previously, OETA showcases 12 fan favorite episodes, including Bloodlust (1961), The Mad Monster (1983), Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders (1996), Teenagers From Outerspace (1959) and Extra Terrestrial Visitors (1983).