At the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS announced the production of 16 FOR ’16 (w.t.), a multi-part documentary that spotlights unforgettable presidential and vice-presidential candidates whose dramatic and influential campaigns earned a place in the history books. Produced by OZY Media, a digital magazine that focuses on well-curated news, arts and culture stories, 16 FOR ’16 (w.t.) will be presented in 16 30-minute weekly episodes leading up to the U.S. presidential election this November.
Among the subjects is Gary Hart, the frontrunner in both 1984 and 1988 who is often called “the most influential Democrat of his generation” to never win the Presidency. Also profiled is Rev. Jesse Jackson, one of Hart’s opponents in both races, who points out how his groundbreaking strategy of inclusion resulted in winning both the “whitest and the blackest U.S. states” in the same election cycle. The series will also examine the timely and relevant campaign of Ross Perot, the outspoken billionaire businessman who shook up the establishment by launching a third-party bid. Candidates across the political spectrum also are featured including Mitt Romney, Shirley Chisholm, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, Barry Goldwater and Ted Kennedy.
16 FOR ’16 (w.t.) is part of “PBS Election 2016,” a year-long, multiplatform initiative that brings together PBS news, public affairs, documentary and digital programming to create the country’s most complete coverage of the 2016 election cycle. Acclaimed series PBS NEWSHOUR, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND, FRONTLINE, WASHINGTON WEEK, CHARLIE ROSE, TAVIS SMILEY and AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS, in addition to partnerships with NPR and American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” will cover breaking elections news, provide context to current and historical political issues, explore behind-the-scenes stories of candidates and the election process, as well as a broader look at the foundations of American government.
“Every four years, we are introduced to a group of individuals with their own aspirations to leave a mark on the history of our country,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS.“16 FOR ’16 (w.t.) revisits the most compelling stories from previous elections to demonstrate how every U.S. presidential election is a reflection, and an inflection, of those that came before it.”
“As a lifelong political junkie, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to study these fascinating men and women who dare to say they have what it takes to be the leader of the free world. We hope people will walk away from this series feeling invigorated and engaged as we gear up for the 2016 election,” said Carlos Watson, the host of the series and founder of OZY.com.
16 FOR ’16 (w.t.) is directed and produced by Cameo George and Alan Chebot of OZY Films for PBS.
Major funding for 16 FOR ’16 (w.t.) will be provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).