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'American Oz' Premieres on PBS April 19

L. Frank Baum (center) surrounded by characters from The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays, a traveling multimedia Oz stage show. Circa 1908.
L. Frank Baum (center) surrounded by characters from The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays, a traveling multimedia Oz stage show. Circa 1908. (Image credit: Courtesy of Public Domain)

American Oz is the latest installment in the American Experience documentary series on PBS. The documentary looks into the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, and airs on Monday, April 19 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video App.

The documentary features interviews with biographer Evan Schwartz, film historian Jeanine Basinger, Wicked author Gregory Maguire, historian Philip Deloria, and others.

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“Baum is a distinctly American character and the story of his remarkable life offers a fascinating window into the last days of the frontier and the birth of the modern era at the turn of the 20th century,” said Cameo George, American Experience executive producer. “He embodies those quintessential American traits of optimism and drive and managed to turn what he witnessed into a story that never seems to get old. It continues to be reinvented for new audiences who identify so powerfully with Dorothy, her band of lovable outcasts, and the longing for home.”

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American Oz is written, directed and produced by Randall MacLowry and Tracy Heather Strain and executive produced by Cameo George. 

Chelsea Anderson
Chelsea Anderson

Chelsea Anderson has been with Future for two years. She started as an intern with NewBay Media/Multichannel News in 2015. During her time she wrote bylined articles and program reviews as well as helped with research graphics for the magazine. She later became News Assistant for Broadcasting & Cable in 2017 until 2020 when she became Assistant Content Producer. Chelsea graduated from Niagara University in 2016 with a Bachelor's in Communication Studies and a double minor in Writing Studies and Sociology.