PBS To Air Muhammad Ali Documentary Series in September

PBS' 'Muhammad Ali'
PBS' 'Muhammad Ali' (Image credit: PBS)

PBS will team with producer Ken Burns on a documentary series based on the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali airing in September.

The four-part series, Muhammad Ali, will debut Sept. 19 and will follow the life and times of the three-time heavyweight boxing champion and human rights advocate who is considered one of the most consequential men of the 20th century, said PBS.

Muhammad Ali will look at some of Ali’s legendary fights as well as capture Ali’s principled resistance to the Vietnam War, his steadfast commitment to his Muslim faith, and his complex relationships with Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, who profoundly shaped his life and worldview.

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Burns, PBS and ESPN’s multimedia platform The Undefeated will explore the intersection of sports, race and culture through a series of conversations leading up to the September broadcast, said PBS.

“Muhammad Ali is a national icon whose life and legacy are woven into the fabric of American history,” said PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming Sylvia Bugg in a statement. “PBS is committed to sharing stories that deepen understanding and reflect a diversity of perspectives, and we’re thrilled to bring this extraordinary biopic to our audiences this fall.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.