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TCA: PBS Sets Quarterly Programming Themes

Pasadena, Calif. — PBS has a programming theme for each quarter, which Perry Simon, chief programming executive and general manager, GA programming, said will get its partner stations on the same page in terms of content.

“It’s how I believe public television can best stand out in a crowded marketplace,” said Simon during PBS's TCA winter press tour in Pasadena, California.

Food and culture is the winter theme. Health and wellness is on for spring, and summer celebrates the centennial of women’s voting.

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“We’re honored to share stories of truly inspirational and trailblazing women,” said Simon.

Summer programming celebrating influential women includes a pair of Great Performances theatrical productions: Ann, about former Texas governor Ann Richards, on June 19, and Gloria: A Life, about feminist Gloria Steinem, June 26.

Holland Taylor wrote and stars in Ann. “She’s a necessary hero in our culture,” said Taylor, who said there’s a desire among viewers to watch political leaders with integrity these days.

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Christine Lahti portrays Steinem. The production recreates a talking circle, which Steinem has enjoyed taking part in. It has an all-female cast.

Steinem also pops up in the upcoming FX series Mrs. America. “She’s everywhere and she needs to be everywhere,” said Lahti.

PBS did not share the programming theme for fall, but a spokesperson said the theme might be related to elections.