“Constitution USA with Peter Sagal” is one of several new programs announced by PBS at the TCA Summer Press Tour this past weekend. While something that aims to breathe “new life into the traditional civics lesson” may not sound like the obvious stuff of which compelling television is made, Peter Sagal, the host of NPR game show “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!,” is a witty and very smart presence who might even be able to liven up a road trip exploration of one of our founding government documents.
PBS promises that the show will be structured around Sagal’s travelling the country on a Harley Davidson “to find out where the Constitution lives, how it works and how it doesn’t… how it unites us as a nation, and how it has nearly torn us apart.” The series will air in the spring of 2013, coinciding with the ratification’s 225th anniversary.
PBS has also signed on for another Ken Burns epic historical miniseries, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” slated for 2014. The seven-part, 14-hour doc will tell the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, with Paul Giamatti, Edward Herrmann and Meryl Streep respectively voicing the trio in their letters and writings.
And “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” premiering Monday, September 3 on PBS KIDS, is a new animated series for preschoolers from the Fred Rogers Company and inspired by “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” The show will follow the 4-year-old Daniel Tiger, son of the original program’s Daniel Striped Tiger, one of the puppets residing in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.