Beginning April 4, WORLD Channel is teaming up with PBS to bring back Eyes on the Prize, the iconic history series on race in America. APT viewers can watch or livestream the 14-part series beginning Sunday, April 4 at 8pm on WORLD Channel.
For the first time, Eyes on the Prize I, the first six episodes of the two-part series, also will be available for catch-up streaming, free and for a limited time beginning April 10th, following the broadcast on WORLD Channel on all station-branded PBS platforms, including WORLDChannel.org, PBS.org and the PBS Video app. APT members can also view Eyes on the Prize I via PBS Passport.
WORLD and PBS will host national online events to discuss themes in the series and connect audiences to how those themes impact our society today. Individual episodes will also be included in PBS’ At-Home Learning schedule, which was created in response to the pandemic. Airing nationwide on WORLD Channel, At-Home Learning programs for students grade 6-12 are broadcast daily, Monday through Friday, from 11:00pm to 4:00pm.
At-Home Learning broadcasts will be supplemented with additional resources from PBS LearningMedia, a free service that includes thousands of contextualized learning materials aligned to state and national standards. PBS LearningMedia will offer a host of educational offerings for middle and high school teachers related to Eyes on the Prize. The Civil Rights: Then and Now collection includes video clips, activities, discussion questions and lesson plans.
“When first broadcast in 1987, Eyes on the Prize was acclaimed as the defining series on race in America. Today, it still resonates and is relevant to an entirely new generation of those seeking answers about how we arrived at this moment in our country,” said Chris Hastings, executive producer for WORLD Channel, which is produced at GBH in Boston. “As we mark the anniversary of the death of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and at a time when racism continues to be at the forefront of the national dialogue, we are proud to share this series.”
“As we continue to provide our viewers with relevant content across PBS platforms, this iconic series represents a unique opportunity to deliver on our mission to educate, inspire, entertain and express a diversity of perspectives. Today, more than ever, it is critical that public media helps to inform generations about early Civil Rights pioneers and how their work continues today,” said Sylvia Bugg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming at PBS. “We are proud to partner with WORLD Channel to bring this series back to the forefront and to inspire dialogue across communities and through our education efforts.”
Eyes on the Prize, created by Executive Producer Henry Hampton, is an award-winning and critically-acclaimed in-depth documentary series on civil rights in America. Hampton set out to share his vision of what he called “the remarkable human drama that was the Civil Rights Movement” through the experiences and challenges of those fighting for justice. Produced by Blackside Inc, Eyes on the Prize tells the definitive story of the Civil Rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today.
With contemporary interviews and historical footage, the Academy Award-nominated documentary traces the civil rights movement from the Montgomery bus boycott to the Voting Rights Act; from early acts of individual courage through the flowering of a mass movement and its eventual split into factions. The late Julian Bond, political leader and civil rights activist, narrates.
Eyes on the Prize won numerous awards including the duPont-Columbia Gold Baton Award, Peabody Awards in 1988 and 1991, and it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
In conjunction with the program’s return to broadcast, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) will release a new online exhibit – Freedom Song: Interviews from Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965 that explores the history behind and making of the groundbreaking civil rights series Eyes on the Prize. Using unedited interviews recorded for the series, as well as an interactive map of locations central to the civil rights movement and a timeline of critical events, the Freedom Song exhibit breathes new life and context into the epic series. The exhibit was curated by Michelle Kelley, a cinema studies scholar who worked with students on the Eyes on the Prize interviews as a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Washington University in St. Louis.