NPT programming examines Obama legacy in Trump’s rise and celebrates MLK

Watch America’s Great Divide From Obama to Trump on PBS Jan 13 -14.

Throughout winter, Nashville’s PBS affiliate NPT’s themed programming will shine a light on the rich diversity of America’s culture, food and history. FRONTLINE’s winter lineup includes a new in-depth investigation that explores America’s increasingly bitter, divided and toxic politics. Locally, Nashville’s NPT has scheduled two fascinating programs in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to air on the eve of his holiday, With Infinite Hope and a special Cleveland Orchestra concert event.

FRONTLINE begins its 2020 election year coverage with a two-part, four-hour documentary series investigating America’s increasingly bitter, divided and toxic politics. From veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk and his team, America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump draws on revelatory new interviews with key political and cultural figures, as well as an unparalleled archive of in-depth broadcast reporting across two presidential administrations, to offer crucial context for the current moment.

FRONTLINE’s “America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump” Part One premieres Monday, January 13, 8:00 p.m. CT. It deftly traces how President Barack Obama’s promise of unity collapsed as increasing racial, cultural and political divisions laid the groundwork for the rise of Donald Trump, while Part Two, premiering Tuesday, January 14, 8:00 p.m. CT, examines how President Donald Trump’s campaign exploited the country’s divisions and how his presidency has unleashed anger on both sides of the divide.

With Infinite Hope: MLK and the Civil Rights Movement airs once, at 10:00 pm CT on Sunday, Jan 19, 2020. With Infinite Hope looks back at the life, leadership, and legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The program follows King’s career from his hiring at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, through his death on April 4th, 1968 in Memphis.

The documentary includes interviews with seven historians and 16 people who participated in some of the more well-known events of the Civil Rights Movement: the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Freedom Rides, the Birmingham Children’s March, Selma, and the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike. The program was produced by Ithaca College faculty members James A. Rada and Chrissy Guest along with students from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College in conjunction with Memphis PBS affiliate WKNO-TV.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert with The Cleveland Orchestra follows With Infinite Hope, airing once, Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 11:00 pm on NPT-HD. Hosted by actor James Pickens, Jr, (a Cleveland native who is best known as Dr. Richard Webber on Grey’s Anatomy and Deputy Director Alvin Kersh on The X-Files), the performance by the Cleveland Orchestra is conducted by music director Franz Welser-Most.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination includes classical selections by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Verdi as well as hymns and spirituals including “Down by the Riverside,” “Precious Lord,” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” This Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert was recorded Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in Severance Hall, and also features Guest soloist Ryan Speedo Green, called “a show stopper” by The New York Times; and The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Chorus — an all-Cleveland community volunteer chorus — directed by William Henry Caldwell.