Watch, Stream, Engage with ‘The Vietnam War’ from Ken Burns & Lynn Novick

The Vietnam War, the new Ken Burns and Lynn Novick series, will premiere Sept. 17, 2017, on NPT. The series will air 7 p.m. nightly Sunday through Thursday, through Sept. 28 with an encore broadcast immediately following each night’s premiere.

NPT is partnering with the Brentwood Library to host a free screening and discussion about The Vietnam War. The event, our fourth with Middle Tennessee organizations, takes place Monday, Sept. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Brentwood Library (8109 Concord Rd., Brentwood, TN 37027). Following a screening of a compilation reel from the 10-part, 18-hour series, Vanderbilt University history professor Thomas Schwartz will moderate a panel featuring veterans Bill Graham, Robert Tuke, Dana McLendon, John H. Dorland and Fred Frawley. Register here.

Think local

We are also talking with Middle Tennesseans to learn about their experiences during and since the war. The idea, according to NPT producer Shawn Anfinson, is to generate a number of vignettes to provide a local perspective on the war’s lingering effect on the American psyche. Using a social media-friendly vehicle was also important, so Anfinson decided on audiograms, a format developed by WNYC public radio. NPT’s 30-second audiograms are available on our Facebook page and include U.S. Navy and U.S. Army veterans as well as members of the nonprofit Vetlinx Community Partnership for Veterans.



Chris Clark, longtime NewsChannel 5 Nashville news anchor and current MTSU journalism instructor, is one of the people discussing his Vietnam War-era experiences in NPT’s audiogram series. Clark is also featured in one of three video shorts that will air on NPT throughout the run of The Vietnam War. In the longer piece, Clark explains how the war was partly responsible for his entry into television news and also how coverage of the war influenced journalism.

Watch more

Concurrent with the Sept. 17 broadcast premiere of The Vietnam War, the first five episodes of the series will be available for streaming on all PBS station platforms, including NPT Passport; the final five episodes will be available beginning Sept. 24. All episodes will remain accessible until Oct. 3, when the series begins its weekly rebroadcast. The series will also be available in Spanish and Vietnamese on streaming.

NPT members will be able to view all 10 episodes beginning Sept. 17 via NPT Passport, the member benefit streaming portal through which you can enjoy episodes of many of your favorite PBS and NPT shows on demand. NPT Passport members will have access to The Vietnam War through Dec. 31, 2017.

For more about The Vietnam War series, see the series homepage at

Enjoy Earlier Prime Time & ‘Vintage Tennessee Crossroads’ on NPT, NPT2

If you’re a regular NPT viewer, you may have already noticed a few tweaks to our regular lineups. First, prime time now starts at 5 p.m. weekdays on NPT. Tune in for episodes of Antiques Roadshow, The Great British Baking Show, Nature, This Old House and other shows from our prime-time schedule.

We’re also scheduling in-week replays of current season offerings of some shows, as well as special tie-in episodes. For example, to coincide with the Sept. 17 premiere of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s The Vietnam War, we’re airing shows about that era on Tuesdays this month. Nixon’s The One: The ʼ68 Election (Sept. 19) and The Day the ’60s Died (Sept. 26), are among them.

Keep travelin’

Tennessee Crossroads has been on the air for 30 years – that’s a lot of stories and a lot of great memories! Now you can enjoy more statewide adventures in time-travel episodes of Vintage Tennessee Crossroads, weekdays at 3:30 p.m. on NPT2. We’re currently showing the 11th season, so look for Joe Elmore, Rob Wilds and the rest of the Crossroads gang sporting early-1990s haircuts and fashions. Whether you’re new to Middle Tennessee or a life-long resident, these vintage episodes are a fun way to see how our region has grown over the last 25 years.

Log in to NPT Passport for even more of your favorite programs. This member benefit gives you access to a streaming portal packed with PBS series and original NPT productions that you can watch whenever suits you best. And, for the younger set, NPT now offers 24-7 educational and entertaining children’s programming on-air and streaming via NPT3 PBSKids!

Find our complete schedule lineup at

Share Your Opinions at NPT’s ‘School Discipline: NPT Reports Town Hall’

NPT invites the public to participate in a town-hall discussion of discipline in schools on Sunday, Sept. 17, in NPT’s Studio A (161 Rains Ave. Nashville 37203). The taping begins promptly at 3 p.m.; doors open and reception at 2:30 p.m. The event concludes at 4:30 p.m. This event is FREE, but RSVP is required at

Metro Nashville Public Schools has one of the highest student suspension rates in Tennessee and disproportionately high suspension rates for children of color. High suspension rates lead to greater risk of school dropout, resulting in increasing social and economic costs to our community.

School Discipline: NPT Reports Town Hall will be a discussion of how disciplinary issues are addressed and the root causes of disparities in school discipline. We will also discuss how we as a community can work together to address this problem in order to create a better future for our students. Special guest Daniel Losen, director of UCLA’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies, will focus on school discipline and its relationship to the “school-to-prison” pipeline.

This town hall will be recorded for future broadcast. School Discipline: NPT Reports Town Hall premieres on NPT Friday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m.

Free Preview Screenings & Discussions of Ken Burns & Lynn Novick’s ‘The Vietnam War’

The Vietnam War
, a new 10-part, 18-hour documentary series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, will premiere Sept. 17, 2017, on NPT. The series will air 7 p.m. nightly Sunday through Thursday, through Sept. 28 with an encore broadcast immediately following each night’s premiere. NPT is producing three original spots focusing on different aspects of the war that will air later this fall and 10 short interviews with Vietnam War veterans and others that will be shared via social media.

Prior to The Vietnam War’s launch, NPT is co-hosting three free preview screenings and discussions of the series.

  • Thursday, Sept. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University (1207 18th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37212). This screening is part of the Seigenthaler Series and will be followed by a discussion on how the war changed American journalism featuring panelists Thomas Schwartz, Vanderbilt University history professor, and Leon Alligood, an MTSU journalism professor who embedded in Afghanistan as a Tennessean reporter. Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center, will moderate the panel. RSVP is required.
  • Saturday, Sept. 9, from 2 to 4 p.m., at The Tennessee State Museum (505 Deaderick St., Nashville, TN 37243). Following the screening, Dr. Lisa Budreau, the museum’s senior curator of military history, will moderate “Vietnam Voices,” a discussion with veterans who served in the war. Reservations for this event are full.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Old Glory Distilling Company (451 Alfred Thun Rd., Clarksville, TN 37040). Presented in conjunction with the Welcome Home Celebration in Clarksville, the event includes guests Bill Robinson, a U.S. Air Force helicopter crew chief who became the longest-held captive of the Vietnam War; and Cindy Stonebraker, the daughter of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col Kenneth Stonebraker, a pilot who went missing in action in October 1968. RSVP is required.

Burns and Novick use an immersive narrative to tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. The Vietnam War series features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

“The Vietnam War was a decade of agony that took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans,” Burns said. “Not since the Civil War have we as a country been so torn apart. There wasn’t an American alive then who wasn’t affected in some way — from those who fought and sacrificed in the war, to families of service members and POWs, to those who protested the war in open conflict with their government and fellow citizens.”

“Ken and I have tried to shed new light on the war by looking at it from the bottom up, the top down and from all sides,” Novick said. “Within this almost incomprehensibly destructive event, we discovered profound, universal human truths, as well as uncanny resonances with recent events.”

Ten years in the making, the series was written by Geoffrey C. Ward, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns. It includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

The Vietnam War features new, original music written and recorded by Academy Award-winning composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The film also features new music arranged and performed by Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble. Additional music in the film was composed by David Cieri and Doug Wamble, both of whom are longtime collaborators with Florentine Films.

The series also features more than 120 popular songs that define the era, including tracks from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, Ben E. King, Phil Ochs, Donovan, Johnny Cash, Barry McGuire, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Otis Redding, Santana, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, The Temptations, Booker T. and the MG’s, Pete Seeger and more.

NPT’s ‘Music Row’ Documentary Premieres Thursday, Aug. 17

Nashville’s Music Row has given rise to epic successes and shaped the future of one of music’s most popular and populist genres. In Music Row: Nashville’s Most Famous Neighborhood, NPT tells the story of how a group of unremarkable bungalows became the heart of the country music industry and helped Nashville become known around the world as Music City USA. The hour-long documentary is narrated by singer-songwriter Pam Tillis and premieres on Thursday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m. on NPT.



In the years since the first studio was founded on Music Row, the neighborhood has seen highs and lows, but has always represented the joy and opportunity of music to millions of fans and artists worldwide. It is a physical place that also exists as a dream, an opportunity and a goal. Music Row houses an artistic community unlike any other in the world, a place where collaboration has led to great music and great profits. This unique neighborhood started as a collection of unassuming cottages and bungalows and is now lined by glass and steel structures. The area is in a constant state of change, but still holds on to the spirit that made it so influential on the world’s stage.

“We’d talked about doing this documentary for the last 10 years, but the impetus to do it now was partly because of how quickly Nashville is changing,” said NPT’s Justin Harvey, the documentary’s producer. “And certainly the fight to save RCA Studio A underscored the need to do it now. We wanted to preserve these spaces on film at least and, in fact, one building was lost while the documentary was being shot.”

Music Row: Nashville’s Most Famous Neighborhood first examines how Nashville became Music City, with a focus on the rise of the Grand Ole Opry and the subsequent opening of recording studios in the downtown area. Then, comes the influence of the records made in Owen and Harold Bradley’s Music Row studio and its Quonset hut counterpart. Next, the documentary looks at how Music Row developed into a complete neighborhood housing the full spectrum of the music industry, from session musicians and recording engineers to record labels and entertainment lawyers. Finally, Music Row: Nashville’s Most Famous Neighborhood reflects on what Music Row means today in the changing music business.

Music Row’s story is told through vintage photos and footage, current footage of the area and interviews with musicians Bill Anderson, The Bellamy Brothers, Harold Bradley, David Briggs, Kathy Mattea, Charlie McCoy, Jay McDowell, Bob Moore, and Ray Stevens; engineer Ernie Winfrey; studio managers Sharon Corbitt-House and Pat McMakin; music journalists Don Cusic, Michael Gray, Craig Havighurst and Robert K. Oermann; and Joe Chambers of the Musicians Hall of Fame.

Additional broadcast times for Music Row: Nashville’s Most Famous Neighborhood are below; the documentary will also be available for streaming via the NPT Passport portal.

  • Sunday, Aug. 20, at 9 a.m. on NPT
  • Monday, Aug. 21, at 7 a.m. on NPT2
  • Tuesday, Aug. 22, at noon on NPT2

Music Row: Nashville’s Most Famous Neighborhood
is being made possible through the generous support of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Dell, Aubrey Preston, Creative Nation and Curb Records.

‘HomeGrown,’ a Volunteer Gardener Special, Premieres Aug. 10

Here’s something to help your garden grow: A Volunteer Gardener special full of tips shared by experienced gardeners from across Tennessee. The 90-minute program premieres Thursday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. during our August Membership Campaign. Jeff Poppen and Annette Shrader host from Poppen’s Long Hungry Creek Farm in Red Boiling Springs.

The Aug. 10th broadcast is also a live night of pledge programming with Shrader, and fellow Gardener personalities Troy Marden, Phillipe Chadwick, Julie Berbiglia, Tammy Algood and Sheri Gramer staffing the phone bank in NPT’s Studio B. Call in, say hello, and support NPT. When you make a donation to NPT, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of Volunteer Gardener-related thank-you gifts, including autographed gardening books by Algood, Marden and Poppen; as well as NPT Tervis mugs and the “HomeGrown” DVD.

In Part 1 of “HomeGrown,” we’ll visit the terraced vegetable garden of architect David Allard, designed to take advantage of a sloped area that gets full sun. We’ll also visit a Shelbyville gardener who grows grain corn in raised beds and we’ll get an update on White Creek’s Flower Farm, a cutting garden of fresh, organically grown flowers. Appropriately for August, Part 2 visits a man who Volunteer Gardener producer Greta Requierme calls a “crazy good” tomato grower in Wedgewood-Houston (right in NPT’s backyard, so to speak) and stays in the neighborhood for a look at the Nashville Food Project’s organic and sustainable farming practices. We also travel to Amber Falls Winery in Hampshire, Tenn., where the soil on the ridgetop is perfectly suited for growing Chambourcin, a grape used to produce red wine.

Part 3 of “HomeGrown” looks at two innovative gardening techniques: aeroponics and growing in a straw bale. Finally, “HomeGrown” highlights gardeners who are, well, a little obsessed with ornamentals.

Additional airtimes for “HomeGrown” are Sunday, Aug. 13, at 9 a.m. on NPT; Monday, Aug. 14, at 7 a.m. and Tuesday, Aug. 15, at noon on NPT2.

Find gardening inspiration each week with Volunteer Gardener Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on NPT. You’ll find more tips on the show’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

There Goes the Sun: The Aug. 21 Eclipse via Tennessee Crossroads, NOVA & PBS Kids

Cue appropriate celestial soundtrack… On Aug. 21, 2017, millions of people across the country will cast their eyes skyward to observe the total solar eclipse. The lunar shadow will be 73 miles wide and will take a little more than 90 minutes to travel from Oregon to South Carolina, crossing 13 states en route. Nashville is making an all-out party of the natural phenomenon and NPT’s Tennessee Crossroads is getting in on the fun with a Facebook Live event with host Joe Elmore and Crossroads correspondent Danielle Colburn Allen.

Standing in the shadow

The Tennessee Crossroads’ Total Eclipse Event will be streamed live beginning at 1 p.m. CT on Aug. 21 from the Adventure Science Center during the Music City Total Solar Eclipse Festival. On eclipse day, Joe will talk with David Lockett of Camp STEM from the museum’s roof. Lockett, by the way, is an NPT American Graduate Champion. You won’t need special glasses to watch our coverage – and we’re protecting our camera lens with a special filter – but in order to safely view the eclipse in person, you’ll need to take a few precautions. Joe explains what to expect in the following video.

Our Facebook Live event will last approximately 30 minutes; after that, consider following the eclipse’s path on NPT2, where we’ll carry South Carolina ETV’s live coverage from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Find more information here.

Out of this world

The eclipse will be over by early afternoon, but there’s so much more to see. NOVA’s Eclipse Over America premieres on NPT Monday, Aug. 21, at 8 p.m. and will include footage shot around the U.S. on that day, as well as information provided by solar and solar storm detection scientists.

August 23 is the 40th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s first Voyager spacecraft and a 7 p.m. encore presentation of Eclipse Over America will be followed at 8 p.m. by The Farthest — Voyager in Space, a two-hour feature documentary about the Voyager missions to our solar system’s outer planets. This program combines CGI imagery, stunning photographs of planets, and a soundtrack full of stellar songs. Four decades after leaving Earth, both nuclear-powered spacecraft continue to send data back to Earth. Voyager 1 has traveled more than 12 billion miles and Voyager 2 more than 10 billion. In 2012, Voyager 1, which is traveling at more than 320 million miles per year, became the first human-made object to leave our solar system, ushering humanity into the interstellar age.

Little stars

When the Propulsion family needs to return to their home planet, Sean and Sydney join Jet on an intergalactic journey in Ready Jet Go!: Back to Bortron 7. The one-hour special airs several times on NPT and NPT3 PBS Kids in August, beginning Monday, Aug. 14. To find airtimes, go to Ready Jet Go! airs weekdays at 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. on NPT and at 5:30 p.m. weekends on NPT3 PBSKids.

NPT’s Appraisal Day 2017 Brings Mix of Treasures and Stories

NPT’s 2017 Fine Arts and Antiques Appraisal Day was another success. Held at The Factory at Franklin on June 24, the event raised more than $30,000 to support NPT’s engaging and educational programming. More than 21 appraisers from around the region provided attendees with verbal assessments of a variety of items and three NPT viewers purchased in-home appraisals during televised pledge specials leading up to the event.

There was the usual combination of pleasant and disappointing news about the items brought in for assessment. For example, one woman learned an intriguing basket she’d purchased for $5 at a yard sale is worth…about that. On the other hand, an exquisite platinum ring received from her mother was valued at $6,000. The ring dates from between 1900 and 1925 and has a 1- to 1.10-carat diamond in a miner’s cut.

A young family brought a painting of a goblet by Morris Graves that was given to the husband’s grandmother by the artist in the 1950s (her name is written in the artist’s hand on the back). Graves was a Pacific Northwest painter known for his depictions of animals and “supernaturally radiant flowers,” according to his obituary by New York Times art critic Holland Carter. Graves’ career got an early boost when he was included in a 1948 exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. After world travels and brushes with the powerful – Prime Minster Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi; the Duke and Duchess of Windsor – Graves returned to the West Coast and became somewhat of a recluse. His former home, studio and gardens are now a secluded artist retreat nestled within 150 acres of Northern California rain forest.

Marcey Ramos of Phoenix Collaborations (Hermitage) estimated the family’s small painting to be worth between $4,000 and $6,000, based on the few comparable Graves pieces that had come to auction; a larger painting sold for $17,000. This one, still in its original mid-century mounting, will be displayed in the family’s home.

Once again, Appraisal Day attendees were often as interesting as their treasures. A retired CIA employee, for example, talked of traveling to Southeast Asia in the early 1970s for her first post, her young daughter in tow.

(L to R:) Yvonne Smith with Stephen and Elizabeth Smith at Appraisal Day 2017.

Stephen and Elizabeth Smith celebrated 39 years of marriage – yes, to each other, Elizabeth quipped – by attending Appraisal Day. “After 38 years, it’s been there, done that,” Elizabeth said, so she was looking for something special to mark the 39th. The Smiths and their daughter brought a trolley full of items for appraisal, among them Mr. Smith’s Carnegie Medal for heroism and its accompanying documentation, estimated to be worth between $2,500 and $3,500. “We love archival stuff; especially love letters and war letters,” said Wray Williams of Case Antiques Inc., Auctions & Appraisals (Knoxville).

Meanwhile, a sword believed to be a circa-1862 Civil War relic was harder to appraise; it was deemed to be either in miraculously preserved specimen, or a modern replica. Further tests of the metal are required to confirm its authenticity, but the Smiths were happy with its sentimental value and the fascinating, transatlantic backstory explaining its mint condition. The Murfreesboro couple was also happy to pose for their first anniversary photograph in more than 20 years.

Kevin Crane Becomes NPT’s President & CEO; McElroy, Tidwell, Pedigo & Hence Promoted

Kevin Crane has assumed his duties as President and CEO of NPT. Crane joined NPT as Director of Technology in May 2000, and was promoted to Vice President of Content and Technology in 2007. He was recently elected by NPT’s board to succeed Beth Curley, who is now President Emerita.

Crane has more than 30 years of experience in public television and prior to NPT held a variety of positions with the WGBH Educational Foundation. At NPT, he has played a key role in the development of original NPT series such as Aging Matters, Children’s Health Crisis, Tennessee Civil War 150 and the American Graduate project. In addition, he has overseen all of NPT’s broadcast and IT technology during a period of massive technological changes including the transition from analog to digital broadcast technology.

“I’m excited to build on NPT’s success in creating and delivering meaningful content that’s rooted in the Middle Tennessee community,” Crane said. “As technology continues to evolve, NPT will remain committed to making this content available across all digital platforms to better serve our community.”

Four other staff members also received recent promotions:

Kathy McElroy was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. McElroy has been with NPT for nine years. In her new role, she will work to make sure NPT maintains its stellar reputation and continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of the Middle Tennessee community we serve.

Daniel Tidwell was promoted to Senior Vice President of Development and Marketing. In addition to fundraising and marketing, he will now oversee NPT’s digital efforts, focusing on branding and overseeing community engagement efforts. Tidwell has been at NPT since January 2003.

Will Pedigo was promoted to Executive Producer. His new duties include overseeing local production and providing editorial assistance to NPT’s production team. In Pedigo’s former role as producer/director at NPT, he produced documentaries in NPT’s Next Door Neighbors, Children’s Health Crisis and Aging Matters original documentary series. He also produced spots for the Veterans Coming Home digital series and occasional segments for NPT’s Tennessee Crossroads.

Suzy Hence was promoted to Senior Editor. While continuing to edit Volunteer Gardener and other NPT productions, she will now be responsible for media management and establishing guidelines for outputting and archiving projects. Hence has edited documentaries in every NPT series during her 11 years at NPT including Aging Matters: Caregiving, Next Door Neighbors: Somali, and Children’s Health Crisis: Infant Mortality, for which she received Midsouth Regional Emmys.

Beth Curley Leaves NPT (But Stays Close)

Beth Curley at the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument in Nashville’s Centennial Park


By Beth Curley
President Emerita, NPT

My 18 years at NPT have truly been the highlight of my 45-year career in public television. I am so proud of the station that we’ve built for the entire Nashville community.

The major programs and services we’ve developed ‒ including Aging Matters, Next Door Neighbors, Children’s Health Crisis and Tennessee Civil War 150 ‒ embody the ideals that led me into public television in the first place. These programs are the kind of work that I hoped to do when I began my career, and really represent the very best of what public television can and should aspire to. What makes this work so meaningful is that is it’s rooted in the experiences and needs of you, our viewers. Today NPT is an integral part of the educational, cultural and civic life of Nashville, and that’s exactly what a public television station should always strive to be—dedicated to meeting the needs of an ever-evolving community.

Although I am retiring, it’s impossible for me to just fade away! I will continue to consult on a variety of strategic issues and will develop and raise funds for a new NPT documentary on the history of Women’s Suffrage in Tennessee, which is planned for release nationally in 2020 – the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment. This documentary will be part of NPT’s ongoing Citizenship Project, a series examining how different groups have fought for, obtained and maintained the rights and access we commonly associate with American citizenship.

The suffrage documentary is very personal to me, and it is more important than ever for all of us to be aware of this history. If you go to the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument in Nashville’s Centennial Park, you’ll see my grandmother’s name, Mary Ann McNamara, inscribed on the wall adjacent to the statue. Mary Ann was an Irish immigrant who came to the United States in the early 1900s. As an immigrant and a woman, she did not have the opportunity to vote until well into her adult life, even though she worked tirelessly to make life better for her family. I owe her a debt of gratitude for making my work at NPT possible.

I am excited about all such personal stories that will be told in the Tennessee Women’s Suffrage documentary. I’m sure it will be one of many significant projects undertaken by NPT in the future. NPT has been all encompassing for me, and while it’s difficult to leave, I’m pleased to leave the station in great hands.

I couldn’t be happier that Kevin Crane will take over the reins as President and CEO of NPT. We have worked together for 30 years and he is the perfect choice to lead NPT into a complicated technical future. Kevin will be ably assisted by a first-rate staff and by the same executive team that has worked together for a least a decade. Together the NPT team is creative, committed, energetic and truly believes in the potential for public television to bring positive change to Nashville.

Your public station is in good hands . I will be watching – on air and online – and I’ll remain very active behind the scenes.

Thank you for all you have given me – my life is personally enriched.

Beth Curley