American Masters

1986, TV Show

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The Tuesday Playlist: Billie Jean King, Sons of Anarchy, Dance Finale

For nearly 30 years, PBS's great American Masters series has profiled overachievers in the arts and culture at large. It only makes sense than when the documentary series finally decided to do its first study of a sports superstar, it turned to tennis legend Billie Jean King. Masters (Tuesday, 8/7c; check tvguide.com listings) has always reflected personality through performance, so who better than a woman who says of her craft: "Every ball I hit has a consequence."

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Videos

Free | PBS Aired: 3/29/2013

Season 27, Episode 2
Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novelist Philip Roth

Full Episode
Free | PBS Aired: 2/22/2013

Season 27, Episode 1
Discover the life, music and influence of Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Full Episode
Free | PBS Aired: 9/24/2012

Season 26, Episode 6
The life and times of American Master Carl Sandburg.

Full Episode
Free | PBS Aired: 4/2/2012

Season 26, Episode 4
Explore the Pulitzer Prize-winning woman behind classic novel Gone With the Wind

Full Episode

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News

The Tuesday Playlist: Billie Jean King, Sons of Anarchy, Dance Finale

For nearly 30 years, PBS's great American Masters series has profiled overachievers in the arts and culture at large. It only makes sense than when the documentary series finally decided to do its first study of a sports superstar, it turned to tennis legend Billie Jean King. Masters (Tuesday, 8/7c; check tvguide.com listings) has always reflected personality through performance, so who better than a woman who says of her craft: "Every ball I hit has a consequence."

read more

The Monday Playlist: Mel Brooks on Masters, Finales (Rectify, Bates Motel), Motive

At 86, Mel Brooks is still the life of the party, a consummate ham and peerless joke-spinning storyteller. "I've come to stop the show," announces the irrepressible comic dynamo as he does just that, breaking into song mid-interview and reinforcing why PBS' American Masters titled its latest must-see career profile Mel Brooks: Make a Noise (Monday, check tvguide.com listings). His brilliant career in TV (Your Show of Shows, Get Smart), the movies and Broadway makes him an overdue American Masters subject, and his unflagging comic energy keeps everyone amused — including an intrusively visible camera crew. "I'm head over heels in love with myself," Brooks says, only half-joking. read more

The Tuesday Playlist: That's a Wrap For Voice Blind Auditions, Cougar Town

The curtain comes down on the best part of TV's hottest singing competition, as the "blind auditions" portion of NBC's The Voice reaches its final act (Tuesday, 8/7c) with the selection of the last members of the four coaches' teams. Any fears that the show would lose its oomph this season with new bodies in the hot seats were quickly put to rest when Usher eased onto his swiveling throne with charismatic grace, adopting a signature "one leg up" posture that was parodied last weekend on Saturday Night Live, while Shakira proved a worthy adversary to the boys' club with her feisty attitude, passion and humor.

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The Biz: King David: Inside the Life of a Showbiz Giant

Entertainment mogul David Geffen was pleased that the prestigious PBS documentary series American Masters wanted to feature him as a subject — until executive producer Susan Lacy told him he had to be interviewed on camera. Geffen likes to talk, but apparently not... read more

TCA Critic's Notebook: A Tale of Two Networks — PBS and Fox

It's awfully early for the summer TCA press tour — which began over the weekend, and continues through next week — to have peaked. It's even more rare for an entity like PBS to steal the bigger, richer, more hype-heavy broadcast networks' thunder.

But it's hard to imagine any single event, or show, generating a more enthusiastic, jubilant vibe during the annual gathering of the Television Critics Association than the opening night party in honor of Downton Abbey, perfectly timed to celebrate the period drama's astounding 16 Emmy nominations. read more

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Premiered: 1986, on PBS
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (15 ratings)
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Premise: An acclaimed series of biographies of artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians and Hollywood stars. Profiles of Alexander Calder, Paul Simon, Charlie Chaplin and music producer John Hammond won Peabody Awards, while films about Edward R. Murrow, Lucille Ball, Buster Keaton, Lillian Gish and Leonard Bernstein (among others) won Emmys, and a study of the Algonquin Round Table won a 1987 Academy Award.

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Mel Brooks: Make A Noise (American Masters)
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Woody Guthrie: Ain't Got No Home (American Masters)
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