Sources: PBS.org | All Things Michael
BEVERLY HILLS, CA; August 1, 2015 — PBS President Paula Kerger announced today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour the full lineup and airdates of PBS’ annual arts programming showcase. The 2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival returns October 9, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. ET, celebrating its fifth season, with eight new weekly programs. The Festival will launch with the inventive, high-energy UNITY– THE LATIN TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL JACKSON, hosted by the legendary and world-renowned percussionist Sheila E. and featuring Michael Jackson’s greatest hits interpreted by award-winning Latin artists.
Audiences will be put in the Halloween spirit on October 30 when the previously unannounced LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER presents “Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton” (w.t.) airs featuring scores from blockbuster films such as Batman, Beetlejuice, Alice in Wonderland and more. Fresh off of her recent Tony-nominated Broadway run, GREAT PERFORMANCES brings “Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do” on November 6. This year’s PBS Arts Fall Festival welcomes many more of Broadway and Hollywood’s biggest names, including Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis, Julian Ovendon from “Downton Abbey” on MASTERPIECE, Tony Shalhoub, Andrea Martin and Andrea Bocelli, among others.
The PBS Arts Fall Festival is an annual cornerstone of PBS’ Friday primetime lineup, reaching more than 15 million viewers last season and underscoring PBS’ ongoing commitment to give audiences the best of the arts on-air and online. This year, the Festival will be hosted by seven-time Grammy Award-winning international music superstar Gloria Estefan, whose own musical journey with her husband Emilio, is told in the new Broadway musical ON YOUR FEET!, premiering in October at the Marquis Theatre in New York City.
“The fifth annual PBS Arts Fall Festival is a celebration of performing arts and music from the stage and screen, from the pop charts, and more. Gloria Estefan serving as this year’s host and a Latin tribute to the music of Michael Jackson are among the many highlights of this year’s festival programming,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “The festival is an enduring testament to PBS’ longstanding commitment to the arts, which is reinforced with this fall’s lineup of our signature quality programming and exciting performances that will captivate audiences.”
“The Festival spans generations and genres with contemporary hits, Broadway legends and tributes to groundbreaking artists, with an additional spotlight this year on Latin music stars,” said PBS Vice President of Programming and festival curator, Donald Thoms. “This season promises to be spectacular for the arts on PBS, and reinforces our commitment to arts and diversity programming.”
UNITY – THE LATIN TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL JACKSON
Friday, October 9, 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET
World-class drummer and percussionist Sheila E. hosts a concert special that showcases award-winning Latin artists and a 37-piece orchestra performing Latin-infused arrangements of the songs on Tony Succar’s album Unity: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson. The album and concert feature 16 songs that inspired musicians from all over Latin America to come together to celebrate and reimagine hits such as “Smooth Criminal,” “I Want You Back” and “Billie Jean.” On its release in April 2015, the album topped the Amazon Latin World Music Charts, the iTunes World Music Charts and the Billboard Tropical Charts at #1. Produced by Unity Entertainment Corporation and Oregon Public Broadcasting in association with Universal Music Classics.
See more of the full PBS Arts Fall Festival lineup here