Constitution USA with Peter Sagal – A fresh and surprising journey through the 4,418 words — and 27 amendments — that made America. Breathing new life into the traditional civics lesson, Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s popular Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me travels across country on a Harley Davidson to find out where the Constitution lives, how it works and how it doesn’t … how it unites us as a nation, and how it has nearly torn us apart. It premieres on PBS in spring 2013 to coincide with the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the Constitution.
At a time when Columbia University polls indicate that more people can identify the Three Stooges than the three branches of government, the series sets out to illuminate this remarkably misunderstood document. Traveling from Tyler, Texas, to Missoula, Montana, from Cranston, Rhode Island, to Berkeley, California, Sagal introduces viewers to some of today’s major constitutional debates and talks with ordinary Americans and leading constitutional experts about what the Constitution actually says and what it means, the dramatic historical events and crises that have defined it, and why all this matters. Far from being a dry historical survey, it is a story of personal emotion, passion, big ideas and high stakes that continues today.
Throughout, the series vividly illuminates key topics and themes that are essential to understanding the Constitution, including how unique and revolutionary this document was; the historic freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights; the struggle by African Americans, women and other groups for inclusion; and how conflict and compromise were “baked into” the Constitution.
The series has a powerful social media component and innovative educational partnerships with The National Constitution Center, iCivics and PBS Newshour.
Producer: TPT National Productions in association with Insignia Films
TX: Spring 2013
Source: PBS press release