The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

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Release date: September 14, 2014
Directed by: Ken Burns
Produced by: PBS Television
Running time: 795 minutes

"The Roosevelts: An Intimate History" chronicles the lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of the most prominent and influential family in American politics. It is the first time in a major documentary television series that their individual stories have been interwoven into a single narrative This seven-part, fourteen hour film follows the Roosevelts for more than a century, from Theodore’s birth in 1858 to Eleanor’s death in 1962. "The Roosevelts" features an outstanding cast of voice talents, led by Meryl Streep as Eleonor.

Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti, Edward Herrmann, Patricia Clarkson, Adam Arkin, Philip Bosco, Keith Carradine, Kevin Conway, Ed Harris, John Lithgow, Josh Lucas, Carl Lumbly, Amy Madigan, Carolyn McCormick, Pamela Reed, Billy Bob Thornton, Eli Wallach

Episode 1: Get Action (1858–1901)
Episode 2: In The Arena (1901–1910)
Episode 3: The Fire of Life (1910–1919)
Episode 4: The Storm (1920–1933)
Episode 5: The Rising Road (1933–1939)
Episode 6: The Common Cause (1939–1944)
Episode 7: A Strong and Active Faith (1944–1962)

“The Roosevelts have played significant roles in other stories we’ve told before, from the National Parks to World War II. It’s impossible, in fact, to visit many parts of the American experience without encountering their presence. But beyond simply sharing a bloodline or political success, they each shared a passionate belief that America is at its strongest when everyone has an equal chance. And on a personal level, they each struggled to overcome their own fears while maintaining a public face of courage.” “In ‘The Roosevelts,’ Ken delves into these three larger-than-life figures in a way that’s never been done before, exploring not only the characteristics that made them such tremendously influential and strong leaders, but also their interpersonal relationships and human, vulnerable qualities,” states Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS. “It’s a wonderful story and we’re very excited to present it to our viewers.” The project has already lined up a top-notch voice-over cast led by three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep, who will narrate for Eleanor Roosevelt from her [Eleanor’s, not Meryl’s] personal letters and writings. “As we’ve seen time and time again, Ms. Streep is a magician,” Burns adds. “Here, she completely transformed herself into Eleanor Roosevelt, simply through her voice. It was remarkable to witness. The entire cast delivers what I consider to be some of the finest voice-over work we’ve ever been fortunate enough to present.”

“The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” received 3 Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming and won for Outstanding Narrator for Peter Coyote.