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Ken Burns' 'Prohibition' premieres Oct. 2 on AETN

Posted 28 Sep 2011

Ken Burns’ new documentary series “Prohibition” will premiere on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) Sunday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m.
“Prohibition,” a three-part, five-and-a-half hour documentary directed and produced by Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the true story of the rise, rule and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“We know now, of course, that Prohibition didn’t work,” Novick said. “But at the time, it really did seem like a good idea to a lot of people, who saw the Constitution as the moral foundation of American society.
“The unintended consequences of the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act are stunning to contemplate and make Prohibition an utterly relevant, cautionary tale about the dangers of believing there can ever be a quick fix for complex social problems.”
“Prohibition” begins with the story of America’s growing concern about alcohol abuse in the 19th century. Saloons and taverns flourished with the increasing availability of hard liquor and, with them, a culture of men that neglected and abused their wives and children in favor of liquor. Families were being destroyed, and many feared that the American social fabric would disintegrate. The film raises vital questions that are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago – about means and ends, individual rights and responsibilities, the proper role of government, and finally, who is, and who is not, a real American.
“Prohibition” will air in three parts at 7 each night:
• “A Nation of Drunkards,” Sunday, Oct. 2.
• “A Nation of Scofflaws,” Monday, Oct. 3.
• “A Nation of Hypocrites,” Tuesday, Oct. 4.
In conjunction with the broadcast, PBS and Florentine Films have partnered with the National Constitution Center (NCC) on a joint initiative to foster a national conversation about “Civility and Democracy.” As part of the project, NCC and PBS have developed educational materials and web content connected to the series that can be found at
Episodes will air at 7 each night and immediately repeat for this initial broadcast.
“Prohibition” is a production of Florentine Films and WETA Washington, D.C. Corporate funding is provided by Bank of America. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; National Endowment for the Humanities; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; Park Foundation, Inc.; The Montrone Family through the Penates Foundation; Public Television Viewers and PBS.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas’s statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit, or follow the AETN blog at AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).