Washington -- In conjunction with its 20th anniversary,
C-SPAN will launch its most ambitious series ever -- the 41-week American Presidents:
Life Portraits -- today (March 15), officials said last week.
C-SPAN will kick off each Monday with a live two-hour
program dedicated to a specific president, exploring his personal life story. That will be
followed by a week of additional programming -- from speeches to documentary-style
vignettes -- related to that same chief executive.
C-SPAN will then recap the week's American
Presidents programming Fridays at 8 p.m. by reairing portions of it.
C-SPAN chairman and CEO Brian Lamb said the idea for the
extensive series came from his staff, and it is fitting since the United States is heading
into one of the most important presidential years, 2000. The idea of the series is to not
only show "all of the places presidential," but to offer insight into the
personal lives of the presidents and their families, according to Lamb.
"These were very definitely human beings whose
personal lives had an impact on what kind of job they did," Lamb added.
The series will start with an episode on George Washington,
which will air today from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The show will be done live from
Washington's home in Mount Vernon, Va.
On March 22, American Presidents will profile the
second president, John Adams, with a live show airing from the Adams National Historic
Site in Quincy, Mass.
The series will chronicle all 41 presidents in order,
covering one each week.
During the nine-month tour, C-SPAN and the "C-SPAN
School Bus" will travel to presidential birthplaces, family homes, museums, grave
sites and libraries that are relevant to the presidents.
C-SPAN celebrates its 20th anniversary Friday