Get ready for PBS preview of ‘The Roosevelts’

You know it’s big when a broadcast network devotes a full hour of programming to a preview of a big documentary series.

This one is big. Real big. Hugely big. Stupendously big.

I’ll stop there.

Ken Burns’s has put together another masterful PBS documentary, titled “The Roosevelts.”

The preview airs June 17 at 7 p.m. on Panhandle PBS.

The seven-part series, which will be broadcast this fall on Panhandle PBS, looks at the extraordinary lives of three extraordinary Americans: Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt.

They’re all kin to each other … yes, even Eleanor and Franklin — who were married to each other — were distant cousins.

Teddy Roosevelt parlayed his heroic battlefield record in the Spanish-American War to be elected vice president in 1900. Tragedy struck the next year when President William McKinley was gunned down and TR became the youngest man ever to take the oath office as president; he was just 42.

Eleanor Roosevelt became the prototypical activist first lady. She gave her husband valuable advice and served as his eyes and ears across a nation ravaged by the Great Depression.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, of course, said at his first inaugural that “the only we have to fear is fear itself.” He then went on an aggressive, multi-faceted government initiative to bring the nation out of its depression. That was just the beginning. Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941 and FDR then became a valiant and tireless war-time president.

Ken Burns’s documentary work has won him universal acclaim. He’s done it once again with this series on one of this country’s most famous and compelling political families.

First, however, we get to see the preview, coming up soon on Panhandle PBS.


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