PBS and its Washington, D.C. affiliate WETA will explore the origins of Black spirituality through a new documentary series titled Gospel.
The four-hour series from executive producer, host, and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr., looks at the “history of Black religious music and preaching, showcasing the symbiotic relationship of words and song present in any Black church.”
Stacey L. Holman and Shayla Harris produced and directed the series, which is scheduled to premiere in early 2024.
“For centuries, the sacred sounds of gospel music and Black preaching have testified to God’s goodness and grace while embracing the rhythms and riffs of blues, jazz and hip-hop,” Holman and Harris said in a press release Monday. “By weaving intimate interviews with dynamic live gospel performances throughout the series, we want our viewers to fully experience and be energized by this uniquely African American art form of prayer, praise and promise.”
The series will be accompanied by an outreach and public engagement program via local public radio and PBS member stations.
“Gospel celebrates a treasured genre of music that has influenced African American culture and communities, and we are excited for audiences to join professor Gates on this joyous exploration into a very unique and ardent art form,” PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Sylvia Bugg said.
The series is a production of McGee Media, Inkwell Media and WETA Washington, D.C.
Dyllan McGee is executive producer. John F. Wilson is executive producer in charge for WETA. Bill Gardner is the executive in charge for PBS. Deborah C. Porfido is supervising producer. Robert L. Yacyshyn is line producer. Kevin Burke is producer. Barbara Gregson is archival producer.
Gospel airs Feb. 12-13, 2024 on PBS, with a special companion concert premiering Feb. 9.
The concert will be recorded in Los Angeles in front of a live audience. A list of performers will be announced at a later date.
Watch the trailer for the series below: