It seems that 14 hours is what it takes to do justice to the Roosevelts’ political dynasty in the US. A new, seven-part documentary of this length will showcase the interweaving stories of Theodore, Eleanor, and Franklin starting September 14 on PBS, shortly following up with the entire 14 hours online.
One day after “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” debuts on TV, it will be available for those who can’t wait to learn the whole, intertwined family history on PBS’s website (at PBS.org/theroosvelts). The full-length documentary can also be seen via Roku, Apple TV, and Xbox. The online offering lasts for just two weeks.
Created by Ken Burns (also responsible for “The Dust Bowl” and “The Central Park Five”), “The Roosevelts” is written by Geoffrey C. Ward, who isn’t new to working with Burns, and stars Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti, and Edward Herrmann, who voice Elearnor, Theodore, and Franklin Roosevelt, respectively.
Burns said of the voice-overs, “As we’ve seen time and time again, Ms. Streep is a magician. 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 cast also includes notables like John Lithgow, Billy Bob Thornton, and Patricia Clarkson. Florentine Films and WETA, Washington, DC produce the historical documentary, along with Burns, Paul Barnes, and Pam Tubridy-Baucom. Editors include Barnes, Tricia Reidy, and Erik Ewers.