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Ken Burns documentary to debut on iPhone, iPad

First episode of "Prohibition" will make its premiere tomorrow on the PBS apps for the iPhone and iPad ahead of the series TV debut in early October.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read


PBS is debuting the first episode of a new Ken Burns documentary on its iPhone and iPad apps ahead of the actual launch of the series on TV.

"Prohibition," a documentary about the country's move to outlaw alcohol in the 1920s, will premiere tomorrow on the PBS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The free app offers streaming access to both previews and full episodes of notable PBS shows, as well as a schedule guide.

Created by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, "Prohibition" will then segue to TV screens, with the first episode debuting on Sunday, October 2, followed by episodes two and three on Monday and Tuesday. The second and third episodes will be available on the PBS iOS app the day after they appear on TV and will remain there until Friday, October 7.

In addition, the episodes will be streamed live on video.pbs.org at the same time they're shown on TV and then also be available for purchase via iTunes.

"PBS' strategy of debuting high-profile shows on the iPad and iPhone before television broadcast has been enormously popular with users," Jason Seiken, PBS' senior vice president for interactive, product development & innovation, said in a statement. "Users of our apps watched more than 52 million video streams last month. The early premiere of the first episode of Ken Burns's and Lynn Novick's much anticipated 'Prohibition' is part of our ongoing mission to provide all Americans with content where and when they want it."

A 30-minute preview of "Prohibition" and a Q&A session with its two creators can currently be found on the PBS app in anticipation of tomorrow's release of the first episode.