Get your ‘bation stations ready, schoolmarms. The master storyteller who gave history buffs multiple orgasms with his well-endowed documentaries The War and Unforgiveable Blackness is strapping on the camera for another lengthy examination. This time, Burns will take a stab at the life and times of Teddy, Franklin, and Eleanor in The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, airing in 2014 in seven parts.
Within those 14 hours of footage, it sounds like the PBS darling is taking the populist route with the American dynasty made up of the 26th President, his fifth cousin the 32nd President, and the latter’s first lady. “The Roosevelts have played significant roles in other stories we’ve told before, from the National Parks to World War II,” Burns stated in a press release. “But beyond simply sharing a bloodline or political success, they each shared a passionate belief that America is at its strongest when everyone has an equal chance.”
The voiceover cast includes Meryl Streep reading letters from Eleanor, Paul Giamatti as TR, Billy Bob Thornton, John Lithgow, Keith Carradine, and the dad from Lost Boys as FDR. Exciting as all this may be for Roosevelt nuts out there, it’s not like we haven’t already been thrown scores of books and History Channel specials, covering everything from Teddy’s safari parties to Ellie’s fancying the ladies to Frank’s warm springs wheelchair olympics. But, hey, another 14 hours won’t kill us — let’s just cross the fingers for some fresh info.
High hopes that Burns dips into FDR’s booze-cruisin’ ways. Teddy may have been a teetotaling coffee addict, but Franklin? That man was a mixologist from Hell. (Two words: “Haitian Libation.”) So you heard it here first, fellow dorks: A 2014 PBS drinking game. Takers?