What’s on TV?: ‘American Masters’ Presents an Updated Harper Lee Documentary In Honor of Release Of The Author’s Second Novel

by Sandi Berg
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)Directed by Robert MulliganShown from left: Gregory Peck, writer Harper Lee at the premiere. Credit: Universal Picture/Photofest

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)Directed by Robert MulliganShown from left: Gregory Peck, writer Harper Lee at the premiere. Credit: Universal Picture/Photofest

In 2012 PBS presented an outstanding documentary on Harper Lee, the author of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird. This version, airing Friday on PBS (check local listings), is updated and coincides with the release of the author’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman.

One of the most influential American novels of the 20th century and biggest bestsellers of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird was believed to be the first and only novel by Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926) until now. On July 14, HarperCollins will release Lee’s earliest known work, Go Set a Watchman, featuring characters from her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which was published 55 years ago (July 11, 1960).

In honor of this landmark literary event, THIRTEEN’s American Masters series presents a newly updated version of Emmy®-winning filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy’s 2012 documentary Harper Lee: Hey, Boo, broadcast as Harper Lee: American Masters on Friday, July 10, 9 – 10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). The author of Scout, Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of To Kill a Mockingbird, Murphy was able to read an advance copy of the new novel before updating the film and will live tweet (#HarperLeePBS) during the broadcast.

Go Set a Watchman was written before To Kill a Mockingbird and believed to be lost or destroyed. Its remarkable discovery allows readers of Lee’s beloved classic the chance to see Atticus and Scout again. How and why this happened is a mystery we unravel in the new version of the documentary,” said Murphy.

 

Sandi Berg is also a freelance journalist and writes about television for several magazines including Written By (Writer’s Guild of America), Life After 50 and Whole Life Times Magazine.   


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