Ken Burns' 'Prohibition' to Debut on iPhone and iPad First


The documentary filmmaker's latest effort will not see its first airing on PBS.

Ken Burns may not be a name one associates with digital innovation, but he's pushing ahead anyway. His next sprawling documentary series, Prohibition, will not debut first on PBS, as has all of his previous documentaries, but on the iPhone and iPad.

According to tech blog GigaOM, the first part of the three part series will debut through PBS' iOS streaming video app on Sept. 23, over a week ahead of its Oct. 2 premiere date on PBS.

The reason for the early premiere is the start of another TV series concerning prohibition that weekend: season two of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. The Emmy-winning series starring Steve Buscemi, returns on Sept. 25. PBS hopes to ride the wave of publicity and excitement surrounding that show to boost interest in their own nonfiction effort.

Burns explains that the first episode of Prohibition will explain what gave rise to the movement, providing viewers of Boardwalk Empire with a wider scope through which to enjoy the series.

PBS SVP Jason Seiken said that the PBS iOS apps have seen 52 million streaming views in the last month alone.

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