You may have seen my earlier post about the recent PBS Harper Lee documentary (which you can still watch online here). Still, if you are going to see "Mocklingbird," I would recommend the DVD or Blu-ray to spare yourself even "limited commercials." That said, here's the Obama announcement:
USA Network, the American Film Institute (AFI) and Universal Pictures proudly announce the exclusive airing of “To Kill A Mockingbird” on Saturday, April 7th at 8PM ET/PT on USA, featuring a special introduction from President Barack Obama.
The airing on USA marks the first national broadcast of the digitally remastered and fully restored classic. Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the film tells the story of lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) and his struggle for justice in a small community in Alabama. With its bold portrayal of racial injustice and strong message of tolerance, fairness and honor, the movie still resonates with audiences today. “To Kill A Mockingbird” will be presented with limited commercials.
“I’m deeply honored that President Obama will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by introducing it to a national audience,” said Harper Lee. “I believe it remains the best translation of a book to film ever made, and I'm proud to know that Gregory Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch lives on - in a world that needs him now more than ever.”
The American Film Institute lists “To Kill A Mockingbird” as one of the 100 Greatest American Films and names Atticus Finch as the No. 1 Film Hero of All Time. Premiered in 1962, the film earned eight Academy Award® nominations and three wins including a Best Actor honor for Gregory Peck, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Art Direction.
As part of Universal Pictures’ centennial, the company has made a major film restoration commitment of 13 motion picture classics including the restored “To Kill A Mockingbird” which was recently released on Blu-rayTM for the first time ever, offering over three hours of bonus materials including two full-length documentaries. USA’s airing of “To Kill A Mockingbird” underscores the network’s commitment to its award-winning Characters Unite public service campaign to combat hate and discrimination and promote greater understanding and acceptance. The initiative includes on-air programming and PSAs, digital content and community outreach and events.