The six-hour documentary film Prohibition, funded in part by an NEH production grant in 2010, has been nominated for three primetime Emmy Awards. Producers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick began pre-broadcast screenings around the country in the spring of 2011, and the film aired nationally on 98 percent of all PBS stations the following October and November. An estimated audience of over 113 million viewers across all 50 states tuned in. The documentary’s companion website on PBS.org lent itself to further classroom discussions and community debates about what lessons the 1920-33 constitutional restrictions on alcohol may hold for today’s political controversies.
Emmy nominations for Prohibition have come in the categories of Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program (Geoffrey Ward for the episode “A Nation of Hypocrites”); Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Dan Korintus, Marlena Grzslewicz, Ira Spiegel, Dave Mast, Erik Ewers, and Jacob Ribicoff for “A Nation of Hypocrites”); and Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming (Buddy Squires for “A Nation of Drunkards”). Award winners will be announced on September 23.