PASADENA, Calif. — PBS is making a Civil War drama focusing on the stories of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict.
The six-episode series is being produced by Ridley Scott and David Zucker. It's the first American-made drama the public broadcasting service has made in about a decade, "so this is a really big deal for us," Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO, said on Monday.
Based on true stories, the untitled project is centered on a hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, that was turned into a Union army hospital, PBS said.
Kerger said the public broadcasting service's goals in making dramas is different than other television networks.
"Our goal is not only to entertain, but to educate and inspire," she said.
The series is scheduled to air next winter.
PBS also said Monday that it will air a week's worth of programming in April to mark the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, including Rory Kennedy's film "Last Days in Vietnam." Ken Burns' documentary film "The Vietnam War" is scheduled to run on PBS in two years.
The public broadcasting service announced a new partnership with the BBC, where PBS will air a series of BBC-produced specials, primarily on nature, science and history.
PBS is also on the lookout for arts programming. Kerger said successful arts programming helps local arts organizations.
"If we can do that better, then we're doing something that is really at the heart of who we are as a public media organization," she said.