Gas prices putting a damper on your summer vacation road trip? Even a trip to our own Great Smoky Mountains getting expensive? That word “staycation” getting annoying? If things don’t get better by next year, filmmaker Ken Burns will at least try to get us to those places in America we’ve always wanted to visit but may not be able to afford at the moment.
At this past weekend’s meeting of the Television Critic’s Association, PBS announced Burns’ new series celebrating America’s national parks. ”The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” scheduled to air in fall 2009, will be a 12-hour (note: it takes at least twice that many hours to drive from Nashville to Yellowstone National Park), six-part film that traces the origins and growth of the national parks system over 150 years.
According to the AP story, Burns’ film will feature his “trademark blend of archival photos, interviews and what PBS called ”breathtaking images” of the national parks system.” Peter Coyote will narrate. Tom Hanks, Andy Garcia and John Lithgow will lend their voices.