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New PBS programming includes mini-series on African Americans and JFK

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- PBS' fall schedule will examine President John F. Kennedy's life and his death 50 years ago through a modern lens, part of the network's increased emphasis on relevance, its programming chief said.

A variety of programs about Kennedy will air in the weeks leading up to the milestone anniversary of his Nov. 22, 1963, slaying in Dallas, including "JFK," a four-hour "American Experience" portrait of Kennedy, what he accomplished and what was left undone, PBS announced Thursday.

The science show "Nova" will look at how the forensics investigation into his death would have been handled today and "lay bare some of the problems with forensics at the time," said Beth Hoppe, PBS' new chief programming executive.

The history-oriented "Secrets of the Dead," with a narrative account of the president's shooting, and a look at Kennedy collectibles also will be part of the coverage, along with other specials being planned, PBS said.

Also set for public TV's lineup are specials on American heritage, including a family roots series, "Genealogy Roadshow," and two documentary programs with sweeping views of Hispanic and black history, "Latino Americans" and "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross."

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