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World’s Greatest Cemeteries

A public television series by Roberto Mighty

Description

World’s Greatest Cemeteries” is a new Public TV/PBS series about the most beautiful burial grounds on earth, and the diverse historical figures interred in them. In each half-hour episode, Host/Executive Producer Roberto Mighty takes us to one of these iconic outdoor museums, where we meet inspiring people from the past who helped make our world what it is today. 

The series features costumed historical reenactors, breathtaking cinematography, and upbeat interviews with diverse historians, tour guides, landscape architects, horticulturalists and other experts. Season 1 debuted to nationwide acclaim in October, 2021, with rave reviews, press coverage, and viewer recommendations about cemeteries around the world. By May, our broadcast presence was enhanced with online streaming 24/7 on PBS Passport. We are now in production on new episodes for Season 2, slated for broadcast and PBS Passport in February, 2023. Distributed by American Public Television. Presented by Northern California Public Media.

Season 2 Diverse History Makers

Season 2 includes mini biographies on Authors Louisa May Alcott, Herman Melville, and Henry David Thoreau; Salsa Singer Celia Cruz; Boxer and Humanitarian Muhammad Ali; Musicians Irving Berlin, Miles Davis, and Grover Washington, Jr; Food magnates Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz and Colonel Harlan Sanders; Scientist Jokichi Takamine; formerly enslaved farmer John Jack; Civil War Medal of Honor winner David Urbanski; and many others.

Impact

“World’s Greatest Cemeteries” is garnering press coverage across America. Viewers are raving about the series. Please see our website for press clips and viewer quotes. Season 1 metrics exceeded our expectations, including total PBS TV market coverage reaching 66%, of the USA, with the series airing in 36 of the top 50 markets.

Background

Award-winning filmmaker, multimedia artist and TV Executive Producer Roberto Mighty holds an undergraduate degree in history and an MFA in Visual Arts. He is America’s first Artist-in-Residence at a National Historic Landmark Cemetery. With support from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Institute for Museum and Library Services and other  funders, Roberto made 29 short films and an online exhibit website about Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A few years later, he went on to create “World’s Greatest Cemeteries” for public television. 

Format

Roberto and his team of historians, reenactors, horticulturalists and cinematographers spend days at each location, gathering engaging stories. We augment our location filming  with historical reenactments, commentaries by experts and other special features. Special reports highlight the emergence of diverse facilities, including African-American cemeteries. The resulting half-hour episodes combine these elements into engaging shows that draw rave reviews from viewers.

Multi-platform 

“World’s Greatest Cemeteries” was designed from the start as a multi-platform project. It is broadcast on Public TV and streamed on PBS Passport. There is a multimedia website, and next year we are developing our first museum exhibit. Viewers are encouraged to visit our website to share comments and recommendations for future shows. For Season 2, the site will feature exclusive video features and bonus content that complements our broadcasts. Plans for a podcast are also in development.

Vision

We believe in an expanded concept of inclusiveness. This program underscores the common humanity of our collective heritage. Season 2 features burials of formerly enslaved African Americans; Jewish cemeteries; monuments to Muslims and Asians; and more. Our vision includes partnering with historians, historical societies and community organizations; the development of  teachers’ guides; and creating an internship program to help train diverse, emerging historical filmmakers.

Future Seasons

Viewers have spoken. In emails, social media posts and phone calls, they’ve recommended enough cemeteries to keep “World’s Greatest Cemeteries” busy for several more years.

Sample Viewer Comments (edited for length)

(KERA Dallas, TX) Ran across this on World. LOVE IT!!!

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(WHYY) Hope you get to Vienna’s beautiful Central Cemetery! Beethoven and many other musicians are buried there. – Linda H.

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(KOCE Los Angeles) — Your fabulous series: Stumbled onto your show last one week ago. Set my calendar reminder to watch again this week. Love Greenwood. Been several times. I suggest Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Va. Kensico in Valhalla, NY. Woodlawn at the top of Manhattan. You need more visibility. I will spread the word amongst my fellow taphophiles. – Kathleen C.

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(KQED – San Francisco, CA) Hi Mr Mighty! I just watched your cemetery show and must write you ! I am in Oakland and live up the street from Mountainview Cemetery- designed by Olmsted and with much to cover.  Enjoying your show! – Kat E.

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(WFSU and WGPB) Thank you for your beautiful presentation of cemeteries with works of man-made art and natural art consisting of gardens as pretty as any grand gardens of the world. Please keep up the work and show us more in future seasons. – Kathy M.

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(NYCTV-LIFE, New York, NY) Just saw your London show. It was GREAT! Have you done Woodlawn in NY. Celia Cruz, Miles Davis, & Duke Ellington rest there. There is also a small cemetery uptown where James Audubon & Clement Clark Moore are buried. – Zoe S.

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(KBDI – Denver, CO) The First Cemetery in Athens Greece is filled with marble statues of it’s dead. Michelangelo quality. One called “Koimomeni” the sleeping woman has been moved to the National Museum to preserve it. It is so real it caused me sleepless nights. – Georgette C.

Associated Members

Roberto Mighty, Producer

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