Johnson & Johnson to be Exclusive Corporate Underwriter for PBS Drama "American Family," Premiering January 23

Posted by PBS Publicity on

ALEXANDRIA, VA, December 12, 2001 -- Johnson & Johnson will be the sole corporate underwriter for PBS's AMERICAN FAMILY, it was announced today by Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of PBS. The first Latino drama series on U.S. broadcast television, AMERICAN FAMILY premieres Wednesday, January 23 at 8 p.m. (Check local listings.) The 13-part series was created by Academy Award¨-nominated director Gregory Nava (El Norte, Selena). Primary funding for the series is provided by PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

The series reveals the enduring strength of family in America today as it chronicles the lives of the Gonzalez family, residents of East Los Angeles. It stars Edward James Olmos, Constance Marie, Rachel Ticotin, A.J. Lamas, Austin Marques, Kurt Caceres and Raquel Welch, with guest star Esai Morales and special appearances by Sonia Braga.

"We are grateful for Johnson & Johnson's support and know that together we are putting family drama and family values in a new focus with this significant new primetime series," said Ms. Mitchell.

In conjunction with the broadcast, AMERICAN FAMILY will feature an extensive Web site at PBS.org/americanfamily which will enable visitors to learn more about the series through a variety of interactive features. This site will provide engaging content about the Gonzalez family, their East L.A. neighborhood and Latino culture. In addition, curriculum resources will be available. Unique content created by local public television stations will be promoted on the national AMERICAN FAMILY Web site, making it possible for viewers to experience local perspectives on the many issues explored in the television program.

Additionally, an extensive outreach campaign will target mainstream television viewers as well as the Latino community by fostering relationships between local public television stations and strategic community partnerships. Launch partners include: The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture; League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); National Council of La Raza (NCLR); MANA, A National Latina Organization; The ASPIRA Association; The National Latino Children's Institute; National Hispanic Council on Aging; Generations United; Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB); Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA); Association de Musicos Latino Americanos; National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures; and the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA). The centerpiece of the outreach campaign will encourage viewers to share stories, have fun and celebrate families by developing their own family albums.

"Johnson & Johnson is proud to fund this historic series on PBS. We recognize that PBS values the Hispanic communities they serve, and we support not only the broadcast but the extensive outreach component that accompanies the series," said Andrea Alstrup, corporate vice president of advertising, Johnson & Johnson. "The AMERICAN FAMILY series and its outreach program fit well with Johnson & Johnson's ongoing commitment to support the communities where we live and work."

"We are pleased to have Johnson & Johnson join us in supporting this landmark series," said Robert T. Coonrod, president and CEO of CPB. "Their support will help ensure the success of this excellent drama series."

AMERICAN FAMILY is produced by Nava's production company, El Norte Productions, and KCET/Hollywood in association with The Greenblatt Janollari Studio and Fox Television Studios. Copyright 2001 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

"We felt from the start that Gregory Nava's contemporary and relevant series was right for public television. We are pleased to partner with Johnson & Johnson on both the series and its outreach campaign that celebrate the vitality of families in America," said Al Jerome, president and CEO of KCET/Hollywood.

Johnson & Johnson, with approximately 100,000 employees, is the world's most comprehensive and broadly-based manufacturer of health care products, as well as a provider of related services, for the consumer, pharmaceutical and medical devices and diagnostics markets.

CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, develops public radio, television and online services for the American people. The Corporation is the industry's largest single source of funds for national public television and radio program development and production. CPB, a grant making organization, also funds more than 1,000 public radio and television stations. For more information, visit www.cpb.org.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.


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