FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER launches 5th season amid impressive growth and series expansion

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 2:14 PM MDT

NEW YORK, July 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- What do progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, conservative Rep. Liz Cheney, actor Matt Damon, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and cellist Yo-Yo Ma all have in common?

The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences...
The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences nationwide. It is the nonprofit parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN – America’s flagship PBS station – WLIW21, THIRTEEN PBSKids, WLIW World and Create; Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM; and ALL ARTS, the arts and culture media provider. (PRNewsfoto/The WNET Group)(PRNewswire)

They have all been guests on PBS' FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER, which launches its fifth season this Friday.

The program — a relaunch of the iconic William F. Buckley Jr. program by the same name — is known for host Margaret Hoover's newsmaking interviews with guests who represent a wide variety of political and cultural points of view.

"FIRING LINE provides a platform where competing ideas are examined in a rigorous but respectful manner," says Hoover. "It's my goal to get viewers open to a fresh perspective on issues without getting lost in the trading of talking points."

FIRING LINE's season-five premiere features former two-term New Jersey Governor and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, a rare pro-choice Republican. In Friday's season premiere episode, she condemns the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, calling it an example of judicial activism, and warns that "women will die" as a result of the decision.

"Throughout season five, I'll continue to tackle the big issues, including the economy and inflation, defense of democracy, gun reform, human rights, climate change and abortion," Hoover says. "But also expect to hear from thoughtful voices in comedy, literature and the cultural zeitgeist."

In fact, one of the program's most-watched clips of season 4 comes from outside the purely political arena. In it, exiled Chinese artist Ai Weiwei tells Hoover that the US is already in an authoritarian state and compares politically correct ideological conformity to the Cultural Revolution in China. The exchange generated an explosive reaction online and in the media.

FIRING LINE enters its fifth year on PBS at a time of tremendous growth and expansion onto new platforms. As 2021 concluded, premiere broadcast ratings were up 9% over the previous year (Source: TV Nielsen National, Sept. - Nov. 2021 v. Sept. - Nov. 2020).

FIRING LINE has received more than 40M impressions on YouTube since the launch of full episodes in August 2020. It is also available streaming on the PBS Video App and PBS.org. The highly acclaimed Firing Line podcast launched a year ago and features extensive exclusive content.

"In this time of hyperpartisanship, the range of perspectives and reasoned discussion that FIRING LINE offers resonates with a new generation of viewers," says Executive Producer Alyssa Litoff.  "Now, our enthusiastic audience engages directly in the conversation through our thriving social and streaming platforms in addition to our ever-popular linear program."

Season 5 premieres Friday, July 1 at 8:30 pm (check local listings).

FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER is executive produced by Tom Yellin, Margaret Hoover and Alyssa Litoff. The WNET Group is co-producer. Neal Shapiro and Stephen Segaller are executives in charge for The WNET Group.

Support for FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER is provided by Stephens Inc., Robert Granieri, Charles R. Schwab, The Fairweather Foundation, Asness Family Foundation, The Rosalind P. Walter Foundation, Damon Button and The Marc Haas Foundation.

ABOUT MARGARET HOOVER

Margaret Hoover is the host of PBS' Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, a refreshing revival of the television series hosted by William F. Buckley Jr. for 33 years. Hoover is a bestselling author, strategist and political commentator whose experience includes serving on the White House staff of President George W. Bush, on Capitol Hill and on two presidential campaigns. In 2013, Hoover co-founded American Unity Fund, a political organization focused on achieving full freedom and equality for LGBT Americans by working with conservatives.

ABOUT THE WNET GROUP  

The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences nationwide. It is the community-supported home of New York's THIRTEEN – America's flagship PBS station – WLIW21, THIRTEEN PBSKids, WLIW World and Create; NJ PBS, New Jersey's statewide public television network; Long Island's only NPR station WLIW-FM; ALL ARTS, the arts and culture media provider; and newsroom NJ Spotlight News. Through these channels and streaming platforms, The WNET Group brings arts, culture, education, news, documentary, entertainment and DIY programming to more than five million viewers each month. The WNET Group's award-winning productions include signature PBS series Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend and Amanpour and Company and trusted local news programs MetroFocus and NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi. Inspiring curiosity and nurturing dreams, The WNET Group's award-winning Kids' Media and Education team produces the PBS KIDS series Cyberchase, interactive Mission US history games, and resources for families, teachers and caregivers. A leading nonprofit public media producer for nearly 60 years, The WNET Group presents and distributes content that fosters lifelong learning, including multi platform initiatives addressing poverty, jobs, economic opportunity, social justice, understanding and the environment. Through Passport, station members can stream new and archival programming anytime, anywhere. The WNET Group represents the best in public media. Join us.

View original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE The WNET Group

The above press release was provided courtesy of PRNewswire. The views, opinions and statements in the press release are not endorsed by Gray Media Group nor do they necessarily state or reflect those of Gray Media Group, Inc.