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'TAVIS SMILEY': Celebrates Ten Seasons By Taking A Look Back As We Move Forward - Expect More This Season, Premiering Tonight, January 14, 2013 On PBS

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tonight, Monday, January 14, 2013, TAVIS SMILEY celebrates 10 years on PBS by revisiting some memorable moments and conversations over the years. It all begins with President Barack Obama, followed by conversations with musical icons Prince and James Taylor, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate  Leymah Gbowee, and the late civil rights pioneer Coretta Scott King (Check local listings). Later this month, Tavis will sit down with Grammy Award–winning musician Keith Urban, Academy Award®–winning actor Ben Affleck, and Grammy Award–winning singer Mary J. Blige.

This tenth season comes on the heels of yet another high-profile ninth season of TAVIS SMILEY, which featured interviews with Academy Award®–winning actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie, 2012 Kennedy Center Honor recipient and blues legend Buddy Guy, Twilight actress Kristen Stewart, and a broad range of guests including New York Times bestselling author Salman Rushdie, award-winning songwriters Alan & Marilyn Bergman, and myriad of anti-poverty advocates and high ranking government officials discussing the nation's economic woes. Other episodes showcased exclusive interviews with NCAA president Mark Emmert on the Penn State scandal; Academy Award® –winning actress Sally Field, who is currently nominated for her role in the film Lincoln; and Grammy Award–winning rapper T.I.

"We are delighted to present the tenth season of TAVIS SMILEY on PBS," said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger. "A talented broadcaster known for his celebrated conversations with newsmakers, Tavis brings a range of voices and perspectives to public television audiences and has tackled the most important issues of the day, including the crisis in education in our country. We are proud that Tavis makes PBS his broadcasting home." 

Tonight, just one week before President Obama is sworn in for a second term, Tavis looks back at his multiple conversations with the president at different points during his political career, including an appearance as a little-known state senator from Illinois.

On Tuesday, January 15, Tavis revisits two memorable appearances from music icon Prince, including a special reunion and performance with former Revolution bandmate, Wendy Melvoin.

On Wednesday, January 16, Tavis recalls a conversation with Liberian peace advocate Leymah Gbowee—a conversation that took place just two days prior to Gbowee being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On Thursday, January 17, Tavis digs into his archive of two memorable conversations with legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor.

This first week ends on Friday, January 18, with an unforgettable conversation with the late civil rights pioneer Coretta Scott King, taped at Atlanta's famed Ebenezer Baptist Church. This 2005 conversation would turn out to be one of Mrs. King's last in-depth television interviews. Throughout the course of this 10th anniversary season, Smiley will periodically revisit other memorable moments and guests as the program approaches its 2000th episode in 2013.

"This has been an amazing ten years," says Neal Kendall, executive producer of TAVIS SMILEY. "Tavis is one of the best conversationalists in the business—renowned for going beyond sound bites and talking points to bringing viewers fascinating and in-depth conversations. Where else does this happen on late-night television?"

In January 2004, TAVIS SMILEY made its debut on PBS, challenging the status quo in American media on multiple levels. From the outset, TAVIS SMILEY had a clear and defined mission to introduce the most culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse Americans to each other every night, with a distinct vision to elicit conversations that weren't heard elsewhere on television. Tavis brought a fresh new face to the late-night talk genre—the longtime exclusive domain of white male hosts.

Available on-air, online, and via an iPhone app, TAVIS SMILEY engages guests in meaningful discussions, inviting viewers to challenge their assumptions and broaden their horizons. From insiders' perspectives on hot-button issues such as poverty, health care, and education, to the innovators and trendsetters changing the way we think and interact, to the voices of creative personalities in popular culture, TAVIS SMILEY is the place for thought-provoking and honest TV talk.

For more information, visit www.pbs.org/tavis.

ABOUT Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley is host of the nightly talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS produced by TS Media, Inc., and the host of The Tavis Smiley Show and co-host of Smiley & West from Public Radio International (PRI).. Smiley launched America I AM: The African American Imprint, a world-class exhibition celebrating the extraordinary impact of African American contributions to our nation and the world. The exhibit is currently touring and is housed in Charlotte, NC. Smiley is also the author/editor of 16 books, including New York Times bestsellers Covenant with Black America, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, and his most recent, The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. In 2009, TIME magazine named him one of the World's Most Influential People. For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com.

SOURCE TS Media, Inc.

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