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PBS Foundation
Public Educational Media
Date Approved

Extra Life:  A Short History of Living Longer” is a multi-platform collaboration among  PBS, The New York Times Magazine, the Emmy-winning production company Nutopia, and bestselling authors Steven Johnson and David Olusoga.  The series premieres on PBS on May 11, 2021. It aims to raise awareness about the extraordinary successes of public health and medicine over the past century, all tied to the current moment of the COVID-19 crisis. The four-hour PBS series at the center of the project tells the story of the unsung heroes and breakthroughs that made possible a quiet but profound revolution in human health, and celebrates an entire global system of doctors, researchers, epidemiologists, activists, and public health organizations that have extended the human lifespan dramatically over the past two centuries. It also tells the story of the greatest test of that system since the influenza pandemic of 1918. The project includes a special issue of The New York Times Magazine, and two books written by Steven Johnson, including one for middle school students that will be accompanied by extensive curriculum development for schools.