Award-Winning Canadian Drama ‘Little Bird’ Comes to PBS
The six-part, one-hour limited series follows Bezhig Little Bird (Darla Contois) as she embarks on a path to find her birth family and uncover the hidden truth of her family history.
Created by Jennifer Podemski and Hannah Moscovitch
The Six-part Limited Series Starring Darla Contois and Lisa Edelstein Premieres October 12 on all PBS Platforms
PBS announced today that celebrated Canadian drama LITTLE BIRD will premiere October 12th at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS and across all PBS platforms in the US (check local listings). From Rezolution Pictures and OP Little Bird, and Canadian broadcasters Crave and APTN, in partnership with Fremantle, the six-part, one-hour limited series explores universal themes of resilience in the face of trauma and loss. It follows Bezhig Little Bird (Darla Contois) as she embarks on a path to find her birth family and uncover the hidden truth of her family history.
PBS will also broadcast and stream COMING HOME, a 90-minute companion documentary providing historical context about the Sixties Scoop on October 12th at 10:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). Directed by Erica Daniels (Run as One), COMING HOME explores the connections between the ground-breaking movement for Indigenous narrative sovereignty and the impact of the child welfare system as experienced through the LITTLE BIRD series’ Indigenous creatives, crew, and Sixties Scoop advisors. COMING HOME provides a structuring through-line, interwoven with interviews with cast, crew, and community members revealing personal connections to the Sixties Scoop.
LITTLE BIRD and COMING HOME will stream on all station-branded PBS platforms including PBS.org, and the PBS app, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast, and VIZIO. Both programs will also be available to stream on PBS Passport and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel.
Removed from her home in Long Pine Reserve in Saskatchewan, Bezhig Little Bird is adopted into a Montréal Jewish family at age five, becoming Esther Rosenblum. Now in her 20s, Bezhig longs for the family she lost and is willing to sacrifice everything to find them. Her search lands her in the Canadian Prairies, worlds apart from everything she knows. As she begins to track down her siblings, she unravels the mystery behind her adoption and discovers that her apprehension was connected to a racist government policy, now known as the Sixties Scoop. Bezhig’s sense of identity shatters, and she is forced to reckon with who she is and who she wants to become.
Led by Contois, the character-driven drama features a talented cast of Indigenous actors, including: Ellyn Jade; Osawa Muskwa; Joshua Odjick; Imajyn Cardinal; Braeden Clarke; Eric Schweig; and Michelle Thrush. Rounding out the cast is Lisa Edelstein (House, M.D., Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) who plays Esther’s adoptive mother, Golda Rosenblum.
The recent winner of the coveted Audience Award at the 2023 SERIES MANIA Festival in Lille, France, LITTLE BIRD was filmed in and around Winnipeg, in Brokenhead Ojibway Nation on Treaty 1 territory and in Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. LITTLE BIRD showrunner Jennifer Podemski was also recently presented with an Academy Board Of Directors’ Tribute Award at the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards.
“PBS is proud to bring American viewers the premiere of LITTLE BIRD,” says Maria Bruno Ruiz, Vice President, Program Content Strategy and Scheduling at PBS. “We aspire to bring authentic programs rich in culture and diversity to our audience and we’re thrilled to add the powerful LITTLE BIRD story to our platforms.”
“It is a powerful narrative that not only engages and pulls on your heartstrings, but also educates on a profoundly disturbing time in North American history that is rarely portrayed.” said Germaine Sweet, Managing Director, Content Acquisitions at PBS Distribution. “In addition to the creative brilliance of Jennifer Podemski and Hannah Moscovitch, this series was delivered by a wealth of Indigenous talent both in front of and behind the camera.”
“LITTLE BIRD is a crucial story that requires sensitivity and boldness to shed light on a piece of history that is not widely known. We are proud to collaborate with PBS to ensure that this story reaches audiences in the United States and receives the recognition it deserves,” said Lisa Honig, Senior EVP Distribution North America, Fremantle.
Led by an Indigenous creative team, LITTLE BIRD is developed by showrunner, Jennifer Podemski and Rezolution Pictures, and created by Podemski and head writer Hannah Moscovitch. The creative team includes directors Zoe Hopkins and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and was written by Hopkins and Moscovitch. The series is executive produced by Christina Fon, Ernest Webb, Catherine Bainbridge, Linda Ludwick (Rezolution Pictures), Kim Todd, Nicholas Hirst (Original Pictures), Jennifer Podemski, Hannah Moscovitch, Zoe Hopkins, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Jeremy Podeswa, along with Christian Vesper and Dante Di Loreto (Fremantle). Producers are Tanya Brunel and Jessica Dunn (OP Little Bird), Claire MacKinnon and Philippe Chabot Rezolution Pictures) and Lori Lozinski and Ellen Rutter. Fremantle handles global sales.
For Bell Media, Alison Korogyi is Development Executive; Rachel Goldstein-Couto is Head of Development, Original Programming; Mitch Geddes is Production Executive; Sarah Fowlie is Head of Production, Original Programming; Carlyn Klebuc is General Manager, Original Programming; Tory Jennings is Director of Content, Crave; Justin Stockman is Vice-President, Content Development & Programming; and Karine Moses is Senior Vice-President, Content Development & News, Bell Media and Vice Chair, Québec, Bell.
For APTN, Adam Garnet Jones is Director of TV Content and Special Events, Danelle Granger is Executive in charge of Development and Scripted Content, and Lisa Ducharme is Director of Online Content and Deliverables.
LITTLE BIRD and COMING HOME join the slate of Indigenous programming PBS will broadcast this fall honoring Native American Heritage, including THE AMERICAN BUFFALO by Ken Burns premiering October 16, NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER “Embracing Duality: Modern Indigenous Cultures” premiering October 20 and NATIVE AMERICA SEASON TWO premiering October 24 (check local listings). All programs will continue to stream on PBS.org, and the PBS app throughout Native American Heritage Month in November.
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PBS Distribution is a leading distributor of public media content around the world, entertaining audiences across platforms and formats. The company, a joint venture of PBS and GBH Boston, provides premium content through multiple digital channels and video services. PBS Distribution operates six subscription streaming channels – PBS Masterpiece (US and CA), PBS KIDS, PBS Living, PBS Documentaries and PBS America (U.K.) as well as numerous Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) Channels in the U.S and U.K. In addition, the company reaches viewers through Transactional Video-on-Demand (TVOD), Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) licensing, Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD), DVD and Blu-ray, theatrical releasing, educational platforms, non-theatrical and inflight sales, and serves broadcasters and producers providing program sales and co-production financing. PBS Distribution offers consumers and educators the highest quality factual, scripted, and children’s programming including films from Ken Burns, hit series from Masterpiece and foreign language dramas from Walter Presents, entertaining and educational PBS KIDS series, and award-winning documentaries from NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and many independent producers. For over 10 years, the company has extended the reach of programming beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations, and producers. Follow PBS Distribution on Facebook.
Fremantle is one of the world’s largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of Entertainment, Drama & Film and Documentaries.
Operating in 27 territories we are a proudly independent group of content creators. We produce and deliver high-quality multi-genre IP including some of the biggest entertainment formats, most watched international dramas, award winning films and hard-hitting documentaries, amplifying local stories on a global scale.
From Idols to The Mosquito Coast, The Price is Right to The Hand of God, The Farmer Wants A Wife to Arctic Drift, Family Feud to My Brilliant Friend and Bones & All to Planet Sex our focus is simple – we create and deliver irresistible entertainment.
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About Rezolution Pictures
Rezolution Pictures is an award-winning production company that’s changing the narrative when it comes to diversity and representation in the entertainment landscape. They have established original Indigenous content within mainstream media and sold programming around the world in major markets to broadcasters including including APTN, LUMI, Bell Media, Crave, CBC, GEM, TVO, SRC, RDI, OMNI, Showcase, Télé-Québec, PBS, Peacock +, ARTE, ZDF, Channel 5, Netflix, Apple TV, Discovery, Knowledge, FNX, SBS, and more.. The Emmy-nominated Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World has won awards at Sundance, Hot Docs and the CSAs and the Gemini- and Peabody-winning Reel Injun has been inducted into the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Museum.
About OP Little Bird
OP Little Bird, is a Winnipeg-based company, majority-owned by Manitoba independent producer Tanya Brunel, Métis from the Red River region and member of the Manitoba Métis Federation. The other shareholders are Original Pictures Manitoba, a company controlled by producer Jessica Dunn and Original Pictures Inc. a boutique production company with offices in Winnipeg, Toronto and Calgary, founded by its president Emmy-award winner Kim Todd (The Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo, and Brave New World)