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MCI CELEBRATES THE AMERICAN FAMILY WITH PBS; 'L.A. LAW'S' JILL EIKENBERRY AND MICHAEL TUCKER TO HOST

 MCI CELEBRATES THE AMERICAN FAMILY WITH PBS;
 'L.A. LAW'S' JILL EIKENBERRY AND MICHAEL TUCKER TO HOST
 WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- "Celebrating the American Family," a 60-minute documentary tracing the evolution of American family life -- from pre-Civil War pioneers to modern-day families -- will air on more than 200 PBS stations across the country this Dec. 5-11 as part of their fund-raising efforts.
 The special program, hosted and narrated by Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker of NBC's "L.A. Law," is underwritten by MCI Communications Corp. (NASDAQ-NMS: MCIC) MCI is supporting the PBS presentation with an extensive advertising and promotion campaign, including advertising on network and cable television.
 The program will chronicle the American Family over the course of a century-and-a-half using excerpts from letters, diaries, journals, oral histories and other first-hand accounts, along with the best of American fiction and poetry. The film was created for PBS by Martin Sandler, a multiple Emmy winner, whose expertise is in producing historical television programs from archival photographs.
 "Support of this feature presentation is a logical extension of MCI's Friends & Family program," said Bert C. Roberts Jr., president and CEO, MCI Communications Corp. "'Celebrating the American Family' offers MCI a significant vehicle to underscore its commitment to keeping families connected -- something we do best."
 Four themes related to the American family experience will be covered in the film: Relationships; A Sense of Place; Rites of Passage; and Family Pleasures. Treatment of each of these topics includes scores of black-and-white and color photographs, first-hand accounts, narrations and music. The photographs, many never before exhibited publicly, were collected from the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the University of Missouri's School of Journalism and from countless public and private collections. "Celebrating the American Family" will feature an original musical score by Steven Olenick.
 "We are delighted that MCI is supporting this project which is so important to local fund-raising efforts, and coordinating such a well-rounded campaign. Their recognition of Public Television as a viable and essential community educational institution can serve as an inspiration for partnerships between business and public service organizations," said Jim Scalem, vice president, fund-raising programming of PBS.
 "Despite the many changes that the family has endured, it is the family experience that is the heart of both our personal and national life and is still our most important institution," according to Sandler, the film's producer. "I hope this documentary reminds people of this fact."
 MCI, the nation's second largest long distance provider, offers the popular Friends & Family program, a savings plan designed for MCI customers who want to stay in touch with family members and friends who are also MCI customers for 20 percent less.
 "Celebrating the American Family" is a production of Public Productions. MCI is the sole corporate underwriter. Funding is also provided by public television viewers. Executive producer: Martin Sandler; Director: Greg Harney; Writer: Steve Schlow; Music Score: Steven Olenick.
 The special is distributed by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), a non-profit corporation owned and operated by the nation's public television stations that provides quality programming, satellite distribution and other services to 344 member stations.
 -0- 6/18/92
 /CONTACT: Karen Heyison of MCI, 703-415-6902; Carrie Johnson, 703-739-5129, or Harry Forbes, 212-708-3001, or Marcy De Veaux, 213-667-3488, all of PBS/
 (MCIC) CO: MCI Communications Corporation; Public Broadcasting Service ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS ENT SU:


DC -- DC004 -- 1390 06/18/92 09:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 18, 1992
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