What to Watch Sunday: Ken Burns’ new documentary on Muhammad Ali starts on PBS

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Emmy Awards (8 p.m., CBS) - Cedric the Entertainer hosts the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste perform a special “In Memoriam” song. This will also stream live on Paramount+.

Muhammad Ali (8 p.m., PBS NC) - The first part of a new four-part documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns, following the life of one of the most consequential men of the 20th century — “a three-time heavyweight boxing champion who captivated billions with his combination of speed, agility and power in the ring, as well as his charm, wit and outspokenness outside of it. At the height of his fame, Ali challenged Americans’ racial prejudices, religious biases and notions about what roles celebrities and athletes play in our society, and inspired people all over the world with his message of pride and self-affirmation.”

The documentary will draw from archival footage and photographs, contemporary music and the insights and memories of eyewitnesses, including family and friends, journalists, boxers and historians, among many others. In addition to covering his boxing career, the film captures Ali’s principled resistance to the Vietnam War, his steadfast commitment to his Muslim faith, and his complex relationships with Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X.

Interviews include: Ali’s daughters Hana Ali and Rasheda Ali; his second wife, Khalilah Ali; his third wife, Veronica Porche; and his brother and confidant, Rahaman Ali. Others appearing in the film include activist and former basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, sportswriter Howard Bryant, historian Gerald Early, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, friend and business manager Gene Kilroy, boxing promoter Don King, novelist Walter Mosley, long-time friend Abdul Rahman, and New Yorker editor David Remnick, among many others.

This series will also stream on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel.

Some programming descriptions are provided by networks.

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