In American culture, getting profiled on “American Masters” is more prestigious than winning an Oscar, a Nobel Prize or a Pulitzer. You can soon add Laura Ingalls Wilder to that limited list.
PBS has announced an upcoming documentary on the prolific writer, best known for penning the “Little House on the Prairie” series. Several Midwest states claim her as their own, but Minnesota may have the strongest case. Walnut Grove, Minn. served the setting for both her third book, 1937’s “On the Banks of Plum Creek” and a beloved TV series, which ran on NBC from 1974 to 1982.
PBS has not announced a run date for “American Masters: Laura Ingalls Wilder,” but here’s what we do know: A film crew shot footage last July during the LauraPalooza festivities in Onalaska, Wisc. Press material promises never-before-seen letters and photographs as well as testimonials from historians and literary experts.
Melissa Gilbert,who starred in both the TV show and the musical adaptation that had its 2008 world premiere at the Guthrie, is among the participants. Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie on the series, was also interviewed.
The director is Mary McDonagh Murphy, who previously helmed an “American Masters” on “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee.