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Alec Baldwin to Host TCM’s The Essentials

Emmy® Winner and Oscar® Nominee Alec Baldwin to Host TCM’s The Essentials

Legendary Late Night Host David Letterman, Emmy and Golden Globe® Winner Tina Fey and Oscar-Winning Director William Friedkin Set to Join as Special Guests Throughout the Season 

Premieres May 6 & Airs Saturdays at 8 p.m.


Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced that Emmy® winner and Oscar® nominee Alec Baldwin will host The Essentials, TCM’s popular franchise showcasing “must see” classic films. Joining Baldwin each week throughout the season will be one of three special guests: late-night television icon David Letterman, acclaimed actress, writer and comedian Tina Fey and legendary filmmaker William Friedkin. Together, Baldwin and his guests will introduce a hand-picked classic and offer color commentary on its cultural significance, its influence on other films, behind-the-scenes stories and their own personal reflections. The new season of The Essentials, which airs every Saturday night, premieres May 6 at 8 p.m. (ET). 

The Essentials will kick off with special guest David Letterman joining Baldwin to discuss a plethora of popular classics including:

  • The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) - airing May 6
  • East of Eden (1955) - airing on May 13
  • No Time for Sergeants (1958) – airing on May 27
  • The Big Sleep (1946) – airing on June 16

Tina Fey will make her guest appearance starting on June 24 to discuss her favorite classic films including:

  • Rear Window (1954) – airing June 24
  • The Lady Eve (1941) – airing on July 1
  • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – airing on July 8
  • Singin' in the Rain (1952) – airing on August 5

Rounding out the entertaining new season, William Friedkin will join Baldwin to highlight another round of notable films such as:

  • The Quiet Man (1952) – airing on Aug. 12
  • The Manchurian Candidate (1962) – airing on Aug. 19
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – airing on Sept. 2
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) – airing on Sept. 23

Baldwin takes over The Essential's hosting duties following the death of his close friend and colleague, Robert Osborne, who hosted the franchise from 2006 to 2015. A longtime friend of TCM and supporter of classic films, Baldwin has appeared frequently on the network, including as co-host of The Essentials with Robert Osborne from 2009 to 2011. He demonstrated his skill as an interviewer in 2008, when he joined one of his idols, Gene Wilder, for an hour-long discussion at Wilder's home in the special Role Model: Gene Wilder. Baldwin turned the tables on Osborne in 2015 by interviewing the longtime TCM host for Private Screenings: Robert Osborne, a one-hour special that  premiered as part of TCM's 20th Anniversary celebration. This past October, Baldwin was the on-air host for a month-long look at the world's greatest and most influential documentaries for TCM's Spotlight showcase.

"I have some big shoes to fill hosting The Essentials, and I plan on doing Bob proud with this new season of The Essentials,” said Baldwin. "Dave, Tina and Billy each bring a unique perspective to the movies in our lineup, and they have some fascinating, and even surprising, insights to share as we shine a spotlight on some of our favorite 'must-see' films from over a century of epic moviemaking."

Additionally, select titles from The Essentials will also be available at 30,000 feet through Delta Studio, Delta Air Lines’ industry-leading, free in-flight entertainment collection. Delta operates the world’s largest in-flight entertainment-equipped fleet, offering up to 300 movies, 750 TV shows, 100 foreign film titles, 2,400 songs, 18 channels of live satellite TV on select aircraft and a selection of games on aircraft with seat-back entertainment systems.

To view a promo and for more information including a complete schedule, images and film information, please visit tcm.com/essentials


About Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world highlighting the entire spectrum of film history. TCM features the insights from Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz and Saturday daytime host Tiffany Vazquez, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests and serves as the ultimate movie lover destination. Currently in its 23rd year as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers critically acclaimed series like The Essentials, along with annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® in February and Summer Under the Stars in August. TCM also directly connects with movie fans through events as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, the TCM Big Screen Classics series in partnership with Fathom Events, as well as through the TCM Classic Film Tour in New York City and Los Angeles. In addition, TCM produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs, and hosts a wealth of material online at tcm.com and through the Watch TCM mobile app.

TCM is a division of Turner, a Time Warner company, Turner creates and programs branded news, entertainment, sports, animation and young adult multi-platform content for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses include CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International and CNN.com, TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, FilmStruck, Super Deluxe, iStreamPlanet and ELEAGUE.


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Publicity Contact
Kendel White
kendel.white@turner.com