[11/04/13 - 10:46 AM]
"Toxic Hot Seat," a Shocking Expose of Chemical Flame Retardants That Permeate Our Lives and the Harmful Substances They Release, Debuts Nov. 25, Exclusively on HBO
HBO Documentary Films presents a weekly series this fall, debuting provocative new specials every Monday through December 9.

[via press release from HBO]


Chemical flame retardants are everywhere. Our furniture. Our homes. Our bodies. Yet they don't seem to stop fires. They do, however, seem to make us sick.

TOXIC HOT SEAT takes an in-depth look at a nexus of money, politics and power - and a courageous group of firefighters, mothers, journalists, scientists, politicians and activists as they fight to expose what they assert is a shadowy campaign of deception that has left a toxic legacy in America's homes and bodies for nearly 40 years. This searing exposé debuts MONDAY, NOV. 25 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: Nov. 25 (4:55 a.m.), 27 (10:00 a.m.) and 28 (12:20 a.m.), and Dec. 1 (8:30 a.m.), 3 (1:45 p.m.) and 7 (4:15 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Nov. 27 (8:00 p.m.) and Dec. 30 (2:30 p.m.)

HBO Documentary Films presents a weekly series this fall, debuting provocative new specials every Monday through Dec. 9. Other November films include: "Tales from the Organ Trade" (Nov. 4); "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1" (Nov. 11); and "Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley" (Nov. 18).

Set against the backdrop of the award-winning 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative series "Playing with Fire," TOXIC HOT SEAT tells an intricate story, detailing how chemical companies that produce flame retardants spend millions of dollars on lobbyists, publicists and influencers, and how Big Tobacco had a hand in convincing fire-safety officials to back a standard that, in effect, requires all furniture to be filled with toxic flame retardants.

Known as California Technical Bulletin 117, the 1975 law was meant to reduce the escalating death rates from house fires caused by cigarettes. It mandated that all fabrics sold in California needed to contain flame retardants. To streamline operations, furniture makers opted to use the fire-retardant chemicals in all polyurethane foam-based furniture sold in the U.S., not just those items intended for sale in California.

TOXIC HOT SEAT shows how a handful of large chemical companies ended up being accused of obscuring public-health risks and misrepresenting chemical safety data by paying "experts" to alarm legislators and the public about the risk of removing chemical flame retardants from homes. In addition, the film highlights the argument that the tobacco industry effectively colluded with chemical companies back in the 1970s, lobbying for the use of chemical flame retardants in furniture, rather than developing a self-extinguishing cigarette, at a time when fires ignited by cigarettes were the main cause of home fires in the U.S.

TOXIC HOT SEAT features interviews with Chicago Tribune journalists and with brave citizens willing to fight for the truth against powerful industries, including:

Tony Stefani, a 30-year veteran of the San Francisco Fire Department who loved his job but had to quit when he found out he had a rare form of cancer. Tony was not alone. Firefighters are particularly vulnerable because of the toxic fumes caused by the burning of flame-retardant chemicals during fires. Among 40- to 50-year-old female firefighters in San Francisco, for example, the breast-cancer rate is six times the national average for that age group.

Dr. Arlene Blum, an award-winning chemist at U.C. Berkeley, who proved in the 1970s that flame retardants in pajamas showed up in children's urine. Though they were subsequently banned in children's clothing, flame retardants continue to be used in many other children's products. High levels of flame retardants are linked to decreased fertility, cancer and learning problems.

Hannah Pingree, a former state representative in Maine, who had her chemical levels tested. Though she lives on a small island off the coast, the testing discovered flame retardants and other chemicals in her body that could harm her health. Her activism against flame retardants in furniture ultimately led to a statewide ban.

Director and producer Kirby Walker is an independent documentary and educational filmmaker-video producer. Director and producer James Redford's other credits as a director include the 2012 HBO documentary "The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia," and as a producer, "Mann v. Ford," which aired as part of the 2011 HBO Documentary Films summer series, as well as "The Kindness of Strangers," which aired on HBO in 1999.

For more information, visit: Facebook: facebook.com/hbodocs; Twitter: @HBODocs #ToxicHotSeat.

TOXIC HOT SEAT is directed and produced by James Redford and Kirby Walker; editor, Jen Bradwell; cinematographers, John Kiffmeyer and Tylor Norwood; music by Daniel Lanois. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

  [november 2013]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

[10/21/16 - 02:02 PM]
NLCS Game 5 Is Second Most-Watched Telecast in FS1 History
FOX Sports spins the numbers for Thursday, October 20.

[10/21/16 - 12:08 PM]
Freeform Brings Fan Favorite "Stitchers" and New Original Sci-Fi Series "Beyond" to Stan Lee's L.A. Comic Con on October 29 and 30
"Stitchers" co-stars Ritesh Rajan, Damon Dayoub and Sarah Davenport are among those scheduled to appear.

[10/21/16 - 10:05 AM]
Freeform's Annual "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas" Starts on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24
Said offerings include the premiere "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," "Boxtrolls," and the network premiere of the fourth installment of the hit "Cinderella Story" franchise, "A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits."

[10/21/16 - 10:04 AM]
Freeform's Funday Programming Event Begins November 12 and Continues Through November 13
Highlights include the network premieres of "Planes: Fire & Rescue," "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Shrek Forever After."

[10/21/16 - 10:03 AM]
"Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour" to Premiere on Showtime(R) on December 9 at 9 PM ET/PT
The film is co-directed by Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, both of whom have worked extensively with Madonna on her feature films and tour movies.

[10/21/16 - 09:55 AM]
David Blaine Is Back With an Extraordinary Special, "David Blaine: Beyond Magic," Airing Tuesday, November 15, on ABC
Following his critically acclaimed ratings smash "David Blaine: Real or Magic," Blaine returns with his most revealing performance yet.

[10/21/16 - 09:35 AM]
Video: Netflix's "Haters Back Off!" Star Miranda Sings Shares Some of Her Favorite Things
Based on the character created by Colleen Ballinger, "Haters Back Off!" delves into the oddball family life of Miranda Sings.

[10/21/16 - 09:31 AM]
Video: Netflix Unveils The Ivory Game Trailer and Poster
From executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio, The Ivory Game is an epic documentary feature that goes undercover into the dark and sinister underbelly of ivory trafficking.

[10/21/16 - 09:29 AM]
Premiere Date Change - A&E Network Will Now Air Original Docu-Series "The Killing Season" on November 12
The newcomer will now roll out with back-to-back episodes one week later than previously announced.

[10/21/16 - 09:24 AM]
No One Can Hear You Scream: Investigation Discovery's All-New Series "Dead Silent" Premieres Tuesday, October 25 at 9/8C
In the six-part series, myth, urban legend, and horror movie dread collide to showcase real-life, dark and twisted tales too frightening to be imaginary.

[10/21/16 - 09:02 AM]
Oxygen Media Strikes Again with New True Crime Series "Killision Course" Premiering Saturday, November 5th at 9PM ET/PT
The four-episode, genre breaking series, recreates true stories of murder connecting the victim, accomplice and killer, on a joy ride of suspense, betrayal and obsession.

[10/21/16 - 08:47 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Holds Off Competition with NFL
The Eye wins the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[10/20/16 - 03:55 PM]
Oxygen Media Tests the Bonds of Friendship When New Competition Series "The Battle of the Ex-Besties" Premieres Tuesday, December 6 at 11PM ET/PT
Hosted by Sibley Scoles, the series follows fourteen former BFFs who are forced to confront - and hopefully forget - past differences in order to win a life-changing $100,000 grand prize.

[10/20/16 - 01:49 PM]
Investigation Discovery Delivers Nearly One Million Viewers for World Television Premiere of "Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four"
Investigation Discovery further spins the numbers for Saturday, October 15.

[10/20/16 - 01:04 PM]
Investigation Discovery Looks at When Happily Ever After Goes Horribly Wrong in All-New Series "Married with Secrets"
The new eight-part series premieres Tuesday, October 25 at 10:00/9:00c.