Executive-produced by New York Times columnist and former Broadway critic Frank Rich, the documentary airs at 9 PM ET; check local listings.
Four months before he died, Mr. Nichols opened up to O'Brien about the beginnings of his career, including his comedy collaboration with Elaine May; his direction of two Neil Simon stage classics; and his acclaimed feature-film debut, "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," and its follow-up, "The Graduate." Those interviews comprise "Becoming Mike Nichols," which made its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
In the documentary, according to press notes, "Nichols offers insights into his childhood as a seven-year-old immigrant to America (his family escaped Nazi Germany in 1939), as well as the genesis of his career as a performer at the University of Chicago. Despite suffering from stage fright, Nichols rose to stardom as half of the improvisational comedy duo Nichols and May, having met the comedian during his time with The Compass Players in the mid-1950s. They never rehearsed and Nichols’ ability to let go and 'revere the unconscious' became the catalyst that informed his later directorial style."
"Becoming Mike Nichols," a film by Douglas McGrath, is directed by McGrath; executive-produced by Rich, O’Brien and McGrath; and edited by Camilla Toniolo.
A separate PBS documentary directed by Mr. Nichols' one-time writing and performing partner, Elaine May, premiered Jan. 29 as part of PBS' "American Masters" series.