PBS says it's launching a weekly series as a forum for what it called "spirited and civil" discussion of national issues.

The series, "Point Taken," will be hosted by journalist Carlos Watson, PBS said Thursday.

Each half-hour episode will focus on a single topic, with guests including reporters, artists and experts exploring it from different sides.

The public will be invited to take part through polling and social media, PBS said, calling such participation a core part of the series.

"Point Taken" arrives during a raucous political year. PBS said it's intended to help Americans find common ground through thoughtful dialogue, with Watson citing the election and the Oscars diversity controversy as examples of issues ripe for debate.

"Point Taken" is produced by public TV station WGBH Boston's Studio Six. The series will air at 11 p.m. EDT beginning April 5.

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Online:

http://www.PBS.org/pointtaken