|Created by||Peter McGhee|
|Theme music composer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Original language(s)||English (US)|
|No. of seasons||32|
|No. of episodes||350 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)|| Judy Crichton |
Susan Bellows (acting)
|Running time||approx. 55 minutes or about two hours|
|Original release||October 4, 1988 –|
American Experience is a television program airing on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States. The program airs documentaries, many of which have won awards,about important or interesting events and people in American history.
The series premiered on October 4, 1988 and was originally titled The American Experience, but the article "The" was dropped during a later rebrand and image update. The show has had a presence on the Internet since 1995, and more than 100 American Experience programs are accompanied by their own internet websites, which have more background information on the subjects covered as well as teachers' guides and educational companion materials.The show is produced primarily by WGBH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts, though occasionally in the early seasons of the show, it was co-produced by other PBS stations such as WNET (Channel 13) in New York City.
Some programs now considered part of the American Experience collection were produced prior to the creation of the series. Vietnam: A Television History was one of them, airing originally in 1983 after taking six years to assemble.Also, in 2006, American Experience rebroadcast Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, the first half of the award-winning 1986 documentary series about the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.
American Experience has received generally positive reviews from television critics and parents of young children. Glenn McNatt of The Baltimore Sun wrote that it is "TV's finest history series ever."
A DVD boxset collecting episodes about United States presidents was released on August 26, 2008.The collection was updated to include the documentary on Bill Clinton's presidency on August 28, 2012.
A DVD boxset for the five-part documentary We Shall Remain was released on May 12, 2009.
Frontline is an investigative journalism program of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), producing in-depth documentaries on a variety of domestic and international stories and issues, and broadcasting them on air and online. Produced at WGBH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts, and distributed through PBS in the United States, the critically acclaimed program has received every major award in broadcast journalism. Its investigations have helped breathe new life into terrorism cold cases, freed innocent people from jail, prompted U.N. resolutions, and spurred both policy and social change.
Nova is an American popular science television program produced by WGBH Boston since 1974. It is broadcast on PBS in the U.S., and in more than 100 other countries. The program has won many major television awards.
Great Performances is a television anthology series dedicated to the performing arts; the banner has been used to televise theatrical performances such as plays, musicals, opera, ballet, concerts, as well as occasional documentaries. It is produced by the PBS member station WNET in New York City.
Independent Lens is a weekly television series airing on PBS presenting documentary films made by independent filmmakers. Past seasons of Independent Lens were presented by hosts Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Susan Sarandon, Edie Falco, Terrence Howard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, America Ferrera, Mary-Louise Parker, and Stanley Tucci, who served two stints as host from 2012-2014.
ITVS is a service in the United States which funds and presents documentaries on public television through distribution by PBS and American Public Television, new media projects on the Internet, and the weekly series Independent Lens on PBS. Aside from Independent Lens, ITVS funded and produced films for more than 40 television hours per year on the PBS series POV, Frontline, American Masters and American Experience. Some ITVS programs are produced along with organizations like Latino Public Broadcasting and KQED.
Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman is an American live-action/animated television series that was on PBS Kids. It is a reality-game show that is hosted by an animated anthropomorphic dog named Ruff Ruffman who dispenses challenges to the show's real-life contestants. The series ran for five seasons and 100 episodes from May 29, 2006, to November 4, 2010, on PBS, with 30 contestants in that time. Although a sixth season was planned, with auditions taking place in January 2010, WGBH announced on June 14, 2010, that the series would end due to lack of funding. In June 2008, the series received its first Emmy for Best Original Song for its theme. It previously aired reruns on the 24 hour PBS Kids Channel.
Stephen Henderson Talbot is an American TV documentary producer, reporter, writer, and longtime contributor to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), particularly the series Frontline. His more than 40 documentaries include the Frontline episodes "The Best Campaign Money Can Buy", "The Long March of Newt Gingrich", "Justice for Sale", and "News War: What's Happening to the News". Talbot has also written and produced PBS biographies of writers Dashiell Hammett, Beryl Markham, Ken Kesey, Carlos Fuentes, Maxine Hong Kingston and John Dos Passos. He was co-creator and executive producer of the PBS music specials, Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders, and an online series of music videos Quick Hits.
Ric Burns is an American documentary filmmaker and writer. He has written, directed and produced historical documentaries since the 1990s, beginning with his collaboration on the celebrated PBS series The Civil War (1990), which he produced with his older brother Ken Burns and wrote with Geoffrey Ward.
Stanley Earl Nelson Jr. is an American documentary filmmaker and a MacArthur Fellow known as a director, writer and producer of documentaries examining African-American history and experiences. He is a recipient of the 2013 National Humanities Medal from President Obama. He has won three Primetime Emmy Awards.
Paula S. Apsell is the television Executive Producer Emerita of PBS's NOVA and was director of the WGBH Science Unit.
Nature is a wildlife television program produced by Thirteen/WNET New York. It has been distributed to United States public television stations by the PBS television service since its debut on October 10, 1982. Some episodes may appear in syndication on many PBS member stations around the United States and Canada, and on the Discovery Channel. This series currently airs on Wednesday on PBS.
Steeplechase Films is a documentary production company founded in 1989 by filmmaker Ric Burns. They produce films focusing on events and people in American history, mainly for the PBS series American Experience. Ric and his company are best known for the eight-part, seventeen-and-a-half-hour series, New York: A Documentary Film, which premiered nationally on PBS to wide public and critical acclaim when broadcast in three installments in November 1999, September 2001, and September 2003.
My Lai is a documentary film created by PBS; it aired as an episode of American Experience. The documentary details the 1968 My Lai Massacre and its background. Topics of the video include the men of Charlie Company and the cover-up of the event. Hugh Thompson Jr. is also covered in the documentary.
Patricia Alvarado Núñez is an American television producer, director, and published photographer based in Boston, Massachusetts. She has created, produced, co-produced, executive produced, written and directed television and digitally distributed documentaries, music specials and series on social and cultural issues including the American Experience PBS primetime documentary Fidel in 2004, an episode of PBS Kids' Postcards from Buster which was nominated for a 2008 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children Series. She later served as the Creator and Series Producer of the WGBH series "Neighborhood Kitchens" which won an Emmy Award in 2014. Patricia is currently Executive Producer of "Sing That Thing," an amateur choral group competition television series currently in its fourth season of production by broadcaster WGBH. Alvarado Núñez is also the Executive Producer of WGBH's World Channel online, television, and podcast series "Stories from the Stage" which broadcast nationally on the PBS network.
Marion "Muffie" Meyer is an American director, whose productions include documentaries, theatrical features, television series and children’s films. Films that she directed are the recipients of two Emmy Awards, CINE Golden Eagles, the Japan Prize, Christopher Awards, the Freddie Award, the Columbia-DuPont, and the Peabody Awards. Her work has been selected for festivals in Japan, Greece, London, Edinburgh, Cannes, Toronto, Chicago and New York, and she has been twice nominated by the Directors Guild of America.
Elizabeth Deane is a writer, producer and director of documentary films for PBS, specializing in American history. She is based primarily at WGBH-TV in Boston with work ranging from presidential politics to biographies and musical history.
William Brangham (1968) is an American journalist who currently is a correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. Before, he has worked as a producer for multiple other television programs, mostly for PBS. Awards he has won for his journalism include a Peabody Award in 2015 and a News & Documentary Emmy Award in 2017.