American Experience
American Experience logo.svg
GenreTelevision documentary
Created byPeter McGhee
Theme music composer
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish (US)
No. of seasons34
No. of episodes362 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersJudy Crichton
(1987–1996)
Margaret Drain
(1997–2003)
Mark Samels
(2003–2020)
Cameo George
(2020–present) [1]
Running timebetween 55 minutes and two hours
Production companyWGBH-TV
Release
Original networkPBS[2]
Original releaseOctober 4, 1988 (1988-10-04) –
present

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,[3] 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.[4] 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.[5] Also, in 2006, American Experience rebroadcast Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, the first half of the 1986 documentary series about the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.

Episodes

Main article: List of American Experience episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
116October 4, 1988 (1988-10-04)January 17, 1989 (1989-01-17)
215October 3, 1989 (1989-10-03)February 12, 1990 (1990-02-12)
312October 1, 1990 (1990-10-01)May 6, 1991 (1991-05-06)
412September 30, 1991 (1991-09-30)February 17, 1992 (1992-02-17)
515September 20, 1992 (1992-09-20)March 1, 1993 (1993-03-01)
67October 27, 1993 (1993-10-27)May 25, 1994 (1994-05-25)
79October 11, 1994 (1994-10-11)May 9, 1995 (1995-05-09)
89October 16, 1995 (1995-10-16)February 26, 1996 (1996-02-26)
99October 6, 1996 (1996-10-06)July 28, 1997 (1997-07-28)
1018October 5, 1997 (1997-10-05)March 2, 1998 (1998-03-02)
1113November 18, 1998 (1998-11-18)May 17, 1999 (1999-05-17)
1215November 14, 1999 (1999-11-14)May 23, 2000 (2000-05-23)
1313October 17, 2000 (2000-10-17)April 30, 2001 (2001-04-30)
1414September 30, 2001 (2001-09-30)May 12, 2002 (2002-05-12)
1513November 11, 2002 (2002-11-11)July 14, 2003 (2003-07-14)
169September 8, 2003 (2003-09-08)May 3, 2004 (2004-05-03)
1712October 4, 2004 (2004-10-04)July 4, 2005 (2005-07-04)
1813October 17, 2005 (2005-10-17)May 22, 2006 (2006-05-22)
1918October 2, 2006 (2006-10-02)May 14, 2007 (2007-05-14)
2018January 14, 2008 (2008-01-14)May 6, 2008 (2008-05-06)
2110January 26, 2009 (2009-01-26)May 18, 2009 (2009-05-18)
228November 2, 2009 (2009-11-02)May 10, 2010 (2010-05-10)
2312October 11, 2010 (2010-10-11)May 16, 2011 (2011-05-16)
248January 10, 2012 (2012-01-10)September 18, 2012 (2012-09-18)
258January 8, 2013 (2013-01-08)November 12, 2013 (2013-11-12)
267January 7, 2014 (2014-01-07)November 18, 2014 (2014-11-18)
2711January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06)November 24, 2015 (2015-11-24)
288January 19, 2016 (2016-01-19)November 1, 2016 (2016-11-01)
298January 10, 2017 (2017-01-10)April 12, 2017 (2017-04-12)
309January 9, 2018 (2018-01-09)October 16, 2018 (2018-10-16)
317January 15, 2019 (2019-01-15)September 10, 2019 (2019-09-10)
328January 6, 2020 (2020-01-06)July 7, 2020 (2020-07-07)
338January 11, 2021 (2021-01-11)September 28, 2021 (2021-09-28)
34TBAFebruary 7, 2022 (2022-02-07)TBA

Critical reception

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."[6] Steve Johnson of Chicago Tribune wrote, "History comes alive in excellent docu-series."[7]

Home media

A DVD boxset collecting episodes about United States presidents was released on August 26, 2008.[8] The collection was updated to include the documentary on Bill Clinton's presidency on August 28, 2012.[9]

A DVD boxset for the five-part documentary We Shall Remain was released on May 12, 2009.[10]

Awards

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by American Experience

References

  1. ^ "Cameo George Named Executive Producer of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, WGBH's Acclaimed History Series on PBS". WGBH. July 23, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Broadcast Schedule . American Experience . WGBH". PBS. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  3. ^ "About the Series . American Experience . WGBH". PBS. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  4. ^ "American Experience | Who We Are". Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  5. ^ "American Experience | Vietnam Online | About the TV Series". PBS. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  6. ^ MCNATT, GLENN (January 13, 2008). "BEST OF THIS WEEK". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  7. ^ Johnson, Steve (October 22, 2008). "TV can be good for you". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 16, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  8. ^ "American Experience: The Presidents Collection". Amazon.com. Amazon.com, Inc. August 26, 2008. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  9. ^ "American Experience: The Presidents". Amazon.com. Amazon.com, Inc. August 28, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  10. ^ "We Shall Remain: America Through Native Eyes". Amazon.com. Amazon.com, Inc. May 12, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2020.