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Benjamin Franklin
Directed byEllen Hovde
Muffie Meyer
Written byRonald Blumer
Produced byEllen Hovde
Muffie Meyer
  • James Brown
  • Robert Elfstrom
  • Boyd Estus
  • Tom Hurwitz
  • Joel Shapiro
  • Joe Vitagliano
Edited by
  • Eric Davies
  • Donna Marino
  • Sharon Sachs
Music byRichard Einhorn
Distributed byPublic Broadcasting Service
Release date
November 19, 2002 (2002-11-19)
Running time
210 minutes

Benjamin Franklin is a 2002 American documentary television series which premiered November 19–20, 2002 and reairs on August 22–September 5, 2005. The series was produced by Twin Cities Public Television of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Benjamin Franklin won an Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Special (Traditional) in 2003. Executive producers Catherine Allan and Jerry Richman accepted the award.[citation needed]

Episode 1

Let the Experiment Be Made.

His first 47 years, a period that saw the birth of the Enlightenment. Franklin took this intellectual revolution to heart, writing aphorisms based on it for the publication he founded, “Poor Richard's Almanack,” and making significant contributions to his fellow Philadelphians, contributions which included the ideas of public libraries and a volunteer fire department. Richard Easton plays Franklin; Colm Feore narrates.

Episode 2

The Making of a Revolutionary.

Beginning in 1757, his years in London, sent from Pennsylvania on a mission to allow the colony to tax the Penn family's lands. Franklin arrived as an ardent admirer of the empire as well as a lover of the American colonies (“There's nothing I want more than the prosperity of both,” he says). Seventeen years later, he left—a revolutionary.

Episode 3

The Chess Master.

The final 14 years of his life, nine of which were spent in Paris as ambassador to France from rebellious colonies across the sea. Franklin's primary objective was to secure financial and military aid, far from an easy task. To this he brought the skills of a chess master, able to think many moves ahead in the game.


VHS and DVD Release

Benjamin Franklin is on VHS & DVD.