Valley of the Boom
GenreDocudrama miniseries
Created byMatthew Carnahan
ComposerKyle Dixon
Michael Stein
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6
Executive producers
  • Denise Pleune
  • Falguni Lakhani-Adams
  • Arielle Boisvert
  • Shawn Williamson
  • Joel Ehninger
Production locationsVancouver, Canada
CinematographyFrançois Dagenais
  • Suzy Elmiger
  • Jon Corn
  • Jeff Groth
  • Jeff Mee
  • Mikki Levi
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time43–48 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkNational Geographic
ReleaseJanuary 13 (2019-01-13) –
January 27, 2019 (2019-01-27)

Valley of the Boom (stylized as Valley_of_the_BOOM) is an American docudrama television miniseries created by Matthew Carnahan that premiered on January 13, 2019, on National Geographic. The series centers on the 1990s tech boom and bust in Silicon Valley and it stars Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn, Lamorne Morris, John Karna, Dakota Shapiro, Oliver Cooper, and John Murphy.


Valley of the Boom takes a close look at "the culture of speculation, innovation and debauchery that led to the rapid inflation and burst of the 1990s tech bubble. As with its hybrid series Mars, Nat Geo [uses] select doc elements to support the scripted drama to tell the true inside story of the dramatic early days of Silicon Valley."[1]

The series features interviews with many of the people depicted in the dramatized portions of the production in addition to other Internet personalities such as Mark Cuban and Arianna Huffington. Notably absent from these interviews are Netscape co-founder and former vice president of technology Marc Andreessen, who declined to be interviewed,[2] and Jamie Zawinski.

Although the program is primarily focused on the quick rise and fall of three influential technology companies, namely Netscape,, and Pixelon, the program also highlights smaller companies of that era, such as[3]

Cast and characters





No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
1"Part 1: print ("hello, world")"Matthew CarnahanMatthew CarnahanJanuary 13, 2019 (2019-01-13)[a]0.415[5]
Jim Barksdale and team take Netscape on a road show in search of potential investors; Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelman struggle to secure financing for their virtual community platform,; Michael Fenne changes his physical appearance.
2"Part 2: pseudocode"Matthew CarnahanMatthew CarnahanJanuary 13, 2019 (2019-01-13)[a]0.312[5]
Jim Barksdale leads Netscape through a successful IPO, making it the dominant browser; Microsoft retaliates, sparking the browser wars; Michael Fenne excitedly starts a new company that promises to deliver revolutionary streaming technology.
3"Part 3: agile method"Gary GoldmanDavid WalpertJanuary 20, 2019 (2019-01-20)0.196[6]
With the browser wars in full swing, Microsoft attacks Netscape; team hesitates to bring on a potential investor, unconvinced he'll be a good fit; using stolen technology, Michael Fenne launches a new company called Pixelon.
4"Part 4: priority inversion"Tamra DavisTracy BaroneJanuary 20, 2019 (2019-01-20)0.151[6]
Microsoft bundles Internet Explorer with every new Windows PC; Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelman run on fumes; as Pixelon prepares for a live event, Michael Fenne's management style grows more erratic, grabbing the attention of an employee.
5"Part 5: segfault"Matthew CarnahanDavid WalpertJanuary 27, 2019 (2019-01-27)N/A
Jim Barksdale takes drastic measures to re-establish Netscape as an innovator; struggles to maintain focus on virtual communities; Pixelon launches a massive concert in Las Vegas as it introduces its revolutionary streaming technology.
6"Part 6: fatal error"Matthew CarnahanStory by : Cristina Boada & Matthew Carnahan
Teleplay by : Matthew Carnahan
January 27, 2019 (2019-01-27)N/A
Jim Barksdale keeps up with the Microsoft antitrust case; Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelman try to save as they discover some potentially damaging news; Pixelon's investors and board members confront Michael Fenne.



On November 15, 2017, it was announced that National Geographic had given the production a series order consisting of six episodes. Executive producers are set to include Matthew Carnahan, Arianna Huffington, Jason Goldberg, Brant Pinvidic, and David Walpert. Carnahan is also expected to act as showrunner for the series and direct as well. David Newsom is co-executive producer and will lead the non-scripted unit of the production. Joel Ehninger is expected to act in the role of producer. Production companies involved with the series include STXtelevision and Matthew Carnahan Circus Products.[1][7][8][9] On September 24, 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on January 13, 2019.[10]


On March 16, 2018, it was announced that Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn, Lamorne Morris, John Karna, Dakota Shapiro, and Oliver Cooper had joined the series' main cast.[11][12][13]


Principal photography for the series began on March 26, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada and was expected to conclude by May 28, 2018.[14]



On July 24, 2018, the first trailer for the series was released.[15]


On September 21, 2018, the series held its world premiere during the second annual Tribeca TV Festival in New York City. Following a screening, a conversation took place featuring members of the cast and crew including creator Matthew Carnahan, actors Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn, Lamorne Morris, and real-life subject Stephan Paternot, founder of[16]


The series premiered globally on National Geographic in 171 countries and 45 languages. STXtelevision distributes the series in China.[1]


The series has been met with a mixed response from critics upon its premiere. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 72% approval rating with an average rating of 5.90 out of 10 based on 18 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "A visual collage of dot com history, Valley of Boom [sic] proves to be just as sprawling and ramshackle as the docuseries' subject."[17] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 58 out of 100 based on 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[18]


  1. ^ a b The first two episodes were made available on December 21, 2018 on the National Geographic website.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (November 15, 2017). "Nat Geo Greenlights Silicon Valley-Themed Limited Series From Matthew Carnahan, Arianna Huffington & StxTV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Patterson, Troy (January 14, 2019). ""Valley of the Boom," Reviewed: A Rah-Rah Reënactment of the Dot-Com Cataclysm". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Barney, Chuck (January 10, 2019). "'Valley of the Boom': TV series recalls '90s tech craziness". The Mercury News. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  4. ^ Longo, Chris (December 20, 2019). "Nat Geo's Valley of The Boom To Stream Early (EXCLUSIVE)". Den of Geek!. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (January 15, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.13.2019". ShowBuzz Daily. Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (January 23, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.20.2019". ShowBuzz Daily. Archived from the original on January 23, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (November 15, 2017). "National Geographic Channel Orders Tech Industry Drama Series 'Valley of the Boom'". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  8. ^ Stanhope, Kate (November 15, 2017). "NatGeo Orders Silicon Valley Limited Series From Arianna Huffington and 'House of Lies' Creator". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  9. ^ "National Geographic Greenlights Irreverent Six-Part Limited Series Set in '90s Tech Bubble, Valley of the Boom from STXtv". Business Wire. November 15, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  10. ^ D'Addario, Daniel (September 24, 2018). "TV Review: 'Valley of the Boom'". Variety. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (March 16, 2018). "'Valley Of The Boom': Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn & Lamorne Morris To Star In Nat Geo's Silicon Valley-Themed Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  12. ^ Vlessing, Etan (March 16, 2018). "Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn and Lamorne Morris to Star in Nat Geo's 'Valley of the Boom'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  13. ^ Ausiello, Michael (March 16, 2018). "Valley of the Boom: Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn, Lamorne Morris to Star in Nat Geo's Silicon Valley-Set Series". TVLine. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  14. ^ Takeuchi, Craig (March 26, 2018). "Filming in Vancouver: Fresh Off the Boat stars, 1990s tech bubble, Canadian medical drama". Inside Vancouver. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  15. ^ Ryan, Patrick (July 24, 2018). "First look: Nat Geo's tech drama 'Valley of the Boom' tells Internet origin story". USA Today. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  16. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (August 22, 2018). "Bryan Cranston, 'Ray Donovan,' 'Shark Tank' and 'Law & Order: SVU' Set for Tribeca TV Fest". Variety. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  17. ^ "Valley of the Boom". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  18. ^ "Valley of the Boom". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 26, 2019.