The critically-acclaimed documentary series The Sixties, produced by Tom Hanks, is heading to UK screens after UKTV’s Yesterday snapped up the rights from FremantleMedia.
The ten-part series examines the social and political changes which shaped the decade, including the rise of the Berlin Wall, the popularity of the Beatles, the increase in youth oriented culture and society, and the space race.
It was executive produced by Hanks with Gary Goetzman (HBO’s John Adams and The Pacific) and Mark Herzog (History’s Gettysburg) for CNN and will air on Yesterday later this year.
The series will air on Tuesdays at 9pm from 30th September
Episode 1 – The World on the Brink: 1960 – 1963 30th September at 9pm
The early 1960s were the most dramatic years of the Cold War, as several key events influenced the early days of the Kennedy presidency. The Bay of Pigs Invasion, construction of the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban Missile Crisis created political and military tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. These events created an increasingly strained relationship as the two nuclear superpowers careened from crisis to crisis.
Episode 2 – The Assassination of JFK: 1963 – 1969 7th October at 9pm – 2 hour special
The Warren Report, the only official investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has engendered controversy since its release in 1964. This episode will explore the key conclusions of the contentious Warren Commission, as well as the shocking impact of his premature death upon the American nation and worldwide politics.
Episode 3 – The War in Vietnam: 1961 – 1968 14th October at 9pm
Vietnam changed the world in ways that reverberate even today. Images of mounting casualties and stories from the frontline influenced social and political polarisation about the war around the world. This episode explores the escalation of bombing in North Vietnam, the siege of Khe Sahn, the growth of international opposition, the Tet offensive, the beginning of the Paris Peace talks and the end of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency.
Episode 4 – The British Invasion: 1963 – 1967 21st October at 9pm
When Ed Sullivan uttered four simple words, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles”, it marked the start of the British invasion into American culture. The Beatles’ success was quickly followed by other British bands hoping to conquer the hearts of American teens. Those siren calls of The Animals, The Kinks, The Hollies, The Dave Clarke 5, The Who, and The Rolling Stones are all revisited in this paean to the power of the music that defined a generation, and that remains vital and relevant today.
Episode 5 – Times They Are A-Changing: 1960 – 1969 21st October at 10pm
The sixties were the genesis of many of the social and political currents that dominate today’s headlines. This episode explores the beginnings of the women’s, environmental, conservative and gay movements.
Episode 6 – The Space Race: 1960 – 1969 28th October at 9pm
In fewer than 10 years, the world rocketed from launching rudimentary satellites to landing a man on the Moon. Pioneers like Werner Von Braun and heroes like Alan Shepard, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong, pushed the boundaries of space exploration to literally unprecedented heights. Throughout the decade, the rivalry between America and the Soviet Union raised the stakes on the competition that went even beyond the “giant leap for mankind” and led to astonishing technological inventions.
Episode 7 – Television Comes of Age: 1960 – 1969 28th October at 10pm
Television came of age in the 1960’s and became the dominant factor in popular culture. It allowed the public to be entertained, informed as well as follow their favourite sport, and in the 60s individuals started to spend more time watching television than any other waking activity. This episode looks back at the sitcoms, dramas, news programmes and sporting events that shaped and reflected the decade.
Episode 8 – Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: 1960 – 1969 4th November at 9pm
The Western world became a youth oriented culture and society in the 1960’s. Everything from music, movies and fashion to morals, manners and customers were both geared to and increasingly influenced by the nations young. This episode explores how America travelled from partying at the beach with Frankie and Annette to dropping acid in the Haight.
Episode 9 – ’68 A Monumental Year: 1968 4th November at 10pm
The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the democratic convention in Chicago, the candidacy of George Wallace and the election of President Richard Nixon are just some of the events portrayed in one of the most dramatic years in American History.
Episode 10 – A Long March to Freedom:1960-1968 11th November at 9pm – 2 hour special
The moral mission of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s is re-examined in this episode by eyewitnesses at the forefront of history. Describing their experiences during the Movement are SNCC co-founders and former student activists Diane Nash, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton. Rev. James Lawson, Rev. C.T. Vivian, and Bob Moses also discuss first-hand accounts of the lunch counter sit-ins, Freedom Rides, the state university integration efforts, and more, all led by the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham.