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American Experience

American Experience

PBS 1988

Since 1988, PBS has broadcast a series that focuses on the history of the United States and what has made it unique. Called The American Experience (now shortened to simply American Experience), the program examines the people, events, technology, and natural resources that have shaped the country. Hosted by David McCullough until 2002 and narrated by a number of well-known personalities - The American Experience uses historians and authors, period images and film, music, dramatic re-enactments, and contemporary context to set the stage for its topics.The series continues to this day with a variable number of installments produced each year. Episodes are generally 60 minutes in length, but some longer episodes and multi-part series have also been produced. The show airs at different days and times on local PBS stations.Though The American Experience has used many films from independent film makers and has been assisted by various PBS stations throughout the country, it has always been spearheaded by WGBH in Boston.

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The 10 Worst Episodes of American Experience

#1 - Citizen King

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Season 16 - Episode 4

Contemporaries of Martin Luther King reflect on the later years of his life.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#2 - America's War on Poverty

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Season 7 - Episode 12

The programs devised to help the American underclass in the 1960s and their successes and failures.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#3 - Eyes on the Prize II (1 & 2): The Time Has Come/Two Societies

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Season 20 - Episode 3

Special Sunday re-broadcasts of Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads, a 1990 sequel to the original series produced by Blackside, Inc.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#4 - D-Day Remembered

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Season 6 - Episode 7

Archival footage and the voices of people who participated provide a unique perspective on the World War II Allied invasion of Normandy.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#5 - George Washington: The Man Who Wouldn't Be King

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Season 5 - Episode 5

The life and achievements of Washington - as a British colonist, American general, and first President of the United States.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#6 - The Bombing of Germany

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Season 22 - Episode 3

This film examines the defining moments of the offensive that led the U.S. across a moral divide. Weaving interviews with WWII pilots and historians with stunning archival footage of the bombing and its aftermath, the program is a haunting reminder of the dilemma imposed by war’s civilian casualties.

The episode was rated #6 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#7 - FDR: The Grandest Job in the World/The Juggler

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Season 7 - Episode 2

"FDR" concludes with a review of his Presidency, including his "New Deal" policies; and his wartime alliances with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. Narrated by David McCullough.

The episode was rated #7 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#8 - The Massie Affair

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Season 17 - Episode 8

Racial anger erupts in Hawaii after five non-White men are wrongly accused of raping a Navy wife in the early 1930s.

The episode was rated #8 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#9 - Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided (Parts 5–6)

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Season 13 - Episode 9

In 1863, when opposition to the Civil War spread among Northerners: some see the high level of casualties as unacceptable, while others resent fighting to free black slaves. Abraham Lincoln, understandably, becomes anxious. Mary Todd Lincoln, meanwhile, copes by spending money compulsively, and falls into debt as a result. The final 16 months of the Civil War are charted, including the battle at Gettysburg and Abraham Lincoln's battlefield dedication and, just days after the South's surrender at Appomattox, his assassination. Included: Abraham's dedication to bringing the South into the Union; Mary's private wish for revenge.

The episode was rated #9 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#10 - Murder of the Century

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Season 8 - Episode 1

The nation is fascinated by the high-profile murder of a famous architect, apparently because of jealousy over a popular female stage performer.

The episode was rated #10 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#11 - Citizen King
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Season 16 - Episode 4

Contemporaries of Martin Luther King reflect on the later years of his life.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#12 - Murder of the Century
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Season 8 - Episode 1

The nation is fascinated by the high-profile murder of a famous architect, apparently because of jealousy over a popular female stage performer.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#13 - The Bombing of Germany
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Season 22 - Episode 3

This film examines the defining moments of the offensive that led the U.S. across a moral divide. Weaving interviews with WWII pilots and historians with stunning archival footage of the bombing and its aftermath, the program is a haunting reminder of the dilemma imposed by war’s civilian casualties.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#14 - America's War on Poverty
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Season 7 - Episode 12

The programs devised to help the American underclass in the 1960s and their successes and failures.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#15 - FDR: The Grandest Job in the World/The Juggler
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Season 7 - Episode 2

"FDR" concludes with a review of his Presidency, including his "New Deal" policies; and his wartime alliances with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. Narrated by David McCullough.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#16 - Eyes on the Prize II (1 & 2): The Time Has Come/Two Societies
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Season 20 - Episode 3

Special Sunday re-broadcasts of Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads, a 1990 sequel to the original series produced by Blackside, Inc.

The episode was rated #6 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#17 - Ballad of a Mountain Man
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Season 2 - Episode 10

Story of a folklore historian who sought to preserve the traditional music of the Appalachians for posterity.

The episode was rated #7 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#18 - The Massie Affair
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Season 17 - Episode 8

Racial anger erupts in Hawaii after five non-White men are wrongly accused of raping a Navy wife in the early 1930s.

The episode was rated #8 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#19 - Secrets of a Master Builder
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Season 13 - Episode 3

The contributions of James B. Eads in understanding and altering the great Mississippi River during the second half of the 19th century.

The episode was rated #9 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

#20 - The Man Behind Hitler
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Season 18 - Episode 13

Documentary on Joseph Goebbels and the propaganda behind the success of the Nazi regime - told mainly though his own diaries and speeches.

The episode was rated #10 Worst episode of American Experience from 0 votes.

Last updated: oct 09, 2020

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