The Ascent of Money
Buddy, can you spare a dime? How about 100 billion? In The Ascent of Money
, visionary historian Niall Ferguson led viewers on a global trek through the history of money. As the world struggled to find its footing after the financial meltdown, Ferguson explored how the system of global finance evolved over the centuries, how money has shaped the course of human affairs, and how the mechanics of this economic system work to create seemingly unlimited wealth -- or catastrophic loss.
Dutch New York
In September, THIRTEEN went Dutch. On the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's historic voyage, Dutch New York
traced the origins of New Amsterdam from Hudson's arrival in 1609 through the rule of Peter Stuyvesant to the "Act of Surrender" to England in 1664. On a walking tour through time, historian Barry Lewis led viewers around the city to reveal how Dutch ideals in politics, religion and trade shaped what would become one of the most influential and thriving cities in the New World.
Ken Burns' The National Parks: America's Best Idea
As we shaped the parks . . . the parks shaped us. In his latest epic - The National Parks: America's Best Idea
- legendary documentarian Ken Burns traveled across the nation and through time to explore the history and significance of America's natural wonders. It was a television event of staggering beauty whose ultimate goal seemed nothing short of compelling Americans to turn off their televisions and go discover these national treasures for themselves.
Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America
Did you hear the one about the comedian who taught history? Melding performance, biography and interviews with over 90 comedians, writers, producers, and historians (including Carol Burnett, pictured), Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America
showcased the most hilarious men, women, and moments in American entertainment and why they made us laugh. Hosted by Billy Crystal, the landmark six-hour series plumbed the currents of American comedy throughout a century of social and political change.
The Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States . . ." In January, a young Senator from Illinois became the first African-American to rise to the Oval Office. The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
brought its in-depth coverage to the event, with expert commentary that went beyond the pomp and circumstance to explore the true significance of this historic moment.
Great Performances: Gustavo Dudamel and The LA Philharmonic
When the Dude waves his wand, magic things happen. After wowing audiences with his American television debut on Great Performances
in 2008, Gustavo Dudamel returned in October 2009 in his inaugural concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The most dynamic young conductor to arrive on the classical music scene since the legendary Leonard Bernstein, the 28-year-old virtuoso set the Disney Concert Hall alight with his infectious energy and exceptional artistry - and public television viewers enjoyed it all from "front row center."
Looking for Lincoln
Two centuries later a certain rail-splitter's life and legend captures the modern American imagination. In Looking for Lincoln
, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. went in search of the man widely considered one of our best and most enigmatic presidents. Enlisting a cadre of Lincoln scholars, relic hunters, and re-enactors the documentary delved into the mystique of America's 16th president and the many controversies surrounding his legacy -- race, equality, religion, politics, and depression.
How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin
Back in the U.S.S.R. On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, How The Beatles Rocked the Kremlin
brought a unique twist to the historical documentary, revealing how a clandestine Beatlemania spread like wildfire through the Soviet Union, causing musical fissures in the bedrock of the repressive regime behind the Iron Curtain. A special online companion contest at Thirteen.org drew thousands of eloquent nominations for the most influential musical artist in history.
Blueprint America: Road to the Future
You can get there from here. As Americans turn their attention to the nation's decaying and neglected infrastructure, Blueprint America
has been harnessing the power of public broadcasting's programs, websites and outreach to spotlight an issue that has been sorely under-reported by the traditional media. From America's living rooms to the halls of Congress, this unique, ongoing multi-platform project has launched a national conversation about our infrastructure crisis, one of our nation's greatest challenges, and how to go forward into the future.
"What will not change is our commitment to serious journalism." Jim Lehrer's promise to uphold the 35-year tradition of quality headlined the announcement that American television's most trusted source of news was getting a makeover for the digital age. With its new name -- PBS NewsHour
-- the esteemed nightly newscast introduced a two-anchor format, more original reporting and interviews, and a full merger with the Online PBS NewsHour to make content available whenever, wherever and however audiences choose to look for it.
American Masters: Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound
A musical force of nature. In the first comprehensive documentary to chronicle the private life and public career of Joan Baez, American Masters
examined her history as a recording artist and performer as well as her remarkable journey as the conscience of a generation. Baez's power as a musician, her strength as a performer and the influence she has brought to bear on successive generations of artists all came together in the searing portrait, Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound.
Worldfocus's First Anniversary
Diverse voices for a diverse world. As it launched its second season on public television, public television's own international newscast, Worldfocus
, welcomed veteran journalist Daljit Dhaliwal to the anchor chair. With its global network of partners, expert analysis, and a dynamic website, Worldfocus
continues to bring Americans an in-depth understanding of the events and issues shaping the world today.
Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary
This moment is brought to you by the number 40. After more than 21 million minutes aired and 122 Emmy Awards, Sesame Street
, America's most beloved -- and furriest -- educational series for children, continues to delight young minds and earn the trust of parents. Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, and all the rest put on their party hats - and public television viewers of all ages joined in the celebration of the one and only street where you can always count on a Sunny Day.
Share Your Favorite Programs from 2009
It's been an unforgettable year -- for our community, for America, and for THIRTEEN. We shared our favorite programs of the year. Now you tell us -- what was your favorite program on THIRTEEN in 2009? Share using the comments section below.