CNN has boarded “The Sixties.” The news network is joining executive producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman of Playtone and Mark Herzog of Herzog & Company (HCO) to co-produce a 10-part documentary series taking a look at the turbulent, transformative era.
“From protests to war, to human rights, the Beatles, innovative technologies, and politics, the 1960s were an extraordinary era of consequential cultural and global change,” CNN president Jeff Zucker said in the announcement. “We are so pleased to partner with Tom, Gary, and HCO to bring this very special series to our audience. Projects like this are emblematic of exactly the type of programming that we need more of, signifying a new direction and expanded sensibility at CNN.”
That expanded sensibility has included a move from strict news coverage to weekend series like “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” and “Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man” and a doc department that’s so far programmed fare like “Our Nixon” and that has “Blackfish” coming up. This project sounds more in the realm of something PBS might air — and PBS actually had a 2005 doc called “The Sixties – The Years That Shaped a Generation,” though CNN’s is more expansive.
“The Sixties” will launch with a 90-minute special episode, “The Assassination of JFK (1963),” timed to the 50th anniversary of the assassination in November 2013, explore the key conclusions of the controversial Warren Commission and the impact the assassination had on the nation and American politics. The series will resume in April 2014 with episodes about the era’s technology, drugs, free love and rock and roll, comprised of archival footage, home movies and interviews with historians and people like Dan Rather, Robert MacNeil and others.