“The Nineties” on CNN Launches with “The One About TV”

Last night, CNN aired the first episode of its new documentary series, “The Nineties,” which focused on the changes that occurred in television during that decade. Among the major themes: development and then abandonment of shows aimed at an African-American audience, fragmentation of the television audience, increased vulgarity and nudity, a growing acceptance of gay characters, the creation of reality shows, and the launch of some of the longest-running sit-coms in television history (most notably “Friends,” “Frasier,” and “Seinfeld”).

The remaining episodes will air over the next six weeks on Sunday evening from 9-11pm. Here’s the list of topics that will be covered each week:

  • Episode 2 : Clinton: The Comeback Kid (July 16) — Bill Clinton’s presidency began and ended with controversy; inability to reform America’s health care system; a sex scandal that led to impeachment.
  • Episode 3 : Clinton: Can We All Get Along? (July 23) — The Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings; racially fueled events like Al Sharpton and the Crown Height riots; Rodney King and the LA riots; O.J. Simpson and his murder trial.
  • Episode 4 : Clinton: New World Order (July 30) — The world changed due in part to major political events; including the Warsaw Pact, Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, the Persian Gulf War and Bill Clinton becoming president of the United States.
  • Episode 5 : Terrorism Hits Home (August 6) — 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Ruby Ridge, Waco siege, Oklahoma City bombing, The Unabomber, Columbine.
  • Episode 6 : The Information Age (August 13) — World Wide Web and the Internet, Windows 95, Browser wars, Dot-com bubble, Y2K problem.
  • Episode 7 : Isn’t it Ironic? (August 20) — Music of the 1990s.

Based on the episode list, it seems like that the interview that I did earlier this year will be included in the next-to-last episode (#6) on August 13. It will be interesting to see how much of the taped interview they actually use.

Regardless, it looks like this will be a fascinating review of the last decade of the 20th century.

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