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.