×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CNN Lines Up Docuseries ‘The Sixties’ with Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman (Exclusive)

Debut of the nonfiction series to coincide with the anniversary of JFK's death

CNN is headed back in time with “The Sixties,” a 10-part documentary series from Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Mark Herzog.

Each episode will explore key moments of the 1960s, with archival newsreel footage, personal movies, and interviews with eyewitnesses to history. Historians including David McCullough, Robert Dallek and Robert Caro will lend their voices to the docuseries, along with veteran journos Dan Rather and Robert MacNeil.

Hanks is exec producing alongside Goetzman through their shingle Playtone, and Herzog through Herzog & Company.

10-part series will kick off in November with a special 90-minute episode titled “The Assassination of JFK (1963),” coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the murder of President John F. Kennedy. Docuseries will then return to CNN’s lineup in April, with segs focused on music, tech advancements, drugs and the “free love” movement.

The concept for “The Sixties” was initially conceived by CNN prez Jeff Zucker, who was impressed by Herzog-produced telepic “Killing Lincoln” on Nat Geo, according to Vinnie Malhotra, senior veep of development and acquisitions for CNN.

In casual conversations about the forthcoming anniversary of JFK’s assassination, The Beatles, and the civil rights movement, Malhotra recalled, “Jeff finally said, ‘Why wouldn’t we look at this more as a series and examine the ripple effects and how they’ve affected society today?'”

CNN isn’t the first to get into the revisited decade game in cable, as VH1’s quirky “I Love The…” series rolled out in 2002 and examined the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. Nat Geo recently unveiled its effort in the nostalgia space with “The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us,” and already has a followup planned with “The ’90s: The Last Great Decade.”

With its panel of esteemed historians and journalists, however, CNN aims to bring a more news-conscious edge to its visitation of the 1960s.

“What we really want to do is reintroduce the story and the impact of that decade, and make it relevant to the audience that has great familiarity with it, while also appealing to a younger generation,” Malhotra stated. “It goes beyond just a history lesson. There are heavy subjects we’ll take on, but we were adamant to look at the ’60s in terms of its influence on pop culture and America, as well.”

Zucker added, “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.”

“The Sixties” will be a part of CNN’s primetime lineup next year, with Malhotra noting, “We’re looking at it as a major television event.”

More TV

  • '9-1-1' Billboard Vandalized With Anti-Beto O'Rourke

    '9-1-1' Billboard Vandalized With Anti-Beto O'Rourke Message

    A billboard for the Fox procedural “9-1-1” on Pico Blvd., adjacent to the studio lot, has been vandalized with an anti-Beto O’Rourke message, Variety has learned. The imagery was put up by a politically conservative man who goes by ‘Sabo.’ The promotional art for the series featured on the billboars shows a car wreck sticking out [...]

  • Ryan Phillippe

    Ryan Phillippe to Lead CBS Pilot 'Alive'

    Ryan Phillippe has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming CBS pilot, “Alive,” Variety has learned. The project was formerly called “Frankenstein.” The “Cruel Intentions” star will play Mark Escher, a San Francisco police investigator who was presumed dead after an attack and destructive fire at his home. Six months later, he shockingly reappears [...]

  • Anya Taylor-Joy

    Anya Taylor-Joy to Star in 'The Queen's Gambit' Limited Series at Netflix

    Netflix has put out an order for a new limited series, “The Queen’s Gambit,” starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Variety has learned. Based on Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel of the same name, the six-episode show will be set during the Cold War era and will follow orphan chess prodigy Beth Harmon (Taylor-Joy) from the age of eight to [...]

  • Lucy Liu

    Lucy Liu's 'Unsung Heroes' in Development at ABC Studios International

    ABC Studios International has put anthology series “Unsung Heroes,” executive produced by Lucy Liu and Ruthanne Secunda, into development. The scripted show will tell the “untold stories of incredible women who overcame adversity to become pioneers of their time,” showcasing highly accomplished women who were not acknowledged for their achievements during their time. The first [...]

  • stream march madness 2019 online free

    NCAA Tournament: How to Stream March Madness Online

    The rankings are in, and the 68-team field is set. March Madness is officially upon us, and if you want to catch the action from home, from the office, or on-the-go, there are a couple ways to stream March Madness online for free. The first game kicks off today, and the tournament runs until April [...]

  • High Maintenance Renewed Season 2

    HBO Renews 'High Maintenance' for Fourth Season

    Half-hour pot comedy “High Maintenance,” created by Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, has been renewed for a fourth season, announced HBO. Starring Sinclair, the premium cable comedy follows him as the Guy, a nameless drug dealer in Brooklyn whose business allows viewers a look into a cross-section of New Yorkers and their stories. HBO describes [...]

  • David Simon Rips Hollywood Agencies Over

    David Simon Rips Hollywood Agencies Over Packaging: 'It Is Theft. It Is Fraud'

    David Simon is urging the Writers Guild of America to file a lawsuit against the four biggest Hollywood talent agencies and the Association of Talent Agents over the practice of packaging. “I’m for filing a civil suit against the ATA and the Big Four for an overt and organized breach of fiduciary duty in which [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content