How to watch Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s The Vietnam War documentary

Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division gather near Ho Chi Minh City January 1968.
(National Archives and Records Administration)

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s The Vietnam War premieres Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. The series took ten years to make and incorporates dozens of interviews, archival footage, audio recordings, iconic photographs and original music from Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Yo-Yo Ma.

At 18 hours, the ten-part documentary isn’t a casual stroll through history. Fortunately, you’ll have ample opportunities and means to watch the series.

Ways to watch

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Info The first five parts air Sunday (9/17) through Thursday (9/21) starting at 8 p.m. on Sept. 17 on PBS SoCal. Parts six through ten air the same the days the following week starting Sept. 25. You can stream the episodes through PBS SoCal and the PBS app after the series debut. Streaming services will also have the documentary available for viewing on your favorite device (including smartphone, tablet or computer browser) for $49.99. Support PBS SoCal and purchase it here. The series is also available on DVD for $74.99 and Blu-ray for $99.99 through PBS’s online store. Orders start shipping on Sept. 19.
Link TV air times PBS SoCal, PBS app, Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play DVD, Blu-ray
Pro Did we mention it’s free? TV viewers get access to the series first. Watch when you want, where you want. On the PBS app, you can stream the film as soon as it airs on the East Coast. You’ll get all episodes at once. BONUS: If you buy from PBS.org you’ll also get a free journal.
Con You’re beholden to a schedule, but there’s always DVR! On some services, you can’t stream each episode until the day after it airs on TV. Aside from the cost, discs won’t start shipping until two days after the TV debut.
Tip Missed an episode? The first five parts air back-to-back Sept. 24. Parts six to ten air Oct. 1. You can stream the film for free for a limited time on PBS SoCal after the series debut. PBS SoCal Passport members can stream all ten parts starting Sept. 17. Become a PBS SoCal member right now to get the DVD.

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