PBS SoCal to Broadcast and Stream The Vietnam War – A Landmark Documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

Local Digital Content and Events will Examine the War’s Impact on Southern California

LOS ANGELES, September 13, 2017 – PBS SoCal KOCE, the home to PBS for Greater Los Angeles and Southern California, will air and stream the The Vietnam War, a new 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, beginning Sunday, September 17 at 8:00 p.m. PBS SoCal will also host community events to support open discussion and additional exploration about the film and the war, and will share original digital content that tells the story of the Vietnam War through the words of locals who lived it.

The Vietnam War has had a unique impact on Southern California as we are home to both the largest veteran population in the country and the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam,” said Andrew Russell, President and CEO, PBS SoCal. “PBS SoCal believes The Vietnam War film will serve as a powerful catalyst to engage the people in our region to dialogue about the diverse perspectives of Californians who lived during this era.”

About The Vietnam War

Ten years in the making, the documentary series brings the war and the chaotic period it encompassed to life through an historical conversation featuring testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

The film includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

The documentary shares the painful and unresolved tragedy that was the Vietnam War with the hope that a national conversation about what happened during the war will help heal the uncomfortable human truths 40 years later.

Air Dates

The first five episodes of The Vietnam War film series will air on PBS SoCal 1 (Ch 50.1) starting Sunday, September 17 through Thursday, September 21 at 8:00 p.m. On September 17, concurrent with the broadcast premiere, the first five episodes of The Vietnam War will be available for streaming on PBSSoCal.org, as well as on the PBS app via streaming devices.

The final five episodes will air the following week, Sunday, September 24 through Thursday, September 28 at 8:00 p.m. with a repeat immediately following; episodes 6-10 will be made available for streaming on Sept. 24. Starting on Tuesday October 3, the film series will re-air as a weekly series through November 28, at 9 p.m.

Local Content, Events

PBS SoCal will also help add a Southern California voice to the national conversation sparked by the film by telling the stories of Southern California residents who lived through the Vietnam War and sharing them on pbsssocal.org/vietnam, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, two events will further explore specific aspects of the war: the experiences of veterans, and the music of the Vietnam War era.

  • Friday, October 6 – Listen Live: Stories of the Vietnam War

At this event, storytellers from local veterans groups will share their memories of the time, and participants will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with each other to better understand different perspectives on the war. Participants will witness a Medevac Huey helicopter from the Vietnam War that is part of Take Me Home Huey, a mixed-media exhibition and documentary film. The Huey helicopter on display was shot down during the Vietnam War and was resurrected into a colorful sculpture with a mission to help veterans to heal and recover from Post-Traumatic-Stress.  Assistance League Playhouse, 7:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, October 25 – Beyond the Groove: The Vietnam War Through Music

The evening will explore the Vietnam War through music. As songs have a unique way of recalling specific emotions and moments, this event will connect the iconic music of the 60s and 70s to personal, local stories about The Vietnam War. The night will include live musical performances, local storytellers, and selections from the film. The Grammy Museum, 7:30 p.m.


PBS SoCal KOCE is the home to PBS for Greater Los Angeles and Southern California. We deliver the full schedule of PBS programs plus content that is for, about and by the people of Southern California. Our content is available free through four broadcast channels, at pbssocal.org, on our mobile apps, and via connected TV services. And we provide the community with early education resources and cultural and educational experiences through partnerships, events and grassroots outreach. PBS SoCal has offices in Century City, Costa Mesa, and Los Angeles. Connect with us at pbssocal.org, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Media Contact:

Tracy Smith