Starts Sunday 31 August, 8.30pm continues Tuesday, 2 September, 7.30pm on SBS ONE
Coming to SBS ONE, The Sixties is an Emmy® nominated ten-part documentary series that explores the decade that arguably changed the world forever.
Produced by multiple Emmy® award-winning producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman and Emmy® award-winning producer Mark Herzog, The Sixties is a provocative documentary series that explores the most transformative years of the modern era in America and beyond, examining how and why this decade became a period of such consequence and fascination.
From the Cold War to the war in Vietnam, to the struggles for equality in America’s courtrooms and streets, the assassinations of JFK, MLK, Malcolm X, and RFK, the new politics, music, fashion, and technology of the 1960s reflected a period of monumental social and political change.
Through rarely seen archival footage, personal movies, interviews with eyewitnesses and expert commentary from a range of leading historians including David McCullough, Robert Dallek, and Robert Caro and prominent participants including Smokey Robinson,Carol Burnett, The Smothers Brothers, journalist Morley Safer, and political activist Tom Hayden; the series will reveal all of the key moments that helped to shape this pivotal decade.
The Assassination of JFK (1963 -1969)
Airs: Sunday 31 August, 8.30pm on SBS ONE
Max Holland, Robert Dallek, Mark Lane, Robert Caro, Alexandra Zapruder, Vincent Bugliosi, members of the Warren Commission staff, and others trace the timeline of events leading up to that November day in Dallas, and try to explain why the investigations, media coverage, and personalities associated with the tragedy remain so compelling and controversial.
The British Invasion (1964 - 1967)
Airs: Tuesday 2 September, 7.30pm on SBS ONE
“The lads from Liverpool” led a musical cultural exchange that impacted everything from fashion to sexual mores to politics. Graham Nash, Smokey Robinson, Dave Clark, Michelle Phillips, and Mickey Dolenz recall what it was like to make the music that mirrored the souls of the young and the restless. Jann Wenner, Nelson George, David Wild, Tom Hanks, and Mikal Gilmore describe how The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Dave Clark Five, The Animals, The Who, and others reinterpreted and reintroduced American music to Americans – and how the song sheets of the Boomers did so much more than provide a soundtrack for the generation of change.
A Long March to Freedom (1960 - 1968)
Airs: Sunday 7 September, 8.30pm on SBS ONE
Selma, Birmingham, and the March on Washington are reexamined by eyewitnesses to history. Diane Nash, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Bob Moses, Diane McWhorter, Taylor Branch, David Garrow, and Isabel Wilkerson give critical context to the lunch counter sit-ins, Freedom Rides, Freedom Summer, integration, and the Children’s Crusade for the moral mission of the Civil Rights Movement.
The World on the Brink (1960 - 1963)
Airs: Tuesday 9 September, 7.30pm on SBS ONE
The heady days of Camelot were clouded by the political and military tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Marvin Kalb, Richard Reeves, Robert Dallek, Sergei Khrushchev and more explain how close the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis brought us all to World War III – and how two nuclear superpowers moved from near confrontation to the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The War in Vietnam (1961 - 1968)
Airs: Tuesday 16 September, 7.30pm on SBS ONE
From just several hundred advisors at the start of the decade, to more than 550,000 American troops by the end of it, the escalation of the war in Vietnam – and the fighting and the dying – brought social and political polarization back home. It was also televised – and, the more Americans saw of the war, the more unpopular the conflict became. Tim O’Brien, Frederik Logeval, Karl Marlantes, Neil Sheehan, Andrew Bacevich, George Herring, Tom Hayden, and Philip Caputo discuss the Gulf of Tonkin, and LBJ, for this most complex of American stories.
Television Comes of Age (1960 - 1969)
Airs: Tuesday 23 September, 7.30pm on SBS ONE
Americans gathered around “the tube,” to be informed and entertained by the news, The Twilight Zone, The Fugitive, I Dream of Jeannie, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, and more. Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Dick and Tom Smothers, Carol Burnett, Dick Cavett, Diahann Carroll, Carl Reiner, Vince Gilligan, Petula Clark and others describe how the ground-breaking, rule-breaking, norm-bending dramas, historical events, and sitcoms reflected and influenced who we were.
The Space Race (1960 - 1969)
Airs: Tuesday 30 September, 7.30pm on SBS ONE
Astronaut and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, astronauts Mike Massimino and Dave Scott, and Walter Issacson, Douglas Brinkley, Tom Wolfe, Andy Chaikin, and Tom Hanks describe the greatest adventure story of all time. The “giant leap” pushed the boundaries of exploration to an unprecedented frontier, inspiring inventions and imaginations around the world for generations.
The Times, They are A-Changin’ (1960 - 1969)
Airs: Tuesday 7 October, 7.30pm on SBS ONE
Gloria Steinem, Robert Kennedy, Jr., former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, Cecile Richards, Marlo Thomas, Douglas Brinkley, and Gail Collins discuss how feminism, civil rights, environmentalism, conservatism, and the gay rights movements were fueled by deep yearnings for freedom by a generation unwilling to wait.
Airs: Tuesday 14 October, 7.30pm on SBS ONE
Tom Hayden, Gloria Steinem, Lance Morrow, Evan Thomas, Dan Rather, Morley Safer, Tim Naftali, and Mark Kurlansky discuss how one of the most dramatic years in American history was punctuated by a Soviet incursion into Czechoslovakia, devastating assassinations, turning points in the wars in Southeast Asia, a decisive and televised end to the Johnson Administration, violence at the Democratic National Convention, and the election of President Nixon.
Sex, Drugs, and Rock N’ Roll (1960 - 1969)
Airs: Tuesday 21 October, 7.30pm on SBS ONE
American culture changed fundamentally from the beginning to the end of the 1960s as the tastes, morals, and politics of the Baby Boomer generation came to define America. Jann Wenner, Grace Slick, David Wild, Leonard Steinhorn, Tom Wolfe, Douglas Brinkley, Tom Hanks, and more describe how beatniks, Haight-Ashbury, Andy Warhol, Timothy Leary, hippies, and Hell’s Angels became counter-cultural touchstones that still resonate today.