September 7, 2009 |
The term "crime of the century" has been worn thin by overuse, but the slaughter of seven people in two days by members of the Manson family in August 1969 still requires its hyperbolic ring. The Tate-LaBianca murders scared Los Angeles witless and horrified an already deeply unsettled nation. Forty years later, Charles Manson remains our homegrown image of Satan and, as the recent denial of the dying Susan Atkins' request for early release proves, the senselessly brutal deaths, particularly that of the pregnant Sharon Tate, are a still vivid American nightmare.
March 28, 2009 |
Paleontologist Jorn Hurum used to have nightmares about the Loch Ness monster -- until he found something bigger. "Predator X," a two-hour special on History (8 p.m. Sunday), documents Hurum's uncovering of an extinct marine reptile that patrolled our oceans 150 million years ago. It was 50 feet long, weighed 45 tons and possessed a 33,000-pound bite.
August 4, 2008 |
With the Olympic Games in Beijing about to commence, it's China time on television, with channels unleashing their stories of China past, present and future. The winner of the gold medal now seems apparent: the History Channel docudrama "China's First Emperor," a lavish and fascinating look at the rise and fall of Qin Shi Huangdi, the brilliant, ruthless ruler who led a 10-year war to unify China two centuries before Christ. Once the battlefield struggles were won, the real battles began.
May 19, 2008 |
Remember when fishing was television of last resort, revered by dedicated anglers but glimpsed only occasionally by others, perhaps as a joke or during a visit to Grandpa's? These days, fishing is officially hot: Discovery Channel recently announced that men ages 18 to 49 ranked "The Deadliest Catch" No. 3 among all prime-time television on Tuesday night, beating out "Dancing With the Stars" and "Shark" in the demographic. (How hilarious is it that a show called "Deadliest Catch" beat out a show called "Shark"?
March 21, 2008 |
The History Channel is now history. Make that History. The cable network quietly dropped "the" and "channel" from its name recently, claiming History for itself. "Our brand is, in the media landscape, synonymous with the genre of history so I don't think it's presumptuous of us to call ourselves History," said Nancy Dubuc, the network's executive vice president. That's how many viewers already refer to it, she said. "Channel" is a drag on efforts to establish the brand in other media, like on the Internet.
December 9, 2007 |
Millennial, tumultuous, divisive, deadly, exhilarating and exhausting, 1968 unfolded with a force, viciousness and sense of immanence incredible in these days of irony and inertia, when the upraised fist has been replaced by the desultory shrug, and the end of the world is taken as pretty much a fait accompli. Tom Brokaw, who has followed his book on "The Greatest Generation" with "Boom!
October 20, 2007 |
It's been a tough couple of weeks for porn. On Oct. 12, two Arizona men were sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for generating pornographic e-mail spam, a venture in which they'd sent out millions of e-mails and earned more than a million dollars. That's justice well served, but the same day, a jury awarded a Nashville woman $85,000 in damages after her children were inadvertently exposed to hard-core pornography in a California motel room.
May 19, 2007 |
In the middle of "Act of Honor," a History Channel documentary on the bravery of Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta, a fellow Marine remembers seeing Peralta during the battle for Fallouja in late 2004. "He still had that wild look in his eye -- fresh out of a fight," says Sgt. Catcher Cuts the Rope, a Native American. "But he wasn't scared or anything like that."
February 12, 2007 |
Richard Nixon's personality, as revealed through a series of audiotapes, was as complex and secretive as his political agenda. Filmmaker David Taylor, in preparing a new History Channel documentary that airs at 8 p.m. Thursday, donned headphones to hear "hours and hours" of the recently released tapes, dating back to 1971, from the Oval Office and Camp David. "It allowed me to literally listen to Nixon in his own words," Taylor said. "He was a different person depending on who he was talking to."