Since 1983, FRONTLINE has served as PBS's flagship public affairs series.
Hailed upon its debut as "the last best hope for broadcast documentaries,"
FRONTLINE's stature over 20 seasons is reaffirmed each week through
incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human
When FRONTLINE was born, however, the prospects for television news
documentaries looked grim. Pressure was on the network news departments to
become profitable, and the spirit of outspoken journalistic inquiry established
by programs like Edward R. Murrow's "See It Now" and "Harvest of Shame" had
given way to entertainment values and feature-filled magazine shows.
Therefore, it fell to public television to pick up the torch of public affairs
and continue this well-established broadcast news tradition.
Since its inception, FRONTLINE has never shied away from tough, controversial
issues or complex stories. In an age of anchor celebrities and snappy sound
bites, FRONTLINE remains committed to providing a primetime venue for engaging
documentaries that fully explore and illuminate the critical issues of our
times. FRONTLINE remains the only regularly scheduled long-form public-affairs
documentary series on American television, producing more hours of documentary
programming than all the commercial networks combined.
From producer Ofra Bikel's seven-year investigation of the Little Rascals
sexual abuse case to Martin Smith and Lowell Bergman's sweeping chronicle of
America's drug wars; from Helen Whitney's probing biography of Pope John Paul
II to Barak Goodman and Rachel Dretzin's ""Lost Children of Rockdale County," FRONTLINE gives top-notch journalists the time needed to thoroughly research a
story and the time on-air to tell their story in a compelling way.
Credible, thoughtful reporting combined with powerful narrative -- a good
story, well-told. That is the heart of FRONTLINE's commitment to its viewers.