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Episode 1: The Country and the City (1609-1825)

The first two hours of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM chronicle New York's beginnings -- from its earliest days as a Dutch trading post to the 17th century construction of the Erie Canal, which made New York City a vital conduit to the mainland of a growing America.

Program Description
The series begins by identifying the key themes that shaped New York's history: commerce and capitalism, diversity and democracy, transformation and creativity. The episode charts the development of the city founded by the Dutch as a purely commercial enterprise, first as New Amsterdam, a freewheeling enclave of trade and opportunity; then as the British New York, a colony fueled by slavery which was bestowed as a birthday gift upon the Duke of York by his brother, King Charles; soon after as a strategically pivotal locale in the American Revolution; and ultimately as the city of New York: the nation's first capital and the place destined to define urban life in America -- and American ideals.

On-Screen Commentators
Thomas Bender, historian
Carol Berkin, historian
Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor
Caleb Carr, writer
E. L. Doctorow, writer
Brendan Gill, writer
Rudolph Giuliani, mayor
John Steele Gordon, writer
Nancy Groce, folklorist
Kenneth T. Jackson, historian
Margo Jefferson, writer
Fran Lebowitz, writer
Phillip Lopate, writer
David McCullough, historian
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, senator
Peter Quinn, writer
Luc Sante, writer
Robert A. M. Stern, architect
Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, historian
Mike Wallace, historian
Craig Steven Wilder, historian

Dramatic Voices (in order of appearance)
E. L. Doctorow
Brendan Gill
Kenneth T. Jackson
Margo Jefferson
Robert A.M. Stern
Fran Lebowitz
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Mike Wallace
Craig Steven Wilder
Caleb Carr
Peter Quinn
John Steele Gordon
Carol Berkin
Nancy Groce
Rev. Calvin O. Butts III
Gretchen Sullivan Sorin
David McCullough
Thomas Bender
Phillip Lopate
Luc Sante


Episode 2: Order and Disorder (1825-1865)

This episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM details New York's enormous growth as a booming commercial center and multi-ethnic port, and the mounting tensions that set the stage for the nation's bloodiest riot.

Program Description
Already established as America's premier port, New York City swelled into the nation's greatest industrial metropolis as a massive wave of German and Irish immigration turned the city into one of the world's most complex urban environments, bringing with it a host of new social problems. Episode Two reveals how the city's artists, innovators and leaders, from poet Walt Whitman to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (the designers of Central Park) grappled with the city's growing conflicts -- which culminated in the catastrophic Civil War Draft Riots of 1863.

On-Screen Commentators
Thomas Bender, historian
Marshall Berman, writer and urbanist
Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor
Daniel Czitrom, historian
Allen Ginsberg, poet
John Steele Gordon, writer
Pete Hamill, writer
Kenneth T. Jackson, historian
Fran Lebowitz, writer
Phillip Lopate, writer
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, senator
Peter Quinn, writer
Luc Sante, writer
Robert A. M. Stern, architect
Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, historian
John Kuo Wei Tchen, historian
Mike Wallace, historian
Craig Steven Wilder, historian

Dramatic Voices (in order of appearance)
David Margulies
Frances Sternhagen
Keith David
Spalding Gray
Philip Bosco
Eli Wallach
George Plimpton
Isaiah Sheffer
Frank McCourt
Frederic Kimball
Joe Morton
Robert Sean Leonard


Episode 3: Sunshine and Shadow
(1865-1898)

This episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM turns to the period when greed and wealth fueled an expanding metropolis, even as politics and poverty defined it.

Program Description
Now the spotlight shines on the growth, glamour and grief of New York during America's giddy postwar "Gilded Age." Exploring the incomparable wealth of the robber barons and the unabashed corruption of political leaders, such as Tammany Hall boss William M. Tweed, the episode examines the era when the expansion of wealth and poverty -- and the schism between them -- built to a crescendo. The program ends as the city itself dramatically expands its boundaries, annexing Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island into a single massive metropolis -- Greater New York.

On-Screen Commentators
Ruth J. Abram, founder, Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Robert A. Caro, writer
Caleb Carr, writer
Daniel Czitrom, historian
Brendan Gill, writer
John Steele Gordon, writer
Pete Hamill, writer
Kenneth T. Jackson, historian
Alfred Kazin, writer
Tony Kushner, playwright
Philip Lopate, writer
David McCullough, historian
Peter Quinn, writer
Luc Sante, writer
Robert A. M. Stern, architect
Jean Strouse, writer
John Kuo Wei Tchen, historian
Mike Wallace, historian
Craig Steven Wilder, historian

Dramatic Voices (in order of appearance)
George Plimpton
Eli Wallach
David Margulies
Philip Bosco
Frances Sternhagen
James Hazeldine
Robert Sean Leonard
Paul Giamatti
Frederic Kimball
Harris Yulin


Episode 4: The Power and the People (1898-1914)

This episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM follows New York into a new century in the wake of an extraordinary wave of immigration and the birth of the skyscraper.

Program Description
As New York spilled into the new century, the extraordinary interplay of capitalism, democracy and transformation surged to a climax. During a single generation, over 10 million immigrants arrived in New York. The city itself became an even more dramatic lure with the construction of the first subways and skyscrapers. And arising from the plight of New York's most exploited citizens came landmark legislation that would eventually transform the lives of all Americans.

On-Screen Commentators
Ruth J. Abram, founder, Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Marshall Berman, writer and urbanist
Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor
Robert A. Caro, writer
Caleb Carr, writer
Daniel Czitrom, historian
Joshua Freeman
Brendan Gill, writer
Rudolph Giuliani, mayor
John Steele Gordon, writer
Pete Hamill, journalist/writer
Kenneth T. Jackson, historian
Alfred Kazin, writer
David McCullough, historian
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, senator
Kathy Peiss, historian
Peter Quinn, writer
Martin Scorsese, filmmaker
Christine Stansell, historian
Robert A. M. Stern, architect/writer
Donald Trump, developer
Mike Wallace, historian

Dramatic Voices (in order of appearance)
Callie Thorne
Marlena Grzaslewicz
James Hazeldine
Ron Silver
Frances Sternhagen
Andrei Codrescu
Joan Allen
Eli Wallach
Robert Sean Leonard
Philip Bosco
Janeane Garofalo
Harris Yulin


Episode 5: Cosmopolis (1914-1931)

During the fifth episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM, the post-war economic boom, the rise of consumer culture, and the birth of new mass-media industries fuel the convergence of an incredible array of human and cultural energies, ending with the Crash of 1929 and the construction of the Empire State Building.

Program Description
In this short but dazzling period, New York became the focal point of an extraordinary array of human and cultural energies, reaching its highest levels of urban excitement and glamour. In just over a decade, New York gave birth to its signature skyscrapers, the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, and to artistic creations like F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY, George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," and to the jazz compositions of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Along the way, Harlem emerged as the undisputed capital of the African- American experience and the new media industries of advertising, radio networks, public relations, and magazines found their homes in midtown Manhattan.

On-Screen Commentators
Robert A. Caro, writer
Daniel Czitrom, historian
Ann Douglas, historian
Joshua Freeman, historian
Brendan Gill, writer
John Steele Gordon, writer
Kenneth T. Jackson, historian
Margo Jefferson, writer
Alfred Kazin, writer
David Levering Lewis, historian
Joel Silverman, construction consultant
Robert A.M. Stern, architect
John Kuo Wei Tchen, historian
Mike Wallace, historian
Carol Willis, historian

Dramatic Voices
Phillip Bosco
Keith David
Janeane Garofalo
Paul Giamatti
Josh Hamilton
James Hazeldine
Robert Sean Leonard
George Plimpton
Callie Thorne

Episode 6: The City of Tomorrow (1931-1940)

During the sixth episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM, the dramatic events that followed the Crash of '29 fuel the greatest economic depression in American history and plunge the city and the nation into economic gloom.

Program Description
In little more than ten years, immense new forces were unleashed in New York, from the Depression itself to the New Deal, which permanently altered the city and the country. Along the way, two of the most remarkable New Yorkers of all time came to the fore: Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and master builder Robert Moses, both of whom attempted to create, in the darkest of times, a bold new city of the future. The episode examines their careers in detail, as well as the immense public works that transformed the city in the '30s. Also explored are the demise of Mayor Jimmy Walker, the coming of the New Deal, the fate of Harlem during the Depression, and the increasingly complex impact of the automobile on the city.

On-Screen Commentators
Bella Abzug
Marshall Berman
Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts
Robert A. Caro
Brendan Gill
Allen Ginsberg
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
Frances Golden
John Steele Gordon
Spalding Gray
Cheryl Greenberg
Pete Hamill
Ada Louise Huxtable
Kenneth T. Jackson
Alfred Kazin
Mayor Ed Koch
Fran Lebowitz
David Levering Lewis
David McCullough
Frank Pellegrino
Anna Quindlen
Luc Sante
Robert A. M. Stern
Ray Suarez
Donald Trump
Mike Wallace
Craig Steven Wilder
Carol Willis

Dramatic Voices
Philip Bosco
Keith David
Paul Giamatti
Josh Hamilton
George Plimpton
Susan Sarandon
Callie Thorne
Eli Wallach

Episode 7: The City and the World (1945-Present)

During the seventh episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM, the turbulent and often harrowing years from 1945 to the present are explored. Emerging from the Depression and the Second World War as the most powerful metropolis on Earth, New York soon confronted urban woes of unprecedented proportions, and fought for its very existence.

Program Description
In exploring the social, economic and physical forces that swept through the city in the post-war period, Episode Seven examines the great African-American migration and Puerto Rican immigration of the '40s, '50s, and '60s; the beginnings of white flight and suburbanization; and the massive physical changes wrought by highways and urban renewal -- all of which were directed, to a surprising degree, by one man: Robert Moses. The film comes to a climax with the destruction of Penn Station, the battle over the Lower Manhattan Expressway, the social and fiscal crises of the '60s and '70s, and New York's miraculous revival in the last quarter-century.

On-Screen Commentators
Bella Abzug
Marshall Berman
Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts
Robert A. Caro
Joshua Freeman
Brendan Gill
Allen Ginsberg
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
Frances Golden
John Steele Gordon
Spalding Gray
Cheryl Greenberg
Pete Hamill
Ada Louise Huxtable
Kenneth T. Jackson
Alfred Kazin
Mayor Ed Koch
Fran Lebowitz
David Levering Lewis
David McCullough
Frank Pellegrino
Anna Quindlen
Luc Sante
Robert A. M. Stern
Ray Suarez
Donald Trump
Mike Wallace
Craig Steven Wilder
Carol Willis

Dramatic Voices
Philip Bosco
Keith David
Paul Giamatti
Josh Hamilton
George Plimpton
Susan Sarandon
Callie Thorne
Eli Wallach