American Experience is a television program airing on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television stations in the United States. The program airs documentaries, many of which have won awards, about important or interesting events and people in American history.
The series premiered on October 4, 1988 and was originally titled The American Experience, but the article "The" was dropped during a later rebrand and image update. The show has had a presence on the Internet since 1995, and more than 100 American Experience programs are accompanied by their own internet websites, which have more background information on the subjects covered as well as teachers' guides and educational companion materials. The show is produced primarily by WGBH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts, though occasionally in the early seasons of the show, it was co-produced by other PBS stations such as WNET (Channel 13) in New York City.
Some programs now considered part of the American Experience collection were produced prior to the creation of the series. Vietnam: A Television History was one of them, airing originally in 1983 after taking six years to assemble. Also, in 2006, American Experience rebroadcast Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, the first half of the award-winning 1986 documentary series about the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.