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Frontline

Season 2008 2008

  • 2008-01-09T02:00:00Z on PBS
  • 60 mins
  • 19 hours, 8 mins (15 episodes)
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary, News

Since it began in 1983, Frontline has been airing public-affairs documentaries that explore a wide scope of the complex human experience. Frontline's goal is to extend the impact of the documentary beyond its initial broadcast by serving as a catalyst for change.

15 episodes

2008x01 The Medicated Child

  • Season Premiere

    2008-01-09T02:00:00Z — 56 mins

Ten years ago, stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall were the drugs of choice to treat behavioral issues in children. Today children as young as four years old are being prescribed more powerful anti-psychotic medications that are much less understood. The drugs can cause serious side effects and virtually nothing is known about their long-term impact. The increase in the use of anti-psychotics is directly tied to the rising incidence of one particular diagnosis -- bipolar disorder. Experts estimate that the number of kids with the diagnosis is now over a million and rising. As the debate over medicating children continues to grow, FRONTLINE producer Marcela Gaviria confronts psychiatrists, researchers, and big pharma about the risks and benefits of prescription drugs for troubled children in "The Medicated Child."

2008x02 Growing Up Online

  • 2008-01-23T02:00:00Z — 56 mins

MySpace. YouTube. Facebook. Friendster. Nearly every teen in America is on the Internet every day, socializing with friends and strangers alike, "trying on" identities, and building a virtual profile of themselves -- one that many kids insist is a more honest depiction of who they really are than the person they portray at home or in school. In "Growing Up Online," FRONTLINE peers inside the world of this cyber-savvy generation through the eyes of teens and their parents, who often find themselves on opposite sides of a new digital divide. A generation with a radically different notion of privacy and personal space, today's adolescents are grappling with issues their parents never had to deal with: from cyber bullying to instant "Internet fame," to the specter of online sexual predators. FRONTLINE producer Rachel Dretzin investigates the risks, realities, and misconceptions of teenage self-expression on the World Wide Web.

Five years ago, FRONTLINE and The New York Times joined forces to investigate death and dismemberment in one of America's most dangerous industries -- the iron pipe foundry business. One company stood out, the McWane Corporation. It had more health and safety violations than all of its competitors combined, and there were a number of environmental violations as well. In the five years since our original broadcast, federal prosecutors obtained indictments against and juries convicted the company in five cases in four states. Today McWane says it has made a dramatic turnaround and that worker safety and environmental protection are now high priorities. FRONTLINE revisits its original broadcast with correspondent Lowell Bergman who then reports on what has changed at McWane and whether the company has become a less dangerous business.

2008x04 Rules of Engagement

  • 2008-02-20T02:00:00Z — 56 mins

FRONTLINE cuts through the fog of war to reveal the untold story of what happened in Haditha, Iraq -- where twenty-four of the town's residents were killed by U.S. forces in what many in the media branded "Iraq's My Lai." With accusations swirling that the Marines massacred Iraqi civilians "in cold blood," the Haditha incident has led to one of the largest criminal cases against U.S. troops in the Iraq war. But real questions have emerged about what really happened that day, and who is responsible. Through television interviews with Iraqi survivors and Marines accused of war crimes, FRONTLINE investigates this incident and what it can tell us about the harrowing moral and legal landscape the U.S. military faces in Iraq.

2008x05 Bush's War, Part 1

  • 2008-03-24T01:00:00Z — 146 mins

9/11 and Al Qaeda, Afghanistan and Iraq, WMD and the Insurgency, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Fallujah, and the Surge. For six years FRONTLINE has been revealing those stories in meticulous detail, and the political dramas played out at the highest levels -- George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Osama Bin Laden. Now, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the full saga will unfold in a special four-hour broadcast over two consecutive nights on PBS, titled Bush's War. Drawing on one of the richest archives in broadcast journalism (FRONTLINE's 40+ films), veteran producer Michael Kirk (Cheney's Law; Endgame; The Lost Year in Iraq; The Dark Side; The Torture Question; Rumsfeld's War; The Man Who Knew; The War Behind Closed Doors; Gunning for Saddam, Target America) also delivers new reporting and fresh interviews. Bush's War will be the definitive documentary analysis of one of the most challenging periods in the nation's history. "Parts of this history have been told before -- the invasion of Afghanistan, torture, flawed intelligence and the invasion of Iraq, failures in the American occupation, and the saber-rattling over Iran," Kirk says, "But no one has laid out the entire narrative to reveal in one epic story, the scope and detail of how this war began and how it has been fought, both on the ground and deep inside the government."

2008x06 Bush's War, Part 2

  • 2008-03-25T01:00:00Z — 116 mins

9/11 and Al Qaeda, Afghanistan and Iraq, WMD and the Insurgency, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Fallujah, and the Surge. For six years FRONTLINE has been revealing those stories in meticulous detail, and the political dramas played out at the highest levels -- George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Osama Bin Laden. Now, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the full saga will unfold in a special four-hour broadcast over two consecutive nights on PBS, titled Bush's War. Drawing on one of the richest archives in broadcast journalism (FRONTLINE's 40+ films), veteran producer Michael Kirk (Cheney's Law; Endgame; The Lost Year in Iraq; The Dark Side; The Torture Question; Rumsfeld's War; The Man Who Knew; The War Behind Closed Doors; Gunning for Saddam, Target America) also delivers new reporting and fresh interviews. Bush's War will be the definitive documentary analysis of one of the most challenging periods in the nation's history. "Parts of this history have been told before -- the invasion of Afghanistan, torture, flawed intelligence and the invasion of Iraq, failures in the American occupation, and the saber-rattling over Iran," Kirk says, "But no one has laid out the entire narrative to reveal in one epic story, the scope and detail of how this war began and how it has been fought, both on the ground and deep inside the government."

2008x07 Bad Voodoo's War

  • 2008-04-02T01:00:00Z — 56 mins

In June 2007, as the American military surge reached its peak, a band of National Guard infantrymen who call themselves "The Bad Voodoo Platoon" was deployed to Iraq. To capture a vivid, first-person account of the new realities of war in Iraq for FRONTLINE and ITVS, director Deborah Scranton (The War Tapes) created "a virtual embed" with the platoon, supplying cameras to the soldiers so they could record and tell the story of their war. The film intimately tracks the veteran soldiers of "Bad Voodoo" through the daily grind of their perilous mission, dodging deadly IEDs, grappling with the political complexities of dealing with Iraqi security forces, and battling their fatigue and their fears.

2008x08 Sick Around The World

  • 2008-04-16T01:00:00Z — 56 mins

Four in five Americans say the U.S. health-care system needs "fundamental" change. Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health-care system, or are these nations so culturally different from us that their solutions would simply not be acceptable to Americans? FRONTLINE correspondent T.R. Reid examines first-hand the health-care systems of other advanced capitalist democracies -- UK, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Taiwan -- to see what tried and tested ideas might help us reform our broken health-care system.

2008x09 Storm Over Everest

  • 2008-05-14T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

As darkness fell on May 10, 1996, a fast-moving storm of unimaginable ferocity trapped three climbing teams high on the slopes of Mount Everest. The climbers, exhausted from their summit climb, were soon lost in darkness, in a fierce blizzard, far from the safety of High Camp at...,000 feet. World-renowned climber and filmmaker David Breashears, who aided the rescue efforts back in 1996, now returns to Everest to tell the fuller story of what really happened on that legendary climb. Through remarkably intimate interviews with the climbers and Sherpas -- many who have never spoken before on American television -- Breashears sheds new light on the worst climbing tragedy in Mount Everest's history.

2008x10 Young & Restless In China

  • 2008-06-18T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

This spring, FRONTLINE explores the generation coming of age in China today. Shot over four years, the film follows a group of nine young Chinese from across the country as they scramble to keep pace with a society changing as fast as any in history. Their stories of ambition and desire, exuberance, crime and corruption are interwoven with moments of heartache and despair. Together they paint an intimate portrait of the generation that is remaking China.

2008x11 The Choice 2008

  • 2008-10-15T01:00:00Z — 115 mins

This two-hour program examines the rich personal and political biographies of John McCain and Barack Obama and goes behind the headlines to discover how they arrived at this moment and what their very different candidacies say about America.

2008x12 Heat

  • 2008-10-22T01:00:00Z — 116 mins

For years, big business -- from oil and coal companies to electric utilities to car manufacturers -- have resisted change to environmental policy and stifled the debate over climate change in America and around the globe. Now, facing rising pressure from governments, green groups and investors alike, big business is reshaping its approach to the environment. With the election looming, FRONTLINE producer Martin Smith investigates what some businesses are doing to fend off new regulations and how others are repositioning themselves to prosper in a radically changed world.

2008x13 The War Briefing

  • 2008-10-29T01:00:00Z — 56 mins

The next president of the United States will inherit some of the greatest foreign policy challenges in American history -- an overstretched military, frayed alliances, and wars on two fronts. FRONTLINE gives viewers a hard, inside look at the real policy choices the next president will face. The report features strategists and diplomats giving their best advice about how to correct past failures and how to shape a realistic foreign policy approach in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the wake of yet another hard-fought and bitter presidential campaign, FRONTLINE presents a spirited and revealing biography of Lee Atwater, the charming, Machiavellian godfather of modern, take-no-prisoners Republican political campaigns. Through eye-opening interviews with Atwater's closest friends and adversaries, the film explores the life of the controversial political operative who mentored Karl Rove and George W. Bush, led the GOP to historic victories, and wrote the party's winning playbook. The story tracks Atwater's rise from his beginnings in South Carolina as a high school election kingmaker all the way to the White House and his subsequent battle with cancer and final search for forgiveness and redemption. To Democrats, Atwater was a political assassin who one Congresswoman dubbed "the most evil man in America," but to Republicans he remains a hero for his deep understanding of the American voter and his unapologetic vision of politics as warfare.

2008x15 The Hugo Chavez Show

  • 2008-11-26T02:00:00Z — 84 mins

FRONTLINE looks at Venezuela's controversial and outspoken president Hugo Chavez and the revolution he claims is turning his country into an anti-capitalist beacon for Latin America and the world. Through the lens of his unique weekly program "Al Presidente" and the eyes of the Venezuelans who know him well, FRONTLINE digs below the surface of his presidency and his personality to try to understand the mercurial leader.

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