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The Lost Tapes

The Lost Tapes

  • Premiered: 
    December 4, 2016
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Smithsonian
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Historical
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Plot Synopsis

THE LOST TAPES is a one-hour series that that reveals how shocking events in American history unfolded on TVs and radios across the United States -- not through traditional journalistic reportage, but in real-time, as they were covered by national and local news broadcasts. From the Pearl Harbor attacks and the L.A. riots to the Son of Sam murders and Patty Hearst's kidnapping, this series uses footage, much of which has not been seen in decades, giving an intimacy and immediacy to stories viewers now rediscover through a unique perspective. The series opens with an episode about Pearl Harbor -- 75 years later -- that takes an unprecedented look at this tragic day entirely through news reports, public statements, recently declassified documents, and footage recorded in the days before, during, and after the event that shook the world. Ensuing episodes of THE LOST TAPES will air in 2017 timed to their anniversaries: The Los Angeles riots of April, 1992 that followed the acquittal of four officers charged with using excessive force on stranded motorist Rodney King, the capture of the Son of Sam serial killer in New York City in August, 1977, and the kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the domestic terrorist group the Symbionese Liberation Army, which ended in her arrest in September 1975.
On Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 8pm ET/PT, Smithsonian Channel premiered the Season 2 finale of THE LOST TAPES. The season ender, "Tornado Super Outbreak," focuses on a powerful cold front over the American plains that joined a warm air mass from the south on April 3, 1974, creating the perfect conditions for an 18-hour catastrophe now known as the Tornado Super Outbreak. Revisit the epic disaster that swept from Michigan to Alabama, powered by 148 tornadoes, 30 of them category F4 or F5. Through local news broadcasts, stunning audio recordings, and eyewitness home movies, look back on one of the most violent natural disasters in history.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Tom Jennings Productions/1895 Films