New Ken Burns documentary ‘The Vietnam War’ premieres on WCNY-TV

WCNY, Central New York’s flagship public broadcaster, will present a new Ken Burns landmark documentary series debuting at 8 p.m. Sept. 17 on WCNY-TV. In conjunction with the documentary, WCNY has produced a series of local stories, including how Syracuse was involved in the speech that “launched the Vietnam War”, that will air during the documentary broadcast. Support for production of these stories came from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation.

About the New Documentary

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 10-part, 18-hour documentary series, “The Vietnam War,” tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides—Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam. Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. The documentary features more than 100 iconic musical recordings from greatest artists of the era and haunting original music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as well as the Silk Road Ensemble featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

How to watch: TV and Streaming Information

The first five episodes will air nightly Sept. 17 to 21, and the final five episodes will air nightly from Sept. 24 to 28. Each episode begins at 8 p.m. On Sept. 17, concurrent with the broadcast premiere, the first five episodes will be available for streaming on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and PBS apps for iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. The final five episodes will be available beginning Sept. 24. The series also will be re-broadcast weekly on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. beginning Oct. 3 and running through Nov. 28. For TV viewing information, visit

Preview Screenings

WCNY will host free preview screening events across the region that will feature video clips from the documentary series. Attendees are invited to discuss their reactions to the documentary, and share their own stories/memories of the Vietnam War era. WCNY screening partners include area libraries, Cayuga County Community College, Cayuga Community County College Foundation, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 704, and the Vets Center.

  1. Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. – Skaneateles Library, Skaneateles
  2. Sept. 14 at 10:30 a.m. – The Onondaga County Central Library, Syracuse
  3. Sept. 14 at 2:30 p.m. – Maxwell Memorial Library, Camillus. Note: Space is limited, please register on the library’s website at:
  4. Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. – Cayuga Community College’s Bisgrove Theater, Auburn
  5. Sept. 16 at 2:30 p.m. – Paine Library, Syracuse
  6. Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. – Liverpool Library, Liverpool

Share your stories

WCNY invites the community to share stories and memories by visiting or on social media @wcnyconnected #vietnamwarpbs #wcnyconnected.

Funding provided by: Members of The Better Angels Society; Bank of America; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; PBS; Park Foundation; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; National Endowment for the Humanities; The Pew Charitable Trusts; Ford Foundation Just Films; and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

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