Networks aren’t letting the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor go unnoticed. A full slate of special programming commemorating the event that brought the U.S. into World War II has been scheduled up through National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on Dec. 7.
Smithsonian Channel’s new series “The Lost Tapes” premieres with an episode on Pearl Harbor (Sunday, Dec 4, 9pm premiere). Viewers can relive the tragic day through rare radio broadcasts, film, audio recording, photos and wire dispatches along with personal accounts of the attack. Subsequent episodes will move beyond Pearl Harbor and offer accounts of the Son of Sam Killings, the L.A. Riots and Patty Hearst kidnappings as they happened, with some of the footage not seen in decades.
History Channel, naturally, will mark the anniversary with Pearl Harbor programming slated from 10am to 4pm on Dec. 7. Leading up to Remembrance Day, it will premiere the half-hour documentary “Pearl Harbor: The Truth,” which looks at a catalog of errors and possible military scapegoats (Sunday, Dec. 4, 10pm). It’s based on the book “A Matter of Honor – Betrayal, Blame & a Family’s Quest for Justice” by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan. On Saturday, History debuts “Pearl Harbor: 75 Years Later,” featuring accounts from experts, military minds and even those who lived through the “day that will live in infamy.” The network’s Pearl Harbor commemoration includes short form series “Pearl Harbor: The Last Word,” documenting some of the last living survivors. It’s part of the “History Saves History Initiative.”
American Heroes Channel will have a “WWII in the Pacific” marathon from 5-8pm on Dec. 7, followed by a Pearl Harbor themed “Codes and Conspiracies” episode at 8pm, and two documentaries, “Pacific Secrets: Pearl Harbor” and “Pearl Harbor – The Heroes Who Fought Back.”
For something outside the documentary format, surf over to TCM, which is serving up classic WWII movies all-day on Dec. 7. The 24-hour Pearl Harbor marathon includes primetime showings of “Tora! Tora! Tora!” and “Air Force,” which are two films focusing on the Pacific front. The tribute includes the TCM premiere of “The Revolt of Mamie Stover,” starring Jane Russell as a dancehall hostess/prostitute arriving in Honolulu just before the attack.
Another net taking a theatrical approach to the day is AMC. It’s not a classic, but the 2001 film “Pearl Harbor” will play back-to-back on Dec. 7 at 8 and 11pm.
PBS recently aired its new documentary, “Pearl Harbor – USS Oklahoma – The Final Story” on Nov. 23. The program reveals what happened to the ship and crew as it capsized at the start of the attack. PBS also has released “Pearl Harbor – Into the Arizona,” which films the underwater wreckage of the ship. Both documentaries will re-air in the week leading up to the anniversary.
National Geographic will televise “Ghosts of Pearl Harbor”, a documentary about identifying those who died in the attack, on Dec. 4 and again on Dec. 7 at 9 pm.