10 Worldview-Expanding TV Series for World Television Day
Airing on PBS since 1983, the award-winning series Frontline is "committed to providing [...] engaging reports that fully explore and illuminate the critical issues of our times."
Human Planet, a BBC / Discovery Channel / France Television co-production, crisscrosses the globe to examine the "amazing, complex, profound, and sometimes challenging relationship between humankind and nature."
While FX isn't typically thought of as a destination for television about socio-cultural issues, their series 30 Days gives participants "the opportunity to experience firsthand a world that is the complete opposite of their own."
The Big Picture with Kal Penn, from National Geographic Channel, investigates topics such as incarceration, pandemics, and refuse "through the mapping of new data, the creative visualization of information, and in-depth personal stories."
Not simply a show about world cuisine, Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations—particularly in its 7th season—uses food as "only the first glimpse of a wider view of how people live their lives."
NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? isn't about everyday people. Yet, as it travels "the world to uncover the secrets and surprises in [celebrities'] family trees," it illustrates the often unexpected ways we are all connected to others through our ancestry. Fun fact: both Susan Sarandon and Tim McGraw used The Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy to research their families’ histories on the program.
Ever wonder "how money evolved, from the concept of credit and debt in the Renaissance to the emergence of a global economy?" The Ascent of Money from PBS tells the story.
This American Life (Yes, it was a TV show on Showtime!) is difficult to describe. One of its originators says that it applies "the tools of journalism to everyday lives, personal lives." (Trust me. It will make you think about human experiences including and beyond your own.)
A flagship series for Discovery Channel, Discovery Atlas delves into "the culture, cuisine, and people" of Brazil, China, and more.
An outstanding example of a vintage educational show, Connections 3 follows "the effects and origins of inventions and events that shape the modern world." (Host James Burke makes this trip back to 1990's-era television worth it.)