Episode 1. Muhammad Ali (Pilot)
(AIR DATE 08/10/2009)
In an era defined by protest and turbulence, perhaps nobody captured the attention of America in the late 1960s more so than Muhammad Ali. As heavyweight champion, Ali electrified the sports world with his sharp tongue and showmanship flare. (His spontaneous rhymes, in fact, are often considered to be the precursor of rap.) But out of the ring, his conversion to Islam and defiant refusal to fight in Vietnam thrust him into the center of a blistering political controversy. And Ali never backed down. He gave voice to black America and helped galvanize the civil rights movement. He fueled the anti-war movement, inspiring young adults to question the government and speak out. He spoke his mind freely, defended his religious beliefs with vigor, and willingly accepted the consequences of his actions, which cost him his title and license to box.
Episode 2. Cheech and Chong
(AIR DATE 08/11/2009)
From the moment they broke onto the scene in the early 1970s, Cheech and Chong began redefining comedy. At a time when drug culture was still considered taboo, they boldly emerged from a cloud of pot smoke with a brand of humor that both championed and lampooned stoners everywhere, much to the chagrin of the establishment. A string of successful comedy albums and relentless touring established the duo as "the rock-n-roll comedians" whose popularity continued to soar as stoner culture seeped into the mainstream. Suddenly, there were head shops everywhere and by 1977 President Jimmy Carter was in favor of legalizing marijuana. And then came Up In Smoke. Cheech and Chong's first film became an instant classic, immortalized by pot smokers to this day, and launched a successful Hollywood career for the comedy duo as they continued the marijuana crusade until their breakup in 1985.
Episode 3. The Black Panthers
(AIR DATE 08/12/2009)
In the last 6os, there were few radical groups more controversial that The Black Panthers. Led by the dynamic personalities of Bobby Seale, Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, the Panthers boldly challenged white America to deliver justice and opportunity for all. Armed with guns and clad with berets and leather jackets, the Panthers advocated self-defense; initiated social service programs nationwide; and became a defiant symbol of Black Power. The also become a target as the FBI and police waged a bloody war to bring the party down.
Episode 4. Timothy Leary
(AIR DATE 08/13/2009)
From the moment Harvard professor Timothy Leary ate magic mushrooms in 1960, his life would never be the same. Advocating the use of LSD and other mind altering drugs to expand consciousness, Leary transformed himself from an eccentric Harvard professor into the leader of the 1960s psychedelic counter-culture movement. Leary's influence helped shape the music, fashion and politics of a new generation. He defied authority and fought the government at every turn, earning the title, in President Nixon's words, as "the most dangerous man in America."
Episode 5. Andy Warhol
(AIR DATE 08/14/2009)
From 1964 - 68, Warhol's factory on East 47th Street provided a social arena for collaborative experimentation. Warhol developed an eclectic network of associates that spanned the worlds of poetry, fashion, film, photography, art, music and the drug culture. Speed freaks, drag queens, musicians, poets, superstars, fashion beauties, and avant-garde artists helped shape a scene unique in American history at a time when Warhol produced some of his most revolutionary work, including the underground films that were the precursor for reality television.