News & Politics

A Guide to JFK 50th-Anniversary TV

Here are most of the upcoming programs that mark the anniversary of Kennedy’s death.

National Geographic Channel’s Killing Kennedy is one of many programs exploring JFK’s life and death to air in the next couple of weeks. Photograph courtesy of National Geographic Channel.

Almost every night over the next two weeks you can expect to find something on television that revisits the life and death of John F. Kennedy. As we near the date of Friday, November 22, the 50th anniversary of his death in Dallas, there are choices for almost every kind of interest. Below we provide a list of many of the scheduled broadcasts. It is based on premiere air dates, but with cable many programs may repeat or be available on demand. We will update as more information becomes available; and, as always, check local listings.

November 11

JFK, on American Experience, is a two-part broadcast that “provides a fresh look at an enigmatic man,” produced with “the benefit of newly opened archives and recently released documents.” (Also November 12.)

November 12

Capturing Oswald, on the Military Channel, explores the assassination “as it’s never been done before, through the men who caught Lee Harvey Oswald, the officers of the Dallas Police Department.”

November 13

Cold Case JFK, on PBS, asks, “Can modern forensic science uncover fresh clues about the assassination of JFK?”

Secrets of the Dead: JFK,” on PBS, an episode of the regular series, will focus on the assassination “minute by minute.”

November 14

Marching On: The 1963 Army-Navy Game, on CBS Sports Network, looks at the role the game had in the nation’s healing process.

JFK: A President Betrayed, on DirectTV and to order, offers looks at how JFK “boldly reversed” US policy in regard to Russia and Castro.

The Assassination of JFK” on CNN is the first installment of a new series called The Sixties. It is co-produced by Tom Hanks.

November 15

Killing Kennedy on National Geographic Channel is a theatrical look at both JFK and Oswald leading up to the assassination, with Rob Lowe as the President. This is a re-airing. Check out our review.

November 16

As It Happened: John F. Kennedy 50 Years, a CBS News primetime special with host Bob Schieffer, recalls Schieffer’s “extraordinary experience as the young journalist who conducted the first interview” with Lee Harvey Oswald’s widow, Marina. CBS will have other JFK programming in regularly scheduled broadcasts, as well.

November 17

Kennedy’s Suicide Bomber, on the Smithsonian Channel, is about a little-known “lone assassin” who had “his own plan to kill JFK” in 1960 in Florida.

The Day Kennedy Died, on the Smithsonian Channel, notes, “The stories of people there on that day have gone largely untold . . . until now.”

Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy, on TLC, is based on a book of similar name. The letters are read by more than 20 actors. Read a full review.

This Week With George Stephanopoulos, on ABC, plans to devote the full hour to a tribute to JFK and a discussion of his legacy.

November 19

Frontline: Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?,” on PBS, looks at the “man at the center of the political crime of the 20th century.” This broadcast originally aired in 1993.

November 20

No Day for Games: The Cowboys and JFK,” on the NBC Sports Network’s Costas Tonight, has Bob Costas and Roger Staubach looking back at the first game the Dallas Cowboys had to play after the assassination.

November 21

JFK: The Lost Tapes, on Discovery, presents “rarely seen, real-time news footage and radio reports” in a two-hour special.

The Lost Kennedy Home Movies, on H2, will show the Kennedy clan in home movies through the years.

November 22

JFK Assassination, The Definitive Guide, on the History Channel, asks the question, “Who do Americans suspect was really responsible for JFK’s death?”

Kennedy Brothers: A Hardball Documentary, on MSNBC, is hosted by Hardball anchor Chris Matthews and features interviews with family members and friends.

Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live, on the History Channel, “seeks to explain the enigmatic Oswald” with a “new approach” by tracing his actions in the minutes before and after the assassination.

Tom Brokaw Special: Where Were You?, on NBC, is a two-hour documentary that revisits the assassination through archival footage and interviews.