America's Wild West

Updated Thu, Feb 20, 2014 1:24 pm

Tuesday, March 4 • 8 p.m.

Step back in time and onto the frontier with “America’s Wild West,” a new PBS special that explores the lives of the larger-than-life men and women who helped tame the West. Rebels, pioneers, heroes, villains and icons of frontier culture, they captured the imagination of a nation and inspired a stampede of novels, television shows and big-screen dramas. “America’s Wild West” corrals some of the best moments from the award-winning series American Experience and its Wild West Collection and features excerpts from Annie Oakley, Billy the Kid, Buffalo Bill, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Custer’s Last Stand, Jesse James, Kit Carson and Wyatt Earp.

Featuring scenes from eight powerful documentaries, “America’s Wild West” explores the real stories behind the legendary figures whose lives and exploits take center stage in the invention of the mythic Wild West, from Billy the Kid to Wyatt Earp, from Annie Oakley to Jesse James.

Hosted by Michael Murphy, known for his many narrations of the American Experience Wild West films, the program includes interviews with the filmmakers behind the documentaries as well as insight from Mark Samels, executive producer of American Experience. “There is nothing more alluring or more romantic than the West in the 19th century,” says “America’s Wild West” Executive Producer Laurie Donnelly. “This special presents the best of the best of the Wild West films.”

PBS special programming invites viewers to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS and public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.