Trying To Hype History

SHOW: LINCOLN

TIME: DEC. 26 AND 27, ABC

THE BOTTOM LINE: A network attempt to duplicate The Civil War is filled with stars but short of eloquence.

The Civil War was not just the pivotal event of American history. It . provided a milestone in TV history as well. The astonishing popularity of Ken Burns' 12-hour mini-series, which aired on PBS in September 1990, profoundly shook the TV world. On PBS, attempts to duplicate The Civil War's success have ranged from big-event mini-series like Columbus and the Age of Discovery to countless American Experience documentaries. The commercial networks too have jealously...

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