Here’s a quick viewing guide to some of the Kennedy-related TV documentaries and specials airing this month, with Post TV critic Hank Stuever’s recommendations denoted by a “★.”
★ JFK: The Final Hours
Friday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m., National Geographic Channel
Narrated by Bill Paxton, an intriguing replay of Jack and Jackie’s trip to Texas, featuring several interviews with people who met them and also a lot of memories from Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent assigned to guard the first lady.
Fox News Reporting: 50 Years of Questions — The JFK Assassination
Saturday, Nov. 9 at 9 p.m., Fox News Channel
Discussion hosted by Bill Hemmer.
Killing Kennedy }
Sunday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m., National Geographic Channel
Dull and clunky. Saved by Will Rothhaar’s nervy performance as Lee Harvey Oswald — a poor man’s Ryan Gosling!
★ American Experience: JFK
In two parts — Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 11 and 12 at 9 p.m., WETA and MPT
The big kahuna of this year’s Kennedy documentaries — a full biography and examination of his presidency. Lots of footage you’ve seen before; some you haven’t. A good start for those born after 1980 or so; a reverent review for those who remember it all vividly.
Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 10 p.m., Military Channel
Looks at the fast scramble by Dallas police officers and feds to find the Kennedy assassin (and cop-killer). Interviews, recollections and the whole tick-tock account.
★ Nova: Cold Case JFK
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 9 p.m., WETA and MPT
Father-son ballistics experts run experiments in the desert to see whether the Warren Commission’s findings pass their plausibility tests.
★ JFK: One P.M. Central Standard Time }
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 10 p.m., WETA and MPT
News junkies will dig this “Secrets of the Dead” episode, narrated by George Clooney, about how the news from Dealey Plaza and Parkland Hospital was broken and confirmed by reporters in Dallas and New York — up to and including CBS anchor Walter Cronkite’s live announcement that Kennedy had died.
★Marching On: 1963 Army-Navy Remembered
Thursday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Recounts the somber but healing football game — postponed after Kennedy’s assassination — that helped coax a nation back to normalcy.
JFK: A President Betrayed
On-demand beginning Nov. 14, DirecTV
Narrated by Morgan Freeman, a look at Kennedy’s efforts to avoid armed conflict and reign in the nuclear-arms race, while fending off the hawks around him who wanted to drop bombs. This one’s for those with DirecTV who can never hear enough about the Cold War.
Kennedy’s Suicide Bomber
Sunday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m., Smithsonian Channel
Here’s a weird one most everyone forgot: A man drove to Palm Beach hoping to kill president-elect Kennedy in December 1960 with a car bomb.
The Day Kennedy Died
Sunday, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m., Smithsonian Channel
A thorough examination of routes, schedules, trajectories, eerie details and Zapruder close-ups.
★ Letters to Jackie
Sunday, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m., TLC
Tenderly examines a handful of the 800,000 condolence letters the first lady received in the days after the assassination, read aloud by celebrities.
The Lost JFK Tapes
Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m., Discovery
Features some new audio recordings and testimonies from those who saw it happen in Dallas.
JFK Assassination: The Definitive Guide
Friday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m., History
Whodunit? (Besides Oswald.) A roundup and breakdown of all the theories and unsolved mysteries of what happened at Dealey Plaza and then, two days later, when Jack Ruby shot Oswald. A survey reveals what Americans today think most likely happened, based on their, uh, vast expertise.
Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live
Friday, Nov. 22 at 10 p.m., History
We still don’t know what made Oswald do it, but we sure know a lot about his last two days alive.