“The Boomer Century: 1946-2046” is a two-hour documentary that looks to the baby boomers — the influential generation that changed everything — past for clues to how this generation of 78 million Americans will shape the future. Hosted by gerontologist and psychologist Dr. Ken Dychtwald, the program focuses on the boomers’ formative years to reveal the personality traits of a generation that has since rewritten the rules for work, marriage and parenthood, and is now redefining retirement and aging. The final question the program poses, is what kind of future will the baby boomers lead and leave for succeeding generations?
Produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Joel Westbrook and Neil Steinberg and written by two-time Academy Award winner Mark Harris, the program “attempts to show viewers what really makes this generation tick and how its unique personality will help determine how boomers will shape society over the coming decades,” says Dychtwald.
In addition to stock footage, staged sets and a fast-paced format, the program incorporates candid and insightful interviews with renowned boomers, academics and authors including Oliver Stone, Rob Reiner, Julian Bond, Erica Jong, Eve Ensler, Lester Thurow and Alvin Toffler.
The site for the PBS TV show has a gigantic “Boomer Timline” and “Ten things you may not know about boomers today” (The number of baby boomers in America is estimated at 78.2 million; four out of 10 boomers have less than $10,000 in retirement savings; only one in seven baby boomers say they plan to collect Social Security benefits at age 62; etc.)
The “Boomer Century” is funded by Vanguard, a client-owned investment management company. Their site to accompany the show, subtitled “From the Me Generation to the We Generation,” is designed as a book with pages that flip to such chapters as “Show” (where you can view TV clips, “Remember” (where you will be able to create a personal timeline), “Live” and “Aspire” (with articles on careers, finance, health, volunteering, travel”).
The “Boomer Century” premieres on PBS March 28, 2007. To out what time it’s airing on your local station, go to http://www.pbs.org/boomercentury/airdates.html
A companion book, “The Boomer Century 1946-2046: How America’s Most Influential Generation Changed Everything,” by Richard Croke (Hardcover 352 pages) is due April 30 for $25.99.