Historic Political Interview Returns to Public TV for 35th Anniversary of Nixon’s Resignation
Sir David Frost is perhaps the best known television interviewer in the world. In 1977, he conducted the most compelling political interview ever: FROST/NIXON: The Original Watergate Interviews. WLIW21 in association with WNET.ORG brings this historic media event back to public television August 2009 (check local listings) for the 35th anniversary of former U.S. President Richard Nixon’s resignation (August 9, 1974).
Beginning in March 1977 for four weeks, over 28 grueling hours, British journalist Frost questioned Nixon on everything from Vietnam to China, from abuse of power to the final days, to create one of the great media events of the 20th century. The most tense and gripping sessions were on Watergate, with two entire days devoted to the subject. Never before – and never afterward – would Nixon confront the issue of Watergate, particularly in a forum where he had no advanced knowledge of the questions and no right even to see the edited program before it was broadcast.
FROST/NIXON: The Original Watergate Interviews is the entire 1977 Watergate broadcast, from Frost’s opening question – “Do you feel that you ever obstructed justice or were part of a conspiracy to obstruct justice?” – to Nixon’s last public remarks on the scandal. A picture emerges of a White House under siege, of burglars and hush money, of Nixon close to tears, having to sacrifice his closest aides – culminating in the unprecedented sight of a U.S. President apologizing to his people.
Sir David Frost introduces this special 35th anniversary broadcast, discussing the historical impact of the Nixon interview and sharing his reactions of their famous encounter. Extended broadcasts in select markets will also feature a recent interview with Frost conducted by Worldfocus anchor Martin Savidge.
The original broadcast of the Watergate interviews on May 4, 1977, the first of four programs culled from the March interviews, drew the biggest ever worldwide audience for a news interview. Watched by more than 45 million Americans alone, the Frost/Nixon Watergate interview remains the largest TV audience for a political interview to this day.
The interviews were such a phenomenon that they were developed by screenwriter Peter Morgan into a Tony Award-winning Broadway play and into an Oscar-nominated film directed by Ron Howard.
Producers: John Birt and Sir David Frost. Director: Jorn Winther. Editors: James Reston Jr. and Robert Zelnick. A presentation of WLIW21 in association with WNET.ORG.