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The Icons That Built America celebrates the innovators, trailblazers, and risk-takers who pushed boundaries and redefined what it means to be a performer. The series explores the lives and careers of such individuals as daredevil Evel Knievel, martial artist and actor Bruce Lee, comedian Richard Pryor, radio host Howard Stern, hip-hop group N.W.A, and more and how their visionary ideas propelled them to become pillars in American culture. Through secondhand accounts and archival footage, the series aims to provide a more intimate portrait of these influential individuals and the surprising challenges faced when striving for success in their respective industry.

Station: History (US)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Running
Start: 2024-06-23

The Icons That Built America Air Dates

S01E02 - Action Heroes Air Date: 01 July 2024 02:03 -

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A struggling New York actor, brushed aside because of his looks and speech impediment, bets on himself to write, and star in a movie. By challenging the ideas of what it means to be a leading man at the time, he gives himself a fighting chance.

S01E03 - Shock Jocks Air Date: 08 July 2024 02:03 -

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For decades, the radio world has been dominated by top-40 music, while the DJ is expected to simply shut up and play the next track. But in the 1970s, two maverick broadcasters take a different approach, challenging their bosses, the rules and polite society to help create a new genre: talk radio. One will launch an all-out war with his own station as he goes to shocking lengths in a bid to for the top spot in New York, while the other will launch a political revolution on the airwaves in an effort to save AM radio from extinction.

S01E04 - Hollywood Warriors Air Date: 15 July 2024 02:03 -

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 A young martial artist and actor from Hong Kong has dreams of breaking into Hollywood, but in the 1970s, the racial barriers that have been in place for decades block any chance he has of becoming a star. After retreating to Hong Kong, he leverages what little fame he has to star in a feature film that will flip Hollywood's expectations and create a new genre unto itself. That same decade, during the boom of exploitation films, a young aspiring writer/director takes his cues from fringe genre films to create a new market for independent films.

S01E05 - Titans of Talk Air Date: 22 July 2024 02:03 -

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The daytime talk show scene in the 1980's is almost exclusively aimed at a stay-at-home female audience where the host is expected to feature conversational topics and polite discussion. But a young politician-turned-TV host rewrites the rules when an unexpected fight breaks out between his guests. And in the world of late-night, a young midwestern comic, who idolizes Johnny Carson, struggles to rise to the top as his irreverent comedy and antics finds its footing with a completely new audience.

S01E06 - Comedy Kings Air Date: 29 July 2024 02:03 -

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Fitting into the clean-cut roles that comedians occupied in the 1950s, two up and coming standups make names for themselves. As society shifts and counter-culture movements take hold, both men realize they need to adapt their comedy to better fit their world views. But as they change, they face an uphill battle to stay true to themselves while making an impact in the comedy world.

S01E07 - Fight the System: Hip Hop & Grunge Air Date: 05 August 2024 02:03 -

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In 1987, a small-time drug dealer forms a hip-hop based group in his hometown of Compton, California. The group's provocative brand of "reality rap" draws backlash from the government and law enforcement as they try to push the boundaries of what hip-hop can be. A few years later, a Seattle-based rock band pioneers a new sound that channels the suburban angst and disillusionment of the era. After the band's mainstream breakthrough, the group must resist the external forces the of the music establishment, while battling their own inner demons--before it all comes crashing down.

Next Episode of The Icons That Built America is

Season 1 / Episode 6 and airs on 29 July 2024 02:03

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