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Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times (PBS)

2009 | Peter Jones Productions

Great American newspapers have more stories to tell than those appearing in their pages. Some of these are backstage tales of hard-bitten reporters and their scoops, or of deadlines busted in the interest of major headlines. In the richest, most multi-layered versions, those combining all these characteristics and more, the narratives of great papers are also narratives of families. And among these, none is more fraught with drama than those swirling about the Chandlers of Los Angeles, their times and their Times. The saga that began with Harrison Gray Otis—and was complicated by Harry Chandler and his sons and their extended families—is also a chronicle of the growth and development of Los Angeles, a city shaped as much by Dorothy Chandler as by the newspaper itself. Producer Peter Jones captures the interplay and intrigue, the force of personality, and the contests and squabbles for power that lie behind public life, professional skill, and individual attainment. Viewed by some as a narrative of personal achievement, by others as an account of great failures, Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times captures the complexities that prevent either version from being the “whole story,” and for that receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producer: Peter Jones. Producers: Peter Jones, Brian Tessier. Director: Peter Jones. Co-Director: Mark Catalena. Writer: Peter Jones. Voice Actors: Liev Schrieber, Hal Holbrook. Editor: Mark Catalena. Original Music: Earl Rose.


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