To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds broadcast, the award-winning PBS series American Experience aired an hourlong documentary in October 2013 giving viewers a new look at this mass media milestone.  A. Brad Schwartz co-wrote the film with Emmy award-winner Michelle Ferrari, drawing upon research he originally did as part of his senior thesis at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Using letters written to Welles by people who heard the broadcast firsthand, Schwartz, Ferrari and director Cathleen O’Connell recaptured the zeitgeist of a bygone era. American Experience: War of the Worlds premiered on PBS on October 29, 2013, and is now available on DVD.

Check out this video describing Brad’s role in the production:

“TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE…a richly entertaining hour.” – Mike Hughes, The Salinas Californian

“An hour of TV absolutely steeped in context, American Experience‘s examination of War of the Worlds is at its best when it engulfs its audience in the world inhabited by the Mercury’s audience.” – Erik Adams, The A.V. Club


“Researcher scores role in ‘War of the Worlds’ doc” (USA Today, October 29, 2013)

“Local researcher adds to legend of Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast” (Current State, WKAR, October 28, 2013)

“Orson Welles: After the ‘War'” (Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, late fall 2013)

“Schwartz, PBS examine cultural weight of famed ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast” (The Michigan Daily, October 29, 2013)

“On-Air Highlights: War of the Worlds” (WITF, October 29, 2013)