WGBH Openvault

New Television; New Television, Episode 509; Great Frontier, The

Part of New Television Workshop.

"The Great Frontier" juxtaposes dramatizations of two stories. In the first, Tracy Barnes, host of the cable access show "Oklahoma Yesterdays," prepares for a broadcast on Bill Jenkins, a film-maker who was attempting to make "real westerns." This alternates with vignettes depicting the life of Bill Jenkins. Approximate date: 1988

License Clip
New Television
New Television, Episode 509
Program Number



Great Frontier, The

Series Description

"New Television" began as a local pilot production of WNET (New York) in 1986. In 1987, WGBH signed on as co-producer, and the shows were aired in Boston and New York. In 1988 and 1989, KCET (Los Angeles) and WETA (D.C.) became producers in association. In 1991, PBS picked up "New Television," and it was broadcast nationally. The following year, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, replaced WNET, WETA, and KCET as co-producer with WGBH. In 1993, WGBH ceased to be a co-producer for the series, and the "home base" moved to Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) in Hartford, CT.

"New Television" commissioned, produced, and acquired programming. In its early years, "New Television" broadcast works commissioned by The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund. Increasingly, experimental films as well as video works were broadcast as a part of this series. Many of the later episodes of "New Television" contain works that play with and deconstruct the documentary genre. Series release date: 1986

Program Description

Features Greg Durbin and Dan Boord’s “The Great Frontier.”

Asset Type


Media Type


Television--Production and direction
Boord, Dan
Durbin, Greg
Motion pictures--Production and direction
Film and Television
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “New Television; New Television, Episode 509; Great Frontier, The,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed February 26, 2020, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5917FFB655214382A67204B8D5C3CE29.
MLA: “New Television; New Television, Episode 509; Great Frontier, The.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. February 26, 2020. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5917FFB655214382A67204B8D5C3CE29>.
APA: New Television; New Television, Episode 509; Great Frontier, The. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5917FFB655214382A67204B8D5C3CE29
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