• TV-PG
  • 2016
  • 1 Season
They are American heroes – legendary icons – luminaries who changed the world through monumental innovations and staggering ingenuity. They gave us the airplane and the television, MS-DOS and AC / DC, the V-1, the six-gun, the A-bomb and the IPod. Or at least they take credit for it. Those fabled inventors were not the only ones behind those fabled inventions. No matter how brilliant they were, the challenges they faced were too big to face alone. But who they were seconded by is a surprise....
Season 1

8 Episodes
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
Samuel Colt vs. Daniel Wesson – Firing a muzzle-loading gun takes perilous moments in the line of fire. Until, that is, a spirited young pitchman and powerhouse named Sam Colt is inspired by a ship’s wheel and envisions the world’s first, self-loading revolver. When Daniel Wesson challenges him with a revolver of his own, Colt ruthlessly shuts him down. So Wesson teams with Horace Smith and delivers a stroke of sheer defiance: They invent a rimfire cartridge, what we call a bullet. The arms race is on, playing out against a stark moral choice – which side will each take in the Civil War?...
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
Thomas Edison is the most famous inventor in the world. He sets out to one-up his invention of the light bulb by building an electric empire, using the power of Direct Current. But an eccentric genius named Nikola Tesla challenges him with the mysterious and far more complex power of Alternating Current. Edison turns from Tesla’s hero to his worst nemesis. He unleashes a ruthless campaign, electrocuting animals, an elephant, even a man – until they face off in their ultimate showdown, harnessing the power of Niagara Falls....
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
Joseph Pulitzer has singlehandedly revolutionized the field of journalism. He has rooted out corruption, put a President in the White House, invented whole dramatic, new styles of reporting, and freed up the press from being a staid vehicle of the elite to a champion of the Everyman. But William Hearst is hot on his heals, stealing his techniques and one upping them. Pulitzer started as a penniless immigrant, and Hearst is everything he despises – a wealthy dilatant who has no qualms about lying, cheating and even stealing Pulitzer’s staff to build his empire. Finally, to stay competitive, Pulitzer has no choice but to compromise his integrity and submit to Hearst’s scandalous approach. But when the newsboys strike for fairer treatment, Pulitzer must take stock of how far he has sunk....
Episode 4
4. Episode 4
After inventing the airplane, the Wright brothers keep the technical details under wraps for years, out of fear of losing control of their invention. As they hold fast, they stifle innovation in the very industry they’ve launched. But Glenn Curtiss boldly goes public with his airplanes and innovations. To the Wrights’ fury, he quickly becomes the popular face of flight. Their rivalry grows so heated that, when Wilbur dies, Orville blames Curtiss for driving him to exhaustion, and retaliates by trying to force Curtiss out of business. Curtiss fights back with a wildly ambitious scheme: He revives a plane that predated the Wright brothers’, in a bid to debunk their claim to fame. At risk is their cherished legacy as the first in flight....
Episode 5
5. Episode 5
David Sarnoff, head of RCA, is one of the most powerful executives America has ever known. His goal: to change the world using media. His latest investment: the invention of television. Hard to imagine that the mogul’s arch rival would be a farm boy from Idaho. Against all odds, a brilliant hayseed geek named Philo Farnsworth is steadily transforming his vision of transmitting pictures into reality. Sarnoff sets out to destroy him – devoting all the money and resources imaginable to RCA’s hi-tech labs; mounting a fierce court case against him; and finally, simply stalling Farnsworth until his patent runs out. For Sarnoff, crushing Farnsworth’s hopes is not enough. He won’t be satisfied until he’s also stolen his claim of being the Father of Television....
Episode 6
6. Episode 6
As World War II ends, a race begins – between the Soviets and Americans, to snap up the secret plans to Hitler’s wonder weapon, the V-2 Rocket. Its brilliant mastermind, Wernher von Braun, is the key to military supremacy, but also to the ultimate frontier – space exploration. The Americans win von Braun, but are reluctant to trust a former Nazi. So Russian rocket scientist Sergei Korolev seizes the opening to propel the Soviet Union to the fore. In a string of humiliations, he is the first to unleash an ICBM, a satellite, a dog, and a man in orbit. At last, the U.S. rises to the challenge and sets its sights on the Moon. NASA puts plans in play for von Braun’s most massive rocket yet. Until, that is, a humble unknown named Tom Kelly steps in with a radical idea – a small, strange looking contraption: A Lunar Lander, born out of good old American know-how....
Episode 7
7. Episode 7
Physicist Werner Heisenberg lives with two chaotic universes – inside the atom and in his homeland, pre-World War II Germany. The Nazis offer order. So to support their bid for control, he sets out to unleash the staggering power of the subatomic: He is determined to produce an atomic bomb for Hitler. The race is on across the Atlantic, where J. Robert Oppenheimer must save the free world by somehow beating Heisenberg to the bomb. Both face impossible odds, staggering challenges and the highest stakes imaginable. The fate of a world at war hangs in the balance. In their desperate struggle to prevail, both men will pay a terrible price – Heisenberg, his standing as a scientist; and Oppenheimer, his soul....
Episode 8
8. Episode 8
Meet the future kingpins of America: young Steve Jobs, a hippy outside, a coiled spring inside and young Bill Gates, a nerd who’s the poster child for the Me Generation. In the day and age when computers are enormous, weak, expensive and available only to a select few, Jobs and Gates envision a time when every desk will have one – a radical idea. Gates and team tackle the software. Jobs and team, the hardware. But instead of taking their new inventions to the local hobby group, they con their way into the pockets of investors. Microsoft and Apple are born - and a series of shrewd and unscrupulous business decisions later, mega-companies like Xerox and IBM are left cowering. Though the pair aren’t through until they’ve taken on each other, only to discover they’ve met their match....