TV: documentaries on LBJ, Abraham Lincoln and the Chippendales


“LBJ: Triumph and Tragedy” is CNN’s four-part documentary examining the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.



Abraham Lincoln (8 p.m., HISTORY) – We’re on the second night of a three-night documentary event meant to be a definitive biography of the 16th president – the man who led the country through its bloodiest war and greatest crisis. Tonight’s episode focuses on the ongoing Civil War, with Lincoln forced to quickly learn how to manage an army as Commander-in-Chief. Executive produced by Doris Kearns Goodwin, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning bestselling author, “Abraham Lincoln” is based on Kearns Goodwin’s New York Times bestseller, “Leadership: In Turbulent Times.”

More from HISTORY: “From Lincoln’s impoverished childhood (played by Emmy-nominated actor Graham Sibley) to his days as a young prairie lawyer and aspiring politician, to his unlikely election to the presidency and his Assassinated just five days after the Civil War ended, “Abraham Lincoln” offers viewers a surprising new insight into the man consistently ranked by historians and the American people as the nation’s greatest president. Viewers will experience the lesser-known aspects of Lincoln’s life and leadership through premium dramatic action scenes where his humility, empathy, resilience, ambition, political acumen and humor are on full display. Combined with interviews with experts – including President Barack Obama, General Stan McCrystal and renowned historians Christy Coleman, Dr Allen Guelzo, Dr Edna Greene Medford, Harold Holzer, Dr Caroline Janney, Dr Catherine Clinton – Archival photos and newsreels, Lincoln’s letters, writings, and speeches, as well as reminiscences of his contemporaries, this miniseries offers a new, current understanding of the complexities of young Abraham Lincoln becoming President. Lincoln, the man who saved the Union, won the war and secured emancipation.” The final part airs Monday.

LBJ: Triumph and Tragedy (9 p.m., CNN) – Tonight, the final two parts of a four-part documentary about Lyndon B. Johnson, one of the most important and enigmatic presidents in American history. From CNN: “Thrusted into the presidency under tragic circumstances, LBJ has used the office to pass the most significant civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. While managing to reshape the social fabric of the nation, he simultaneously escalated one of America’s most contentious wars, which subsequently overshadowed his national achievements. “LBJ: Triumph and Tragedy” examines the larger-than-life figure full of fascinating contradictions, who left a complicated and polarizing legacy. Parts 1 and 2 aired on Sunday. Tonight, LBJ is racing against time to push through the most productive legislative session in history, but it can’t outpace the worsening conflict in Vietnam. At 10 a.m., LBJ makes an announcement that stuns the nation, hoping that peace in Vietnam is within reach. When his efforts are stopped by a political rival, he retires and is still haunted by a war that will complicate his legacy.

The Curse of the Chippendales (9 p.m., discovery investigation) – This four-part series (which previously aired on the Discovery+ streaming network, chronicles how the famed dance troupe took the Los Angeles nightclub scene by storm and ended with international acclaim, untold wealth, bizarre murder plots, and multiple deaths trapped in their legacy. Their brand has grown into a multi-million dollar global business, successful beyond their wildest dreams. But about three unlikely dreamers who were there at the start, only one would make it out alive.Driven by an extensive archive of video and photos, including never-before-seen footage and a nostalgia-filled soundtrack, viewers will be transported straight back to the 80s, in one of the most unexpected true crime stories of the decade, and all fueled by one thing: greed.

Aside (10 p.m., PBS NC) – In this Independent Lens documentary, three mothers imprisoned for drug-related offenses enter an innovative prison program in Cleveland that will prepare them to reunite with their families and provide them with the skills to find jobs and stay sober.

Some programming descriptions are provided by the networks.

Brooke Cain is from North Carolina and has worked at The News & Observer for over 25 years. She is the editor of service journalism and writes about television and local media for The N&O’s Happiness is a Warm TV blog.