What’s New in Television: May 2011 – How the States Got Their Shapes

As April showers fade and bring May flowers, television heads off into a month-long slumber mostly bereft of new programming as the traditional television season comes to a close.  Which means for May the two new offerings worth noting come courtesy of the cable networks.  The latter of the two is HBO’s “Too Big to Fail” which will receive its proper treatment later this month.  The first however is “How the States Got Their Shapes” courtesy of the History Channel which debuts this evening at 10 pm.

Last summer the History Channel aired a two hour special of the same name hosted by comedian Brian Unger that explored exactly how the borders of our states came to be.  Well apparently the History Channel (and their audience) liked what they saw and greenlit a ten-part series.

Each episode of How the States Got Their Shapes follows a theme such as water where Unger (returning to the series) relays stories about how the topic is responsible for shaping our states.  Unger, a journalist and former correspondent for “The Daily Show,” logged more than 36,000 miles by road and 150,000 miles by air to make the show.

The series is worth a watch and is a great additional history lesson for those of us who have been out of the classroom for years.  For those that missed the original special last year, you can catch it all (just have a spare couple of hours at the ready) right here:

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