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'Lost LA' Returns For A Second Season Next Month

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Vitagraph, 1914. (Photo courtesy of "Lost LA")
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Lost LA, KCET's fantastic TV deep dive into Los Angeles history, will return for a second season on October 10th.

Hosted by public historian extraordinaire Nathan Masters, Lost LA is an ode to the history of a city that many mistakenly see as lacking any sort of past. As a co-production with the University of Southern California Libraries, each episode brings the primary sources of Los Angeles history to the screen, using documents, photos and archives to help us understand the creation of modern-day Los Angeles.

Lost LA explores LA’s past using different interpretive frameworks to the broad sweep of Southern California history,” Juan Devis, KCETLink’s Chief Creative Officer, said. “We’re excited to bring the second season of LOST LA to our viewers so they can join us again as we investigate how the region’s explosive and surprising growth inevitably erased or marginalized parts of the city’s identity along the way.”

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Nathan Masters. (Photo courtesy of "Lost L.A.")
The episodes will be telecast as follows (subject to change):

Episode One: “EL PUEBLO DE LOS ANGELES” - Tues., Oct. 10
American history has long been told as a triumphant march westward from the Atlantic coast, but in Southern California our history stretches back further in time. This episode explores the interconnected lives of three people who lived through California’s transition from native land to Spanish colony and from to Mexican province to American state. Featuring the stories of native leader Toypurina, who led the revolt against the San Gabriel Mission, Spanish soldier José María Pico, who served at the mission, and his son Pío Pico, who became the last Mexican Governor of California.

Episode Two: “WILD WEST” - Tues., Oct. 17
Before Hollywood imagined the Wild West, Los Angeles was a real frontier town of gunslingers, lynch mobs, and smoke-belching locomotives. This episode examines L.A.’s efforts to reckon with its violent past by examining hanging trees, remnants of vigilante justice; the massacre of eighteen Chinese immigrants that took place in 1871 near what is now Olvera Street; and railroad promotional campaigns that painted a picture of Los Angeles as a verdant paradise.

Episode Three: “BUILDING A METROPOLIS” - Tues., Oct. 24
Adobe, wood, in, steel, concrete - these are the materials that gave form to Los Angeles and shaped its identity in the national imagination. This episode also questions the cultural legacy and environmental costs of the city’s relentless growth.

Episode Four: “DREAM FACTORY” - Tues., Oct. 31
Los Angeles is often identified with Hollywood, but there's more to the entertainment industry than its facade of movie stars and blockbuster films. This episode explores the career of Lois Weber, a filmmaker who rose to greatness in a nascent film industry that welcomed women into creative leadership positions; as well as a Central Casting Bureau that capitalized on the city’s segregated ethnic enclaves when filling background roles.

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Episode Five: “CODED GEOGRAPHIES” - Tues., Nov. 7
What if the stories L.A. told about itself relegated you to the margins? This episode explores two underground guidebooks - The Negro Travelers’ Green Book and The Address Book - that reveal the hidden geographies many Angelenos had to navigate, exposing Los Angeles as a place of coded segregation and resistance.

Episode Six: “PACIFIC RIM” - Tues., Nov. 14
American history once looked at the California shore and saw the end of the continent. Instead, this half-hour documentary interprets that sandy edge as the beginning of a Pacific world - one that has long influenced Los Angeles through the basic earth forces of geology and climate and the transoceanic flows of people, goods, capital, technology, and cultural ideas.

"Lost LA" premieres on Tues., Oct. 10 at 8:30 p.m. on KCET in Southern California.