Valley of the Boom
|Valley of the Boom|
|Created by||Matthew Carnahan|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||6 (list of episodes)|
|Production locations||Vancouver, Canada|
|Running time||43–48 minutes|
|Original network||National Geographic|
|Original release||January 13 –|
January 27, 2019
Valley of the Boom (stylized as Valley_of_the_BOOM) is an American docudrama television miniseries created by Matthew Carnahan that premiered on January 13, 2019, on National Geographic. The series centers on the 1990s tech boom and bust in Silicon Valley and it stars Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn, Lamorne Morris, John Karna, Dakota Shapiro, Oliver Cooper, and John Murphy.
Valley of the Boom takes a close look at "the culture of speculation, innovation and debauchery that led to the rapid inflation and burst of the 1990s tech bubble. As with its hybrid series Mars, Nat Geo [uses] select doc elements to support the scripted drama to tell the true inside story of the dramatic early days of Silicon Valley."
The series features interviews with many of the people depicted in the dramatized portions of the production in addition to other Internet personalities such as Mark Cuban and Arianna Huffington. Notably absent from these interviews is Netscape co-founder and former vice president of technology Marc Andreessen who declined to be interviewed.
Although the program is primarily focused on the quick rise and fall of three influential technology companies, namely Netscape, theGlobe.com, and Pixelon, the program also highlights smaller companies of that era, such as sfGirl.com.
Cast and characters
- Raf Rogers as Sean Alvaro
- Chiara Zanni as Sheila
- Fred Henderson as Mike Egan
- Camille Hollett-French as Tara Hernandez
- Mike Kovac as Balding Ponytail Coder
- Nick Hunnings as Ed Cespedes
- Tom Stevens as Phillip
- Siobhan Williams as Jenn
- Vincent Dangerfield as Lee Wiskowski
- Jacob Richter as Dan Goodin
- Hilary Jardine as Patty Beron
- Paul Herbert as Paul Ward
- Carey Feehan as Robert Dunning
- Donna Benedicto as Kate
- Keegan Connor Tracy as Rosanne Siino ("Part 1: print ("hello, world")")
- Luvia Petersen as Mary Meeker ("Part 1: print ("hello, world")")
- Michael Patrick Denis as Thomas Reardon ("Part 2: pseudocode")
- Jesse James as Barry Moore ("Part 4: priority inversion")
- Siobhan Williams as Jenn ("Part 4: priority inversion")
- Doug Abrahams as Ace Greenberg ("Part 4: priority inversion")
- David Stuart as Pit Boss ("Part 4: priority inversion")
- Connor Tracy as Rosanne Siino ("Part 5: segfault")
- Rachel Hayward as Joyce ("Part 5: segfault")
- Tom Stevens as Phillip ("Part 6: fatal error")
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"Part 1: print ("hello, world")"||Matthew Carnahan||Matthew Carnahan||January 13, 2019[a]||0.415|
|Jim Barksdale and team take Netscape on a road show in search of potential investors; Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelman struggle to secure financing for their virtual community platform, TheGlobe.com; Michael Fenne changes his physical appearance.|
|2||"Part 2: pseudocode"||Matthew Carnahan||Matthew Carnahan||January 13, 2019[a]||0.312|
|Jim Barksdale leads Netscape through a successful IPO, making it the dominant browser; Microsoft retaliates, sparking the browser wars; Michael Fenne excitedly starts a new company that promises to deliver revolutionary streaming technology.|
|3||"Part 3: agile method"||Gary Goldman||David Walpert||January 20, 2019||0.196|
|With the browser wars in full swing, Microsoft attacks Netscape; TheGlobe.com team hesitates to bring on a potential investor, unconvinced he'll be a good fit; using stolen technology, Michael Fenne launches a new company called Pixelon.|
|4||"Part 4: priority inversion"||Tamra Davis||Tracy Barone||January 20, 2019||0.151|
|Microsoft bundles Internet Explorer with every new Windows PC; Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelman run on fumes; as Pixelon prepares for a live event, Michael Fenne's management style grows more erratic, grabbing the attention of an employee.|
|5||"Part 5: segfault"||Matthew Carnahan||David Walpert||January 27, 2019||N/A|
|Jim Barksdale takes drastic measures to re-establish Netscape as an innovator; TheGlobe.com struggles to maintain focus on virtual communities; Pixelon launches a massive concert in Las Vegas as it introduces its revolutionary streaming technology.|
|6||"Part 6: fatal error"||Matthew Carnahan||Story by : Cristina Boada & Matthew Carnahan|
Teleplay by : Matthew Carnahan
|January 27, 2019||N/A|
|Jim Barksdale keeps up with the Microsoft antitrust case; Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelman try to save TheGlobe.com as they discover some potentially damaging news; Pixelon's investors and board members confront Michael Fenne.|
On November 15, 2017, it was announced that National Geographic had given the production a series order consisting of six episodes. Executive producers are set to include Matthew Carnahan, Arianna Huffington, Jason Goldberg, Brant Pinvidic, and David Walpert. Carnahan is also expected to act as showrunner for the series and direct as well. David Newsom is co-executive producer and will lead the non-scripted unit of the production. Joel Ehninger is expected to act in the role of producer. Production companies involved with the series include STXtelevision and Matthew Carnahan Circus Products. On September 24, 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on January 13, 2019.
On July 24, 2018, the first trailer for the series was released.
On September 21, 2018, the series held its world premiere during the second annual Tribeca TV Festival in New York City. Following a screening, a conversation took place featuring members of the cast and crew including creator Matthew Carnahan, actors Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn, Lamorne Morris, and real-life subject Stephan Paternot, founder of theGlobe.com.
The series will premiere globally on National Geographic in 171 countries and 45 languages. STXtelevision will distribute the series in China.
The series has been met with a mixed response from critics upon its premiere. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 67% approval rating with an average rating of 5.85 out of 10 based on 15 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "A visual collage of dot com history, Valley of Boom proves to be just as sprawling and ramshackle as the docuseries' subject." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 58 out of 100 based on 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
- The first two episodes were made available on December 21, 2018 on the National Geographic website.
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