In Production

Lost to Time: Forgotten facts of the Lincoln Conspiracy

The majority of Americans believe they pretty much know everything about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. They know a crazed actor named John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and that Booth was eventually hanged, or shot or imprisoned... or something like that.

The truth is most people have no clue about what really went on in those tragic days of 1865. Most importantly, they have no idea there was a conspiracy - first to kidnap Lincoln and then to kill him. The collective memory blank of the facts surrounding this story can fill volumes.

"Lost to Time" fills in those blanks. By revisiting the place where the events occurred - many of them still standing - this documentary will create snapshots of how it was. As the conspiracy story unfolds, we will stop along the way and examine the little-known facts that give rich texture to this historical tapestry.

Imagine scenes from the story of the conspiracy. Imagine freeze-framing those scenes and being able to zoom in on a particular aspect of the scene, an amazing historical fact that illuminates life at the time. Why were the condemned hanged in bare feet? So their shoes would not fill with blood.

This show is filled with "water-cooler" moments, the "did you know" type of storytelling that is filled with information that will fascinate viewers. Consider this a roll call of the unknown.

"The Devil is in the Details," means the tough part of getting a job done is being sure every detail, no matter how small, is considered. This documentary will be a powerful primer in presenting the nuances of life in 1865 and the forgotten facts of the Lincoln conspiracy. It's time to meet this devil head-on.

Call 911 - Investigation Discovery

Whether it's on the evening news or a crime based television show, a few snippets of a 911 call is guaranteed to stop channel surfers in their tracks.

Because it's in that moment - when we hear the phrase " 911, what's your emergency?" - that an audience instinctively knows an intense human drama - better than any fiction or reality show - is about to unfold.

Call 911 is a new television series that utilizes the stories of terror, heroism and sometimes jaw-dropping comedy of 911 calls in a fresh new way. Instead of playing a few seconds of a 911 call to highlight a crime story, Call 911 uses the entire dialogue between the caller and the 911 operator to tell a tale.

The majority of these calls unwind like powerful stage plays - self-contained in three acts. What Call 911 does that other shows have failed to do is let these gripping conversations speak for themselves.

New York Times Review of "Call 911"
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True Crime with Aphrodite Jones

Aphrodite Jones is a world-renowned author, specializing in non-fiction true crime stories. A noted television commentator, her opinions are sought after by national news programs some of which include CNN Headline News, and Larry King Live. Throughout Jones' 18-year career, her focus has been on shedding light on any crime that reveals the injustices within our society. Her book, All She Wanted, was made into the major motion picture Boys Don't Cry.

True Crime with Aphrodite Jones is a new series for Investigation Discovery that will feature Jones delving into some of the most heinous murder cases of our time.

The Program will consist of 13 one hour long programs that recount the details of such notorious cases as Scott Peterson, Skylar Deleon, The Zodiac Killer and Phil Spector. Each show will follow Jones as she visits the locations connected to these murders; interviews those still connected to the crime - and when possible, she will interview those convicted.

Jones is driven to get inside the minds of these killers, and desperate to understand what drives these criminals to perform such despicable acts. She believes that understanding what makes these people tick will reveal opportunities to protect ourselves against crime in our own lives.

The series employs Jones' unique ability to reassemble the lives of these disturbed individuals - her focus always on uncovering the truth behind the tragedy. Her meticulous research harmonizes with her deep empathy for each and every victim - creating a compelling and visually powerful balance.

After all, the best way to understand a criminal mind - is to get inside one.

The Lost JFK Tapes: The Assassination

We thought we had seen every frame of footage available from the fateful weekend that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

We were wrong.

For nearly 45 years, nearly 100 hours of news footage and radio reports have quietly languished in Dallas and Fort Worth - first kept under wraps by the local news stations who owned them, then in the vault of a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the day Kennedy was cut down.

Now, for the first time, this remarkable record will be assembled in an unprecedented two-hour documentary. The film will detail the events of those four days in a way not seen in more than four decades, letting the images unfold in real time. That's what sets this film apart - a "you are there"/ "as it happened" approach.

This footage was shot by three local television stations. Though some of their images were appeared in national broadcasts , much of what these crews filmed was not seen outside of the Dallas TV and radio market. Now, that footage has been digitally captured - saved from obsolete videotape and electronically fine-tuned.

It is now ready to be shown to the world in its original form - for the first time since it was broadcast.

Highlights from the footage include:

  • President Kennedy's arrival in Fort Worth the night before the assassination.
  • Kennedy's final speech, made the morning of Nov. 22nd in Fort Worth at a chamber of commerce breakfast.
  • Local coverage of Kennedy's arrival at Dallas Love Field.
  • Aftermath of the assassination in Dealey Plaza
  • The chaos at Parkland hospital.
  • The arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald
  • The interrogation of Oswald at Dallas Police headquarters.
  • The infamous Midnight Press Conference - where Jack Ruby, Oswald's eventual killer - can be seen hovering in the back of the room.
  • The shooting of Oswald by Ruby in the basement of police headquarters.
  • Oswald's arrival and death at Parkland Hospital.
  • The aftermath of Oswald's killing.

This is not a highlights reel. Instead, crews shooting that weekend for local stations let their cameras constantly run. When they covered a location, they shot for hours. When Oswald was being held by the Dallas police, local crews were allowed to film almost non-stop - and that's exactly what they did.

The visual quality of the footage is amazing. The images are so clear and well-preserved that they appear to have been shot yesterday. To enhance the impact of this footage, we will use a "24" editing style to give a contemporary "clock ticking" look to these remarkable scenes.

This show opens with footage of JFK giving his final speech at a breakfast in Fort Worth. The program culminates two days later [Friday-Sunday] with the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby in the basement of the Dallas Police Headquarters.

During the program, viewers will experience the events of that tragic weekend just as those who were watching at home in Dallas in November 1963.

Check out some reviews:

The program avoids the usual documentary intrusions: It has no present-day interviews with former Secret Service agents or functionaries, sharing their memories; no interpretive commentary from history professors. And it is mesmerizing. Tom Jennings, the director, and his crew show a fine eye for small touches that say a lot.

-- Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

National Geographic performs an impressive television and historical feat Monday with "The Lost JFK Tapes: The Assassination." ... This thorough, understated approach enables the channel to do a very good job of evoking a very bad week.

-- David Hinckley, New York Daily News

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy, on Nov. 22, 1963, gets a compelling re-telling tonight.

-- Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe

The images of the crime and its aftermath may be seared into the nation's psyche, but on Monday, the National Geographic Channel will premiere a spare and revelatory documentary assembled from digitized and restored TV news footage and personal film that virtually no one has seen.

-- Alan Peppard, Dallas Morning News

... the second-most examined and chronicled event in American history unfolds in a compelling, ominous account with rare original footage of the fateful visit to Dallas. There's a local news interview with Abraham Zapruder, whose eyewitness film of the slaying would be studied for decades. There are several historic nuggets like this, making the two-hour "Lost JFK Tapes" a profound addition to the historical record. ... this compilation of footage plays out a little bit like live coverage would today - deepening the impact for viewers who watched the horror of 9/11 in 2001.

-- Joe Amarante, New Haven Register

If you sat in your easy chair in Dallas in 1963 and changed the channel at all the right moments, that's what this is. ... This is the real history, not history told by someone else. This is history as told by its participants.

-- Gary Mack, Curator, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Most of what's contained in this excellent two-hour show comes not from the networks but from Dallas TV stations. ... The story is told in chronological order, without narration. And really, none is needed. This history speaks for itself.

-- Marc D. Allen

We found the production painful and compelling, a monumental undertaking flawlessly well done. The documentary proved true to its name, pure history in true form, just as it happened at the time.. a remarkable encounter with 1963 all over again.

-- Glen Gatlin, Dallas resident & eyewitness

... this film is not meant to be a documentary of the president. Instead it is a fresh look, from the perspective of the reporters who covered the events... with footage that has been seen before and many new scenes. Interesting, mesmerizing, and insightful are all words to describe this film. Airing in a two-hour time slot, this documentary can only skim the surface of the events, but it does provide an in-depth version of the timeline and all the critical things that happened that fateful November.

-- Francine Brokaw

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Tom Jennings Productions is a full-service entertainment company based in Los Angeles, California. The staff at TJP specializes in making some of the best documentary and television shows for the major cable networks. The production staff of TJP has been involved with the creation of more than 500 hours of television during the past ten years. TJP staffers have produced shows for networks including Discovery Channel, History Channel, A&E, TLC, Travel channel, VH1, National Geographic, HGTV, Court TV, PBS, CBS and Animal Planet.

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