Lost LA, Emmy Award-Winning Co-Production of KCET and USC Libraries, Returns for Fifth Season

Lost LA

KCET, showcasing the best of PBS while being the leading source for arts, culture and news in Southern California, announced today the return of the Emmy-winning historical documentary series LOST LA. The program is a co-production with the University of Southern California Libraries, part of their longstanding commitment to building public engagement with regional history collections. Public historian and writer Nathan Masters returns as host with untold histories behind the Red Car rail transit system, winemaking, Los Angeles’ prehistoric landscapes, the Japanese-American community of LA’s Crenshaw area and LA as a sanctuary during WWII for Europe’s most accomplished artists and intellectuals. Season five of LOST LA premieres on Sat., Mar. 19 at 9 p.m. on KCET in Southern California with encores airing the following Tuesdays on PBS SoCal at 7 p.m. Following the broadcast, each episode will stream at kcet.org/LostLA and pbssocal.org/LostLA and on the free PBS app.

Now in its fifth season, LOST LA explores the region’s hidden past through documents, photos and other rare artifacts from California libraries and archives. Since its premiere in January of 2016, the series has continued to challenge the assumption that Los Angeles is a city without a history. Instead, LOST LA offers a history of Southern California that is not often told, or has been forgotten, bringing primary sources of Los Angeles history to the screen and connecting them to the Los Angeles of today.

The episodes will be telecast as follows (subject to change):

  • Who Killed the Red Car?” – Sat., Mar. 19 at 9 p.m. on KCET
    Short:  Los Angeles dismantled one of the greatest rail transit systems in the nation. 
    Long:  Los Angeles dismantled one of the greatest rail transit systems in the nation. In this episode, search for a sunken Red Car off the coast of Redondo Beach, explore remnants of the Pacific Electric, ride a restored streetcar with Southern California Railway Museum co-founder Harvey Laner and visit the site of L.A.’s newest rail transit project, the Crenshaw Line.


  • Winemaking” – Sat., Mar. 26 at 9 p.m. on KCET
    Short: Explore a forgotten age when winemaking was Southern California’s principal industry.
    Long: Before the movies, before aerospace, oranges and oil, there was wine. This episode explores a largely forgotten age when winemaking was Southern California’s principal industry. Pick grapes from the oldest vines in Los Angeles, learn about the laborers who built the industry and meet enterprising winemakers who are resurrecting a long-lost Southern California tradition.  


  • Prehistoric Landscapes” – Sat., Apr. 2 at 9 p.m. on KCET
    Short: Digging deep into Southern California’s past reveals lessons for a climate-changed future. 
    Long:  Southern California’s climate has changed over the millennia. In this episode, sift through a natural archive of climate change at the La Brea Tar Pits, explore the remnants of a sunken super-island off the coast of Ventura and visit a natural tar pit in Ojai that might serve scientists in the distant future. 


  • German Exiles” – Sat., Apr. 9 at 9 p.m. on KCET
    Short: During WWII, L.A. became a sunny sanctuary for Europe’s most accomplished artists and intellectuals. 
    Long: During World War II, Los Angeles served as a sunny sanctuary for European artists and intellectuals fleeing Nazi persecution. In this episode, explore the archive of the Nazis’ “Public Enemy Number One” at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library, tour a Pacific Palisades house that hosted spirited literary salons and visit the Paramount Pictures studio lot, where exiles set the stage creatively for the filmmaking industry.


  • From Little Tokyo to Crenshaw” – Sat., Apr. 16 at 9 p.m. on KCET
    Short: After incarceration camps, Japanese-Americans made L.A.'s Crenshaw neighborhood their home. 
    Long: Japanese-Americans returning from World War II incarceration camps rebuilt their community in LA’s Crenshaw area. In this episode, walk through Little Tokyo, explore the archives at the Japanese-American National Museum, share a meal at historic Tak’s Cafe, shoot hoops at Dorsey High and consider how the neighborhood’s diverse history intersects with community-building efforts today. 


LOST LA is supported by the California State Library, the Frieda Berlinkski Foundation and other generous institutional funders.

For more information about LOST LA and to watch episodes online, visit kcet.org/LostLA. Join the conversation on social media using #LostLA.

About KCET: KCET is part of the donor-supported community institution, the Public Media Group of Southern California, which was formed by the merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group. As one of Southern California’s two flagship PBS stations, KCET is on-air, online as well as in the community, and plays a vital role in the cultural enrichment of Southern California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 55-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions and its website, kcet.org. For additional information about KCET’s original productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET Originals and PBS programming are available to stream on the FREE PBS App on iOS and Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Chromecast. KCET is also available to watch live on YouTube TV. 

About USC LIBRARIES: The USC Libraries actively support the discovery, creation, and preservation of knowledge at the University of Southern California and beyond. The libraries serve as host institution for L.A. as Subject, an association of more than 267 libraries, cultural institutions, official archives, and private collectors dedicated to preserving and telling the sometimes-hidden histories of the Los Angeles region. Southern California history is among the USC Libraries’ prominent collections and programming strengths, and Lost LA is an emblem of USC’s connection and commitment to Los Angeles as a Pacific Rim megacity.