'Their Finest Hour,' A Tom Brokaw Documentary to Premiere Saturday, August 11 During NBC's Daytime Coverage of the London Olympics

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

August 6th, 2012

via press release:




“Their Finest Hour” Honors Host Country, Great Britain



LONDON - August 6, 2012 – “Their Finest Hour,” a Tom Brokaw documentary in honor of host country Great Britain, will premiere on Saturday, August 11, during NBC’s daytime coverage of the London Olympics. NBC’s Olympic daytime show starts at 10 a.m. ET/PT.


In Tom Brokaw’s words, “Their Finest Hour” explores the debt Americans owe to the British people. In 1940 and 1941, just prior to the United States entering World War II, Britain miraculously stood firm against Nazi terror. And, as historian Anthony Beevor states in the documentary, Hitler would have ruled all of Europe, and there would have been very little the United States could have done about it.


"Their Finest Hour" was shot across Britain in London, Dover, Coventry, Portsmouth, Bladon and Cambridge over the course of two years. Assistants to the producers engaged in a worldwide search for supporting archival footage. In particular, with more than 25 different sources, the documentary uses a vast amount of recently discovered color film footage of the period that had been forgotten for decades. Airing the day before the Closing Ceremony, “Their Finest Hour” is a tribute to England as the host of the 2012 Olympics. It is powerful and insightful, shedding light on a piece of history that may be unknown to the American viewer.


Co-produced by NBC Olympics Story Editor and Senior Producer Brian Brown, and Executive Editor Joe Gesue, “Their Finest Hour” is one in a series of documentaries that Brown, Gesue and Brokaw have collaborated on over the years. Past work included a documentary about Gander, Newfoundland, during the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, where planes headed for the U.S. on 9/11 landed and remained for days.





  • Richard Steven Hack

    In that picture, he looks like he’s presiding over an execution…

  • Lamdog

    “Their Finest Hour” explores the debt Americans owe to the British people.

    Maybe. I am missing something at the end of the day it was a European War. So in the end Tom it will always be Europe which owes a debt to US(A).

    Hopefully it will go a long way to explain why it was missing in the opening ceremony as Mr Doyle choose to highlight everything but their finest hour.

  • TimsDale4ever

    Damn he’s gotten old. ????

  • Linda

    On what network and at what time will this program be aired?

  • Doug

    Good question. I’d love to watch, but cannot find when and where it is being broadcast.

    GREAT JOB NBC! How much money did this cost you?

  • Kevin

    Funny, during the Olympic coverage it says that it would be run at 19:00 EDT or 16:00 PDT. Not according to any guide, anywhere.

    Nothing But Cockups!

  • w s eddy

    There are USA citizens who know and are in awe of what the UK did in 1940. And, I do add, also the Commonwealth. Had disaster come to the UK, its government would have relocated to Ottawa to continue the fight until the New World, in all its strength and majesty, came as a full partner against the evil of Nazism, and yes Japan.

    Winston Churchill was indeed an outstanding leader, with eloquence to match.

    USA would soon send an Ambassador to UK, Gil Winant, who stood tall with the UK for approaching five years, who walked in London after bombs fell, who, with Churchill and yes FDR, gave UK hope right after its darkest hours.

    I will watch Mr Brokaw’s program in about one hour, in awe of the British, and appreciative of the help USA could extend in the UK’s hour of peril.

  • w s eddy

    Yes there are some in USA who appreciate the incredible leadership the UK provided during 1940. The eloquence of Winston Churchill should never be forgotten, the future encouragement of the USA ambassador, Gil Winant, who walked London’s streets after bombings.

    And yes it must be remembered that Britain was not utterly alone in 1940, the Commonwealth was also fighting, indeed the British government, had the British Isles been overrun, would have relocated to Ottawa, there to fight until the full strength of the New World would have entered–as indeed it did–the battle against the evils of the Axis.

  • outrageous

    Really? They are delaying the tape delay to show this documentary? Outrageous! Put this on at the END not the beginning. My children don’t get to watch the last night of sports. Thanks a bunch NBC! :-(

  • Judith

    We are enjoying the program, but the background music is so loud it is overpowering a lot of the dialog.

  • Disappointed

    We only get to watch the Olympics at night so were so disappointed that is documentary had to be shown the night before the Olympics end.

  • Ed

    I think that a relatively brief reference to the Battle of Britain and the legendary (and well deserved) reputation of the British people for their courage during that era would have been fine and appropriate. The length of the telecast, in the context of the Olympic Games, and the fact that this was undoubtly NOT Germany’s “finest hour” bothered me greatly. There is a time and a place. This was neither the time nor the place to dredge up 70-year old feelings about war.
    – EMK

  • Jim

    Thank you NBC and Tom Brokaw, this was a very good and interesting show. It is nice to see that we, the US and Great Britain have stayed friends for so long.

    Even though I do not agree with Afghanistan, we and GB are fighting the war together….again.

  • Billy

    Anyone who had a problem with the Brokaw documentary is a raging, flaming idiot

  • leeann mckeough

    how to see this again

  • Barb Beagle

    It seems more than appropriate to air this at this time and place — reminds us that there would not be any Olympics except for “Their Finest Hour.” Now I need to find out where I can purchase a copy for my classes.

  • James Corrao

    When did the Olympic coverage turn into the History Channel? Cover the competition first and put the history lesson on at the end of the night. What about the children who want to stay up and watch the Olympics? And who picked out that shirt an tie combination for Bob Costos? Sasha Cohen!

  • gerald ceasar

    Tom Brokaw said that in the Air Battle of Britain, Britain fought alone. Not to take away anything from the Brits, this was not true. 20% of the RAF, the largest foreign or dominion component, was made up of the Polish Air Force who had escaped Poland somehow and fought alongside their British Allies and shot down more than their fair share of Nazi planes once they got modern planes. The top air ace in the Battle of Britain in the RAF came from the Polish Kosciusko squadron as well as another one of the top 10. So let’s not forget their Polish allies. Without their help it’s likely that Britain would not have prevailed. The Polish Army further contributed to the Allies victory throughout the WWII in winning the important battles of Monte Casino in Italy and by enabling the breakout of British forces at Normandy by defeating Nazi Panzer forces at the Falais Gap by the Polish First Armour.


    We REALLY wanted to see this but scheduling that was published SUCKED!

    When will it be re-shown?

  • Kay Gunning

    Judith has it right, the music is TOO LOUD. It is supposed to be BACKGROUND music. Hard to hear Brokaw and harder to hear Churchill and still harder to hear the people tell their story. Your “mixers” do not understand accompany the program. It was played as SOLO music. Tell them to back off the music at the least 50% of what they had it at. But this is nothing new it happens all the time in TV specials… I would rather you shut the music OFF and I am a musician.

    Amazing story I have never truly heard and I was alive in those days. I never had understood the Blitz. No wonder we did the same to Hitler in Dresden. Also, I had never realized they had 78 nights of constant bombing by planes and the devastation, only heard of the missiles kind that droned over and then fell.

    I am sorry the man thinks his children need to watch sports more than this very important history lesson. Not much still going on to cover would be my guess, after all day coverage.

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