Valley of the Boom

Watch Valley of the Boom

  • 2019
  • 1 Season
  • 6.6  (722)

Valley of the Boom is a docudrama series that premiered on National Geographic on January 13, 2019. The show depicts the rise of the Silicon Valley in the 1990s, starting with the birth of the dot-com boom through the eyes of three different companies. Through a series of interviews, re-enactments, and archive footage, Valley of the Boom takes viewers on a thrilling trip down memory lane, reinvigorating the excitement of the technology that changed the world.

The show features an all-star cast, including Bradley Whitford as the eccentric Netscape CEO James Barksdale, Oliver Cooper as Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape Communications Corporation, and Lamorne Morris as the savvy entrepreneur and CEO of, Michael Fenne.

Valley of the Boom is a unique series in that it combines two different genres - documentary and drama - to create an innovative storytelling experience. In-between scenes that depict the events of the era, real-life interviews with the featured subjects such as Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, journalist Kara Swisher, and many others give context and tease out the themes explored in the show. This combination of interviews and drama sequences effortlessly provides a captivating experience that educates the viewer while still keeping them entertained.

The three companies that the show focuses on are Netscape Communications Corporation,, and Pixelon. Netscape's story is the best-known one as the legendary company created the first commercially successful web browser, giving millions of people access to the internet. The series details the rise of Netscape, from their humble beginnings to their IPO and subsequent takeover from Microsoft. The show also covers the creation of the Mozilla Foundation, which eventually gave birth to the web browser that we all know and love today - Firefox., another prominent dot-com company, focused on creating virtual communities where people could interact with one another in a manner similar to pen-pals. The series follows from their first pitch to their eventual flameout - a reminder that not all internet startups can be successful.

Pixelon is perhaps the least well-known of the three companies described in the series, however, their story is perhaps the most remarkable. Pixelon's CEO, Michael Fenne, was a serial fraudster who created a company that ostensibly streamed live events over the internet - this was a time when quicktime was still in its infancy, and streaming anything longer than a 15-second clip was a monumental feat. Pixelon was a costly failure, but the show's intricate weaving of its story into the broader rise and fall of the dot-com bubble make this a highlight of the series.

Valley of the Boom does an excellent job of capturing the energy and frenetic pace of the Silicon Valley in the 1990s. The scene setting and cultural references are excellent, with an accurate portrayal of the clicky keyboards, poor quality phone lines, and the first e-commerce stores that were the reason behind the growth of the Dot-Com era.

Overall, Valley of the Boom is a fascinating retelling of a critical point in history. The show does an excellent job of painting a picture of the era of the internet's birth, from the grand dreams to the harsh reality of the dot-com bust. With solid acting, directing, and writing, it's an engrossing experience for tech enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Valley of the Boom is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (6 episodes). The series first aired on January 13, 2019.

Valley of the Boom
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Part 6: Fatal Error
6. Part 6: Fatal Error
January 27, 2019
Jim Barksdale (Bradley Whitford) keeps up with the Microsoft antitrust case, fights to stay alive and Pixelon’s failing tech is exposed.
Part 5: Segfault
5. Part 5: Segfault
January 27, 2019
Jim Barksdale (Bradley Whitford) tries to reestablish Netscape, struggles to stay focused and Pixelon launches iBash.
Part 4: Priority Inversion
4. Part 4: Priority Inversion
January 20, 2019
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.
Part 3: Agile Method
3. Part 3: Agile Method
January 20, 2019
With the browser wars in full swing, Microsoft attacks Netscape; 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.
Part 2: Pseudocode
2. Part 2: Pseudocode
January 13, 2019
Jim Barksdale leads Netscape through a successful IPO and makes them the dominate browser on the market. Microsoft retaliates and sparks the browser wars. continues to grow and finally raises enough money to keep afloat. Michael Fenne excitedly starts a new company that promises to deliver revolutionary streaming technology.?
Part 1: Print (
1. Part 1: Print ("hello, world")
January 13, 2019
Proving the internet is real, Jim Barksdale and team take the ever-expanding Netscape on a road show in search of potential investors. Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelman struggle to secure financing for their virtual community platform, Michael Fenne, searching for new opportunities, changes his physical appearance as he travels across the country to Southern California.
Where to Watch Valley of the Boom
Valley of the Boom is available for streaming on the National Geographic (US) website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Valley of the Boom on demand at FuboTV, Google Play, Apple TV and National Geographic.
  • Premiere Date
    January 13, 2019
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (722)