In this groundbreaking new series hosted by Niall Ferguson and based on his bestselling book The Square and the Tower, Ferguson visits network theorists, social scientists, and data analysts to explore the history of social networks.

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Where to Watch

This three-part series premieres on CPTV on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, with all three episodes airing back-to-back starting at 8 p.m. The series will also be available on and the PBS Video App.

The series also encores on CPTV Spirit in April 2020. Episode 1 airs Tuesday, April 7 at 10 p.m., Wednesday, April 8 at 3 p.m., Thursday, April 9 at 9 a.m., and Tuesday, April 14 at 3 p.m. Episode 2 airs Tuesday, April 14 at 10 p.m., Wednesday, April 15 at 3 p.m., Thursday, April 16 at 9 a.m., and Tuesday, April 21 at 3 p.m. Episode 3 airs Tuesday, April 21 at 10 p.m., Wednesday, April 22 at 3 p.m., Thursday, April 23 at 9 a.m., and Tuesday, April 28 at 3 p.m.

More About the Program

From the Reformation and 17th century witch-hunting, through the American Revolution and to the nightmare visions of Orwell’s 1984, Ferguson explores the intersection of social media, technology, and the spread of cultural movements.

Reviewing classic experiments and cutting-edge research, Ferguson demonstrates how human behavior, disruptive technology, and profit can energize ideas and communication, ultimately changing the world.

Episodes include:

  • Part 1 – “Disruption”
    Niall Ferguson untangles issues surrounding social media networks, viral ideas, and truth.
  • Part 2 – “Winner Takes All”
    Looking at the past, Niall Ferguson illustrates how the web shifted to become a profitable network.
  • Part 3 – “Networld War”
    Explore how democracies are threatened by forces that exploit and weaponize social networks.

Stream the CPTV Documentary Fake

Interested in the topics raised by Niall Ferguson’s Networld? Watch the CPTV Original documentary Fake: Searching for Truth in the Age of Misinformation. Learn how and why misinformation spreads, and how to be a smarter information consumer in our increasingly digital world. Stream it now.