HBO’s “Silicon Valley” may provide an absurdly comedic take on startups and the modern tech industry, but a new series coming from the National Geographic Channel will provide a historical spin on tech’s mid-1990s boom — and the epic browser battle of that time.
“Valley of the Boom” is a limited, six-part series coming this winter, and the first look was revealed this week in Beverly Hills, Calif., during the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
The series will blend scripted elements with documentary-style interviews with tech luminaries — such as Mark Cuban and Arianna Huffington — who witnessed the battle between Netscape and Microsoft for browser supremacy.
“What is internet anyway?” Bryant Gumble says during a famous “Today Show” clip from 1994 which kicks off the trailer. And the next few minutes are like a time-machine trip back to what it was like to discover the dawn of the web.
And long before there was YouTube or Facebook or Google, “Valley” focuses on Pixelon, a streaming-video startup; TheGlobe.com, a social networking site; and Netscape, the browser that got big fast and ultimately lost to Microsoft and Internet Explorer.
“If the series has an antagonist, it’s definitely Bill Gates,” creator Matthew Carnahan told USA Today. “Microsoft is essentially the Death Star in this story. They were certainly the death knell for Netscape when they set their sights on owning the market (of web browsing).”