Time Team America is an American television series that airs on PBS. It premiered on July 8, 2009. It is an Oregon Public Broadcasting adaptation of the British show Time Team, produced in collaboration with Channel 4 which commissioned the original show, in which a team of archeologists and other experts are given 72 hours to excavate an historic site. The U.S. version features "freelance and university-affiliated experts [who] mostly join existing excavations...[and] arrive with resources that the archaeologists already on the case usually can’t afford and specific questions that, if answered, will advance the understanding of the site." A second season was announced on October 18, 2011, scheduled to shoot during the summer of 2012 and to air in 2013. On December 20, 2011 it was announced that Justine Shapiro would host the second season.
In 1865, a unit of cavalry soldiers thought they had volunteered to fight in the Civil War. Instead, they found themselves sent west to defend pioneer settlers against angry Sioux Indians in what is now South Dakota. Upon their arrival, the soldiers built Fort James, one of the few stone forts on the American frontier. The fort's quartzite walls still peek out from under a grassy field that seems to have somehow survived intact. The site has never been excavated, but experts believe that the fort's remains hold a time capsule of information about life on the early frontier. Time Team America traveled to South Dakota on a rescue mission: to find out how much of the fort survives and how big an area it covers so that the archaeology can be protected for future research.