Tue, 10/26/2010 - 9:00pm - 10:00pm

Pictured: The Deepwater Horizon offshore rig days after the explosion that killed 11 and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Credit: Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

FRONTLINE joins with ProPublica to examine the trail that led to the disaster in the Gulf.

Long before the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf, BP was widely viewed as a company that valued deal-making and savvy marketing over safety, a “serial environmental criminal” that left behind a long trail of problems — deadly accidents, disastrous spills, countless safety violations — which many now believe should have triggered action by federal regulators. Could the spill have been prevented?

FRONTLINE: The Spill airs Tuesday, October 26 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 11/cable 1011).

Through interviews with current and former employees and executives, government regulators and safety experts, FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith joins with the investigative non-profit ProPublica to examine the trail that led to the disaster in the Gulf. From BP’s vast oil fields in Alaska to its refineries in Texas and its trading rooms in New York and London, the film raises new questions about whether BP’s corporate culture will finally be forced to change.

As PBS’ premier public affairs series, FRONTLINE’s stature is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human, social and political experience.