In his Independence era work, Rough Crossings, Schama repeats The Fiction of Man of Color Samuel Fraunces and His Daughter Phoebe Who Saved Washington From Assassination!" He makes up whole cloth a whole bunch of material about him and the events in New York that took off the slaves emancipated by the English for fighting and aiding the Loyalist side of the war. Whole farkin' cloth fantasy and imagination. There's not an iota of fact for any of it. Tellingly, none of this section has a single citation .... Nobody's called him on it. It's not even that the info is hard to find.
I worked for the Fraunces Tavern Museum, so I know this material. If Samuel Fraunces had been a man of color, if he had a daughter named Phoebe who saved General Washington from assassination, we would have capitalized it like nobody's business. But there is NO documentation for any of this, and all the documentation we do have, including the city's census records, tax records, property records say otherwise -- including the number of slaves and their gender owned by by Fraunces.
Is this what happens to historians who do television history? You farm out the actual research to your grad students, and it doesn't matter to you and your bosses whether your facts are correct -- you prefer to print the legend rather than the facts because that makes for a better story? This is acceptable for movies and fiction, perhaps *. But Rough Crossings was not purported to be either -- though, tellingly again, it was written to be a a television series for the BBC (2005 & 2006) -- the BBC should also be ashamed. It was presenting history, not fiction.
* Preferring fantasy to facts in fiction or movies isn't acceptable either, as far as this historian's concerned. That's one of the major reasons the lies of the inglorious lost cause, including their favorite one, that the Civil War wasn't fought about slavery, continue to hang on.