EXCLUSIVE: Noah Wyle and Jim Katz’s Wyle/Katz Productions has partnered with Brillstein Entertainment Partners to acquire worldwide screen rights to historian Lynne Olson‘s books The Murrow Boys (co-written with Stanley Cloud) and the just published Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh And America’s Fight Over World War II. They will now find a writer to draft a miniseries about the loud debate between the interventionists led by Edward R. Murrow who pressed for joining England in the fight against Hitler as Germany ravaged Europe, opposed by an isolationist movement led by national hero Charles Lindbergh, which argued that as the U.S. recovered from the Great Depression the last thing it needed was to fight another country’s battle. Wyle, whose TNT series Falling Skies just got renewed for a fourth season that grows from 10 to 12 episodes a season, will produce the mini with Katz and BEP’s Danny Sussman. Wyle said the project hasn’t been set at a network, but it sounds like Turner will be a stop along the trail, as Wyle said the network has become re-interested in longform subjects.
“There are two stories that take place in Europe and America, and it starts when Murrow began reporting from there and saw was what happening in 1937 before the invasion of Poland,” Wyle told me. “What followed in 1939 was 57 days of blitzkrieg, and it was the moment when radio came into its own as a mode of global communication. Murrow was talking to everyone in the country, from a fisherman in Bangor, Maine to a migrant worker in California.” Besides Murrow and Lindbergh, the central figures in the drama include Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Wyle said the mini ends with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He’s repped by BEP and UTA, Olson by the Ross Yoon Literary Agency in DC.