EXCLUSIVE: It’s been three years since History successfully entered the original scripted series arena with Vikings. Now the cable network is mounting a new scripted push, which includes with a 10-episode straight-to-series order to another historical drama, Knightfall, executive produced by Jerremy Renner who is expected to guest star and might recur. It will premiere in late 2016.
The project, created by Don Handfield and Richard Rayner, was put into development in the spring and has been championed by Paul Buccieri in one of his first major moves after coming on board as President of A&E and History last January. Knightfall hails from A+E Studios, Jeremy Renner’s and Handfield’s banner The Combine and Midnight Radio (Jeff Pinkner, Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum and Scott Rosenberg). It is part of A+E Networks’ efforts to put on the air more series that the company owns.
Knightfall chronicles the mysterious but true accounts of the Knights Templar, the elite warriors of the Crusades. It delves into the great secrets protected by the Templars and tells the story of faith, loyalty and brotherhood that help sustain these warriors on the battlefield, and the dark events that would forever sear the infamous date of Friday the 13th into the world’s psyche.
“Premium scripted content continues to be a growing part of the History portfolio, with an eye towards quality historical fact-based storytelling, and Knightfall is the perfect fit for our brand,” said Buccieri.
Handfield, Rayner and Renner executive produce alongside Pinkner, Nemec, Appelbaum and Rosenberg. A+E Networks will distribute Knightfall internationally. Renner is repped by Untitled, CAA and Patti Felker.
Since the one-two punch of The Bible and Vikings, which launched together to big ratings in spring 2013, History’s scripted efforts have been focused in the miniseries/limited series area, most recently mounting the upcoming Roots remake.