EXCLUSIVE: As History‘s blockbuster Hatfields & McCoys miniseries is making its final rounds on the awards circle with strong showings at the Golden Globe, SAG and WGA nominations, the network is looking to extend the hit franchise on the unscripted side. I’ve learned that History is developing a reality series featuring the descendants of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Details about the series, produced by Wild Eyes Prods. (Bullproof, Living Large), are being kept under wraps, but it is safe to assume that the contemporary Hatfields and McCoys will no longer be feuding.
Seven decades ago, the descendants of the two clans whose bloody clash rocked the Tug Valley area between Kentucky and West Virginia post-Civil War were showcased in Life magazine to attest that the two families had buried the hatchet. (At left is a photograph used in the 1944 story featuring Shirley Hatfield and Frankie McCoy, working together in a local military factory) And in 2003, descendants of the Hatfield and McCoy families gathered in Pikeville, KY to sign a truce for a symbolic and official end to the feud that claimed at least a dozen lives. The proclamation was signed by more than 60 descendants during the fourth Hatfield-McCoy Festival, with Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton and West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise declaring June 14 Hatfield and McCoy Reconciliation Day.
History’s three-part Hatfields & McCoys starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton became a pop-culture phenomenon. It broke basic cable ratings records, culminating with 14.3 million viewers for its May 30 conclusion. The mini went on to earn 16 Emmy nominations, including best movie/miniseries. It won five, including best leading actor (Kevin Costner) and supporting actor (Tom Berenger). Earlier today, Hatfields & McCoys received two Golden Globe nominations, for best movie/miniseries and best actor (Costner).
NBC is developing a contemporary Hatfields & McCoys drama series executive produced by Charlize Theron. And History is back in business with Hatfields & McCoys co-writer Ted Mann and executive producer Leslie Greif to develop Texas Rising, a miniseries about the formation and rise of the Texas Rangers, the oldest law enforcement organization in North America.