The History Channel has teamed up with a slew of A-listers on its latest slate of docuseries and non-scripted series.
DiCaprio, who has previously worked with the network on miniseries Grant, is behind docuseries Sitting Bull, Good Morning America’s Roberts is behind WWI series Harlem Hellfighters, NFL legend Manning is behind The Einstein Challenge and History’s Greatest of All-Time with Peyton Manning and Liotta is behind Five Families.
Four-part series Sitting Bull traces the life of the legendary Hunkpapa Lakota chief, a fierce warrior, loving father, and holy man. It will detail seminal moments and key figures in Native American history including the Battle of Little Big Horn, Washita Massacre, Crazy Horse, Battle of Cedar Creek and the Wounded Knee Massacre.
The Lakota community will be involved with Larry Pourier, an Oglala Lakota consultant with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry advising on Native American TV and film projects and IllumiNative, a Native woman-led non-profit organization focused on increasing Native representation in media in front of and behind the camera, serving as consultants and advisors.
It will be produced by Stephen David Entertainment, Appian Way Productions and IllumiNative. Exec producers include Stephen David, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson, Phillip Watson, Crystal Echo Hawk, Larry Pourier, Mary E. Donahue and Zachary Behr.
Ray Liotta is exec producing Five Families, about the dramatic rise and fall of the New York’s mafia’s five families – Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Colombo and Lucchese.
For decades these five families ruled New York and built the American Mafia into an underworld empire. The series will follow the Mob from its explosive and violent growth in Prohibition, its golden age of domination in the 1970s and 1980s, up through its heated war with law enforcement – a feud they ultimately lost.
The eight-part series is based on Selwyn Raab’s book Five Families: The Rise, Decline and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires.
It is produced by Propagate with Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens and Michael Stiller exec producing alongside Liotta.
Peyton Manning and his company Omaha Productions are producing two series – History’s Greatest of All-Time with Peyton Manning and competition series The Einstein Challenge.
Eight-part series History’s Greatest of All-Time, which is produced by Omaha and Six West MediaTM group, will see the football star count down the greatest of all-time in a single category, from the greatest General to the greatest inventor or President. Manning, Steve Ascher, Mary E. Donahue and Brooke Townsend exec produce.
Half-hour series The Einstein Challenge is being produced by Omaha and Citizen Jones and will see two world-class experts will compete to see who can best explain seriously complicated concepts – such as how does an airplane fly or how bad was the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius – to a panel of kids. Manning, Jonah Bekhor, Jonas Bell Pasht, Mike Stiller and Amy Savitsky exec produce.
Pierce Brosnan is hosting History’s Greatest Heists, going inside the most unbelievable, elaborate real-life heists that have taken place throughout history – from the Wilcox train robbery of 1899 to Boston’s Great Brink robbery in 1950.
The eight-part series comes from Big Fish Entertainment and Anchor Entertainment and will feature “stylized” cinematic recreations and VFX. Dan Cesareo, Lucilla D’Agostino, Jordana Starr, Ethan Goldman, Mary E. Donahue and Jennifer Wagman exec produce.
Finally, Robin Roberts is exec producing Harlem Hellfighters. The four-part series will tell the story of the Hellfighters through the eyes of three men: band leader James Europe and Privates Henry Johnson and Horace Pippin.
A century ago, after intensive lobbying by civic leaders, an all-black regiment was formed in New York as the U.S. geared up to enter World War I. The group, which began as New York’s 15th infantry with most members from Harlem, faced intense racism at home as they trained and later confronted shocking discrimination in the field during the war. They were assigned to fight the Germans not alongside U.S. troops, but as part of the French Army; their own countrymen refused to fight with them. Even so, the men fought ferociously in the war’s horror filled trenches. They displayed extraordinary courage in battle after battle, earning the name Harlem Hellfighters and France’s highest military honor, the Croix de Guerre. The Hellfighters spent an unprecedented 191 days in combat, longer than any other American unit in the war.
The four-part series is produced by Rock’n RobinProductions and RadicalMedia. Roberts, who previously exec produced Tuskegee Airman: Legacy of Courage for the History Channel, exec produces alongside Reni Calister, Dave Sirulnick, Jon Kamen, Meredith Bennett and Mary E. Donahue.
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