The History Channel is Developing a New Anthology Series About U.S. Presidents Called THE COMMANDERS
If you're a history buff like I am, or if you're just interested in learning more about U.S. Presidents of the past, you're gonna want to watch this new series that The History Channel is developing. It's called The Commanders, and it's an anthology series that "will dramatize the biggest moments in American history and those that served as commander-in-chief."
The limited series is said to range from four to ten hours long and it will focus on presidents including Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. According to THR, History Channel is also internally developing projects on George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Dwight Eisenhower.
The stories that the network plans on telling come from a collection of books that they have optioned including The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton by Peter Baker, Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade, and The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein.
History president and general manager Jana Bennett had this to say about the series in a statement:
"From the contemporary history of Clinton's impeachment and its lasting impact on the nation's political landscape and Reagan's influence that defined the Republican Party for generations, to Jefferson’s creation of the military might of the U.S. Marines — these defining stories forged our nation. The Commanders would bring history to life and speak to the crises we face in modern times."
The report goes on to give us a breakdown of each of the projects that are in development for The Commanders anthology. They include:
The Breach: Inside the Impeachment of Bill Clinton
Based on Peter Baker's New York Times best-seller comes a political thriller that would bring viewers behind the scenes of an event unique in modern American history: the impeachment of an elected president. Featuring a who's who of contemporary modern political figures, the project would go into Republican and Democratic war rooms, revealing the infighting among the president's advisers; the secret back-channel negotiations between the White House and Congress; Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky; and the manner in which Clinton, his family and his political opponents all dealt with the fallout. The series would chronicle how Washington became lost in the breach of its own partisan impulses, an event that many argue has defined the political landscape today. A+E Studios will produce in association with Cutler Productions. Cutler (Nashville, The War Room) serves as executive producer, writer and director, with David K. Israel also serving as a writer.
Rise of Reagan
In the wake of economic decline and international tumult, a former actor and California governor named Ronald Reagan shook up the political world when he did the unthinkable, running against sitting Republican President Gerald Ford in a campaign that would ultimately ignite the “Reagan Revolution.” As president, Reagan redefined the Republican Party and shaped the course of American conservatism. A+E Studios will produce the project based on The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein, who serves as consultant. Bill Haber (Rizzoli & Isles) is on board to executive produce the project, which was written by Cyrus Nowrasteh, author of The Day Reagan Was Shot.
The drama takes the viewer inside the summits held by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin as they strategize the campaign to win World War II. While creating the battle lines for the Cold War, Churchill and FDR realize the next great global threat is in the room negotiating with them. From Bad Wolf, the series is based on Alliance: The Inside Story of How Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill Won One War and Began Another by Jonathan Fenby, and is written and executive produced by three-time BAFTA Award nominee Stephen Butchard (The Last Kingdom). Julie Gardner, David Attwood and Martin Davidson also serve as executive producers.
In the aftermath of the assassination of President William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt rose to power as the youngest-ever chief executive of the United States. A complex and dynamic leader, Roosevelt was a man who lived many lives. From a life of East Coast privilege to Rough Rider out West, to police commissioner and governor of New York and eventually U.S. president, Roosevelt would become a trust-buster who battled with JP Morgan, a big-game hunter turned conservationist and ultimately a Nobel Prize winner. Written by Matthew Sand (Deepwater Horizon) and based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Pulitzer Prize winner Edmund Morris, the show is produced by A+E Studios in association, with Critical Content’s Tom Forman, Andrew Marcus and Ray Ricord attached as exec producers.
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
With America’s merchant ships under attack, its citizens being held hostage and the U.S. Naval fleet sold off to help pay the debts from the War of Independence, President Thomas Jefferson’s decision to wage war against the Barbary Coast Pirates would transform not only the American military, but the future prosperity of the U.S. Based on Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History, the New York Times best-selling book by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, this story would chart Jefferson's refusal to back down against the aggression of the Barbary Pirates and tell the story of his domestic battles to get backing for foreign intervention and to build a naval force, which led to the creation of the Marines. Their defeat of the pirates on the shores of Tripoli redefined American foreign policy for the two centuries that followed. From Thinkfactory Media, Leslie Greif will exec produce and Kilmeade will co-executive produce. Stephen J. Rivele will pen the script.
War of 1812
A few decades after securing independence, the fledgling United States, led by President James Madison, was once again pulled into battle with Great Britain and its Canadian and Native American allies. It was a fierce battle for control of territory and freedom of the seas that included the burning of the White House, and was the last large-scale attempt by the Native American nations to maintain power by forming an alliance with the British, which led to more than 100 treaties when the war ended. The drama hails from A+E Studios and creator and writer Michael Hirst (Vikings).
I'm super excited about this! The History Channel has been developing quality scripted TV programming with solid production value, and a series like this will be filled with intriguing stories that will make for great entertainment.