Nellie Andreeva

Given its impeccable track record so far with megahits Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible, a miniseries greenlight at History is big news. The cable channel’s latest long-form project to go into production is Houdini, a four-hour miniseries about the famous magician. Oscar winner Adrien Brody, who had been attached to the mini since the development stage, will play the title character, joined by Kristen Connolly (House Of Cards) as Houdini’s wife Bess. The mini, from Lionsgate and A+E Studios, the recently launched A+E Networks in-house studio headed by Bob DeBitetto, will trace the arc of Houdini’s life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame. Filming is slated to begin this fall. “It’s not magic that History has established a strong track record with its high-quality historical dramas from quality auspices,” said History’s EVP and general manager Dirk Hoogstra. “We’re excited to build on that tremendous momentum with Houdini.” Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex) will direct Houdini from a script by Nicholas Meyer (The Seven-Per-Cent Solution). Gerald W. Abrams (Nuremberg) and Andras Hamori (Sunshine) will serve as executive producers. Coming up next for History on the miniseries front is the premiere of four-hour Bonnie & Clyde, which the channel is sharing with sibling Lifetime.

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