Severed heads, torture, epic battles, weaponry galore, menacing voice-over, badass stares — it’s all here in the first-look trailer for Season 3 of History‘s Vikings that premiered at Comic-Con today. The series was renewed in March and will return in 2015. Have a look:
Related: History’s ‘Vikings’ Adds Cast
They are the Pawn Stars co-stars, the experts who help separate the genuine from the fake, the treasure from the trash. Without them, History’s Pawn Stars would be Antiques Roadshow: Las Vegas, only with more guns. They work without a script, and they’re not paid a dime, but being on the show has boosted their businesses and made them brand names in the appraiser field.
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Vikings creator Michael Hirst had access to a bigger canvas in creating the second season of History‘s epic series which begins with King Horik and Ragnar battling Rollo and Jarl Borg. Bigger meaning a larger set to wage an ax fight in and lose the audience in, with a few boats and extras thrown in. In the featurette below, a number of the show’s below-the-line creatives expound on their challenges from season 2 including costume designer Joan Bergin, DP P.J. Dillion, production designer Mark Geraghty, prop master Paul Hedges, chief make-up artist Tom McInerney, set decorator Jill Turner, director Jeff Woolnough and key hair designer Dee Corcoran, who says that when it comes to the long hair and beards, “the actors are really into the look.” Last year the show pulled in three Emmy noms for main title design, special visual effects in a supporting role and sound editing.
Related: History’s ‘Vikings’ Renewed For Third Season
History has given a formal green light to six-part miniseries Sons Of Liberty, from A+E Studios and Stephen David Entertainment (The World Wars). The project, which has been fully cast, starts production this summer. Sons Of Liberty follows a defiant and radical group of young men – Sam Adams (Ben Barnes), John Adams (Henry Thomas), Paul Revere (Michael Raymond James), John Hancock (Rafe Spall) and Joseph Warren (Ryan Eggold)– as they band together in secrecy to change the course of history and make America a nation. Additionally, Marton Csokas is cast as the ferocious Gen. Thomas Gage, Emily Berrington as Margaret Gage and Dean Norris as the brilliant yet mischievous diplomat Benjamin Franklin. “From the Boston Tea Party to the Declaration of Independence, Sons Of Liberty will tell the rebellious story of America’s greatest fight for freedom,” said History General Manager Dirk Hoogstra. Kari Skogland (Boardwalk Empire) is directing the mini, written by Stephen David and David C. White. The title theme is by Oscar winner Hans Zimmer.
Miniseries are coming of age again, at least according to the Television Academy, whose Board of Governors voted this year to once again give it a category of its own. This has been done from time to time depending on the health and general welfare of the miniseries format. For example, in 2011, the TV Academy felt longform television was dying on the vine and that there was just not enough entries to meet its “Rule of 14” (the minimum number of possible contenders needed to trigger a category). The networks were downsizing the form and, outside of the BBC and HBO, there wasn’t a whole lot of interest. But now, minis are exploding again and a new golden age seems to be on the horizon.
With minis roaring back on their own—they are still combined with movies in the acting, writing and directing categories—what will the landscape look like when nominees are announced July 10?
Not a Shoo-In
Going into the competition, many pundits thought it was all wrapped up. HBO—which has had a streak of miniseries winners with John Adams, The Pacific, Band of Brothers and Angels in America—looked as though it had another slam dunk with its eight-part True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. It won near-unanimous raves and appeared unbeatable, particularly since, with the mini/movie split, it would not be competing with … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: History is teaming with Bonnie & Clyde executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on a new four-hour miniseries. The network has bought a script for the project, from Sony TV and Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment, which tracks the origins of the mystic medieval Christian order known as Knights Templar. Written by Keir Pearson, an Oscar nominee with Terry George for Hotel Rwanda, the mini tells the true story of three brothers, all knights, during the first Crusade, as they make the long journey through the Holy Lands to recapture Jerusalem, ultimately bringing rise to the Knights Templar. Zadan and Meron executive produce, with Pearson co-executive producing and Storyline VP Development Mark Nicholson, who brought in the project, serving as a producer. Like the Knights Templar mini, Zadan and Meron’s Bonnie & Clyde, also from Sony TV where Storyline has a longform deal, was originally set up at History before becoming a three-network event, airing simultaneously on History and A+E siblings Lifetime and A&E. Zadan and Meron recently signed on to return as Oscar producers for a third straight year. They also are working on NBC’s Peter Pan, the follow-up to the their hugely successful live staging of The Sound of Music last year. Pearson, repped by manager Adesuwa McCalla and attorney Nina Shaw, recently penned … Read More »
History and UK-based October Films have acquired rights to the marine investigation into what is believed to be the remains of the long-lost Santa Maria shipwreck. History is sponsoring the expedition to the site off the coast of Haiti and it will air it at a later date, Dirk Hoogstra, EVP and General Managers, History and H2 said today. More than five centuries after Columbus’ flagship was wrecked in the Caribbean, an archaeological team led by maritime investigator Barry Clifford believes they have located the famous vessel’s remnants. Now, Clifford, supported by History, is planning to carry out further investigations in the coming months to prove that the ship they found is indeed the Santa Maria.
“All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggest that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship,” Clifford said. “I am confident that a full excavation of the wreck will yield the first ever detailed marine archaeological evidence of Columbus’ discovery of America.” Read More »
The channel and producers who brought you Pawn Stars — and more Pawn Stars — now brings you Pawnography, a game show starring the guys from Pawn Stars. History has given a 10-episode order for the new show from Leftfield Pictures, which pits the guys from the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop against contestants in three rounds of trivia questions that get progressively tougher. Prizes include cash and items from the pawn shop. Items that — here’s the kicker — owner Rick Harrison, doesn’t want to give up and will battle to keep. Harrison, his son Corey and their sidekick Chumlee will appear in each episode, which will be filmed in Las Vegas with a live audience. Pawnography is set to premiere in the summer.
Pulling back the curtain, History Channel announced this morning it will work with the White House Correspondents’ Association to produce a special video commemorating the centennial celebration of the organization as well as its annual White House Correspondents Dinner. The video will be screened at that annual Beltway bash/Hollywood petting zoo, which will again be held at Washington’s Hinckley Hilton on Saturday, May 3. President Obama and former President Clinton will participate in the video chronicling the origin of the WHCA in 1914 and its evolution over the century.
Related: Joel McHale To Host White House Correspondents’ Dinner
In addition to Obama and Clinton, among those scheduled to be interviewed include historians; press secretaries Marlin Fitzwater, Mike McCurry, and Dana Perino; and the WHC Dinner’s past and current celebrity hosts. In theory the latter means Stephen Colbert, who scorched the ballroom with his in-character indictment of then-president George W. Bush, and Craig Ferguson, who pronounced VPOTUS Dick Cheney “funny for an evil guy” after Cheney told him “enjoy your audit” following a Ferguson joke that Cheney had to start his move out of his official residence before the end of Bush’s second term because “it takes longer than you think to pack up an entire dungeon.”
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Rhys Coiro (Hostages) and Joe Egender (Hunger) have landed lead roles in History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Coiro will play Vern Elwood opposite Bill Paxton, Ray Liotta, Brendan Fraser and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Egender will play Beans Wilkins, a Ranger who is always hungry and looking for his next meal. Read More »
Jake Busey has been cast in History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Busey will play the older brother of “Big Foot Wallace”, Samuel Wallace, who recites the legendary admonition “Remember the Alamo.” Busey, repped by TalentWorks and manager Steven Jensen, also can be seen in Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn on El Rey Network.
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History has renewed its first (and only for now) original scripted series Vikings for a third season. Four episodes into its 10-episode second-season run, Vikings has received a 10-episode third-season order to begin production in the summer for a 2015 premiere. Season 2 has averaged 3.4 million total viewers, 1.7 million adults 25-54 and 1.5 million adults 18-49, leading the Thursday 10 PM slot in cable. Additionally, the first two episodes have gotten a +51% lift in Live+7 vs. Live+Same Day viewing, averaging 5.1 million total viewers and +60% growth in adults 25-54 (2.7 million) and adults 18-49 (2.5 million). “Vikings has taken viewers by storm and has established itself as one of the most compelling, visually stunning dramas on television,” said History general manager Dirk Hoogstra. “With its large, passionate and loyal fan base, Vikings has cemented History firmly in the scripted series genre, just as we are the leaders in reality television.” Vikings, which centers on Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), a restless young warrior and family man who longs to find and conquer new lands across the sea and claim the spoils as his own, is produced by MGM Television, which is distributing outside of Ireland and Canada. Hirst executive produces along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000, John Weber of Take 5 Prods., Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn and Sheila Hockin.
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Spartacus: War Of The Damned) has been cast as the female lead in History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Roland Joffé will direct. Robinson, repped by Innovative and Liebman Entertainment, will play Emily West, a mythic historical figure, later dubbed “the Yellow Rose of Texas,” who gets caught in a love triangle between Houston (Bill Paxton) and Santa Ana (Oliver Martinez). Robinson currently recurs on CW’s Arrow and also recurred on The Vampire Diaries. Texas Rising is slated to premiere in 2015.
History has given the green light to its next big-scope miniseries, the eight-hour Texas Rising (working title), for a 2015 premiere. The project, which had been in the works at the cable network for a year and a half, comes from Leslie Greif, the producer of History’s first miniseries, mega hit Hatfields & McCoys. It will feature a big-name cast led by Hatfield & McCoys star Bill Paxton, who earned an Emmy nomination for his role as Randall McCoy. The project will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers.
Paxton will play Sam Houston, the father of Texas. He is joined by Brendan Fraser as Billy Anderson, a Texas Ranger with Comanche Indian ties; Ray Liotta as Lorca, an Alamo survivor seeking brutal revenge; Jeffrey Dean Morgan as “Deaf” Smith, a deaf and grizzled veteran Texas Ranger with an advanced case of consumption; Thomas Jane as James Wykoff, a homesteader who finds himself living in the middle of hostile Indian territory; Olivier Martinez as President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the tyrant dictator of Mexico; Chad Michael Murray as Mirabeau Lamar, a spirited Texas soldier who helps win the battle of San Jacinto; Michael Rapaport as Sgt. Ephraim Knowles, a would-be deserter and coward turned hero; and Max Thieriot as Jack Hays, a volunteer freedom fighter who becomes the youngest Texas Ranger.
Roland Joffé is is directing the mini, from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America, produced by Thinkfactory Media with Greif serving as executive producer. Greif also co-wrote the script for all four two-hour installments with Hatfields & McCoys producer Darrell Fetty; Hatfields co-writer Ted Mann co-wrote Night 1 with them. “From Hatfields & McCoys to The Bible to Vikings, History has made a major commitment to high-quality scripted historical dramas,” said the network’s EVP Dirk Hoogstra, “The Texas Revolution is one of the most gut-wrenching and inspirational events in our history. Doing the story justice will be a massive undertaking and we’re excited to begin production with one of the best teams in the business.” Read More »
Set in “down east” Maine, Down East Dickering follows a group a colorful locals who wheel and deal their way through life by scouring the classified ads in Uncle Henry’s magazine, searching for odd jobs, crazy barters, and offbeat goods. History will premiere the eight-part reality series on April 2 at 10 PM ET. For dickering pros Tony, Clint, Yummy and the rest of their gang, opportunity knocks every Thursday when their “bible” – the latest issue of Uncle Henry’s – is published. Whether it’s building a bridge, climbing a bell tower or officiating a wedding, they’ll do whatever it takes to make a few bucks so they can enjoy life on their own terms. Pilgrim Studios is producing for History, with Elain Frontain Bryant and Susan Werbe executive producing. Craig Piligian, Mike Nichols and Bryan Severance are executive producers for Pilgrim Studios.
History Channel and H2 will premiere a six-part event series World Wars later in 2014, the networks announced today. The project will showcase the 30-year period, featuring interviews with Colin Powell, British Prime Miniter John Major, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, and Sen. John McCain, among others. Stephen David Entertainment (The Men Who Built America) is producing.
From today’s announcement: Read More »
History Channel this morning made it official, announcing one more person “must die” if there’s to be happy resolution to its new docu-series The Curse Of Oak Island, premiering on January 5 at 10 PM.
“7 MUST DIE BEFORE THE SECRET IS REVEALED…TWO BROTHERS TAKE ON A LEGENDARY TREASURE HUNT,” History said giddily in its announcement. It’s an unusual marketing campaign.
The maybe booby-trapped island on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada, is possibly hiding what might be “the greatest treasure in history,” as History calls the loot. Later in today’s announcement History clarified that when it says “seven must die,” it actually means there’s this “prophecy” that says seven people will die before the treasure is found, and that six have died in various accidents already.”
History cannot tell viewers what, if anything, is buried on the island, but is no doubt hoping it’s not Shakespeare’s Lost Folios, as some have speculated, which could dampen ratings. Priceless religious artifact brought over by the Knights Templar would be better, but neither holds a candle to pirate treasure.
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