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‘Killing Lincoln’ Producers Hire Ex-CMT Exec As Development Head

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 3:15pm PDT

Herzog & Company has brought Nicole Zien on board as Head of Development, Original Programming. The former CMT Senior Director of Development & Production has been charged with expanding the Killing Lincoln and Gettysburg production company’s further reach into nonscripted series and specials, across all platforms.
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National Geographic Channel To Unveil Slate Of New Series At Upfront

By | Sunday March 24, 2013 @ 9:01pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Coming off its highest rated February in history, the National Geographic Channel is unveiling a slate of four new and seven returning series at its upfront presentation. The new series include Die Trying, featuring men and women pushing the limits of endurance; Building Wild, an extreme do-it-yourself-type home building series; Showdown of the Unbeatables, a battle of cutting-edge inventions; and The Legend Of Mick Dodge, described as “Forrest Gump meets the Jungle Man,” about a man who lives on his terms and his band of quirky friends. “We want to keep the momentum, coming off pour best year (2012) and month (February) with a mix of contemporary entertainment styles,” said NGC Chief Executive Officer David Lyle.

Additionally, Nat Geo brass are so high on two of its upcoming series, Brain Games (premiering in April), an interactive series exploring mind’s skills hosted by Jason Silva; and Ultimate Survival Alaska (premiering in May), an extreme adventure series testing a team of explorers, that the network is granting both second-season renewals before their freshman ones had debuted.  Lyle stressed that Brain Games‘ take on science is “smart rather than intellectual while NGC president Howard T. Owens noted Survival Alaska‘s breakout potential. Also receiving series renewals are hits Doomsday Preppers, NGC’s highest-rated series, Wicked Tuna and Diggers. And while the slate presented to advertisers is dominated by unscripted fare, Nat Geo also is committed to growing its scripted area following the success of its first scripted offering, the Scott Free-produced factual drama special Killing Lincoln. “The DNA of the channel is to take creative risks and make bold moves and not be afraid to be different,” said Owens. NGC is getting some attention with the gritty docu series Inside Combat Rescue and has also coming up acquired feature documentary Chasing Ice and two-hour special American Blackout. Paired with Doomsday Preppers, the real-life Revolution imagines the first two weeks immediately following a catastrophic blackout and “will be filmed as a full-throttle disaster movie,” Owens said. Sibling Nat Geo Wild’s slate includes a new Cesar Millan series and two specials featuring the dog whisperer. Here are descriptions of NGC and Nat Geo Wild’s newly picked up series. Read More »

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Nat Geo’s ‘Killing Lincoln’ Hits Record Highs; 3.4M Watch Drama

By | Monday February 18, 2013 @ 1:44pm PST

National Geographic’s Killing Lincoln premiered to a network record-breaking 3.4 million viewers last night. Based on Fox News channel host Bill O’Reilly’s book of the same name, the show is the first original factual drama from the network.

Killing Lincoln Nat Geo

(WASHINGTON, D.C. — February 18, 2013) National Geographic Channel’s Sunday night premiere of KILLING LINCOLN – the network’s first original factual drama – proved to be the perfect way to honor President’s Day Weekend with stellar ratings that averaged a whopping 2.6 HH rating – tied for the second highest HH in network history – and a 1.1 P25–54 on Sunday, February 17, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

KILLING LINCOLN also averaged 3.4 million persons 2+ over the entire two-hour premiere, the highest total viewership in NGC’s history!

Furthermore, the 1.1 P25–54 is the highest rated P25-54 since the premiere of SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden in November 2012 (1.4 P25-54), and is more than 175% higher than NGC’s Sunday 8–10 p.m average so far this year (.4 P25–54).

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‘Killing Lincoln’ Set For Feb. 17 On NatGeo

By | Thursday January 24, 2013 @ 1:31pm PST

National Geographic Channel’s Killing Lincoln will premiere Sunday, February 17 at 8 PM PT/ET (repeating at 10 PM) during Presidents Day weekend. The docu-drama is based on Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever. It stars Billy Campbell as President Abraham Lincoln, Jesse Johnson as John Wilkes Booth and Geraldine Hughes as Mary Todd Lincoln. The telefilm is narrated by Tom Hanks. Produced by Ridley Scott and the late Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods., Killing Lincoln is directed by Adrian Moat (“Gettysburg”), written by Emmy Award-winning writer/executive producer Erik Jendresen (“Band of Brothers”) and produced by Mark Herzog’s Herzog & Co. (“Gettysburg”). Killing Lincoln will also premiere globally in March on National Geographic Channel in 171 countries. 

Related: NatGeo Reteams With Bill O’Reilly And Ridley Scott For ‘Killing Kennedy’

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‘Killing Lincoln’ Writer Says John Wilkes Booth “Could Be Poster Child For Tea Party”: TCA

By | Friday January 4, 2013 @ 11:52am PST

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.

Erik Jendresen, the writer and executive producer of the forthcoming National Geographic Channel film Killing Lincoln, told critics during a TCA panel this morning that while Abraham Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth is often dismissed as a laundry-list psychopath, in fact “he could be the poster child for the Tea Party (movement).” Jendresen explained that he was astonished by the parallel feelings coursing through the country in Lincoln’s time that there are today. “If you look at the politics of the time, and the epithets hurled at Lincoln, the feeling is not dissimilar” to the feelings that grip many in the U.S. with regard to President Obama. “The idea today of this imperial Presidency and (Obama) declaring himself King and taking over…It’s just stunning to read the newspaper articles, letters, papers from back (in Lincoln’s time) and they could be transposed to the dialect of today.” The film is based on a book co-written by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, and Jendresen was asked what O’Reilly might say about his calling Booth “a Tea Party poster boy.” “I can’t speak for Mr. O’Reilly,” he concluded.

Related: Nat Geo Reteams With Bill O’Reilly And Ridley Scott For ‘Killing Kennedy’

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National Geographic Channel Reteams With Bill O’Reilly And Ridley Scott For ‘Killing Kennedy’ Film About JFK’s Assassination

By | Thursday January 3, 2013 @ 10:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Killing Kennedy Movie National GeographicEXCLUSIVE: Ahead of next month’s premiere of National Geographic‘s Killing Lincoln, the cable network has greenlighted Killing Kennedy, a new film from Killing Lincoln producer Scott Free about the assassination of John F Kennedy. Like Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy will be based on a book by Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. Killing Kennedy: The End Of Camelot, O’Reilly’s latest New York Times bestseller with co-author Martin Dugard, is a follow-up to the duo’s hugely successful Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever, which has sold more than 1 million copies. The new two-hour factual drama will keep the narrative storytelling devices used by O’Reilly in the book, published in October, which recounts Kennedy’s assassination and its impact on America. “The common parallels between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy are astonishing, with both assassinations profoundly changing the nation during crucial moments in its history,” O’Reilly said. “While Kennedy’s assassination continues to garner many conspiracy theories, our story is based on facts — some that haven’t been publicly known. And with National Geographic Channel and Scott Free once again at the helm, I have the utmost trust and faith that they will bring the story of Kennedy and Camelot to life.” Casting on the two-hour film, which will combine historical insights and archives with dramatic storytelling in the signature style of the Scott brothers, is expected to begin shortly for a sprint start of production. “Collaborating with National Geographic on Bill O’Reilly’s follow-up was an easy decision,” said Scott Free principal Ridley Scott. “They share the same passion of storytelling, willing to take creative leaps and risks to keep viewers entertained to tell the provocative story of Kennedy’s last days, a pivotal and historic moment.” Read More »

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Tom Hanks To Host Bill O’Reilly And Scott Free’s Nat Geo Docu-Drama ‘Killing Lincoln’

By | Thursday September 13, 2012 @ 6:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Tom Hanks is set as the on-camera host, historical commentator and narrator of Killing Lincoln, National Geographic Channel‘s two-hour historical thriller from Ridley and the late Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods. It’s based on Bill O’Reilly best-selling book with co-author Martin Dugard that chronicles the conspiracy behind Lincoln’s assassination.

Hanks joins director Adrian Moat (Gettysburg), Emmy-winning writer/executive producer Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers) and producer Mark Herzog’s Herzog & Co. (Gettysburg) on the film, which combines drama with CGI — in the signature style of the Scott brothers — with rare historical archives. “The murder of Lincoln is not a passage of our history — it was a signpost of our American character, then, now and forever,” said Hanks, who has been involved in a number of historic TV projects including the HBO miniseries Band Of Brothers and The Pacific, which he exec produced, and the PBS docu-series Freedom: A History Of Us.

In Killing Lincoln, Billy Campbell plays Lincoln, Jesse Johnson plays John Wilkes Booth and Geraldine Hughes is Mary Todd Lincoln. Graham Beckel appears as Edwin Stanton (who served as Secretary of War under the Lincoln administration) and Shawn Pyfrom portrays Private John W. Nichols. Read More »

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‘The Killing’s Billy Campbell To Play Abraham Lincoln In Nat Geo’s ‘Killing Lincoln’

By | Monday July 9, 2012 @ 7:36pm PDT

Billy Campbell Killing LincolnBilly Campbell, who plays troubled mayoral candidate Darren Richmond on AMC’s The Killing, is signing on for more killing. He has been set to play Abraham Lincoln in National Geographic Channel‘s Killing Lincoln, the two-hour docu-drama based on Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s book that chronicles the conspiracy behind Lincoln’s assassination. Scott Free Productions and Herzog & Co are producing the telefilm, which Erik Jendresen is showrunning and Adrian Moat (the same companies’ Emmy-nominated Gettysburg) is directing. Ridley and Tony Scott are executive producing along with O’Reilly, David Zucker, Mary Lisio, and Mark Herzog. The shoot is scheduled to begin this month in Richmond, VA. Campbell, who launched his career starring opposite Jennifer Connelly in 1991′s The Rocketeer, most recently was seen on the big screen in Matthew Lilard’s SXSW winner Fat Kid Rules The World.

Related: Bill O’Reilly Book ‘Killing Lincoln’ Becomes Nat Geo Documentary Produced By Ridley & Tony Scott

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