History channel, Ridley Scott team for Civil War movie -- EXCLUSIVE
It’s like Shark Week with muskets.
History is set to announce a new annual programming event marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Key to the plan is Gettysburg, a film commissioned by the network and produced by the Scott brothers — Ridley (Gladiator) and Tony (Man on Fire). The film promises to strip away the romanticized veneer of the war and present the engagement as “a visceral, terrifying experience” using reenactment footage and CGI, while focusing on the stories of soldiers on the ground.
History will fill the week with Civil War-themed episodes of shows like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and other specials, including the two-hour Grant & Lee, a look at the two iconic generals of the war. In addition, the network is launching a four-year national education campaign on the subject.
“The Civil War is arguably one of the most critical events in our nation’s history,” says Nancy Dubuc, president and general manager of History. “Our four-year commitment highlighting the anniversary, key battles, and people who fought during that conflict underscores our deep devotion to the genre — it is a pledge we are making to our country, to our viewers, and to every school in America.”
“History is the perfect partner for us to tell the epic true story of Gettysburg,” said Ridley Scott in a statement. “We are excited to bring this battle to audiences in a powerful new way.”
The Civil War event will mark the first annual themed programming week launched by History, with the network planning to continue running it for four years. The move also gets History back on brand after the whole Kennedys miniseries flap, and marks the channel’s first major programming announcement since passing on the controversial project. The channel also already signed advertisers Bank of America, Ram, and GEICO to sponsor the week-long project.