By Shirley Li
Updated April 30, 2015 at 08:07 PM EDT
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Credit: Marsland/WireImage

Tolstoy’s War and Peace is a mammoth novel—so it’s no surprise to learn that its TV adaptation is too large for a single network to handle. The epic miniseries will air across three separate channels at once: Lifetime, A&E, and History. The three networks will employ a similar strategy for their recently announced Roots remake.

Produced by BBC and the Weinstein Company, and starring Lily James as Natasha Rostova and Paul Dano as Pierre Bezukhov, the six-part adaptation of the classic Russian novel has been described as “one of the most ambitious” BBC projects ever. Set in early 19th-century Russia, the epic covers the stories of five aristocratic families from the reign of Alexander I to the French invasion of Russia in 1812.

Penned by writer Andrew Davies, whose previous credits include Sense & Sensibility, Brideshead Revisited, and Bridget Jones’s Diary, the series also stars Gillian Anderson, James Norton, and Jim Broadbent.

War and Peace is expected to premiere later this year.

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