Clinton, Reagan, and Teddy Roosevelt will be among the first subjects

By Oliver Gettell
March 21, 2017 at 06:32 PM EDT
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; :Bachrach/Getty Images; Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The Commanders

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History is hailing to the chiefs.

The cable network announced Tuesday that it is developing The Commanders, a scripted anthology series dramatizing pivotal moments in U.S. history and examining them through the lens of the sitting president.

Annual installments will run between four and 10 hours, with the initial installments focusing on Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. Projects tackling George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Dwight D. Eisenhower are also in the works.

Source material optioned for the series includes several bestselling biographies, such as Peter Baker’s The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton, Edmund Morris’ Theodore Rex, Brian Kilmeade’s Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates, and Rick Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan.

Among the writers and producers involved are R.J. Cutler (The War Room), Stephen J. Rivele (Nixon), Matthew Sand (Deepwater Horizon), Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Path to 9/11), Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys), and Michael Hirst (The Tudors).

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Jana Bennett, History’s president and general manager, said in a statement, “From the contemporary history of Clinton’s impeachment and its lasting impact on the nation’s political landscape and Reagan’s influence that defined the Republican Party for generations, to Jefferson’s creation of the military might of the U.S. Marines — these defining stories forged our nation. The Commanders would bring history to life and speak to the crises we face in modern times.”

The Commanders

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