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A&E Networks Lands History Series From Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Bradley Cooper

The 2023 programming slate also includes titles from Janet Jackson, Kelly Rowland and Anthony Anderson for Lifetime and A&E

A&E Networks has revealed a slate of new projects, with more than 2,500 hours of programming and a star-studded cast on and off screen.

Among these projects, presented as part of the company’s Upfront presentation to advertisers, the History Channel announced a new initiative to reflect American history and stories in honor of the 250th anniversary of the United States, including Kevin Coster’s “The West.”

According to the show’s logline, the eight-episode documentary series will “transcend the clichés and myths of the ‘Wild West’ to capture the diverse, complex characters and untold stories that defined the era and continue to shape our country today.”

Among the History Channel’s upcoming offerings:

  • “Black Patriots: The 761st Battalion,” a documentary executive produced by Morgan Freeman that tells the story of the 761st Tank Battalion, the first Black tank unit to serve in combat during World War II.
  • “FDR,” executive produced by Doris Kearns Goodwin and Bradley Cooper, the new three-night documentary event will premiere on Memorial Day providing an epic portrait of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, unpacking how his own fight with polio prepared him for the challenges of leading the United States through the Great Depression and World War II.
  • “Five Families (with Michael Imperioli),” executive produced by Michael Imperioli, the nonfiction series details the rise and fall of the New York Mafia’s five families – Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Colombo and Lucchese.
  • Lastly, the “The Unbelievable with Dan Aykroyd” dives into some of human history’s most surprising stories.

“Our goal within this media evolution is to meet audiences wherever and however they consume content, by working with great worldwide storytellers to develop and execute their vision,” Buccieri said. “Over the last four years, we have been on a journey to expand our production capabilities in both scripted and factual, and we’ve established key relationships in the talent management space as well as continued creating compelling content across our brands to further meet the needs of our valued partners and viewers.”

Mr. Buccieri emphasized: “We are especially honored this year to take the lead in preparing for the 250th milestone anniversary of the signing of The Declaration of Independence. This initiative will be across all platforms and will highlight many lives and experiences—250 voices across 50 states—to honor, acknowledge and reflect perspectives from our past and present, while giving our partners unique, premium opportunities to join us in this effort.” 

At A&E, Anthony Anderson and Cedric the Entertainer will star in “Kings of BBQ,” as they try to biuld a BBQ product empire, while the “Biography” franchise will move to focus on rock legends, like Bret Michaels, Dee Snider, and Alice Cooper.

At Lifetime, there is a follow-up planned to Janet Jackson’s doc called “Janet Jackson: Family First,” documenting her reunion with the Jacksons and going on a new tour. following her reunion with the Jacksons and a new tour. There is also a TLC documentary in the works as well as another installment of the Liddles franchise with Kelly Rowland, an original movie executive produced by Mary J. Blige, and a Keyshia Cole biopic.

Then for their food pramming, the company is also developing shows with Rachael Ray, Buddy Valastro from “Cake Boss,” Matt Richards, and Michael Yo.

Additionally, A&E Networks’ podcast division will continue to produce content, like “Ancient Recipes with Sohla,” and “HISTORY This Week.”

“The result of these ambitious content initiatives is a diverse, expansive and engaged audience of consumers who can find and watch A+E Networks’ content across linear, websites, apps, DTC, AVOD and SVOD platforms. All of this expands our reach and powers what we do best: creating custom experiences not only for advertisers but with advertisers,” Buccieri added.