History Channel has the second most popular reality series on cable TV with "Pawn Stars," and now the network is tackling its first scripted series with "Vikings."
The network announced the series, from MGM Studios, will begin production for a 2013 debut. Filmed in Ireland, the series — from Michael Hirst, "The Tudors" and "Camelot" producer and "Elizabeth" writer — will revolve around the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, a real-life Norse hero who became the king of the Viking tribes and was reputed to be a direct descendant of Odin, the god of war and warriors.
Lothbrok was portrayed by Ernest Borgnine in the 1958 film "The Vikings."
"People think they know about the Vikings — we see references to them all the time in our popular culture from TV commercials to football teams — but the reality is so much more fascinating and complex, more vivid, visceral and powerful than popular legend," History Channel president Nancy Dubec said in a statement.
"We will explore the mysteries of the Vikings — the adventures they took and the people who led them. And we will start to understand a past that is very much part of our collective DNA today."
History Channel's release further describes "Vikings" as a family saga, that, "unlike past movies and dramas that caricatured them as barbarians … will not look at Viking culture from the outside, but from within the heart of Viking society."