Fox News Channel lucked out with the timing of the second season of its docu-series “Legends & Lies” — which focuses on America’s founding fathers and begins airing this Sunday just as Broadway’s biggest hit concerns one of them: Alexander Hamilton.
“The episodes that focus on Hamilton actually come a bit later in the season,” Fox News vice president of development and “Legends & Lies” executive producer John Finley told TheWrap. “There is a lot about Alexander Hamilton, even with the popularity of the [Broadway] show, that people can still learn.”
As with last year’s first season, which examined key figures in the American West, researchers on “Legends & Lies: The Patriots” dug up lots of surprises.
“I was a U.S. history major, so I thought I knew a lot. Throughout this process, I saw there is always more to know,” Finley said. “There are a lot of little details that I think get overlooked in some of these stories.”
Finley offered more details about the nine-episode second season, the challenges of filming re-enactments and plans for a third season.
Do you think the success and the buzz around “Hamilton” on Broadway will contribute to success for “Legends & Lies,” considering Alexander Hamilton is a big part of the Season 2 storyline?
Well, I certainly hope so. Hamilton plays an important role in the story of the founding of our nation. I hope that people will stick around. There are a few nuggets in the show, when we get to the Hamilton storyline, that people will find interesting and surprising.
Can we expect “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to appear on “The O’Reilly Factor” for a little cross-promotion?
To be perfectly honest, I’m not really involved with “The O’Reilly Factor” day to day, so I don’t know. I would love to see it. He’s a fascinating guy and, of course, the tie-in would be great.
What can viewers expect during season 2 of “Legends & Lies” that is different than last season?
The big different is the narrative structure. The first season was 10 episodes that were sort of standalone episodes about individual characters of the Wild West. This season runs as a narrative, with each episode picking up where the previous episode left off. The earlier episodes focus more on Paul Revere, Sam Adams, John Adams and George Washington. Hamilton makes appearances throughout, but much more later on. In fact, the duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr plays a significant role in the season finale.
Talk to me about the production. It seems like a project, especially with war re-enactments, that would be on HBO or AMC, as opposed to Fox News.
Most of it was shot in Virginia and North Carolina. A great deal of attention is paid to the wardrobes and the uniforms to get them as accurate as possible. We have experts we’ve brought in and we think we’ve done a great job showing fidelity to the uniforms and things like that. We have lots of extras that are employed; there is some special effects and CGI that is used to expand the scope of some of these scenes. Obviously, we don’t have 10,000 British soldiers but there are famous scenes people are going to recognize from the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party to Yorktown. All these famous [events], we got most of them in there.
Is there a plan for a third season?
We’re in the planning for it. The first season, and the second season, took about a year [each] to produce and work on, so we’re talking about the third season but nothing has been shot yet.
Any hints on what the topic will be?
I don’t think it’s an enormous secret, but we’re talking about doing something on the Civil War.
What is the future of this content? Do you have plans to put them on Netflix or another service?
We haven’t come up with a firm plan for it yet, but it is certainly something that we feel like will hold people’s interest years down the road. Which is different for us, because we’re a news network and a lot of our programing, frankly, doesn’t hold that long. We’ve talked about it, we haven’t come up with a firm plan yet but it’s something we are exploring.
Watch a preview above.
“Legends & Lies: The Patriots” premieres on Fox News on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.