History has lined up Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Colin Powell, Brian Williams and other notables to participate in the docu series that the cabler is calling the most ambitious original programming initiative in its own history.
Set to bow next year, the 12-part “America The Story of Us” series will cover a 400-year sweep of the nation’s history and pre-history. The cabler is prepping elaborate educational materials to distribute to schools in tandem with the series.
“America” is exec produced by Jane Root, former prexy of Discovery Channel and BBC2, through her Nutopia production banner. Series will focus on the elements that distinguish American democracy, the conflicts that shaped it and the myriad social and industrial innovations that have fueled the country’s prosperity. On-camera commentators — also set to include Buzz Aldrin, Gen. Tommy Franks, Donald Trump, John Lasseter and Stevie Wonder — will share their thoughts on the “building” of the nation, according to History.
“What distinguishes American history from that of any other country is how everyday people built this nation from the ground up,” said History prexy-general manager Nancy Dubuc. “American history truly belongs to the people and causes us to reflect on who we are, and how we will shape the future of the country.”
Former BBC2 controller Jane Root’s fledgling factual prodco Nutopia has signed a long-term first-look distribution agreement with BBC Worldwide (BBCWW), in return for investment in programming.
The move binds the two together for two-years, during which BBCWW will handle UK and international distribution of all Nutopia programmes.
BBCWW said it was looking forward to working with the indie, which was set up in 2008 by Root, and predicted it would become an internationally renowned producer.
Nutopia CEO Root said: “This is a really dynamic time for Nutopia, and we are already developing some really ambitious and innovative programming for broadcasters on both sides of the Atlantic. We are very excited to be working with BBCWW going forward. As a top distributor to territories across the globe, it is the perfect partner for our titles.”
The start-up surfaced in October 2008, with Root at the helm. Much speculation had surrounded her future after she left her role as controller of Discovery Channel in the US, with many predicting she would take up the reigns as controller of BBC1 or HBO.
2 Dec 2009
© C21 Media 2009
History Channel have aired the trailer for the series which is debuting in April 2010 and the excitement is mounting!
We complete drama principal photography in time for Christmas 2009. Lots of exciting footage from the Pilgrim fathers to Prohibition currently being shot. It’s going brilliantly and the sun is shining brightly despite a couple of freak thunderstorms earlier in the month.
Meanwhile we are crossing America from New York to New Mexico interviewing leading American figures. So far in the can is General David Petraeus, Donald Trump, General Colin Powell, Melissa Etheridge and Buzz Aldrin. Elsewhere in America (South Dakota to be exact) another filming unit has been tracking wild bison as they roam across the great plains and staging some old-fashioned Cowboys and Indians action.
Back in London we’re into the edit of the first batch of shows and into our sixth coffee of the day..
Watch this space.