“America: The Story of Us” is being produced by Jane Root, a veteran British television executive who knows how to do epic television: She oversaw the launch of Discovery Channel’s “Planet Earth” when she ran that network. History is casting the project, inspired by the sense of momentousness that followed President Obama’s election, as the first comprehensive television history of the country since Alistair Cooke’s 1972 series “America: A Personal History of the United States.”
“I think it’s a sign of amazing confidence in themselves and the audience,” said Root, now an independent producer.
The project aims to explore the various tipping points that shaped the country’s trajectory, with each hour covering five events. Along with the usual interviews with historians, the series is making heavy use of CGI technology to re-create events such as the construction of the Statue of Liberty and the expansion of the railroad across the Rockies. “We want to tell it in a way that draws people in the way a movie would,” Dubuc said. “It’s OK to be entertaining.”
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