A+E, ITV Studios partner for History drama

US cable channel History has commissioned an eight-part period drama that details the rise of the Texas Rangers and their role in the 19th century Texan war of independence with Mexico.

History’s A+E Networks sister A+E Studios is coproducing Texas Rising (WT) with ITV Studios America-owned Thinkfactory Media, which was behind History’s first scripted series Hatfields & McCoys.

It will tell the story of the Texas Revolution against Mexico, which pitted Texan colonists against the Mexican government in 1835 and 1836 that ended with the establishment of an independent Texan republic.

Oscar-nominated director Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields) is helming the project, with Bill Paxton (Independence Day, Hatfields & McCoys), Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), Ray Liotta (Goodfellas), Michael Rapaport (The Heat) and Olivier Martinez (Unfaithful) are among cast announced yesterday.

“The Texas Revolution is one of the most gut-wrenching and inspirational events in [American] history. Doing the story justice will be a massive undertaking and we’re excited to begin production with one of the best teams in the business,” said Dirk Hoogstra, executive VP and general manager, History and H2.

Hoogstra is executive producing for History, along with Elaine Frontain Bryant and Julian P. Hobbs and Thinkfactory’s Leslie Greif.

In related news, A+E Networks UK is launching the Crime & Investigation Network on satellite and television operator Romtelecom and subsidiary NexGen Communications in Romania this month.

History launched on Romtelecom in August 2011.