The A+E Networks-owned station has optioned several best-selling novels on US presidents as source material for The Commanders, which will come from stablemare A+E Studios.
The anthology will dramatise pivotal moments in the presidencies of several US leaders, with Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson lined up for miniseries that will ran from between four and ten hours.
Also in development are projects about Washington, Lincoln and Eisenhower among others.
R.J. Cutler (Nashville, The War Room), Stephen J. Rivele (Ali, Nixon), Matthew Sand (Deepwater Horizon), Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Path to 911), Michael Hirst (Vikings, The Tudors) and Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) are among the auspices.
They will work on source material including The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton” by Peter Baker, Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade, and The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan.
The Clinton series comes from A+E Studios in association with Cutler Productions, with Cutler executive producer, writer and director and executive producer and David K. Israel co-writer.
It will follow behind-the-scenes events around the impeachment of Clinton that followed his marital infidelity in the White House with intern Monica Lewinsky.
Rise of Reagan will be an A+E Studios effort about how Reagan challenged and beat incumbent Republican president Gerald Ford, setting the conservative agenda for years to come. Cyrus Nowrasteh is writing, with Bill Haber (Rizzoli & Isles) attached as executive producer and Rick Perlstein a consultant
Alliance will look at the strategy summits between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin during World War II. Jane Tranter’s Bad Wolf is attached as producer, with Stephen Butchard (The Last Kingdom) writing and executive producing. Julie Gardner, David Attwood and Martin Davidson are also executive producer.
Thoedore Rex will follow the Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency in the wake of assassination of William McKinley. A+E Studios is producing along with Critical Content’s Tom Forman, Andrew Marcus and Ray Ricord, who are executive producers. Matthew Sand is writing.
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates will look into the decision to wage war against the Barbary Coast Pirates, despite the US selling off its navy to pay for the War of Independence, and how it lead to the creation of the modern day Marines. Thinkfactory Media is producing, with Leslie Greif executive producing, Brian Kilmeade co-executive producer and Stephen J. Rivele writing.
“From the contemporary history of Clinton’s impeachment and its lasting impact on the nation’s political landscape and Reagan’s influence that defined the Republican Party for generations, to Jefferson’s creation of the military might of the U.S. Marines – these defining stories forged our nation,” said Jana Bennett, president and general manager of history.
“The Commanders would bring history to life and speak to the crises we face in modern times.”