The History Channel has announced its intention to further expand on their slate of original scripted programming with two new historical dramas set to grace the small screen in the near future.
The first is a drama about the Knights Templar from Jeremy Renner’s production company The Combine. Renner will produce the show as well as guest star. Titled Knightfall, the series has received a 10-episode first season order, set to premiere in late 2016.
Created by Don Handfield and Richard Rayner, Knightfall will focus on “The Knights Templar’s heroic exploits in the Crusades that have fascinated for centuries, inspiring popular stories from Knights of the Round Table to the Jedi Knights of Star Wars. Knightfall reveals the great secrets protected by the Templars and tells the story of faith, loyalty and brotherhood that help sustain these warriors on the battlefield, and the dark events that would forever sear the infamous date of Friday the 13th into the world’s psyche.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Jeremy Renner, The Combine, Midnight Radio and A+E Studios to tell the intriguing story of the Knights Templar, which has been shrouded in mystery until now,” said Paul Buccieri, the president of the History Channel. “Premium scripted content continues to be a growing part of the HISTORY portfolio, with an eye towards quality historical fact-based storytelling, and Knightfall is the perfect fit for our brand.”
The network also revealed Six, a drama inspired by Seal Team Six, the elite combat unit best known for killing Osama Bin Laden in 2011. The series, which has scored an eight-episode first season, is written by William Broyles and military veteran David Broyles. It follows “a brotherhood of modern American warriors, Navy SEAL Team Six, the best of the best, whose 2014 mission to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan goes awry when they uncover a U.S. citizen working with the terrorists.”
“We are thrilled to partner with William and David Broyles, Harvey Weinstein and the entire team, including our own A+E Studios, to bring this epic tale to HISTORY,” said Buccieri. “The backdrop surrounding this elite team of American soldiers – from their lives at home to the astonishing bravery they display serving our country – provides an amazing canvas for stories that deserve to be told.”
“The idea originally came to me when I read about Boko Haram kidnapping school children in Africa,” said Harvey Weinstein, a co-founder of the show’s production house The Weinstein Company. “I thought about how would our world react and it brought on the idea of creating a series about the world of SEAL Team Six because the story felt as poignant and timely as ever. Each year will feature a different theater of war – the first starting in Africa. We then brought on Bill, whom I long admired, along with David to write the pilot. They took my idea and developed a brilliant script for the project and added authenticity to the world in a way that only firsthand experience could possibly bring. Six is a series that recognizes this country’s great heroes and soldiers, and there’s no doubt that it will make for some of the most important, provocative television seen in ages. While we had vast interest from other networks, our great relationship with Nancy Dubuc, Paul Buccieri and Barry Jossen made HISTORY the clear choice.”
“Six represents the type of authenticity HISTORY values from our creative and writing teams,” noted Jana Bennett, the president and general manager of the History Channel. “This series will reflect the network’s renewed focus on core programming which embraces our recent history as well as our deeper past.”
No release window was mentioned for Six‘s first season.