History‘s scripted drama slate is turning into a regular Hall of Presidents: The cabler is developing a scripted anthology series focusing on men who have held the American presidency.
Each annual installment of The Commanders will be between four and 10 hours long and will focus on a specific U.S. president at a defining moment in his administration, the network announced Tuesday.
The first Commanders-in-Chief on tap are Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison; the source material for the scripts includes several bestselling biographies, including The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton by Peter Baker and Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris.
“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, History president and general manager, in a statement.”The Commanders would bring history to life and speak to the crises we face in modern times.”
History isn’t the only cable network interested in dramatizing Clinton’s presidency: Ryan Murphy and the team behind American Crime Story recently optioned Jeffrey Toobin’s book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President in the interests of using Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky as fodder for a future season of FX’s critically acclaimed drama.