National Geographic Channel Greenlights Global Scripted Event Series Based on Martha Raddatz's New York Times Best-Seller, "The Long Road Home"
Produced by Mike Medavoy and Jason Clark, Critically Acclaimed Screenwriter Mikko Alanne ("The 33") Is Adapting Epic Story of Survival for Television
WASHINGTON & LOS ANGELES -- National Geographic Channel executive vice president and head of global scripted programming and development Carolyn Bernstein announced today ahead of its TCA session that the network has picked up the global scripted miniseries The Long Road Home, based on the New York Times best-seller from Martha Raddatz. First announced as a development deal in November, the network has officially greenlit the eight-hour event series with executive producers Mike Medavoy, Jason Clark, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn. Screenwriter Mikko Alanne ("The 33") is adapting and also executive producing this epic story of survival for television. Production will begin in early 2017 and is slated to air later in the year in 440 million homes in 171 countries and in 45 languages.
Hailed by critics as "a masterpiece of literary nonfiction that rivals any war-related classic that has preceded it" and "a truly great book about men, women and raw courage," The Long Road Home will relive a heroic fight for survival during the Iraq War when the First Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, was ferociously ambushed on April 4, 2004, in Sadr City, Baghdad - a day that came to be known in military annals as "Black Sunday."
The event series will cut between the soldiers on the ground and the homefront in Texas, where their wives and families await news for 48 hellish hours, expecting the worst. The incident, which took place 11 months after President George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech, changed the American military's view of Iraq from a peacekeeping mission to a fight against domestic insurgents.
"With The Long Road Home, we're going to tell the inspiring story of the selfless heroism and bravery of U.S. soldiers in extraordinary and terrifying circumstances. We're also going to shine a light on the sisterhood formed by their wives on the homefront as they rally around each other awaiting news of their husbands' fates," said Bernstein. "We are so pleased to partner with Mike Medavoy, a producer with a remarkable list of credits, including some of cinema's most iconic military dramas, along with Jason Clark, president of Seth MacFarlane's Fuzzy Door Productions, and Mikko Alanne to bring the universal and timeless story of these courageous warriors and their equally courageous wives to Nat Geo."
"By partnering with National Geographic and Jason, and with Mikko as our skillful storyteller, we hope to tell a visceral story of courage and survival," said Medavoy. "We're going to tap into the global audience that only National Geographic can provide to tell the dramatic story of the inspiring and unforgettable events of 'Black Sunday.'"
"Chronicling every moment of this unexpected day, we are not only capturing a remarkable story of bravery and survival of these soldiers and revealing the anguish of their families at home, but also showing the triumph of the human spirit against incalculable odds," said Clark.
"Writing about this battle, which came so suddenly for the soldiers who had just days before been in the embrace of their loved ones, has been the most profound experience I have had as a journalist. The courage I witnessed, the heartache and the survival of spirit both on the battlefield and the homefront, is something I wanted to share with as many people as possible," said Raddatz. "I am thrilled that National Geographic, along with this incredible team of producers, is going to expand the audience for this epic tale of heroism and sacrifice. These soldiers and their families could not be in better hands."
"The Long Road Home is an unforgettable account of extraordinary courage before impossible odds, but also a universal and timeless story of men and women facing war for the first time in their lives. This series truly illuminates what sacrifice and bravery mean to our nation's military families," said Alanne.
"It's a privilege to be producing such an important and meaningful event in our recent history," said Anderson. "By telling this story, we can honor the brave men and women who live a life of service for our country, as well as the families that stand by them while they do it."
"This is a story about bravery, brotherhood and the heroic sacrifices we ask our armed forces and their families to make in our name. Through the prism of this one battle, our goal with The Long Road Home is to portray the totality of the experience of war, from both sides of the struggle, in a way that only a large-canvas, eight-hour format can afford," said McGurn, who worked with Alanne on "The 33" as a producer and has been working with him on this project.
Alanne is repped by CAA and Media Talent Group. Mike Medavoy, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn are with Gang Tyre Ramer Brown. Jason Clark is repped by Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.
About The Long Road Home
The First Cavalry Division came under surprise attack in Sadr City on April 4, 2004 - now known as "Black Sunday." On the homefront, over 7,000 miles away, their families awaited the news for 48 hellish hours - expecting the worst. ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz shares remarkable tales of heroism, hope and heartbreak.
National Geographic Channels
The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include: National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society's mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and www.natgeowild.com.
About Mike Medavoy
For the past 50 years, Mike Medavoy has brought quality films to audiences around the world under the labels of United Artist, Orion, Tristar and Phoenix Pictures. Medavoy has established a reputation for consistently developing first-rate projects with some of Hollywood's top creative talent.
With over 321 films as a producer and studio head to his credit, Medavoy has collaborated with sought-after director talents such as Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, Oliver Stone, Milos Forman, Andy Davis, Bryan Singer and Terrence Malick, as well as some of the industry's biggest stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr., Sean Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Travolta, Ben Kingsley, Kate Winslet, John Cusack, Jude Law, Renee Zellwegger, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, Edward Norton, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Williams, Shia LaBeouf, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor, Mark Ruffalo, Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Lopez, Anthony Hopkins, Jamie Foxx, Eva Mendes, Adrien Brody, Woody Harrelson, Nick Nolte, Ian McKellen, Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges.
Today, he works closely with two young and talented producers in Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn, who are both executive producing The Long Road Home with him and Jason Clark.
About Mikko Alanne
Mikko Alanne is a screenwriter and producer based in Los Angeles. Alanne and Medavoy most recently collaborated on the Chilean miner rescue drama "The 33," released by Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment. Previous to his work as a screenwriter, Alanne was a historical content supervisor for Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, now the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.
About Jason Clark
Jason Clark has established a reputation as an innovative producer in the world of live-action and CGI feature films and television, working with a remarkable community of esteemed directors, writers and artists to bring stories and characters to life. He was recently named president of production of Seth MacFarlane's Fuzzy Door shingle, where he oversees all areas of production and development for its current film and television slate. Alongside MacFarlane, Clark worked on the comedy hits "Ted," "Ted 2" and "A Million Ways to Die in the West." In addition, he executive produced "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" for Dreamworks, the military drama "Act of Valor, the award-winning thriller "Cabin in the Woods," the biographical sports film "42" and the stereoscopic 3-D film "Monster House," which went on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. For television, Clark served as co-executive producer on Fox and National Geographic's award-winning series "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," which garnered him a PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television. The show also went on to receive four Primetime Emmy awards, a Peabody Award, two Critics Choice Television Awards, a Television Critics Association Award and nominations for a WGA Award and 13 Primetime Emmy awards, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series. Up next, Clark will serve as an executive producer on MacFarlane's new live-action comedic drama series on Fox.