History has found great success with their miniseries events like “Hatfields & McCoys” and “The Bible,” and now yet another one is on the way.
Deadline has word that after spending a year and a half in development, the network has greenlit an 8-hour miniseries tentatively titled “Texas Rising.” Leslie Greif, producer of the surprise smash hit “Hatfields & McCoys,” is behind this new western miniseries, which will bring Bill Paxton on board after he was nominated for an Emmy for his role as Randall McCoy.
This new series will focus on the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the Texas Rangers as they faced countless armadas, not to mention Comanche Indian tribes who were out for blood. In harsh times, people had to stand up and fight in order to keep their land from being taken over by a ruthless dictator.
Paxton (who also has an arc on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) will play Sam Houston, the father of Texas, but he’s not the only cast member already aboard the miniseries. This one has a hell of a cast lined up: Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Thomas Jane, Chad Michael Murray, Michael Rapaport, Max Thieriot, Olivier Martinez, Christopher McDonald and Trevor Donovan all have roles.
Fraser, Morgan, and Thieriot play a few Texas Rangers (one with Comanche Indian ties, one who’s deaf, and one who’s the youngest to join the ranks, respectively). Other characters include homesteader James Wykoff (Jane) living in the middle of hostile Indian territory, spirited Texas soldier Mirabeau Lamar (Murray) who plays an integral role in winning the Battle of San Jacinto, would-be deserter Sergeant Ephraim Knowles (Rapaport, who’s currently guest starring on “Justified”) who turns from deserter into a hero, and resident General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (Martinez), the tyrant dictator of Mexico.
In addition, the recently-added McDonald and Donovan will be playing Henry Karnes, a grizzled, tough taskmaster of the ranging company, and Kit Acklin, a handsome, wise-ass, expert horseman whose chivalry and equestrian skills are matched only by his gun-fighting prowess.
This sounds like quite a promising miniseries with There Be Dragons and The Scarlet Letter director Roland Joffé at the helm, with Greif not only acting as executive producer but also writing all four two-hour installments of the miniseries along with “Hatfields & McCoys” producer Darrell Fetty (co-writer Ted Mann worked with them on one of the scripts too).
Miniseries projects are certainly all the rage right now. It’s a nice middle ground between straight-up TV series and films, so some stars of the big screen don’t feel like they’re taking a step down. But as anyone who’s been watching “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” “True Detective,” and shows like that has probably noticed, TV is starting to get better than film, so that outdated mentality is starting to go out the window. History is hoping to premiere the miniseries sometime in 2015, and if it turns out to be as good as “Hatfields & McCoys,” then the network should have another hit on their hands.
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