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Pierce Brosnan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ray Liotta attached to History non-fiction series

A&E Networks channel History in the US has ordered a number of new series with talent such as Pierce Brosnan, Peyton Manning, Robin Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ray Liotta attached.

Leonardo DiCaprio (photo: Georges Biard via CC)

Brosnan will host the non-fiction series History’s Greatest Heists with Pierce Brosnan, telling the stories behind some of the most elaborate real-life thefts in history.

The eight-episode series comes from Big Fish Entertainment and Anchor Entertainment and will look at heists such as the Wilcox train robbery of 1899 and Boston’s Great Brink’s robbery in 1950.

Meanwhile, Manning will host and executive produce the non-fiction series History’s Greatest of All-Time with Peyton Manning (8×60′) from Omaha Productions and Six West Media group.

He will also serve as exec producer of the competition series The Einstein Challenge, which comes from Omaha Productions and Citizen Jones.

History’s Greatest of All-Time with Peyton Manning will see the American footballer count down the greatest of all-time in a single category, from the greatest general to the greatest inventor or president.

The Einstein Challenge sees two world-class experts compete to see who can best explain seriously complicated concepts to a panel of kids, from how an airplane flies to how bad the eruption of Vesuvius was.

History has also expanded its partnership with Good Morning America co-anchor Roberts to greenlight Harlem Hellfighters, a four-part documentary event about the couragous First World War infantry unit.

Produced by Rock’n Robin Productions and Radical Media, the miniseries will bring the complex and courageous story of the Harlem Hellfighters to life through the eyes of three men: band leader James Europe and privates Henry Johnson and Horace Pippin.

Harlem Hellfighters marks the second documentary exec produced by Roberts for History, after the previously aired Tuskegee Airman: Legacy of Courage, which celebrated the heroism and contribution of US’s first black air force pilots.

“As the proud daughter of a Tuskegee Airman, the first black aviators in US military history fighting in World War II, I believe their predecessors deserve to be as well-known, so we’re telling this story to restore the Hellfighters’ rightful place as fierce warriors and American heroes,” said Roberts.

History has also greenlit the four-part docuseries Sitting Bull, which comes from Appian Way Productions’ DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson and Banijay Group’s Stephen David Entertainment.

Tracing the life of the legendary Hunkpapa Lakota chief, the series aims to provide a new perspective on the US as the nation evolved rapidly around the legendary figure. The production has committed to involving the Lakota community in the project.

Larry Pourier, an Oglala Lakota consultant with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry advising on Native American TV and film projects, and IllumiNative, a Native woman-led non-profit organisation focused on increasing Native representation in media in front of and behind the camera, will serve as consultants and advisors on Sitting Bull.

Finally, History has ordered the non-fiction series Five Families, executive produced by Liotta and Propagate, about the rise and fall of the American Mafia.

The series will follow the Mob from its explosive and violent growth in Prohibition, its golden age of domination in the 1970s and 1980s, up through its war with law enforcement – a struggle it ultimately lost.

The eight-part, one-hour series is based on Selwyn Raab’s book Five Families: The Rise, Decline & Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires.

The shows were announced by Eli Lehrer, executive VP and head of programming for History. A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights to all of the programmes.

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