Hatfields and McCoys Sets Record for History Channel

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Hatfields and McCoys, The History Channel’s first foray into scripted drama delivered huge numbers despite a Memorial Day premiere date. The first part of the three-night series pulled in 13.9 million viewers, a record for a non-sports broadcast on ad-supported cable. Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton star as the heads of the infamous feuding families. Costner, an Academy Award winner for “Dances with Wolves,” knows his way around period pieces. Powers Boothe, who did a very memorable turn on Deadwood, adds some more Western flavor.

The series takes some Hollywood liberties with history, and basically has to. Much of what we know about the feud comes with tales passed down through families, and the newspapers of the era.  Those papers were often more fictionalized than anything the movie industry could come up with.

Considering History Channel is more dedicated to Pawn Stars and Swamp People than the World War II documentaries of old, it’s refreshing to see them succeed here. The channel had planned a miniseries based on the Kennedy family. It never aired on History due to criticism from historians and the Kennedys themselves. It eventually appeared on ReelzChannel to little fanfare.

Read [The Hollywood Reporter]

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