History Unveils 100-Film Documentary Series


Evel Knievel

History is taking the wraps off two major projects: the History 100, a set of 100 documentaries exploring the past 100 years, and a three-hour live event in July honoring daredevil Evel Knievel.

The projects were announced in the run-up to parent A+E Networks’ upfront presentation this evening.

The documentary initiative, which has a working title of The History 100, is described as “an ambitious new strand comprised of 100 films focusing on the most compelling historical events of the last 100 years.” It aims to complement the network’s ongoing non-fiction and scripted programming.

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Among the first eight films of the 100 are works from noted documentary filmmakers Barbara Kopple, Charles Ferguson, Daniel Junge and Werner Herzog. Topics will include the history of the video game industry; the battle between Coke and Pepsi; the story of Watergate; former Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev; and the Mercury 13 group of prospective female astronauts that ignited an early public debate on gender equality. (The Watergate project directed by Ferguson, an Oscar winner for Inside Job, was announced last spring.)

“The only way to understand today is to see it in the context of yesterday and History is committed to scouring the past for the most gripping, fascinating stories,” said Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President of Programming, History. “Our dynamic and diverse array of award-winning storytellers will bring the history of the past 100 years to life through the fresh voices and perspectives in these groundbreaking documentaries.”