The National Geographic Channel is exploring the Iraq War. Recently, the network announced they’ve ordered a series based on the book The Long Road Home.
By Martha Raddatz, the nonfiction book chronicles “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.””
Mikko Alanne is writing the event series and executive producing alongside Mike Medavoy, Jason Clark, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn.
Read more below:
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 mini-series 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.”
What do you think? Have you read The Long Road Home? Will you watch the series?
Excellent. Watched it several times. Congratulations Nat Geo and Martha, beautifully written screen play.