History Channel Mines Compelling Books for New Programming

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In its quest to "Bring the Past Alive," the History Channel is offering a number of documentaries based on outstanding books of nonfiction.

The History Channel has scheduled History of the Wife to premiere on March 16 (10:00 p.m. ET/PT) as part of its Women’s History Month line up. The book, A History of the Wife, written by cultural historian Marilyn Yalom (HarperPerennial), analyzes the female spousal experience from biblical times to the Clintons. This and other future productions build on the success of such History Channel documentaries as the one based on Simon Schama’s A History of Britain (three volumes, Talk Miramax), an exhaustive series beginning with the year 3100 B.C.E.

Cokie Roberts

History of the Wife is narrated by ABC correspondent Cokie Roberts, and it explores some of history’s extraordinary wives: Eve, Queen Victoria, Katharina Von Bora (wife of Martin Luther), Abigail Adams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Sanger, and Rosie the Riveter.

Earlier this month, the History Channel presented a four-part series titled Elizabeth, which was based on David Starkey’s Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne (HarperPerennial)

Upcoming productions will include a four-hour program to air on May 27 and May 28 based on the book Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis (Vintage); a June 24 program based on My Father’s Gun: One Family, Three Badges, 100 Years in the NYPD by Brian McDonald (Plume) -- a new edition of this title will be available in June; and an October 28 program based on Fire on the Mountain: The True Story of the South Canyon Fire by John N. Maclean (Washington Square Press).

For information on specific shows and show times, visit www.HistoryChannel.com.