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History Channel Expands ‘That Built’ Franchise, Orders Protest Doc From Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Moves Bill Clinton Series To 2022

Peter White
·3-min read

History is doubling down on its “That Built” franchise with four spinoffs.

This comes after A+E Networks cable net launched the second season of The Food That Built America.

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Elsewhere, the network has ordered a protest documentary from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and moved its Bill Clinton series to 2022.

History is launching The Machines That Built America, The Toys That Built America, The Engineering That Built the World and The Titans That Built America. All, except the latter, come from Six West Media, the non-fiction producer owned by A+E Networks.

The Titans That Built America, which premieres on May 31, is a three-night miniseries that chronicles the rise and fierce rivalries of industrial heavy hitters William Boeing, Walter Chrysler, JP Morgan Jr, and Pierre Du Pont. It is produced by Stephen David Entertainment with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson exec producing via Appian Way Productions. Other exec producers include Stephen David, Tim Kelly, Joey Allen, Eli Lehrer, Mary E. Donahue and Zachary Behr with Phillip Watson as co-EP.

The Toys That Built America is a four-part series that tells the story of the Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley and Ruth Handler who transformed a small toy company into the billion-dollar empire now known as Mattel. It looks at the stories behind the Frisbee and the Slinky as well as the people who created Silly Putty, Monopoly, Barbie and G.I Joe. It is produced by Six West Media with Steve Ascher, Kristy Sabat, Matthew Pearl, Jim Pasquarella and Mary E. Donahue as exec producers.

The Machines That Built America is an eight-part series that looks at the stories behind innovations such as TV, radio, phones, airplanes, motorcycles and power tools as well as the inventors including Nikola Tesla, William Harley, Alexander Graham Bell, Duncan Black and Alonzo Decker. Produced by Six West Media, Ascher, Sabat, Pearl, Donahue and Zachary Behr exec produce.

Finally, The Engineering That Built the World is an eight-part series that looks at iconic structures such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Panama Canal and the Transcontinental Railroad. Produced by Six West Media, it is exec produced by Ascher, Sabat, Pearl, Jim Pasquarella and Brooke Townsend

Elsewhere, the network has ordered Fight the Power: The Protests That Changed America from exec producers Abdul-Jabbar and Deborah Morales. The one-hour documentary will look at the impact key protests have had on the evolution of the United States, from past to present and explore the question: Does the arc of the moral universe bend toward justice when pressure is applied?

It marks the second collaboration between the NBA legend and History, which previously teamed on Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution. It is produced by Six West Media with Abdul-Jabbar and Morales exec producing via Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment, alongside Ascher, Sabat, Jessica Conway, Kai Bowe, Stephen Mintz, Lehrer and Jennifer Wagman

“The history of protest in America is also the history of social progress,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

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