History Invests In 'America' This Year

The History Channel's Ice Road Truckers The History channel -- little "c" mandatory since the network moniker is now just "History" -- says it will make its largest investment in original programming ever this year. One of the more pricey endeavors is "America: The Story of Us," a 12-part series that seeks to build a narrative about the evolution of the country from Jamestown through 9/11. 

The series is from a new production company formed by Jane Root, the ex-president of the Discovery Channel.

Other new series include "Pawning History" and "Madhouse," which dovetail with History chief Nancy Dubuc's efforts to offer series with a contemporary feel, reflecting the network's "History Made Every Day" tag.

Returning reality series "Ice Road Truckers" and "Ax Men" fall in that category. Now, "Pawning History" will chronicle life in a family-owned Las Vegas pawn shop, while "Madhouse" (working title) will look at the drama created by the drivers at a small North Carolina racetrack, which boasts "tradition that dates back to the days of running moonshine."



Also -- perhaps placing a modern spin on History's traditional military documentaries -- the network is prepping "WWII in HD," a 10-part series that will offer hours of "restored" archival footage from that epic conflict in color.

In addition, History has documentary films coming; one hones in on democracy as a concept and features Matt Damon and other celebrities, while another follows six adults from six different countries as they pursue citizenship.

In addition to "Ice Road Trucker" and "Ax Men," "How the Earth Was Made" and "Modern Marvels" are returning.

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