At the same time, it's bulking up its broadband offerings on History.com, with 94 George Lucas-produced documentaries and "real-time" history with "soldier-generated content" from Americans on the frontlines.
Specials coming in the fourth quarter include "A Global Warning," which examines the history of climate change, and "Stalking Jihad," which delves into a CIA mission to find Islamic terrorists in the Philippines. Also on tap are "Lost Book of Nostradamus," which explores how one of his ancient and lengthy manuscripts found its way to an Italian library, and "Manhunt," billed as "what many historians consider the first terrorist plot against the American government" and its aftermath--the assassination of President Lincoln and his killer John Wilkes Booth's 12 days on the run.
The Lucas-produced documentaries on History.com are based on early-20th century events, which inspired the fictional TV adventures of a young Indiana Jones. They will debut later this year.
Possibly this summer, the online site will kick off "Band of Bloggers," containing footage shot on cell phones and handheld cameras by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. History Channel says it will be "honest, powerful and uncensored news from the battlefield." Video bloggers will also offer daily streams.
The announcements come as the History Channel gears up for the upfront, at which it will look to promote package deals involving its current and coming on-air and online content. "No matter what the platform, it is about enabling history fans to experience great content any way they want it," said Nancy Dubuc, executive vice president, general manager of the History Channel.