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Martha Raddatz’s ‘Long Road’ to Scripted Television

The Long Road Home debuts on National Geographic Nov. 7. The mini-series is based on a book of the same title by Martha Raddatz, chief global affairs correspondent at ABC News. It’s about “Black Sunday”—when a platoon of soldiers was ambushed in Baghdad in 2004. Eight Americans died and dozens were wounded.

Raddatz’s book came out in 2007. A short while later, film producer Mike Medavoy optioned the book. “He thought it would be a great film,” Raddatz told B&C. “He promised that this would someday get made, and he is a man of his word.”

The Long Road Home is an eight-part scripted series. It's as much about war's toll on the families back home as it's about the soldiers in the battle. Medavoy is an executive producer on the project. Raddatz is a consultant. “Anything they need me to do,” is how she describes her role.

The series was filmed on location in and around Fort Hood, Texas, where the 1st Cavalry Division soldiers featured in the series were based. Raddatz says her stories about Black Sunday first appeared on ABC’s Nightline. She describes The Long Road Home as “an emotional piece of work for me.”

The cast includes Michael Kelly of House of Cards as Lt. Col. Gary Volesky, Jason Ritter of Kevin (Probably) Saves the World as Capt. Troy Denomy and Kate Bosworth as Gina Denomy.

Raddatz says what makes The Long Road Home so unique, and so compelling, is that the soldiers featured in the work are pretty regular folks, not “action figures,” in her words.

“They’re human beings who got thrown into a situation and came out of it,” says Raddatz.

The showrunner, and executive producer, is Mikko Alanne.

In The Long Road Home’s promotional materials, Raddatz said “There is nothing that has been more meaningful in my career than this, and not just because of the story and not just because of those interviews, but because I’ve maintained the relationship—because these guys are my brothers and their spouses are my sisters.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.