Robin Roberts, Pierce Brosnan, Leonardo DiCaprio to Develop History Channel Projects

History Channel
(Image credit: History)

History Channel has tapped celebrities Robin Roberts, Pierce Brosnan and Leonardo DiCaprio to helm original, non-fiction projects, the network announced Wednesday.

Good Morning America’s Roberts will executive produce Harlem Hellfighters, a four-part documentary that will profile the all-Black, World War I Military Infantry Unit through the eyes of leader James Europe and privates Henry Jognson and Horace Pippin. The Harlem Hellfighters fought the Germans with the French Army after U.S. troops refused to fight alongside them, eventually earning France’s highest military honor, according to the network.

Harlem Hellfighters, produced by Rock’n RobinProductions and Radical Media, follows on the heels of  Roberts'  2021 History documentary, Tuskegee Airmen: Legacy and Courage.

Brosnan will host the eight-episode series History’s Greatest Heists with Pierce Brosnan, which looks at elaborate  real-life heists that have taken place throughout history.  From the Wilcox train robbery of 1899 to Boston’s Great Bring robbery in 1950, The Big Fish Entertainment-produced series will break down every aspect of each heist, including the team, the mark, the plan, how they carried it out, and eventually the fallout, said the network.

DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions will produce the documentary series Sitting Bull, which traces the life of the legendary Hunkpapa Lakota chief. The series will provide a new perspective on the United States as the nation rapidly evolved around the legendary figure and will feature involvement from the Lakota community in its production, said network officials. 

Appian Way Productions along with Stephen David Entertainment and IllumiNative will produce Sitting Bull for the network. “History is committed to delivering diverse storytelling  that showcases pivotal moments in our history, and Sitting Bull tells the story of America through an important lens – a Native American hero that immensely influenced the story of our nation,” History executive VP and head of programming Eli Leher said in a statement.  

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.