History Gets Into Original Scripted TV With 'Vikings'

Network Put Itself on the Map With Shows Such as 'Pawn Stars'

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History has entered the original, scripted series business by ordering "Vikings," its first drama series.

Nancy Dubuc
Nancy Dubuc

The epic historical drama from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, which chronicles the world of medieval Norsemen, received a full-season commitment from the network and is scheduled to start running in 2013. The series comes from "The Tudors" and "Elizabeth" writer Michael Hurst.

History put itself on the map in recent years with reality series such as "Pawn Stars" and "Ice Road Truckers," but "Vikings" signals its intent to continue broadening its programming mix. Its scripted miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys," starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, debuts on Memorial Day.

"This is an amazing crossroads for History, embarking on our first scripted series," said Nancy Dubuc, president and general manager of History, in a statement announcing the series. History is part of A&E Networks.

Plenty of networks have steadily injected lower-cost unscripted programming into lineups previously dominated by scripted fare. USA Network, in one of the most recent examples, has ordered an unscripted series hosted by retired quarterback Kurt Warner .

It's less common to see a network adding scripted programming to a lineup of unscripted programs, but that could be changing. Bravo said Monday that it has hired an executive for the newly created post of VP-scripted development and production.

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