BBC Worldwide (BBCWW) has secured a range of pre-sales for Targeting Bin Laden, with nets in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Norway signing up for the forthcoming Nutopia-produced docudrama, which will feature an exclusive interview with U.S. president Barack Obama (pictured).
The program was commissioned by History’s Julian Hobbs and Susan Werbe in the U.S. and Hamish Mykura from Channel 4 (C4) in the UK, as previously reported, with the nets set to air it on September 6 and 7 respectively. In the UK, it will air under the title Bin Laden: Shoot to Kill.
In addition, BBCWW has pre-sold the title to ABC in Australia, Discovery Canada, Prime in New Zealand and NRK in Norway, with “strong interest” from broadcasters in Asia, France, Germany, Scandinavia and Benelux. BBCWW holds the international distribution rights for the program outside the U.S., Latin America and the UK.
The docudrama promises to bring to life the complex operation which saw the death of the terrorist mastermind, with a full-scale reconstruction of the CIA surveillance operation in Pakistan and the raid itself, mixed with talking heads.
According to C4, the program will reveal that the operation to kill or capture Bin Laden was nearly called off at the last minute, as doubts arose over the quality of the intelligence which suggested he was in a residential compound in Pakistan.
In addition to President Obama, the doc will feature interviewees including national security advisor Tom Donilon; White House chief counter-terrorism advisor John O. Brennan; deputy national security advisor for strategic communications Ben Rhodes; former CIA director general Michael Vincent Hayden; a former CIA deputy director of counter-terrorism; members of Congress; and various policy experts.
“Targeting Bin Laden encapsulates extremely detailed journalism and high intensity drama told with Hollywood energy and élan,” said Nutopia founder Jane Root. “When we launched Nutopia two years ago we were determined to create programming that was different, big and bold and this is another example of us achieving our goal.”
Mark Reynolds, BBCWW director of factual for independents, added: “The combination of exclusive interviews, original sources and dramatic reconstruction makes this the definitive documentary about one of the most significant covert operations in recent times.”
The special is exec produced by Root, directed by Bruce Goodison and produced by Phil Craig.