Docs

History, Doris Kearns Goodwin reteam for three-part Lincoln docuseries

Following last year’s hit miniseries Washington, A+E Networks’ History Channel has reteamed with Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin for another presidential portrait. Premiering over President’s Day weekend, Abraham Lincoln is ...
January 21, 2022

Following last year’s hit miniseries Washington, A+E Networks’ History Channel has reteamed with Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin for another presidential portrait.

Premiering over President’s Day weekend, Abraham Lincoln is a three-part, seven-and-a-half-hour docuseries about the life of the 16th president, based on Kearns’ 2018 New York Times best-seller Leadership: In Turbulent Times. The first episode will air on Sunday, February 20, with episodes two and three following on February 21 and 22, respectively.

The series is executive produced by Goodwin and Beth Laski for Pastimes Productions, and produced for the History Channel by RadicalMedia, the prodco that collaborated with History last year for yet another presidential docuseries, Grant. Executive producers for RadicalMedia are Dave Sirulnick, Jon Kamen, Meredith Bennett and Elizabeth Bull, while Eli Lehrer, Mary E. Donahue and Jennifer Wagman serve as EVPs for History.

“We couldn’t be prouder to partner again with our friend Doris to deliver this incredibly important story of Abraham Lincoln [as] our third presidential doc series,” said Lehrer, History’s EVP and head of programming. “Abraham Lincoln will offer viewers a truly intimate look at an imperfect yet remarkable leader who was tasked, against all odds, with reuniting our country while fighting the deadliest war in American history.”

Through interviews with Lincoln experts and other commentators, as well as a wide array of archival sources, the series will recount Lincoln’s journey from small-time country lawyer to politician, unlikely president, and leader of the Union cause against the Confederacy in the Civil War, up to his death at the hands of an assassin less than a week after that bloody conflict was brought to an end.

In addition to commentary from former president Barack Obama and Gen. Stan McChrystal, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Abraham Lincoln will feature interviews with such leading historians as Christy Coleman, former president and COO of the American Civil War Museum; Caroline Janney, most recently the author of Ends of War; Catherine Clinton, author of biographies of Mary Lincoln and Harriet Tubman; and Edna Greene Medford, author of Lincoln and Emancipation.

“I am so glad to be partnering again with The History Channel — this time to tell the story of Abraham Lincoln, whose leadership carried our country through one of its most perilous times,” said Doris Kearns Goodwin. “Lincoln’s humanity, sense of purpose, and ultimately his principled character provides [a] powerful example of how we might treat each other with dignity and respect if we are to become the nation that he imagined we could be.”

Screening during Black History Month, Abraham Lincoln joins other Civil War-focused programming on History’s slate. Earlier this month, it was announced that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would exec produce and narrate Black Patriots: Heroes of the Civil War, which will premiere after the second part of the Lincoln series on February 21. Another upcoming documentary, The Secret History of the Civil War, will premiere following the conclusion of Abraham Lincoln on February 22.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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