Princess Diana Documentary in the Works at ABC

The two-night, four-part event will air in August to coincide with the 20th anniversary of her death.
Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Princess Diana is getting the documentary treatment.

A new four-hour telecast looking at the life of the late princess will air in August on ABC, it was announced Monday.

Made in partnership with People magazine, the project will air over two nights and coincide with the 20th anniversary of her death. Princess Diana died Aug. 31, 1997, at the age of 36 from injuries sustained in a car crash.

The documentary will include interviews with those who knew her best as well as leading Diana experts, which will be interwoven with archival footage of the Princess of Wales, who later became known as "the People's Princess." The broadcast will also examine how Diana and her legacy have remained relevant in the years since her tragic passing.

Emmy winner Maura Mandt will executive produce the project, which will be produced for ABC by Time Inc. Productions. Time Inc. will also handle international distribution.

The two-night special is the latest venture into television for Time Inc., joining People Magazine Investigates for Investigation Discovery; Netflix's The Mars Generation, PBS' Beyond a Year in Space, The Making of SI Swimsuit 2017 for DirecTV Now; and Puppy Bowl: Where Are They Now on Animal Planet.

“Princess Diana has appeared on the cover of People 57 times  more than anyone in the history of the People brand,” said People’s Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle. “Our audience has an insatiable appetite for news about the royal family; in fact, they are just as fascinated today as they were when Lady Diana was first introduced to the world back in 1981.” 

ABC has found success with similar news-driven unscripted fare, most recently with last month's ABC News special, Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers.

“Even 20 years after her untimely death, Princess Diana’s legacy continues to impact our world,” said Robert Mills, ABC's senior vp alternate series, specials and late night. “Our special will honor her memory and all the good that she did in her tragically brief life. Our partners at People are perfect to tell this story as they’ve extensively covered her life throughout the years.”

Born Diana Spencer, she came into the public eye when she married Charles, Prince of Wales, the son of Queen Elizabeth, in 1981. The couple divorced in 1996 and she left behind two children, Prince William and Prince Harry.

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