History Developing Colonial Miniseries 'Jamestown' (Exclusive)

Former "Hell on Wheels" executive producer John Shiban will pen the drama, which is inspired by Benjamin Woolley's "Savage Kingdom" book.

History is prepping to explore America's beginning.

The cable network is teaming with former Hell on Wheels executive producer John Shiban to develop Jamestown (working title), a miniseries exploring the new colony.

Inspired by Benjamin Woolley's 2007 book Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America, the miniseries will explore the true story of the beginnings of America and follow the dreamers and schemers who settled in the new colony of Jamestown. It evokes a stirring epic time in American history, with all its greed, gore and glory.

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Shiban is on board the pen the project and executive produce alongside Head First Productions' Jim Head (Sleepwalk With Me).

The project marks the latest sale for Shiban, who exited AMC's Western Hell on Wheels a year ago after a brief stint as showrunner. The writer-producer is also teaming with Sons of Anarchy boss Kurt Sutter for Lucas Stand, a time-travel drama set up at FX, and has period drama Edison -- a fictionalized take on inventor Thomas Edison -- in the works at NBC.

For History, Jamestown (working title) becomes the cabler's latest miniseries in the works following Emmy darling Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible. The network this week announced it was developing Halle Berry-produced mini Hannibal, based on famed military commander Hannibal Barca as well as Sons of Liberty, a Revolutionary War mini, among others. History also has a Roots reboot in the works and has already ordered four-hour mini Houdini.

The news comes as History also looks to further explore religion with The Lost Years, a miniseries exploring Jesus' young adult life from writer Scott Kosar (The Machinist) and producers Eli Roth (Hostel) and Eric Newman (The Thing).

Head is repped by Paradigm; Shiban is with ICM Partners.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit