Smithsonian tells 'True Story'


Smithsonian Channel is investigating "The True Story" behind several feature films and iconic characters.

The network, a joint venture between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution, has commissioned a five-hour series that explores the real stories behind a handful of well-known movies. Among the subjects to be featured are the real-life history of Indiana Jones; Ian Fleming and his creation James Bond; Eliot Ness and his band of FBI "Untouchables"; the infamous three-man escape from Alcatraz in 1962; and the haunted house in Amityville, Long Island.

"True Story," set to premiere this year, is from Blink Films, which was formed in June by Dan Chambers and Justine Kershaw, former executives at the U.K.'s Five. Chambers is executive producing the series, which will be a co-production with Five. Lucy van Beek is the series producer.

"Each situation or cast of characters is well-known from the movies, but frequently the facts are even more fascinating than the fiction," said David Royle, head of programming and production at Smithsonian Channel. "In 'The True Story,' we will reveal new information, startling interviews and sometimes groundbreaking evidence behind these pop culture sensations."

"True Story" is being distributed by BBC Worldwide.